Zimmermann's deal is just pending a physical, and there's nothing to suggest he could fail it. Assuming all goes off without a hitch, he'll join Justin Verlander atop the Tigers rotation heading into 2016, though it's always possible the Tigers aren't done. Zimmermann had his worst campaign in the last five seasons in 2015, with his ERA topping 3.50 for the first time since 2010 when he broke into the league. The 29-year-old's fastball velocity also dropped over half a mile per hour, which could partially have contributed to his decline. If he can make adjustments to account for it, there's no reason to believe he can't have another effective season for his new team in 2016.
Apparently, the Tigers considered giving Hessman a September call-up, but it was not in the cards for the 37-year-old. The all-time leader in minor league home runs with 433, he made 109 appearances at the major league level, the last coming back in 2010. Hessman, who spent time in five organizations in his 20 professional seasons, will now look to start a new chapter on the coaching side, though it's uncertain if the Tigers have any interest in bringing him back on in that capacity.
Sonny Gray and Rich Hill are the only two pitchers currently on Oakland's roster who seem like locks to be in the Opening Day rotation. Jesse Hahn (forearm) will need to show he is healthy, and there are performance questions with Kendall Graveman, Chris Bassitt and Aaron Brooks, so with a strong spring Nolin could find himself in the rotation when the A's break camp. Nolin has better pure stuff than Graveman (the other pitcher acquired from Toronto in the Josh Donaldson deal), and could end up being a solid No. 3 or No. 4 starter, especially in that ballpark.
Nobody is pressing charges after Puig apparently got into a fist fight with a bouncer, so police consider the case closed. However, MLB still has the power to dole out punishment under the new policy. The domestic violence element stems from a TMZ report that bar employees got involved in the situation after Puig had a physical altercation with his sister. MLB has the power to hand out any punishment they deem necessary in these cases, so in theory Puig is in danger of being suspended for games in 2016.
Happ pitched for the Blue Jays during the 2014 season before splitting last season between the Mariners and the Pirates. He had some home run issues with the Blue Jays last time around, but a solid finish to the 2015 season has earned him another deal with his former club. He'll likely slot in at the back end of the Blue Jays' rotation in 2016.
Light was recently added to the 40-man roster as his mid-to-high 90's fastball is far too intriguing to expose to the Rule 5 draft. Telegraphing pitches is fixable. Light, who will open the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, is currently pitching for Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He has a 2.25 ERA in 8.0 innings, having allowed two runs, six hits and three walks while striking out eight.
He will offer organizational depth at catcher, likely beginning the year at Triple-A, as he will probably be behind Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez on the depth chart. Recker has a little pop, hitting 15 home runs in 432 plate appearances over the last three years with the Mets, but he is just a .185 hitter for his career.
Bradley re-established himself in Boston's outfield picture with a monster 27-game stretch from Aug. 7 to Sept. 7, but he finished the season hitting .138/.247/.263/.510 in the final 25 games. Those types of peaks and valleys are what Farrell is talking about. Bradley needs to minimize stretches of offensive futility.
Farrell said Ramirez, like all the other players on the team, had some specific physical goals to achieve during the offseason, mentioning Ramirez's shoulder, some low-back pain, and getting to an optimum playing weight. The manager wants to be sure those issues have been addressed before the organization gives him the go-ahead to play. As evidence of Ramirez's slimmed-down physique, he posted this image on his Instagram account.
"If we can help him get back on track, he can help our team in a variety of roles," GM Neal Huntington said. The Pirates have spots available in both the rotation and bullpen, but Webster is out of minor league options, meaning he could be lost to waivers if he doesn't make the club out of spring training.