Josh Smith Headshot

Athletics claim RHP Josh Smith off waivers from Cincinnati.

Added 11/04/16 2:27 pm (EST)   Source
At the age of 29, Smith has 41 appearances and nine starts at the major league level. He has a career ERA of 5.46 and was not very solid in Triple-A. Perhaps the A's see something that they want and can turn him into a reliable option.
Chris Sale Headshot

Sale will make his first Grapefruit League spring start March 6 against the Astros, Scott Lauber of reports.

Added 10:13 pm (EST)
The southpaw has impressed his new skipper early on in spring and he will have plenty of time to get himself ready for the regular season and acclimated with his new club. Manager John John Farrell hasn't yet announced a starter for Opening Day, but Sale is a strong candidate for the assignment.
Parker Bridwell Headshot

Bridwell was hammered for three runs on two hits -- both of which were home runs -- and struck out two in Saturday's spring contest against the Pirates.

Added 8:22 pm (EST)
Bridwell struck out the first two batters in the eighth inning before giving up back-to-back homers to Chris Bostick and Jin-De Jhang. The right-hander's physical makeup has always been highly regarded, but he's never consistently performed well through his professional career. Saturday was certainly not what he the Orioles had hoped to see in the 25-year-old's spring debut. Bridwell won't be afforded many opportunities to prove he can pitch at the big league level, so he'll need a drastically different outcome in his next Grapefruit League game, or he'll be on the first list of cuts.
Adam Jones Headshot

Jones went 1-for-3 with a double and a strikeout in his spring debut on Saturday against the Pirates.

Added 8:09 pm (EST)
Jones, batting cleanup, doubled in his second at-bat and had an assist from the outfield in the fifth inning. He's getting into Grapefruit League action early this spring to prepare for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. The veteran is set to join Team USA after next weekend's exhibition games.
Gabriel Ynoa Headshot

Ynoa allowed a run on three hits and struck out one over two innings in Saturday's exhibition game against the Pirates.

Added 7:46 pm (EST)
The recently-acquired right-hander struggled through a rocky first inning before settling down to retire all three Pirates he face in the second. "In the first inning, I was going too [quickly] toward home plate," Ynoa said through an interpreter. "In the second inning, I was [calmer], under control, so I think that was the difference." Ynoa will likely begin the year as a starter in Triple-A Norfolk, but an improvement this spring could earn him a few spot starts for the Orioles later in the season.
Gerrit Cole Headshot

Cole has officially been named the Pirates' Opening Day starter, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Added 4:38 pm (EST)
It will be the first career Opening Day start for Cole, who will take the mound on April 3 against the Red Sox. The 26-year-old struggled with injuries last season and he'll look to rediscover his 2015 form, which saw him win 19 games while posting a 2.60 ERA.
Lucas Duda Headshot

Duda (back) received two cortisone injections in each of his hips Saturday, James Wagner of the New York Times reports.

Added 4:37 pm (EST)
Duda sat out of Thursday's team activities due to a stiff back and now it appears that he's dealing with soreness in his hips, as well. It's currently unclear if the 31-year-old is dealing is simply dealing with standard soreness or if it's something more concerning. He's considered day-to-day for now.
Kolten Wong Headshot

Wong (shoulder) admitted Saturday that he's still dealing with soreness in his left shoulder, Jenifer Langosch of reports.

Added 3:55 pm (EST)
The issue dates back to an injury Wong suffered back in September in a game against the Cubs, and he said he began to feel pain when he resumed throwing in January. An MRI cleared Wong of any structural damage, however, and at this point the plan is for him to play through the soreness, which will certainly be something to monitor through the early weeks of the season.
Joe Panik Headshot

Panik batted second and went 1-for-2 with a run scored in his spring training debut Friday.

Added 3:50 pm (EST)
Panik is coming off of a down year, slashing .239/.315/.379 in an injury-shortened season. He did hit 10 homers and maintained an isolated power rating (.140) near what he posted in 2015. He got off to a cold start, and when he began heating up with the weather, he was struck in the head with a fastball and had to go on the disabled list with a concussion in June. Panik maintained his high contact rate all season (90 percent), but his line drive percentage dipped and his ground ball and fly ball rates both increased, which is the recipe for a lowered batting average. He enters 2017 healthy and will look to return to his consistent hitting ways. He won't be on fantasy radars outside of deeper formats, but he is a player that could help with batting average and runs scored if he can return to form.
Brandon Crawford Headshot

Crawford batted leadoff and went 0-for-2 in his spring training debut against the Reds on Friday.

Added 3:38 pm (EST)
The lineup order should be disregarded as Crawford won't be batting leadoff come Opening Day. The 29-year-old saw his power numbers dip back to regular levels in 2016 after exploding for 21 homers the year prior. While the homers regressed, Crawford actually improved his batting average (.275) and on-base percentage (.342) while maintaining the 84 RBI high watermark he set in 2016. If he can maintain those levels, he will have value as a shortstop despite not hitting for plus power or stealing a ton of bases.
Brandon Belt Headshot

Belt started and went 1-for-2 in his Cactus League debut Friday.

Added 3:31 pm (EST)
The extremely patient Belt is looking to repeat last year's career-best .394 on-base percentage and .868 OPS. While his power never developed to the 25-homer level many pegged him for as a prospect, he has turned into a consistent option at first base and should finish with solid counting stats batting in the heart of the Giants' order. Leagues that use on-base percentage should value Belt higher than standard formats, but he still will still hold value in other formats given how shallow the first base position is this year.
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