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The Chicago Cubs signed pitcher Pedro Strop to a one-year, $5.85 million contract extension with a $6.25 million club option for 2019. What It Means: The two sides avoided arbitration earlier this month with a one-year, $5.5 million contract, and they've now tacked on one and potentially two more years. Strop had been slated to hit free agency next winter. The 31-year-old has been excellent s ...

Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (strained calf) will do some jogging on Friday. What It Means: Beltre strained his calf last week and this is the first time he's really tested it out since. Expect him to be ready by Opening Day for what will be his 20th major league campaign. Beltre slashed .300/.358/.521 with a .352 wOBA last season while posting 32 home runs and 104 RBI's acr ...

Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna is nursing some tightness in his shoulder. What It Means: The Marlins have said it's nothing to be concerned with, but they're going to ease him into action. Ozuna matched his career-high with 23 home runs last season. Ozuna slashed .266/.321/.452 with a .330 wOBA over 608 plate appearances for the Marlins in 2016. He recorded 76 RBI's while po ...

The Los Angeles Dodgers "asked" about Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander this offseason, but they ultimately thought his price tag was too high, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. What It Means: Verlander has a no-trade clause in his contract, but the 34-year-old right-hander owns a home in Beverly Hills with his wife-to-be, so the belief is he would have waived it t ...

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (finger) will throw only his secondary stuff in a bullpen session Saturday. What It Means: Scherzer is recovering from a stress fracture that occurred last August, and he continues to feel pain in his right finger when trying to grip for a fastball. His Opening Day status is unknown as of now. Scherzer accrued a 2.96 ERA (3.37 xFIP) over 228 1/3 i ...

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (finger) is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session Saturday in camp. What It Means: Scherzer was bothered by a stress fracture in his right finger towards the end of last season, so the Nationals are taking it easy with their ace. It remains to be seen whether the 32-year-old right-hander will be ready for Opening Day, but he told reporters ...

Chicago Cubs catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber is the clear frontrunner to bat leadoff, manager Joe Maddon confirmed Thursday. What It Means: Schwarber doesn't look the part of a traditional leadoff man and has only eight career plate appearances from the one-hole, but it really just means more trips to the plate overall for the soon-to-be 24-year-old. The switch could potentially hurt his RB ...

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said it was "disappointing" to see outfielder Rusney Castillo jog down the line on a double play grounder during Thursday's exhibition game against Northeastern. What It Means: Farrell said after the game that Castillo doesn't currently have a spot on the 40-man roster, and based off his performance so far, it doesn't sound like that ...

Free agent starting pitcher Jake Peavy has yet to sign with a team due to family issues. What It Means: "It hurts not to be in spring training," Peavy told ESPN. "I know that day is coming, but right now being a dad is absolutely No. 1. There’s no way in a million years that I could leave my boys at this time." The 35-year-old right-hander is in the midst of a divorce and is th ...

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has no new structural damage in his surgically-repaired left knee. What It Means: Hamilton felt like he tweaked something Tuesday while running the bases in camp, but a thorough examination revealed it was only some minor discomfort. He's going to be held out of workouts for the next few days just to be safe, and this serves as a necessary reminder of th ...

Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton told reporters Thursday morning that his oblique is improving. What It Means: Britton has been held out of workouts after experiencing some issues in his side following a Monday bullpen session. The Orioles are just erring on the side of caution to make sure their star closer is ready for Opening Day. Britton converted on all 47 of his save opportunities last ...

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia reaffirmed his hope that he will pitch beyond the 2017 season. What It Means: Sabathia did add the caveat "as long as I'm healthy." He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in October. The veteran southpaw will be a free agent after the 2017 campaign has wrapped. He no longer has the stuff he once did, but those 2016 numbers a ...

Chicago Cubs outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez said that he hopes to make the Opening Day roster. What It Means: "I think [it’s possible]. All I’ve got to do is play good and prove to them that I’m ready to play, and see what happens," Jimenez said through an interpreter. It might be a fun thought, it's not a realistic one. He had fine numbers in the low minors last year, but an outrig ...

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (finger) played long toss on Wednesday. What It Means: "I was really shocked he was throwing as hard as he was and as well as he did," said manager Dusty Baker of Scherzer's long-toss work. The reigning National League Cy Young winner is working his way back from a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right right finger, diagnosed ...

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli (foot) has been cleared for "modified baseball activities," trainer Todd Tomczyk said. What It Means: Cervelli felt discomfort in his right foot during a workout this past Sunday. The Pirates would like to make sure that this won't be a lingering issue before they give him the all-clear to catch for Team Italy in the World Baseball Class ...

San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence (oblique) is "ready to go" for Friday's Cactus League opener, manager Bruce Bochy said. What It Means: Pence is dealing with an intercostal injury initially sustained prior to the start of spring camp. He took part in batting practice on Wednesday, though, and there doesn't seem to be any reason for long-term concern. Said Bochy, ...

The Cleveland Indians have no plans to utilize first baseman Carlos Santana as an outfielder for the time being, manager Terry Francona said. What It Means: Santana, himself, said in a radio interview earlier in February that he planned on playing the outfield at times this coming season. That may still come to fruition, but it is not in the Indians' immediate plans. For his career, the 30-ye ...

Chicago White Sox infielder Todd Frazier suffered an oblique strain on Monday. What It Means: The White Sox don't want to risk anything, so they'll probably hold Frazier out for just a few days. Chicago opens the 2017 season on April 3 with a home series against the Detroit Tigers. 2016 could be seen as a bit of a down year for Frazier, as he recorded career-worsts with a .225 batting av ...

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Josh Bell (knee) is ahead of schedule and has been cleared for everything except for full-speed running, head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said on Wednesday. What It Means: Bell went under the knife for his knee three weeks ago, so this is awesome to hear. Expect him to be ready for Opening Day. Bell slashed .273/.368/.406 with a .339 wOBA during his first season in ...

San Francisco Giants reliever Will Smith has been shut down with left elbow inflammation. What It Means: Smith received an MRI that came back clean, but manager Bruce Bochy will hold out his set-up man to assure that he is is 100 percent for the start of the season. The 27-year-old southpaw turned in a 2.95 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 34.7 strikeout percentage across 18 1/3 innings (26 appearances) for the ...

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton will have his left knee examined in Houston on Wednesday after feeling something while running on Tuesday. What It Means: This is the same knee that required surgery last June to repair an ACL injury, in addition to arterial and meniscus cartilage, so this isn't a good sign. Hamilton didn't play at all in the majors last season and he's compete ...

The Washington Nationals remain interested in Chicago White Sox closer David Robertson, per Phil Rogers of MLB.com, but he says "nothing seems imminent" in trade talks. What It Means: Robertson to the Nationals has been mentioned throughout the winter, but they may want to wait and get a better look at him during the World Baseball Classic before deciding to make a move. The right-hander ...

New York Mets third baseman David Wright won't be ready to play the field until around mid-March, manager Terry Collins estimated on Tuesday. What It Means: Wright is coming back from neck surgery and also battling spinal stenosis in his back, so the Mets are going to ease him in as a designated hitter in the minors before seeing how he fares in the field. It remains to be seen whether or not ...

Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang admitted to his DUI charge in a South Korea court on Wednesday. What It Means: The incident occurred on December 2 in Seoul, South Korea, and it was Kang's third DUI charge since 2009. A verdict hearing will take place on March 3, per Yonhap News, but it's unknown when Kang will be able to rejoin the Pirates, or whether or not he will face additi ...

Baltimore Orioles left-handed pitcher Zach Britton won't throw in Wednesday's intrasquad game due to symptoms of a potential oblique injury. What It Means: Oblique issues can keep players out for multiple weeks, so the Orioles are understandably taking a conservative approach with their dominant closer. Britton is coming off a career-high 47-save season in 2016. Britton posted a phenomen ...

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