1B | Lance Berkman | Texas Rangers | Transaction, Fantasy
Updating previous reports, Texas Rangers DH Lance Berkman passed his physical, and his one-year deal is official. He'll make $10 million in 2013, and has a $12 million club option for 2014 with a $1 million buyout. The option vests and moves to $13 million if he registers 550 plate appearances in 2013. Berkman said his knees feel good enough to play first base occasionally.
SS | Derek Jeter | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said SS Derek Jeter (ankle) is on track to be ready for opening day this year. However, Jeter has yet to swing a bat, field a ball or run on dry land since breaking his ankle in October. Cashman said Jeter is out of a walking boot and is wearing normal shoes. Jeter has been walking and running on an underwater treadmill, and he was also seen riding a bike recently. He has yet to be cleared for any baseball activities, though, and he likely won't be before mid-to-late January.
3B | Mike Olt | Texas Rangers | Fantasy
Texas Rangers 1B Lance Berkman is expected to serve as the cleanup hitter in the lineup next season. As a result of Berkman joining the team, 3B Mike Olt may be forced to open the season at Triple-A Round Rock.
C | Mike Napoli | Boston Red Sox | Injury
The Boston Red Sox are hopeful they will be able to finish a contract agreement with first baseman Mike Napoli (Rangers) (hip) in the near future. Napoli had originally agreed to a deal on Dec. 3, but what is believed to be a hip issue has not been resolved.
OF | Justin Upton | Arizona Diamondbacks | Fantasy
The Baltimore Orioles have pursued Arizona Diamondbacks OF Justin Upton this offseason.
OF | Dayan Viciedo | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy
Chicago White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo and C Tyler Flowers will work with hitting coach Jeff Manto in Florida next week. SS Alexei Ramirez is also expected to join the sessions. Manto will focus on adding a small leg kick to Viciedo's swing. Viciedo employed a similar small leg kick early in his minor league days, but he never stuck with it consistently. "With this leg kick, the timing, his body will be behind the ball more often and give him a better chance for better contact," Manto said. "He's such a tremendous hitter, but sometimes he gets so excited getting after the ball." Manto wants to make sure Flowers' lower half if intact at the plate.
OF | Grady Sizemore | free agent | Injury, Free Agents, Fantasy
Free-agent OF Grady Sizemore (knee) is unlikely to sign with a team until midseason after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee last September. His agent, Joe Urbon, said his client doesn't want to commit to a team until he's confident he can play again. Several teams have offered to sign Sizemore and let him rehab at his own pace, however.
OF | Jose Bautista | Toronto Blue Jays | Injury, Fantasy
Toronto Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista (wrist) has full range of motion in his wrist, is a pain-free and has been swinging for one month and hasn't had any setbacks. He started taking dry swings with a shorter bat and then progressed to swinging a fungo bat to hitting off a tee and in the cages. "There is no doubt that if we had a game tonight, I'd be playing," Bautista said. He's currently swinging five times a week in the cages and doesn't plan on using a protective brace when he plays this year.
SP | Jonathon Niese | New York Mets | Injury, Fantasy,
New York Mets SP Jonathon Niese (heart) will not need to undergo surgery for a heart ablation as previously believed. "The doctors just said that it was nothing major and that I didn't need to have surgery," Niese said. "I'm just going to go on as normal and that's it. It's a really good thing." Niese has experienced a rapid heartbeat twice in the last two years while pitching.
SP | Daniel Hudson | Arizona Diamondbacks | Injury, Fantasy,
Arizona Diamondbacks SP Daniel Hudson (elbow) started throwing a tennis ball in the first week of November as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. "We started slow, we started throwing a tennis ball for the first week just to get that motion back, and that was actually more difficult than throwing a baseball because it was so light. I had no idea where that tennis ball was going. The next week we were just tossing a baseball back and forth - I don't think it was even 30 feet. And then we just progressed it from there like 15 or 20 feet every week." He was playing catch at just over 100 feet last month. Hudson hasn't had any setbacks, and he hopes he can return to the rotation in July.
SP | Alex Cobb | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy,
Tampa Bay Rays SP Alex Cobb is working out hard in the offseason with SP Matt Moore, and the two are in somewhat of a competition to see which pitcher will have less body fat come spring training. "This is the heaviest I've been my whole life, especially in the offseason, when I usually cut some weight. My mental approach to this offseason was to get bigger and stronger, to really minimize my risk of getting injured and to be able to carry a bigger workload, because I know there's going to be a bigger workload expected out of all of us," Cobb said. Cobb is likely to be a part of the team's opening day rotation.
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