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Player Notes

  • Tanaka (elbow) cautious about Opening Day
    Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) indicated Friday that he "can't say for sure" whether he'll be ready for Opening Day.

    Advice: Tanaka underwent arthroscopic surgery in late November to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. He began throwing from a mound this week and says he's "perfectly healthy," although it wouldn't be a surprise if the Yankees take it slowly with him this spring. Ultimately, he should be fine well in advance of Opening Day. The bigger injury concern with Tanaka remains the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament that he's been pitching through. Today, 9:08 am
  • Orioles hope to wrap up Gallardo deal Friday
    MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles are hoping to complete a deal for Yovani Gallardo on Friday.

    Advice: Heyman indicates that the only hangup at this point is whether the contract will be for three years or three years plus an option. ESPN's Buster Olney reported previously that the deal is expected to be worth $40-45 million. The Orioles were resistant to give up their first-round pick to sign Gallardo, but ultimately they decided they needed a workhorse. Once the contract for Gallardo is completed, the O's are then expected to target a hitter. Today, 7:01 am
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  • Sabathia (knee) throwing bullpen sessions
    CC Sabathia (knee) began throwing bullpen sessions three weeks ago.

    Advice: That's significant mostly because the big lefty has traditionally waited until the start of spring training to throw off a mound. Sabathia has motivation to be ahead of the curve coming into camp, as Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has already made it clear the 35-year-old won't be guaranteed a rotation spot. For his part, Sabathia said the chronic knee condition that has necessitated the use of a knee brace feels better than it has in a long time. We'll see if the adjustments lead to a new and improved Sabathia this spring. Yesterday, 7:17 pm
  • Skaggs (elbow) up to five bullpen sessions
    Tyler Skaggs (elbow) said Thursday he's thrown five bullpen sessions already this year.

    Advice: Skaggs resumed throwing last month after spending the entire 2015 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He said he's throwing 45-50 pitches in sessions and said things "are going really well." Skaggs is guaranteed nothing heading into spring, and pitchers usually require some time to get back up to full speed once they get back on the mound, but few situations would be more friendly to an aspiring starter than the Angels. If he shows something, the 24-year-old could certainly leave camp as a member of the rotation. Yesterday, 4:22 pm
  • Pirates ink Luebke to minor league contract
    Pirates signed LHP Cory Luebke to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

    Advice: Luebke worked his way back from his second Tommy John surgery to throw seven minor league innings this past season. The 30-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012. Before the injuries he was a very successful starter and reliever, and with a little Bucs magic, maybe we haven't seen the last of Luebke yet. Yesterday, 1:48 pm
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  • Oberholtzer favorite for fifth rotation spot
    Ryan Lawrence of PhillyVoice expects Brett Oberholtzer to win the No. 5 spot in the Phillies' starting rotation.

    Advice: Adam Morgan is also in the running but Oberholtzer has more big league experience and is out of minor league options. Vince Velasquez has a higher ceiling than both of them but another year of seasoning in Triple-A couldn't hurt. Oberholtzer and Velasquez were both acquired from Houston this winter as part of the Ken Giles trade. Yesterday, 6:56 am
  • Jacob deGrom open to signing extension
    Jacob deGrom said he'd be open to signing a long-term contract with the Mets.

    Advice: "Iā€™m a little bit older so I might be more willing to do something like that,ā€™ā€™ said deGrom. "You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal." DeGrom was the best starter on a team that advanced to the World Series last year but his contract doesn't expire until 2020. If the Mets do decide to lock up deGrom long-term, Madison Bumgarner's six-year, $35.56 million extension with San Francisco could be used as a blueprint. Yesterday, 5:38 am
  • Darvish (elbow) to throw March 'pen sessions
    Yu Darvish (elbow) is on track to begin throwing bullpen sessions in March.

    Advice: Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Darvish resumed a throwing program last August but hasn't been cleared for mound work just yet. He's currently long-tossing at 120 feet and throwing off flat ground at 60-75 feet. Darvish is aiming to rejoin the Rangers' rotation around mid-May to early-June. "I have no problems at all right now. I have no concerns," Darvish said. "I feel like I could throw 95 right now, but they told me not to. I feel really good right now." Tuesday, 2:51 pm
  • White Sox' deal with Mat Latos now official
    White Sox signed RHP Mat Latos to a one-year, $3 million contract.

    Advice: Latos is coming off a 2015 campaign that saw him bounce around with three different teams and post a 4.95 ERA. He's also not throwing as hard as he used to and has drawn criticism for being a poor clubhouse presence. That said, there's little risk in a $3 million investment and the White Sox were lacking rotation depth. He'll push Erik Johnson either to the bullpen or Triple-A. Tuesday, 1:15 pm
  • John Lamb has disc surgery on back
    John Lamb required disc surgery on his back in December.

    Advice: The procedure was unreported until now. The expectation is that Lamb will be a bit behind at the start of spring training and will likely get a late start on the season. The 25-year-old southpaw posted a 5.80 ERA and 58/19 K/BB ratio over 49 2/3 innings after coming over from the Royals last July in the Johnny Cueto deal. Tuesday, 11:31 am
  • Agent to watch Lincecum throw Wed.
    Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Tim Lincecum's agent, Rick Thurman, will watch his client throw on Wednesday.

    Advice: The two sides will then come up with a plan about when to hold a showcase for teams in Tempe, Arizona. Lincecum is making his way back from surgery last September to repair a torn labrum and impingement in his left hip. The Orioles, Marlins, and Rangers are among the clubs expected to be in attendance for his upcoming showcase. Tuesday, 5:47 am
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  • Hyun-Jin Ryu may not be ready for Opening Day
    According to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, there's a chance that Hyun-Jin Ryu may not be ready for Opening day.

    Advice: Dilbeck believes that the biggest decision that the Dodgers will face in spring training is whether or not Ryu, who is returning from shoulder surgery, will be ready to open the season in the starting rotation. If he isn't deemed ready to take the ball every fifth day, he could begin the year on a minor league rehab assignment with Alex Wood filling the void in the rotation. Sunday, 7:19 pm
  • 'Quite a bit of interest' in Alex Cobb
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that there's been "quite a bit of interest" in Alex Cobb this offseason.

    Advice: However, he adds that the Rays "are likely to hold on to their pitching for now." Cobb missed all of 2015 and will be absent for much of 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. Given that, it's hard to imagine the Rays getting a suitable offer for him. The right-hander is under team control through 2017. Sunday, 7:38 am
  • Teams hesitant to commit $6-8M to Cliff Lee
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that teams have been "unsure about devoting $6-8 million, plus incentives" to Cliff Lee.

    Advice: It's certainly understandable after Lee missed most of the last two seasons with elbow issues. Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker, said last month that his client would need a "perfect" situation if he's to pitch in 2016, and it doesn't sound like that situation is close to presenting itself. The left-hander turned 37 last August. Sunday, 7:36 am
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  • Chicago teams asking Rays for starting pitching
    The White Sox and Cubs have spoken with the Rays about acquiring a starting pitcher.

    Advice: Jake Odorizzi has been the subject of trade rumors all offseason. The White Sox and Cubs have also checked in on Desmond Jennings, who could be available now that Corey Dickerson has been added to what should be a crowded Rays' outfield. Odorizzi is a native of southern Illinois. The right-hander is under team control through 2019. Saturday, 3:37 pm
  • Jesse Chavez wins arbitration hearing vs Jays
    Jesse Chavez won his arbitration case against the Blue Jays and will make $4 million in 2016.

    Advice: Chavez and the Jays were only $400,000 apart when submitting figures, so the Jays aren't hurt too badly by the right-hander winning here. The 32-year-old right-hander posted a 4.18 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 136/48 K/BB ratio over 157 innings for the Athletics in 2015. The signing leaves American League MVP Josh Donaldson as the only arbitration-eligible Blue Jay who remains unsigned. Saturday, 9:36 am
  • Cubs and Arrieta avoid arbitration at $10.7M
    Cubs and RHP Jake Arrieta avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $10.7 million contract.

    Advice: The agreed-upon sum is $450,000 above the midpoint that the two sides filed at. It marks the largest one-year deal in history for a pitcher with four years of service time. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner is fresh off an unbelievable 2015 season where he registered a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 236/48 K/BB ratio over 229 innings. He'll be arbitration-eligible again after next season, though there have been rumblings that the Cubs and Arrieta have been in discussions on a multi-year contract extension. Friday, 8:55 pm
  • Smyly wins arb. case, will earn $3.75 million
    Drew Smyly won his arbitration case against the Rays and will make $3.75 million in 2016.

    Advice: Tampa Bay countered at $3.2 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last month and then lost the panel's ruling after a Wednesday hearing in Phoenix, Arizona. Smyly missed a large chunk of time in 2015 to a labrum tear in his shoulder, but he registered an impressive 3.11 ERA and 10.4 K/9 in 12 starts when healthy. The 26-year-old left-hander boasts a 2.52 ERA in 19 starts since joining the Rays in mid-2014. Thursday, 10:29 am
  • Orioles acquire Odrisamer Despaigne from SD
    Orioles acquired RHP Odrisamer Despaigne from the Padres for RHP Jean Cosme.

    Advice: Despaigne posted an ugly 5.80 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and 69/32 K/BB ratio in 125 2/3 innings last season for the Padres, but he carries three minor league options and gives the O's some much-needed organizational pitching depth. The 28-year-old right-hander will probably open the 2016 season at Triple-A Norfolk, unless he can secure a long-relief role with a strong showing this spring. He does have experience as a starter too. Thursday, 10:18 am
  • Pirates acquire Jesse Biddle from Phillies
    Pirates acquired LHP Jesse Biddle from the Phillies for RHP Yoervis Medina.

    Advice: This confirms reports from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Jim Salisbury of Once a mainstay on top 100 prospect lists, Biddle had Tommy John surgery back in October and was designated for assignment last week. The 24-year-old will miss the entire 2015 season, but Pittsburgh is known for revitalizing pitchers, so this is as good of a landing spot as he could have hoped for. Wednesday, 10:53 am
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