Corey Kluber Headshot

Indians have exercised the 2019 and 2020 options for Manager Terry Francona.

Added 11/04/16 11:03 am (EST)   Source
Although Francona left a lot to be desired in Game 7 of the World Series, the job he has done in Cleveland can not be overstated, and he'll be locked in through the year 2020. Francona has a .545 career winning percentage with the Indians and made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The Indians have the core to be a contender for years to come.
Daniel Hudson Headshot

Hudson will serve as Pittsburgh's closer on days Tony Watson is unable to close, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

Added 10:40 pm (EST)
Pirates GM Neal Huntington announced the team's pecking order for saves, listing Watson first and then Hudson and Felipe Rivero. Huntington typically doesn't permit his relievers to pitch three straight days, giving Hudson the chance to potentially close after Watson has thrown in back-to-back calendar days. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Pirates move Watson (who will become a free agent after 2017) at the trade deadline, freeing up Hudson to close in the second half of the season.
Steve Cishek Headshot

Cishek (hip) indicated that everything went without a hitch in his second day of throwing Thursday, Owen Perkins of the Mariners' official site reports. "I'm playing catch every other day," said Cishek. "I expect to throw again in another two days and keep building up my hip strength."

Added 10:22 pm (EST)
Cishek initially hoped to be ready for Opening Day, but now admits he will probably need to wait a bit longer before returning to regular-season action. The 30-year-old reliever has now changed his goals to simply pitching during spring training. "I'd like to be pitching in spring training games," Cishek said. "It'll take a little longer before I'm ready to pitch in regular-season games, but I'd like to get that far before the end of the Cactus League games." With Edwin Diaz now firmly entrenched as the team's closer heading into the season, Cishek will have to settle into either a seventh or eighth inning role for the Mariners. However, his experience as a closer keeps him in the mix for saves should Edwin Diaz suffer an injury or struggle.
Tim Cooney Headshot

Cooney, who recently overcame a shoulder injury that caused him to have surgery last year, is dealing with a left forearm problem, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports.

Added 8:59 pm (EST)
So far, Cooney's surgically-repaired shoulder has held up well in camp, but now there's a new ailment impeding his progress toward an Opening Day roster spot. There hasn't been much word on the extent of his forearm issue, but any setback for Cooney could see him cut by mid-spring. With 20 pitchers in camp, and only a few bullpen slots left to fill, Cooney could be the first man out when rosters begin to thin in the coming weeks.
Matt Barnes Headshot

Barnes plans to throw his offspeed stuff more in 2017, something he experimented with during September and October last season, leading to promising results, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.

Added 8:52 pm (EST)
During the first five months of the 2016 season, Barnes threw his four-seamer nearly two-thirds of the time, but adjusted late in the season following a truly disastrous month of August (12 ER in 10.2 IP). He felt his stuff was still good, but the results weren't there. It was at that point he realized the problem was not with his stuff, but in how he used his stuff. Barnes mixed in more curves and sliders, throwing them as often as the four-seamer, and allowed just one run and no extra-base hits over his final 8.2 innings. While Joe Kelly's transition to the bullpen has garnered most of the headlines, Barnes may be positioned to take a step forward in 2017.
Richard Bleier Headshot

Bleier is in the fray, with a legitimate chance, to win one of the team's final bullpen spots, Rich Dubroff of MLB.com reports.

Added 8:36 pm (EST)
Bleier piqued the Orioles' interest this past season when he had a 1.96 ERA in 23 games with the Yankees, but he was designated for assignment on Feb. 16 and traded for cash considerations. Manager Buck Showalter said that he could foresee the team carrying three left-handers, which leaves Bleier to compete with another recent addition, Vidal Nuno, to break camp with Zach Britton and Donnie Hart as the bullpen's southpaws.
Tyler Wilson Headshot

Wilson made adjustments to his throwing program in the offseason that he hopes will propel him past the competition late in spring training, Rich Dubroff of MLB.com reports.

Added 8:27 pm (EST)
Wilson, who will get the start when the Orioles begin Grapefruit League play on Friday against the Tigers, is fighting to win one of the team's two remaining roster spots. Last year, Wilson open the year in the Orioles bullpen, moved into the starting rotation in late-April, and was sent to Triple-A Norfolk on July 3. The 27-year-old righty thought long and hard during the offseason on how he could improve his odds to have success in 2017. "Coming into camp, I'm trying to be a lot more responsible as far as my workload [going] into the season," Wilson said. "I made some adjustments in the offseason as far as length of throwing. I started a little later, to hopefully peak later on in spring training and later on in the season, and be able to withstand that deeper into the season."
Chris Hatcher Headshot

Hatcher (oblique) is in camp and will compete for a bullpen job this spring, Cary Osbourne of Dodger Insider reports.

Added 7:18 pm (EST)
Hatcher was shut down last year after suffering a grade 3 oblique strain. The results were not pretty before the injury as he was hit to the tune of a 5.53 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 40.2 innings. The difference between last year's totals and the sub-four ERAs he posted in 2014 and 2015 was his inability to keep the ball in the yard (1.8 HR/9 in 2016). Now healthy, Hatcher will compete for a middle relief role in Dodgers' bullpen this season.
Pablo Sandoval Headshot

Sandoval cleanly fielded all three of his chances at third base and stretched a line-drive hit into a double during Thursday's exhibition game against Northeastern University.

Added 6:58 pm (EST)
Sandoval is motivated to prove himself after a couple of disastrous seasons in Boston, so Thursday's display is very encouraging. He showed up to camp in better condition and Thursday's hustle-double was an extension of the offseason commitment he put into his body. While manager John Farrell is not going to hand him the starting job, Sandoval merely has to beat out utility players Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge. It would take a monumentally horrible spring for him to get beat out for the starting job at third base.
Luis Valbuena Headshot

Valbuena is not limited by the hamstring surgery he underwent last August and is ready to compete for the Angels' first base job, the Orange County Register reports.

Added 6:38 pm (EST)
Valbuena followed up his breakout campaign in 2015 with an even better start to the 2016 season, slashing a career-best .260/.357/.459 with 16 homers in 90 games prior to going down with a season-ending hamstring injury. Now that he is healthy, the 31-year-old is ready to compete with C.J. Cron for the lion's share of at-bats at first base. Despite their opposite handedness, both batters' splits indicate that they are better against righties, so a strict platoon isn't a guarantee. This will be a battle to monitor this spring because the winner will be a high power upside option in fantasy.
Blake Swihart Headshot

Swihart caught three innings during Thursday's exhibition game against Northeastern University and reported no issues with throws back to the pitcher, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports. This was Swihart's first game action in over eight months.

Added 6:34 pm (EST)
A video surfaced last week, showing Swihart overthrowing some pitchers, throwing wide, and double-clutching at times. Swihart feels the issue was overblown and some of it had to do with getting back in a groove after being away catching for so long. Other than his throws back to the pitcher, he said his receiving was "really good," noting he made a few blocks on wayward pitches while manager John Farrell was pleased with Swihart's framing. No matter how much skill he shows behind the plate, Swihart is still expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
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