Citing health, Allen Craig hopes to play well for Red Sox
by Sean d'Oliveira |
(5:13 pm ET) After declaring himself healthy, Red Sox outfielder Allen Craig hopes to justify the Red Sox’s decision to trade for him, reports the Boston Herald.

Craig suffered a ligament tear in his left foot in 2013 and struggled throughout 2014, hitting .215 with eight home runs and 46 RBI.

"I'm just going to go to spring training and compete wherever I'm at and just play the game like I always have," Craig said. "The Red Sox traded for me because they believe in me, so I want to go out there and play well."

Braves encouraged B.J. Upton can bounce back in 2015
by Sean d'Oliveira |
(4:15 pm ET) Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer recently worked with outfielder B.J. Upton and said he's encouraged on the progress Upton has made on his swing, reports

"I feel really, really good about it, because [Upton] was very open to everything that I suggested," Seitzer said. "We had a really good three days together -- three pretty intense days together. I think he feels pretty good about what I'm going to bring, and I feel good about the adjustments he has made."

Upton struggled throughout 2014, hitting .208 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI. With no teams willing to absorb the more than $46 million left on Upton's contract, the Braves have no choice, but to hope Upton can improve his hitting numbers.

"He did great [this week]," Seitzer said. "He made great adjustments, and I'm very encouraged that he's going to be able to come back and play the way he wants to play."

Seitzer added that he worked on Upton's mechanics and approach at the plate and he wants Upton to shorten his swing.

"Any hitter that has a tendency to be long [with their swing], where their hands get away from the body, is going to have a tough time catching up to fastballs," Seitzer said. "They will also be vulnerable to offspeed pitches and inside pitches."

Twins OF Byron Buxton seeking bounce-back 2015 campaign
by Igor Mello |
(2:14 pm ET) Although Twins outfielder Byron Buxton is likely to start the year in Double-A, general manager Terry Ryan said that seeing both Buxton and third baseman Miguel Sano debut this season "would be a realistic point of view," according to the Associated Press.

Sano was sidelined in 2014 after having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last March. Buxton endured a frustrating injury-riddled 2014 campaign. He has been recovering from a broken index finger and was recently cleared to resume baseball activities.

"We've got to knock off some of the rust that's built up on him, because he hasn't played all that much," Ryan said. "I don't anticipate anything that went on with him last year really affecting him in a negative way. He just didn't get enough at-bats or enough playing time to say it was a developmental year. We lost basically a year with him, and that's not what you like."

Tigers manager Ausmus: Cespedes will hit in heart of the order
by Igor Mello |
(12:41 pm ET) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told reporters that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will hit in the heart of the order this season, per the Detroit Free-Press.

Cespedes, 29, was acquired in a December trade with Boston. He batted cleanup in 235 of his 416 career games in the majors. He hit .260 with 100 RBI last season between Oakland and Boston. He owns a .263 average, .464 slugging percentage and .780 OPS in 416 games over three MLB seasons.

Mariners GM: We've had some discussions with Franklin Gutierrez
by Igor Mello |
(9:43 am ET) Mariners assistant general manager Jeff Kingston indicated that free agent outfielder Franklin Gutierrez is still on the team's radar, according to the Tacoma News Tribune. Gutierrez spent the 2014 season on the restricted list due to ongoing gastrointestinal issues.

"He wants to give it a shot," Kingston said. "Full disclosure, there are some veteran non-roster players we're still talking to, and we probably will add a few more here before the start of camp.

"He is somebody we've had some discussions with. So it is a possibility."

Nationals sign Derrick Robinson to minor-league deal
by Brandon Wise |
(1/23/2015) The Nationals have signed outfielder Derrick Robinson to a minor-league contract, the team announced Friday. 

Robinson played in 102 games for the Reds in 2013, hitting .255 with seven doubles and three triples for the club. He was unable to play in 2014 after injuring his left shoulder, which required surgery.

Twins outfielder Byron Buxton cleared to resume activity
by Brandon Wise |
(1/23/2015) Twins outfielder Byron Buxton has been cleared to resume activity and is hoping to get all of his injuries out of the way, reports.

Buxton, who is heading into his second season in Minnesota, suffered a broken index finger, which required surgery in October. He is expected to be ready for spring training.

Report: Indians, Orioles showing interest in Nolan Reimold
by Brandon Wise |
(1/23/2015) The Indians are reportedly showing a lot of interest in outfielder Nolan Reimold , according to Cleveland is trying to sign the six-year veteran to a minor-league contract with the Orioles still showing interest as well.

The outfielder hit .232 in 69 plate appearances in 2014 with 13 RBI.

Report: Angels no longer in play for Gordon Beckham
by Igor Mello |
(1/23/2015) The Angels are no longer in play for second baseman Gordon Beckham, reports on Friday. The team is now set on having Josh Rutledge, Johnny Giavotella, Grant Green and Taylor Featherston compete for second base/utility at-bats moving forward.

Beckham was non-tendered by the Angels on Dec. 2. He managed a slash line of .227/.271/.348 in 2014.

Braves claim OF Eury Perez off waivers
by Igor Mello |
(1/23/2015) The Braves announced they have claimed outfielder Eury Perez off waivers from the Yankees, according to the club's official website

Perez hit .311 with one home run and 20 steals in 212 at-bats for Triple-A Syracuse before he was claimed by the Yankees in late-September. He had two hits in 10 at-bats for the Yankees during the final stretch of the 2014 season.

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