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Bill Baer

  1. Cubs prospect Jorge Soler placed on seven-day minor league disabled list

    Apr 4, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Jorge Soler

    Cubs prospect Jorge Soler went on the seven-day DL with a hamstring injury.

  2. Mariners designate Hector Noesi for assignment

    Apr 4, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    The Mariners designated for assignment one of the pieces of the Michael Pineda trade.

  3. Will Middlebrooks hopes new contact lenses are the key to success in 2014

    Mar 30, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

    will middlebrooks getty

    Will Middlebrooks was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2012 season and he did not disappoint, blasting 15 home runs with an .835 OPS in 286 plate appearances in the big leagues. He wasn’t nearly as good last season, slashing .227/.271/.425. As it turns out, Middlebrooks’ deteriorating vision might have been at least partially…

  4. Indians sign George Kottaras to a minor league deal

    Mar 30, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT

    george kottaras royals

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Indians have signed catcher George Kottaras to a minor league deal. He adds that there is a “seemingly good chance” for him to join the big league club soon. At the moment, third baseman Carlos Santana is the back-up to Yan Gomes behind the plate in…

  5. Josh Beckett beats out Paul Maholm for fifth spot in Dodgers’ rotation

    Mar 30, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    Josh Beckett AP

    The Dodgers signed lefty Paul Maholm to a one-year, $1.5 million deal in February, but they have no room for him in the starting rotation. Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times reports that the Dodgers have awarded that spot to right-hander Josh Beckett. Neither Maholm nor Beckett pitched much during the spring and neither had…

  6. GM Jeff Luhnow says Astros “likely to keep” veterans at trade deadline

    Mar 30, 2014, 9:20 PM EDT

    Jeff Luhnow

    That the Astros are in rebuild mode is no secret. In the past, they had been pawning off veteran players in an effort to usher in a youth movement, but GM Jeff Luhnow says the Astros aren’t likely to be sellers at this year’s trade deadline. Jesse Crain and Jerome Williams are eligible to become free…

  7. The Pirates have made velocity an organizational focus

    Mar 30, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Gerrit Cole

    Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote an intriguing column about the rise in fastball velocity across Major League Baseball. In 2008, the average fastball in the Majors registered at 90.9 MPH; in 2013, it was 92 MPH. A change of 1.1 MPH over a six-year period may seem small, but when hundreds of thousands of fastballs…

  8. Phillies re-sign infielder Ronny Cedeno to a minor league deal

    Mar 30, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros

    After releasing Ronny Cedeno on Tuesday, CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have re-signed the infielder to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies had originally signed Cedeno in mid-January and brought him to big league camp as a non-roster invitee. Cedeno was one of a handful of candidates…

  9. Tigers move Austin Jackson in lineup, make Ian Kinsler their leadoff hitter

    Mar 30, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Kinsler

    The Tigers have made second baseman Ian Kinsler their leadoff hitter, bumping center fielder Austin Jackson down to the fifth slot in the lineup, MLB.com’s Jason Beck writes in his latest column. Since joining the Tigers in December 2009 in a three-way trade with the Diamondbacks and Yankees, Jackson has taken 2,554 of his 2,574 career…

  10. Braves name David Hale their fourth starter

    Mar 29, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves

    The Braves have finalized their injury-depleted starting rotation and have named David Hale their fourth starter, Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. One through five, their rotation will be: Julio Teheran Ervin Santana Alex Wood David Hale Aaron Harang Teheran will start on Opening Day, March 31, in Milwaukee against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo. Newcomer Ervin…

  11. Fun with roster construction, starring the Colorado Rockies

    Mar 29, 2014, 10:35 PM EDT

    rockies logo

    The Rockies may have the most interesting and unintentionally hilarious roster going into Opening Day. They’ll carry 14 pitchers, including two that are injured (Jhoulys Chacin and Boone Logan, who don’t count against the 25-man limit), as well as two catchers, only five infielders, and six (six!) outfielders. The rotation will include Jorge De La…

  12. Josh Reddick and Sean Doolittle have some Twitter fun with the O.co Coliseum’s flooding problems

    Mar 29, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

    O.co Coliseum

    The O.co Coliseum is a shambles right now, and has been for quite some time. D.J. Short wrote about the latest flooding earlier today, and we have written about it in the past (September 18, September 21, and another one from September 21). The Coliseum is the fifth-oldest ballpark in baseball behind Fenway Park, Wrigley…

  13. Giants’ Marco Scutaro, Jeremy Affeldt to begin season on disabled list

    Mar 29, 2014, 8:55 PM EDT

    Marco Scutaro Getty

    Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News reports that the Giants will begin the season with second baseman Marco Scutaro and reliever Jeremy Affeldt on the disabled list. Scutaro has missed almost all of the spring with a bad back, while Affeldt suffered a strained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The Giants placed Scutaro…

  14. Indians sign Yan Gomes to six-year, $23 million contract extension

    Mar 29, 2014, 8:03 PM EDT

    Yan Gomes

    Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Indians have signed catcher Yan Gomes to a six-year, $23 million contract extension which includes two option years. The 26-year-old was not eligible for arbitration until after the 2015 season. The contract buys out all three arbitration years and one year of free agency. Per Jon Heyman…

  15. Dodgers put Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list

    Mar 29, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    clayton kershaw getty

    Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue L.A. reports that the Dodgers have placed starter Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list with back inflammation. Stephen adds that Kershaw felt something awry when he threw today from an increased distance and intensity. They can place Kershaw on the DL retroactive to March 23. Kershaw was already…

  16. Athletics designate Michael Taylor for assignment

    Mar 29, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v Oakland Athletics

    Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have designated outfielder Michael Taylor for assignment. Sam Fuld, Taylor’s competition for the reserve outfielder job, made the team as a result. Taylor had a great spring, slashing .274/.348/.532 in 62 at-bats. Fuld was nearly as good, posting a .271/.348/.475 line in 59 at-bats.…

  17. Nationals sign Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal

    Mar 29, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Cleveland Indians v Texas Rangers

    Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish is reporting that the Nationals have signed pitcher Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal. The lefty turns 29 years old on April 15. Laffey had signed a minor league deal with the Orioles back in January, but they released him on Tuesday. A seven-year MLB veteran, Laffey has…

  18. Carlos Quentin could start the season on the disabled list

    Mar 28, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT

    carlos quentin getty

    Padres manager Bud Black says outfielder Carlos Quentin could begin the season on the disabled list, Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego reports. Quentin had surgery to remove loose bodies from his right knee last September, but it is his other knee that is bothering him now. The outfielder recently said he has been suffering from soreness…

  19. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos open to extending veteran players

    Mar 28, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays general manager Anthopoulos talks to the media at the team's MLB baseball spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida

    In a Q&A with Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says that he would consider further extending veterans Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Reyes. In doing so, Anthopoulos cited veterans Carlos Beltran and David Ortiz as examples of older players being very productive. He added, “I would not put it past…

  20. Jacoby Ellsbury will start Yankees’ spring training finale

    Mar 28, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Jacoby Ellsbury AP

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Yankees manager Joe Girardi plans to write Jacoby Ellsbury‘s name in the starting lineup when the Yankees wrap up spring training against the Marlins at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on Saturday afternoon. Ellsbury has been dealing with a tight right calf since the middle of…

  21. Phillies acquire infielder Jayson Nix from the Rays

    Mar 28, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT

    jayson nix getty

    If you thought the Mike Trout news was big, wait until you hear this! The Phillies have acquired utility infielder Jayson Nix from the Rays for an undisclosed amount of cash, CSN Philly’s John Clark reports. Nix spent the spring with the Rays but did not make the cut. Nix, 31, had a decent spring…

  22. Update: Angels and Mike Trout agree on six-year, $144.5 million contract extension

    Mar 28, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT

    mike trout getty

    MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez is reporting that the Angels and outfielder Mike Trout are close to finalizing a contract extension worth $144.5 million over six years. [Update: The Angels official Twitter confirms the deal. The team will make an announcement on Saturday.] Trout is currently eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season, so the…

  23. Masahiro Tanaka had a heck of a game against the Marlins on Friday

    Mar 28, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

    Masahiro Tanaka

    Yankees GM Brian Cashman signed Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract in January, then spent some time deflating expectations for the right-hander. His spring performance, including his final outing Friday afternoon against the Marlins, may have reinflated those expectations. Hiroki Kuroda started and tossed three scoreless innings before Tanaka entered the…

  24. Phillies attempt to solve lack of winning with new clubhouse signs

    Mar 28, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

    Ruben Amaro, Jr Ryne Sandberg

    That the Phillies won only 73 games last year and portend to be just as bad, if not worse, in 2014 might prompt some to suggest that they have a talent problem. Not so, if the Phillies’ new clubhouse signs are to be believed. All the Phillies need to do to get back to their…

  25. Cubs hand fifth spot in rotation to Carlos Villanueva

    Mar 28, 2014, 8:55 PM EDT

    carlos villanueva getty

    Carlos Villanueva didn’t exactly impress in his 17 2/3 innings in the Cactus League, but the Cubs’ other options didn’t fare any better. That’s why, as Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports, the Cubs have given the fifth spot in the rotation to Villanueva. Villanueva posted a 5.60 ERA during the spring. Chris Rusin,…

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