Cubs re-signed RHP Ryan Tepera to a one-year, $800,000 contract.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports that the deal can max out at $1.75 million if Tepera gets all of his incentives and roster bonuses. The 2020 NL MVP vote-getter put up a fine 3.92 ERA and 31/12 K/BB ratio over 20 2/3 relief innings last season.
Cubs designated RHP Duane Underwood Jr. for assignment.
The move clears a spot for Ryan Tepera on the 40-man roster. Underwood, 26, struggled with a 5.66 ERA over 17 relief appearances last season.
Cubs sent RHP Robert Stock outright to Triple-A Iowa.
Stock cleared waivers after being designated for assignment a few days ago and will stick around as depth. The 31-year-old was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox over the winter after compiling a 4.73 ERA and 9.45 K/9 in 13 1/3 innings last season.
Jose Castillo exited Tuesday's simulated game with forearm tightness.
The Padres say he'll be reevaluated on Wednesday. Castillo missed nearly all of 2019 with a flexor issue and all of 2020 because of lat problems, so there's every reason to be cautious with him.
Jed Lowrie (knee) hasn't been cleared to play in games.
We promise this isn't a re-run. Lowrie only saw eight plate appearances during his two-year, $20 million contract with the Mets and required left knee surgery last October, but the A's brought him back on a minor league deal this offseason. He's been getting at-bats against A's pitchers in game, but it's unclear when he could be ready for a more competitive environment. Obviously expectations are very low at this point.
Jared Oliva was scratched from Tuesday's Grapefruit League game with lower back stiffness.
It sounds like a day-to-day situation. The 25-year-old Oliva made his major league debut with the Pirates last season after slashing .277/.352/.398 with six home runs and 36 stolen bases in 123 games last season in Double-A. He should see some time with the big club this season as they evaluate their future.
Jose Castillo had to cut Tuesday's simulated game short due to injury.
No word yet on the nature of the injury, but pitching coach Larry Rothschild motioned for a trainer during the session. Castillo has dealt with all sorts of injuries over the past two seasons, including a lat issue last year, so this isn't a promising sign.
Freddie Freeman expects to make his spring debut on Friday.
Freeman was away from Braves' camp for a few days after his wife, Chelsea, gave birth to twin boys. It shouldn't take long for the defending NL MVP Award winner to get into the swing of things. He's arguably worthy of a late-round first round pick in mixed league drafts this spring.
Bobby Dalbec lost 10 pounds during the offseason.
Dalbec said he's feeling "faster and stronger." No word on if he's also harder or better. Sorry, we're sad about Daft Punk splitting up. Dalbec, 25, hit .263/.359/.600 with eight homers over 23 games during his first stint in the majors last season. The strikeouts are a concern, but the power is legitimate.
Marcus Stroman will start Tuesday's Grapefruit League game for the Mets.
Jordan Yamamoto was originally scheduled to start, but now he'll pitch second in the game. The switch was because the Mets felt Stroman was ready to pitch in a game environment. Of course, he didn't pitch at all last season due to a calf injury and subsequent COVID-19 opt-out.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network hears that the Rockies "are said not to have the budget for any big signing at the moment."
In other words, Rockies fans shouldn't expect a contract extension for Trevor Story in the near future. And after the way the Rockies have behaved in recent years (trading away Nolan Arenado *and* cash as well as not spending any guaranteed money on a free agent this winter), why would Story even want to sign there? It's a rough situation. We're sorry, Rockies fans. With Story staring free agency in the face, we're banking on a trade at some point this season.
Dinelson Lamet is scheduled to face hitters in a simulated game on Tuesday.
Lamet dealt with a biceps/elbow injury down the stretch last season and received a received a platelet-rich plasma injection in October, but things are looking good so far this spring. He's even unleashed his slider in some early throwing sessions. We'll see how he deals with throwing at full effort in game action. Lamet is one of the most notable high-risk/high-reward picks on the board in fantasy drafts this spring.
Chris Davis is day-to-day with a lower back strain.
Davis felt it on a swing on Sunday and will get some time to rest. The 34-year-old has endured a nightmare at the plate over the past few seasons, but he's made some mechanical changes over the winter and the O's appear committed to giving him some sort of role this year. His $23 million salary has a lot to do with that. And it's not like the Orioles are legitimately trying to win this year, so there's that too.
José Abreu will make his spring debut on Tuesday.
Abreu was away from White Sox camp for a few days after testing positive for COVID-19 during the intake process, but he never had any symptoms and is now back on track. The defending AL MVP Award winner should be good to go moving forward. At least check, he was the fourth first base-eligible player off the board according to NFC ADP data. While last year's pace will be impossible to duplicate, he should still feast in this loaded White Sox lineup.
Mike Leake has turned down multiple offers to pitch at the start of the season.
Leake opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns over COVID-19 and he wants to see how “normal” things are this spring before deciding whether to pitch at some point this season. The 33-year-old had a 4.29 ERA over 31 starts between the Mariners and Diamondbacks in 2019 and still offers value as an innings-eater.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network writes that Jake Odorizzi "is thought willing to wait into spring for the right offer."
It's a risky game, but a contender could step up with an aggressive offer if a pitcher goes down due to injury. Odorrizi is the top pitching remaining on the free agent market coming off a year where injuries limited him to 13 2/3 innings last season. However, he posted a 3.51 ERA over 30 starts in 2019 and should land a deal before long.
Zac Grotz (elbow) will be shut down for a few days.
Grotz was forced to exit Monday's Grapefruit League game due to elbow soreness, but the initial feeling is that the injury isn't serious. The 28-year-old was hoping to make a positive impression as a non-roster invitee this spring, but he'll have to wait for his next opportunity.
Gio Urshela (elbow) will likely make his spring debut on Thursday.
Urshela required surgery in early December to remove bone chips from his right elbow, so the Yankees are easing him into game action. He's fully expected to be ready for the season and makes for a great value pick at third base in mixed fantasy leagues. The 29-year-old holds a .310/.358/.523 batting line with 27 home runs and 104 RBI over 175 games with New York.
Miles Mikolas (elbow) is scheduled to throw his next side session this weekend.
Mikolas was originally scheduled to pitch in a simulated game on Monday, but the Cardinals decided to push him back. It's not yet clear when he could advance to facing hitters. There's still some time for him to get stretched out in advance of the season, but he could be pushing things if he doesn't progress soon. Of course, the Cardinals have a full 162-game season to think about here. Mikolas didn't pitch last year due to a flexor tendon strain.
Odubel Herrera will start in right field in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game.
He's slated to play all seven innings. Herrera was not included in the Phillies' 60-man player pool last summer after serving an 85-game domestic violence suspension during the 2019 campaign, but the club is giving him a real shot at winning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Some of that is surely because he's still owed $13.85 million. The ongoing question is if it's all worth it.
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