Josh Bell 1B/RF PIT 5 days ago
Bell reported to minicamp at 225 pounds, down from 248 at the beginning of spring training last season, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Bell credited yoga for his weight loss. The 24-year-old hit .273 in 152 plate appearances last season, splitting time between first base and the outfield, though the focus seems to be on using him at first this season. Defense has always been one thing that has been a knock on Bell, but the Pirates will hope his participation in yoga and weight loss will increase his ability in the field, which could result in more consistent playing time.
OUTSteven Wright SP BOS 5 days ago
Wright (shoulder) is still rehabbing his right shoulder but feels he'll be ready to go for spring training, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports.
Bursitis and rotator cuff irritation have plagued the 32-year-old knuckleballer since he was injured while pinch running Aug. 7 against the Dodgers. Before the injury, he was 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA. He appears destined for a spot at the back end of Boston's rotation in 2017.
Randal Grichuk CF STL 5 days ago
Grichuk has recovered from surgery to remove loose cartilage in his left knee, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
It took Grichuk just over a month to recover from surgery. He is coming off his best major league season, as he hit 24 home runs with 68 RBI and a .240 average in 2016. The 25-year-old enters spring training as a starter in the St. Louis outfield.
David Ross C CHC 5 days ago
Ross will end his playing career after he was named a special assistant to the baseball operations with the Cubs on Friday, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
The 39-year-old retired following the Cub's World Series victory in 2016. He played 15 seasons in the majors, winning two championships. Ross hit .229 with 10 home runs in his final season as a player, and will now make the transition to the front office.
Cesar Cabral RP BAL 5 days ago
Cabral signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox on Wednesday, Baseball America reports.
The southpaw, who will be 28 in February, has not had much of an opportunity to show off his stuff in the big leagues, as he's pitched just two innings in the majors over the past three seasons, including none last season. He allowed nine earned runs over just 8.1 innings at Triple-A Norfolk last season before the Orioles released him. If he even makes the team, he isn't likely to serve as anything more than organizational depth next season.
Andy Burns SS TOR 5 days ago
Burns was released by the Blue Jays on Thursday so that he can sign with Lotte in the Korean Baseball Organization, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.
The 26-year-old utility infielder managed to appear in 10 games at the major league level in 2016, but he failed to get a hit in that time. He also struggled during his second stint with Triple-A Buffalo, so Burns decided it would benefit him to get some more consistent playing time in the hitter-friendly KBO. He'll likely look to return to the states prior to the 2018 season if all goes well overseas.
Brandon Cunniff RP ATL 5 days ago
Cunniff signed a minor league contract with the Marlins on Wednesday, Baseball America reports.
Cunniff had a 4.24 ERA through 17 innings last season before he was outrighted by the Braves in November. He's likely to begin the season as organizational depth, provided he makes the team, but injuries to the Marlins' bullpen could force them to call Cunniff up, though he wouldn't likely earn many high-leverage opportunities.
Mike Fiers SP HOU 5 days ago
Fiers signed a one-year, $3.45 million contract with the Astros on Thursday, avoiding arbitration, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
The two sides managed to come to an agreement directly in the middle of their respective offers. With the contract negotiations out of the way, Fiers will look to improve upon his numbers from last year, as he was only able to muster a 4.48 ERA and a 7.2 K/9 across 30 starts and a relief appearance.
OUTElvis Andrus SS TEX 5 days ago
Andrus (groin) is expected to be healthy for the start of the 2017 season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Andrus said that he's being careful while rehabbing his injury, but plans to be ready for the upcoming campaign. He also said that the groin ailment limited his ability to steal bases throughout 2016, so an increase in stolen base production may be in order for the 28-year-old shortstop.
Steve Selsky RF CIN 5 days ago
Selsky was designated for assignment Thursday, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
The 27-year-old pieced together an .822 OPS during a solid campaign with Triple-A Louisville, but he struggled mightily in the majors outside of one 5-for-5 anomaly in September. The move to boot him from the 40-man roster was initiated in order to make room for recently-acquired Luis Castillo and Austin Brice, so it seems that Selsky is seen as little more than an organizational depth piece in the Reds' eyes.