Here are the highlights from an enormous notes post by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports: There’s the potential for lots of trade activity between now and Opening Day, with an unusual number of teams with logjams at particular positions. But there aren’t many good pitching options, and many teams are already close to their payroll limits. The Rays are one of several teams looking for starting pitching, but they’re currently focusing their efforts on depth, figuring they only need to cover for injured starters Alex Cobb and Drew Smyly for a month or so. If the Phillies struggle early in the year, trade whispers involving Chase Utley could grow louder, with the Padres, Angels and possibly Giants looming as potentially interested teams. Utley would, of course, have to waive his no-trade clause, but he has West Coast roots
Twice in the past week, Rockies manager Walt Weiss hit the pitcher eighth and a position player ninth. It is something he is thinking about using, at least on occasion, during the regular season, too.
The Braves named right-hander Julio Teheran their Opening Day starter on Friday, but they still have a few details about their rotation to iron out before Teheran takes the mound April 6 in Miami. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Saturday that the fifth spot in the rotation is “still up in the air,” and the team isn’t ready to officially announce how the other starters will line up behind Teheran.
Justin Verlander said Saturday morning he feels similar tightness in his right triceps to what forced him out of his Grapefruit League start Friday, though he said his level of concern remains low.
Twins catcher Josmil Pinto, who has been sidelined with concussion-like symptoms, failed a concussion protocol test on Friday, but will retake it on Sunday with the hope of returning on Monday.
James Shields will make his Padres debut as the club’s Opening Day starter, manager Bud Black announced on Saturday. It will be the seventh career Opening Day start for Shields.
Here’s a look back at this week at MLBTR. Key Moves The Dodgers agreed to terms with infielder Hector Olivera on a six-year deal. The Dodgers also agreed to terms with pitcher Pablo Fernandez on a minor-league deal with an $8MM signing bonus. The Twins signed infielder Brian Dozier to a four-year extension. The Rockies released pitcher Jhoulys Chacin.
For the third time in four years, the championship game of the USA Baseball National High School Invitational will feature two teams from California.
The Padres are among the teams around the league who are receiving trade interest in their relief pitching, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports on Twitter. As Brock notes, that is not necessarily surprising given San Diego’s pen depth. Joaquin Benoit is cemented at the back of the pen, with righties Kevin Quackenbush, Dale Thayer, and Nick Vincent also looking like solid bets to maintain their roles. Offseason acquisitions Shawn Kelley and Brandon Maurer are also options from the right side, along with several minor league free agent signees, such as Jose Valverde, Marcos Mateo, and Jay Jackson. Assuming he is not able to crack the rotation, Odrisamer Despaigne looks like a good bet to function as a long-man and spot starter. The club claimed the Rule 5 rights to Jandel Gustave recently, though he seems a long shot to break camp at this point. The Pads have Alex Torres leading things among lefties, with Frank Garces and Chris Rearick also still in camp. Southpaw Scott Elbert has been sent to the minor league side for now but could factor into the equation down the line.
As Alex Rodriguez checks the boxes off his mental to-do list this spring, he was waiting for an opportunity to make the pair of 180-foot dashes from first to third and second to home. Both were knocked out on a busy Friday afternoon.