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2015 Baseball Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Jan 22nd, 2015 02:07 am
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Benlen



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lobo316 wrote: Don't call it a comeback. For now, it's only an invitation.

Dontrelle Willis will attempt to revive his major league career this spring after reportedly agreeing to terms with the Milwaukee Brewers on a minor-league contract. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Willis, 33, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, struggling to a 5.00 ERA and 4.4 BB/9 rate across 13 starts. The two-time All-Star has since signed several minor-league deals but failed to parlay any of those opportunities into an active roster spot.

For a brief period at the beginning of his career, Willis was among the premier lefties in baseball.

The 2003 Rookie of the Year posted a 3.78 ERA in five seasons with the Florida Marlins, averaging 205 innings per year and wracking up 15 complete games. He finished second in Cy Young voting in 2005 after leading the league in wins (22), complete games (seven) and shutouts (five).

Most recently, Willis toyed with the idea of transitioning to a pitching coach before signing on with the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Atlanta League last summer.

With the Brewers rotation all but set, Willis will likely compete for a bullpen role this spring.

He's done. Past 5 years he spent in the minors he's been getting bombed. ERA over 6.00



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 Posted: Thu Jan 22nd, 2015 02:58 am
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HBF



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Benlen wrote: lobo316 wrote: Don't call it a comeback. For now, it's only an invitation.

Dontrelle Willis will attempt to revive his major league career this spring after reportedly agreeing to terms with the Milwaukee Brewers on a minor-league contract. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Willis, 33, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, struggling to a 5.00 ERA and 4.4 BB/9 rate across 13 starts. The two-time All-Star has since signed several minor-league deals but failed to parlay any of those opportunities into an active roster spot.

For a brief period at the beginning of his career, Willis was among the premier lefties in baseball.

The 2003 Rookie of the Year posted a 3.78 ERA in five seasons with the Florida Marlins, averaging 205 innings per year and wracking up 15 complete games. He finished second in Cy Young voting in 2005 after leading the league in wins (22), complete games (seven) and shutouts (five).

Most recently, Willis toyed with the idea of transitioning to a pitching coach before signing on with the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Atlanta League last summer.

With the Brewers rotation all but set, Willis will likely compete for a bullpen role this spring.

He's done. Past 5 years he spent in the minors he's been getting bombed. ERA over 6.00

How did he go from complete stud to complete shit (without a major injury, IIRC) seemingly overnight?



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 Posted: Thu Jan 22nd, 2015 02:59 am
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lobo316
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The Atlanta Braves reunited with veteran infielder Kelly Johnson on Wednesday, signing the 32-year-old to a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman.

Johnson, who was selected by the Braves with the 38th pick in the 2000 draft, spent the first four years of his career in Atlanta, hitting .264/.346/.430 (103 OPS+) while serving as the club's primary second baseman from 2007 to 2009.

The infielder has bounced around over the last few years, however, spending time with six different teams since 2010 while logging time at several defensive positions. Johnson spent the 2014 campaign between the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, compiling a .659 OPS with seven home runs in 106 games.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 22nd, 2015 06:01 pm
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lobo316
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The Washington Nationals added another candidate Wednesday to compete for a spot in the bullpen this season, signing Evan Meek to a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training, reports MLB.com's William Ladson.

Meek, an 11th-round pick in the 2002 draft, enjoyed some success with the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier in his career, but has struggled with both injuries and ineffectiveness in recent years. The 31-year-old has made just 35 appearances over the last three seasons and spent the entire 2013 campaign in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

Meek logged 23 relief appearances with the Baltimore Orioles in 2014 after signing a minor-league deal with the club in February, crafting a 5.79 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP over 23 1/3 innings.

The Nationals, however, remain eager to bolster their bullpen after declining Rafael Soriano's contract option and trading Tyler Clippard to the Oakland Athletics earlier this month.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 01:23 am
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lobo316
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Jesse Crain didn't pitch a single inning for the Houston Astros last season in a campaign marred by biceps surgery, but the right-hander will receive a chance this spring to re-establish himself with the team that employed him from 2011 to 2013.

Crain, who turns 34 in July, will receive an invitation to spring training with the Chicago White Sox - despite the fact that he hasn't thrown a pitch in the majors since June of 2013.

Crain did, however, fashion a 2.10 ERA with a 28.7 percent strikeout rate across 156 appearances with the White Sox from 2011-13. The former second-round pick earned his first career All-Star appearance for his efforts in 2013, wherein he managed a career-best 0.74 ERA in 38 outings before landing on the disabled list in June.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 01:23 am
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lobo316
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The Chicago White Sox added depth behind the plate Thursday, agreeing to terms on a minor league contract with catcher Geovany Soto.

Soto's deal includes an invitation to spring training, the team announced.

The 32-year-old veteran has regressed significantly at the plate in recent years, but he remains among the more well-regarded defenders at catcher. He hit .250/.302/.363 across 24 games last season for the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics.

He's expected to compete for a place on the 25-man roster and challenge for a spot on the White Sox catching depth chart. Tyler Flowers and Adrian Nieto are currently projected to receive the majority of reps behind the plate.

The former All-Star boasts a career .770 OPS and 92 homers over his 10-year career. Soto was named 2008 Rookie of the Year as a member of the Chicago Cubs after hitting a career-high 23 homers with 86 RBI and a .285/.364/.504 slash line.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 01:24 am
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lobo316
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Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik expressed disappointment when Jesus Montero arrived at spring training last February roughly 40 pounds overweight, admitting shortly thereafter that he no longer had any expectations for the fallen prospect.

Zduriencik noted Thursday that Montero has dropped the extra weight he brought with him to Arizona last spring, however, and actually seems cautiously optimistic about the 25-year-old.

"It appears maybe the light has come on for him," Zduriencik told MLB.com's Greg Johns. "He's a guy we'll take a good look at."

Montero has logged just 35 games in the major leagues since the beginning of 2013, missing considerable time due to injuries, poor performance, and a 50-game suspension - but is expected to compete this spring for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Once regarded among the game's top prospects, Montero has compiled a .258/.302/.396 line (96 OPS+) over parts of four seasons in the majors between the Mariners and New York Yankees.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 01:26 am
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lobo316
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In order to feature his bat in the lineup on a more consistent basis, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell is asking Allen Craig to get reacquainted with an old position.

Though he's expected to see most of his time at either first base or in the outfield corners, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reported that Farrell has talked to Craig about taking some reps at third base - a position he played in 246 minor league games. He's played the position only four times in the majors, and not since 2011.

The Red Sox acquired Craig at the non-waiver trade deadline last season, hoping that a change of scenery and a chance to regain his health could get him back to his previous All-Star form.

The 30-year-old struggled through 126 games in 2014, hitting .215/.279/.315 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs.

Pablo Sandoval appeared in 157 games for the San Francisco Giants a season ago, though the Red Sox could plan to use him as designated hitter this season - opening the door for Brock Holt and potentially Craig to get some time at third base.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 01:29 am
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lobo316
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Three-time Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez will be inducted into Cooperstown as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

The Hall of Fame announced Martinez's plaque will feature a Red Sox logo, while Craig Biggio and John Smoltz are set to go in as Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves, respectively.

Thursday's announcement hardly comes as a surprise about any of the players, with all three having built their Hall of Fame careers in the selected cities. It was previously revealed that Randy Johnson, who performed to All-Star results in both Arizona and Seattle, will wear a Diamondbacks hat in Cooperstown.

Martinez established himself among the league's premier pitchers during his four seasons with the Montreal Expos, but elevated his game even further after getting traded to Boston in 1997.

The Dominican right-hander was dominant during seven seasons in Boston, compiling a 2.52 ERA with 22 complete games and 10.9 K/9 rate. Martinez won two of his three Cy Youngs with the Red Sox, punctuated by a historic 1999 campaign that saw him lead the league in wins (23), ERA (2.07), WHIP (0.92), and strikeouts (313).

Martinez, who began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, also enjoyed a four-year run with the New York Mets before finishing with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.

"I cannot be any prouder to take Red Sox Nation to the Hall of Fame with the logo on my plaque," Martinez said.

There was even less logo debate regarding Smoltz and Biggio.

Smoltz spent 20 of his 22 seasons in Atlanta, leading the league in strikeouts twice and winning the Cy Young Award in 1996. The right-hander's run with the Braves also included three-plus successful years as closer, saving 154 games from 2001-04. He finished his career with one-year stops in Boston and St. Louis.

Biggio, meanwhile, remained with the Astros for his entire 20-year career, earning seven All-Star selections and four Gold Gloves along the way. The second baseman ranks 21st all-time with 3,060 hits.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 06:16 am
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lobo316
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The Atlanta Braves signed free-agent outfielder Jonny Gomes to a one-year contract, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports the deal is worth $4 million with a vesting option from the club for 2016.

Gomes split the 2014 season between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, where he saw a slight dip in his numbers from the year before. The 12-year veteran hit .234/.327/.330 with six home runs and 37 RBIs.

The Braves have boosted their outfield talent with the acquisition of Nick Markakis from the Baltimore Orioles, while handing over full-time center field duties to B.J. Upton. It's expected Gomes will split time in left field with the switch-hitting Zoilo Almonte.

With the departure of power hitter Evan Gattis, Gomes is expected to produce some pop of his own, as he batted .276/.373/.371 against left-handers in 2014.

It doesn't get much better from there, though, as he hit an abysmal .165/.248/.262 versus righties.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 06:17 am
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lobo316
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Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati will host the 2015 All-Star Game, and a highly controversial former MLBer will be in attendance, according to Reds owner Bob Castellini.

Answering a fan question at Q&A, Castellini said "You'll definitely see Pete Rose at the All-Star Game this year."#reds

— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) January 22, 2015
It's unclear exactly what Rose will be doing at the event, but his attendance will certainly stir controversy after he received a lifetime ban from baseball for betting on games.

Rose has made a few appearances at ballparks since receiving the ban. He was allowed to attend the All-Century Team ceremony during the 1999 World Series and has been on hand in Cincinnati for various club ceremonies.

Outgoing commissioner Bud Selig said in July the decision on whether to let Rose be a part of the All-Star celebration lies with the Reds:

"That will be up to the Cincinnati club, and they know what they can do and can't do," Selig expressed. "It's sort of been subjective. But they've done some things with Pete, but they've been very, very thoughtful and limited. But that's a subject that I'm sure they'll discuss in the new year."

Rose's desire to be reinstated has been well documented, and his fate will now be in the hands of commissioner-elect Rob Manfred when he takes control from Selig later this month.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 09:28 pm
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lobo316
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Ryan Vogelsong's days in San Francisco aren't over just yet.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the 37-year-old right-hander agreed to a one-year deal with the Giants on Friday, signing up for another season with the team that afforded him the opportunity to revive his career in 2011. The deal will reportedly be finalized once Vogelsong passes a physical.

Vogelsong was reportedly close to signing a one-year deal with the Houston Astros earlier this week - the veteran lamented in November that the Giants didn't share mutual interest in working out a new deal - but abruptly changed course Wednesday and re-engaged with San Francisco.

Vogelsong has earned two World Series championships since re-establishing himself in the Giants' rotation in 2011 following a three-year stint in Japan, though his performance has declined over the last two seasons.

The former fifth-round pick posted a 4.62 (75 ERA+) with a 1.38 WHIP since 2013, yielding 1.03 home runs per nine innings while posting the seventh-lowest swinging-strike rate among starters (min. 250 IP).

It remains unclear, however, how manager Bruce Bochy will utilize Vogelsong in 2015, as the Giants' rotation for next season is tentatively comprised of Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy and Tim Lincecum.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2015 10:01 pm
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lobo316
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Ichiro Suzuki, the 10-time All-Star who sits just 156 hits shy of 3,000, will reportedly author the next chapter of his illustrious career in south Florida.

The Miami Marlins reportedly agreed Friday to a one-year deal with Suzuki that's expected to be worth close to $2 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The 41-year-old will provide depth in 2015 behind the club's impressive triumvirate of young outfielders - Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich - and his deal is pending a physical, per MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.

Rosenthal added that Suzuki's deal is unlikely to include an option for the 2016 campaign.

Suzuki, who made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, appeared in 143 games for the New York Yankees last season, hitting .284/.324/.340 with 16 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 24th, 2015 08:16 am
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lobo316
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The Oakland Athletics will likely start the season without their closer.

Left-hander Sean Doolittle has a slight rotator cuff tear in his left shoulder, the team announced Friday.

Doolittle has received a platelet-rich plasm injection in the shoulder in an attempt to reduce inflammation and will be re-evaluated at a later date.

Asst GM David Forst tells me that doctors do not believe that Doolittle will need surgery; rest and treatment should resolve the issue.

— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 23, 2015
The 28-year-old spent some time on the disabled list towards the end of last season with an intercostal strain, but converted 22 of his 26 save opportunities, racking up 89 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings pitched.

A's General manager Billy Beane acquired right-hander Tyler Clippard from the Washington Nationals earlier this month, which should help ease the loss of Doolittle.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 24th, 2015 08:51 am
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lobo316 wrote: In order to feature his bat in the lineup on a more consistent basis, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell is asking Allen Craig to get reacquainted with an old position.

I hope Craig gets reacquainted with playing for another team ASAP. :tongue:



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