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Red Sox Ryan Dempster to Sit Out 2014

Considered a likely trade candidate this offseason because of his team’s starting rotation depth, Ryan Dempster announced on Sunday that he will not pitch in 2014. Citing a neck ailment and a desire to spend more time with his family, the veteran right-hander of 17 Major League seasons stepped away from a $13.25 salary he was set to receive this year from the Boston Red Sox. “After a long offseason and thinking about things and seeing where I was at both physically and personally, I just made the decision that I’€™m not going to... 
 

Depth of Red Sox Farm System Provides Flexibility For Future

Winning consecutive World Series championships is a daunting challenge in today’s era of Major League Baseball. It is so rare that the last team to accomplish the feat was the New York Yankees, which captured a third straight crown in 2000. Bolstered by a strong core of veteran players, and a deep rotation and bullpen, the Boston Red Sox appear legitimately poised to repeat in 2014. One of the team’s greatest strengths was illustrated when MLB.com recently released in Top 100 Prospect List entering the 2014 campaign. The Red Sox have... 
 

Daniel Bard Gets a Chance With Texas Rangers

Once seemingly poised to replace then Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in the coveted late-inning role, Daniel Bard is fighting to stay in affiliated baseball with his career plagued with a puzzling lack of control on the mound. Now 28, Bard will attempt a return to the majors with the Texas Rangers after signing a minor league deal on Friday. A first round draft pick out of the University of North Carolina in 2006, Bard rapidly ascended the Red Sox farm system. Boasting a high 90s fast ball and a dominant slider, he posted a 1.93 ERA and... 
 

David Ortiz Wants Another Year On His Deal

Arguably the best designated hitter since the role was installed in 1973, David Ortiz is also often a lightning rod for debate when he delivers an interview to the media. Ever eager to gain security, even at the age of 38, the slugger who has belted 431 home runs over 17 Major League seasons sparked more discussion last Sunday when he told a Boston TV station that he wants a contract extension beyond his current deal, which is set to expire of the 2014 season. “It’s been a hell of a ride as long as I’ve been here. But like I always keep... 
 

With Masahiro Tanaka Signed, Expect Other Pitching Deals to Follow

Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka is headed to the New York Yankees after inking an astronomical seven-year, $155 million contract. With Tanaka in the Bronx, expect a wave of transactions related to starting pitchers leading up to the debut of spring training. Veteran free agents Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza, Bronson Arroyo, Paul Maholm and Jason Hammel are still searching for destinations. Teams that appear to have starting pitching surplus – like the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays – are likely to draw interest from teams in need... 
 

Red Sox Reach Agreement With Grady Sizemore

With Jacoby Ellsbury preparing to being his first campaign with the New York Yankees after signing a substantial seven-year deal earlier this offseason, the Boston Red Sox were reportedly interested in bringing aboard an outfielder who could complement Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field. Grady Sizemore could fill that role. On Wednesday, the Red Sox agreed to a one-year, $750,000 major league deal with the veteran outfielder, according to WEEI.com. Sizemore, who is 31 and spent the first eight seasons of his big league career with the Cleveland... 
 

Rays and Matt Joyce Reach Agreement

The Tampa Bay Rays are demonstrating that they are willing to spend money to keep their own players, at least for the short term. A day after agreeing to a one-year, $14 million deal with ace left-hander David Price to avoid arbitration, the Rays inked outfielder/DH Matt Joyce to a $3.7 million contract for 2014 on Friday. Like Price, Joyce has been mentioned in multiple trade rumors. An All-Star in 2011, the 29-year-old left-handed hitting corner outfielder batted .235 with a .747 OPS, 18 home runs and 47 RBI in 481 plate appearances for the Rays... 
 

Colorado Rockies Reach Agreement With Drew Stubbs

Bolstered by his combination of power, speed and range in the outfield, Drew Stubbs has been an intriguing player who has yet to fully harness his talents over give Major League seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. The 29-year-old Stubbs, who was traded to Colorado from Cleveland for pitcher Josh Outman in December, agreed to a one-year, $4.1 million deal with the Rockies on Friday. Stubbs is expected to take over in center field for Dexter Fowler, who was traded earlier in the offseason to Houston for outfielder Brandon Barnes... 
 

Ross Detwiler Agrees With Nationals On a One-year Deal

In a rotation stocked with premiere arms like Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann, 27-year-old Ross Detwiler seems anonymous. Yet he is just a season removed from posting 3.40 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP to accompany a 10-8 record in 27 starts for the Washington Nationals in 2012 when the club reached the playoffs for the first time. Detwiler avoided arbitration on Thursday by agreeing to a one-year, $3 million deal that includes a $50,000 incentive if he logs at least 180 innings. Detwiler was plagued with back injuries for much of the... 
 

Mets and Ike Davis Agree on One-year Deal

Throughout the offseason, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have repeatedly showed up in trade rumors. At least for now, it appears that the New York Mets will open spring training with both players in camp. Davis avoided arbitration on Thursday by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million deal. Davis, who is 26 and was the Mets’ first round pick out of Arizona State University in 2008, had a forgettable 2012 campaign. After slugging 32 home runs in 2012, the left-handed hitting first baseman endured a prolonged season-opening slump last year and was demoted... 
 

How Kershaw Deal Could Affect Lester and Red Sox Going Forward

A signing 3,000 miles away from Boston will likely impact the future of the Red Sox starting rotation. The Los Angeles Dodgers agreed with 25-year-old left-hander Clayton Kershaw on a seven-year, $215 million contract. Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award in 2011 and 2013 and boasts a 77-46 record, a 2.60 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP and 1,206 strikeouts in 1,180 innings over his six-year Major League career. Jon Lester, who turned 30 earlier this month, is not as dominant as Kershaw – at least not in the regular season – but he does... 
 

For Cincinnati Reds, its a New Year, New Season

For the second consecutive season, the Cincinnati Reds carried high hopes into the postseason last October. For the second consecutive season, they were dismissed from the playoffs earlier than expected. Editor’s Note: This “New Year, New Season” post on the Cincinnati Reds is part of a series where Baseball News Source columnist Jeff Louderback chronicles each Major League team as spring training draws nearer. After falling in the wild card game to Pittsburgh, the Reds fired manager Dusty Baker and replaced him with Bryan Price, the club’s... 
 

Baltimore Orioles Review and Preview Heading into Spring Training

A year after reaching for the postseason for the first time since 1995, the Baltimore Orioles plummeted to 85-77 and a third place finish in the American League East in 2013. Based on the current state of their roster, the Orioles look like a team in transition that will have trouble contending in a tough division this year. Editor’s Note: This “New Year, New Season” post on the Baltimore Orioles is part of a series where Baseball News Source columnist Jeff Louderback chronicles each Major League team as spring training draws nearer. Dave... 
 

Atlanta Braves Quiet Offseason Heading into 2014

After capturing the National League East last season, the Atlanta Braves‘ World Series hopes were abruptly dashed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. Though they raced to a 96-66 record, the 2013 campaign ended in disappointment for a club expected to play deep into October. In 2014, the Braves are counting on bounceback seasons from B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla, and a successful return from Tommy John surgery for starting pitcher Brandon Beachy. They would also like to see the projected outfield of Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward... 
 

Arizona Diamondbacks, Putz, Tanaka, News and Rumors

Boasting a formidable starting rotation and one of the top arms in the minors (21-year-old right-hander Archie Bradley), the Arizona Diamondbacks are expected to be fine in the starting pitching category this year even if they don’t land Masahiro Tanaka.  The closer’s spot, center field and right field, and shortstop are not so certain. At 24, left-hander Patrick Corbin appears poised to serve as Arizona’s staff ace.  He is joined by Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, Brandon McCarthy and Randall Delgado, and Bradley could force his... 
 

St Louis Cardinals: More Moves Before Spring?

Every offseason, the St. Louis Cardinals lose valuable veterans and somehow seemingly always manage to find capable replacements, either through acquisitions or from their productive farm system. The reigning National League champions will have to duplicate that feat again in 2014. Editor’s Note: This “New Year, New Season” post marks the second in a series where Baseball News Source columnist Jeff Louderback will chronicle each Major League team as spring training draws nearer. The Cardinals are well-positioned to defend their NL title... 
 

Boston Red Sox: New Year, New Season, A Look Ahead

Editor’s Note: This “New Year, New Season” post marks the opener in a series where Baseball News Source columnist Jeff Louderback will chronicle each Major League team as spring training draws nearer. Last year at this time, the Boston Red Sox were a team of newfound hope. After a dismal 2012 campaign that saw them finish with a 69-93 record and a last place finish in the American League East, the Sox had a new manager and second-year general manager Ben Cherington was crafting a roster of complementary players to surround a core... 
 

Is Jackie Bradley Jr. Ready to Be an Everyday Player ?

Jackie Bradley Jr. is not Jacoby Ellsbury – figuratively and literally. Now 30, Ellsbury is one of the best base stealers in Major League Baseball, and he is proven leadoff hitter who is productive at the plate, disruptive on the basepaths and graceful in center field. The veteran of seven Major League seasons parlayed his success for the Red Sox into a seven-year, $153 million contract with the New York Yankees earlier this season. Just 23, Bradley has plus speed, but he is not as fast as Ellsbury. And though he has more raw power at the plate,... 
 

Tampa Bay Rays Claim Jerry Sands From Pirates

It was not the most attention-grabbing move of the offseason, but it was one that reflects the Tampa Bay Rays low-risk, high reward philosophy with their free agent acquisitions. The Rays claimed 26-year-old first baseman/corner outfielder Jerry Sands off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sands has embarked on an odyssey over the last two years. In October 2012, he was packaged with pitcher Rubby De La Rosa as the players to be named later sent to Boston in the blockbuster deal that shipped Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick... 
 

Chicago Cubs Trade Options Surfacing For Epstein

When Theo Epstein left Boston to become president of the Chicago Cubs after the 2011 season, he forecasted a rebuilding process that would include purging bad contracts of veterans, upgrading a woefully barren farm system and acquiring low-risk, high-reward players. The project has continued this offseason. On Tuesday, ESPNDeportes.com reported that the Cubs signed right-handed reliever Jose Veras to a one-year, $4 million deal that includes a $5.5 million option for 2015 and incentives. So far this offseason, the Cubs have acquired backup catcher... 
 

Diamondbacks Showing They Are All In for 2014

Stationed in a National League West division that could be one of the best in baseball next season, the Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be all in for contending in 2014. After acquiring power-hitting left fielder Mark Trumbo in a three-team deal earlier in the month, which will allow Martin Prado to man third base, the Diamondbacks shipped promising third base prospect Matt Davidson to the White Sox for 25-year-old closer Addison Reed. Reed will compete with J.J. Putz and Brad Ziegler for the closer’s role in spring training, and Arizona’s... 
 

Pirates Decisions For First Baseman, Burnett Loom

This is a different kind of offseason for the Pittsburgh Pirates. One they have not experienced since the winter following the 1992 campaign, when they fell to the Atlanta Braves in heartbreaking fashion in the bottom of the ninth of Game Seven of the NLCS. For the first time since 1992, the Pirates secured a playoff berth in 2013. They topped Cincinnati in the wild card game before losing to St. Louis in the NLDS. So far, it has been a quiet offseason in Pittsburgh that expects to pick up before spring training arrives. The Pirates did acquire... 
 

Red Sox Off-Season Tinkering Not Quite Done

Continuing the preference for fiscal caution that they have demonstrated since shedding the albatross contracts they shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, the Boston Red Sox let Jacoby Ellsbury sign a costly long-term deal with the New York Yankees and Jarrod Saltalamacchia ink a three-year contract with the Miami Marlins. Though they are in prime position with their payroll for the long term with no cumbersome deals on the books, the Red Sox have some maneuvering to conduct if they want to add an outfielder and a shortstop, and remain under... 
 

Re-Signing Stephen Drew Could Prompt Will Middlebrooks Trade for Red Sox

Stephen Drew is regarded as the best shortstop on the free agent market,  but there is debate about whether he will get the multi-year offer he is seeking or return to the Boston Red Sox on a one-year or two-year contract. At the MLB Winter Meetings on Wednesday, Drew’s agent Scott Boras said that the 30-year-old veteran of eight big league seasons has multi-year offers from other teams but those clubs want to see how the market unfolds before finalizing a deal. According to multiple media accounts, the Red Sox met with Boras about Drew on... 
 

A’s Hope Drew Pomeranz Can Thrive Away From Coors Field

A day after the Oakland A’s shipped left-handed starting pitcher Brett Anderson to Colorado for left-hander Drew Pomeranz and minor league righty Chris Jensen, the club traded left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins to Washington for speedy outfield prospect Billy Burns. For Pomeranz, the transaction represents a change of scenery he hopes will return him to the prominence he built as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball when he was in the Cleveland Indians organization. Pomeranz was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft out of the... 
 

Cleveland Indians Will Listen to Offers For Justin Masterson

Under Terry Francona‘s guidance in his first season along the shores of Lake Erie, they surprised baseball pundits and gained a wild card berth. They appear poised to contend for a post-season spot in 2013, but that could change if they part ways with rotation ace Justin Masterson. Masterson, who was acquired by the Indians from the Red Sox in the 2009 trade deadline deal that shipped Victor Martinez to Boston, is just 28, and he posted a 14-10 record with a 3.45 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and 195 strikeouts in 193 innings. Yet he is in his final year... 
 

For Mariners Its Going to Take More Than Robinson Cano

They boast one of the best starting pitchers in baseball (Felix Hernandez) and now one of the best all-around players in the game (Robinson Cano), yet as the Seattle Mariners’ roster is currently composed, it is arguably their four-best in the five-team American League West. Considering that they invested a staggering $240 million to Cano over the next 10 years, the Mariners appear interested in seriously contending in 2014. For that to happen, they need more monumental splashes off the high dive, and the next leap could happen at the Major... 
 

Red Sox – Yankees Rivalry Regaining Passion?

In most cases, when I write a baseball column, I do so as an objective professional journalist without reference to my team of choice, which is the Boston Red Sox. This column is an exception – an exuberantly striking exception. The reason? After back-to-back seasons that have seen the storied Red Sox-Yankees rivalry lose its passion, the annual clash between two of baseball’s oldest clubs regained fire when Jacoby Ellsbury agreed to a seven-year, $153 million contract with New York earlier in the week. Those of you who are not Red Sox... 
 

Stephen Drew Could Land Back in Boston

Major League teams searching for a starting shortstop saw a prime option plucked off the free agent market on Thursday when it was reported that the Miami Marlins reached a one-year deal with 36-year-old Rafael Furcal. That leaves Stephen Drew as the top free agent shortstop as the Winter Meetings are set to begin next week. Though Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal wrote that Furcal will serve as the Marlins everyday second baseman, he would have likely remained at shortstop had he signed elsewhere. The 30-year-old Drew, who is represented by Scott... 
 

Shin-Soo Choo Targeted by Yankees, Tigers and Reds

Now that Jacoby Ellsbury has signed with the New York Yankees, fellow Scott Boras client Shin-Soo Choo is the most highly regarded outfielder remaining on the free agent market. Media reports indicate that the Yankees still could pursue the 31-year-old left-handed hitter who is comfortable in right field but can also play center; however, the club is also trying to bring back R0binson Cano. Choo, who is from South Korea, had the fourth-best on-base percentage in the majors last season at .423. Add his .285 average, .885 OPS,  21 home runs, 20 stolen... 
 

Jacoby Ellsbury Rumors and Likely Destinations

Where will Jacoby Ellsbury occupy the leadoff spot and patrol center field in 2014 and beyond? That question appears closer to being answered, according to Major League Baseball insider Jon Heyman. Today, Heyman told a Boston radio station that the Yankees, Red Sox, Giants and Mariners are the most likely landing spots for the 30-year-old veteran of seven Major League seasons. When healthy, Ellsbury is one of the most dynamic outfielders in the majors. He is one of just a handful of players who can hit for average and power, disrupt opposing pitchers... 
 

Red Sox Jackie Bradley Jr: New Approach, New Results

With Jacoby Ellsbury eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, it was widely speculated that Jackie Bradley Jr. would emerge as a fixture in the Boston Red Sox lineup next year. Then the 23-year-old outfielder batted .419 with a 1.120 OPS in spring training and was a surprising addition to the club’s Opening Day roster, making his Major League debut before appearing in Triple-A. Once he stepped to the plate in games that counted, Bradley discovered that Major League pitching was not so easy to face, which is a lesson that many top prospects... 
 

Red Sox News: Aceves, Bard, Hanrahan and Middlebrooks

Entering the 2013 season, many of the so-called baseball experts projected the Boston Red Sox to finish in the American League East basement for the second consecutive year. So far, the club has exceeded expectations with a 14-7 record and a perch atop the division. Though the Red Sox are demonstrating that they are a legitimate contender for a post-season berth, they have question marks that will need addressed to remain in the division lead. The most critical question marks include: What to do with Alfredo Aceves? The Red Sox finally answered... 
 

Oakland A’s Yoenis Cespedes To Start Rehab Assignment

The Oakland A’s, which are ninth in the majors in hitting, could get a key part of their lineup back soon. Yoenis Cespedes, the 27-year-old outfielder whose bat helped the A’s win the American League West in 2012, could begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday, according to manager Bob Melvin. Cespedes, who is recovering from a hand injury, batted .292 with 23 home runs, 82 RBI, 16 stolen bases and a .861 OPS in his rookie campaign last year. Without Cespedes, the A’s have used Seth Smith, Chris Young, Coco... 
 

Los Angeles Dodgers Pitching Injuries May Force Moves

With Zack Greinke, Chad Billingsley and Chris Capuano on the disabled list – and Aaron Harang recently traded to Colorado – the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitching depth has been zapped. On Wednesday, veteran left-hander Ted Lilly will become the eighth starting pitcher that the club has used in the young 2013 season. The 37-year-old Lilly underwent surgery to repair his left labrum on September 21, 2012. He opened the season on the DL and last pitched on April 16, when he allowed four runs for advanced Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. The... 
 

Braves Jason Heyward Says He is Doing Just Fine

The Atlanta Braves, which have the best record in the majors at 15-5, regained first baseman Freddie Freeman from the disabled list but will now be without outfielder Jason Heyward, who underwent an emergency appendectomy in Denver on Monday. Heyward has struggled at the plate in April, hitting .121 with two home runs and five RBI in 58 at-bats. The Braves lineup has been fueled by Justin Upton, who leads the majors with 11 home runs. B.J. Upton is batting .160 with three home runs and five RBI. Heyward and the Upton brothers were projected to give... 
 

Giants Reach Agreement with Buster Posey: nine years $167 million

Buster Posey wanted to play his entire career with the San Francisco Giants. Understandably, the Giants wanted to make that happen. Posey and the Giants have agreed to a nine-year, $167 million contract, that covers his three remaining arbitration years and buys out his first five years of free agency. The deal includes a $22 million club option for 2022 and a full no-trade clause. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman first reported that the two sides were discussing a long-term deal. Now 26, the right-handed hitting Posey was named National League... 
 

Red Sox Cut Ryan Sweeney, Appear To Be Making Room For Jackie Bradley Jr.

With Thursday’s announcement that the Boston Red Sox would not offer a Major League contract to outfielder Ryan Sweeney, it appears that top prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. will make the club’s Opening Day 25-man roster. The 28-year-old Sweeney is a plus defender at all three outfield positions but hit just .260 with a .675 OPS and no home runs in 219 plate appearances last year for the Red Sox after he was acquired from Oakland with Andrew Bailey in the offseason. Sweeney batted .217 (10-for-46) with no home runs and a .547 OPS this spring. Bradley,... 
 

Detroit Tigers Extend Justin Verlander Five years $180 million

A few months after the Seattle Mariners locked up Felix Hernandez long term, the Detroit Tigers signed Justin Verlander to a five-year contract extension that will keep him with the Tigers through 2019 and even 2020 if a vesting option kicks in. The 30-year-old Verlander – who originally signed a five-year, $180 million extension for 2010-2014 – is now the highest-paid pitcher in Major League history with the $180 million that is guaranteed. He can receive a $22 million vesting option for 2020 (when he will be 37) that would make the... 
 

Brewers News: Who’s on First, Gallardo Cleared for WBC

Who will be the Milwaukee Brewers opening day first baseman? That question is yet to be answered after Mat Gamel who will have surgery to repair a torn right ACL for the second time in less than a year. The 27-year-old Gamel was the team’s Plan B for first base after Corey Hart had surgery on to address a torn meniscus and nerve damage in his knee. It was originally thought that the 30-year-old Hart would be out until late May, but now there is hope he can return a month earlier. Hart produced3 30 home runs and 83 RBI in 2012. The Brewers... 
 

Phillies News: Ryan Howard Regaining Form for 2013

Left-handed slugger Ryan Howard has swatted his share of walk-off home runs, but one particular at-bat that ended a game and left him crumpled on the ground impacted the Philadelphia Phillies‘ 2012 season and will be sure to help determine how the club will perform this year. Now 33, Howard ruptured his left Achilles tendon while running out a ground ball that resulted in the final out of the 2011 NLDS. While the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Howard writhed in pain. Howard had surgery to repair the Achilles and was... 
 

Rockies News: Nolan Arenado Makes His Case For 2013

Troy Tulowitzki appears healthy again, Dexter Fowler was signed to a long-term deal and Carlos Gonzalez is entrenched in left field. Those names, along with catcher Wilin Rosario, give the Colorado Rockies a formidable core to build around. Based on his explosive performance this spring, 21-year-old third baseman Nolan Arenado could be adding to that core sooner than anticipated. So far, Arenado has swatted four home runs and has collected eight RBI, hitting .412 (7-for-17). Though the sample size is small, the right-handed hitting Arenado is striving... 
 

Braves Spring Training: Tyler Pastornicky Seeks Role As Super Utility Man

Acquired from Toronto in the July 2010 deal that shipped Yunel Escobar to Toronto, 23-year-old Tyler Pastornicky emerged from last year’s spring training as the Atlanta Braves‘ Opening Day shortstop. Then he struggled, batting just .248 through April and May, lost his job to fellow 23-year-old Andrelton Simmons and was optioned to the minors. This spring has brought a new challenge for the fifth round pick out of high school by the Blue Jays in 2008. With Simmons entrenched at shortstop, the Braves asked Pastornicky to learn multiple... 
 

Mariners Pitching Prospects Patiently Wait Their Turn

With Felix Hernandez signed to a long-term deal, the Seattle Mariners have what most Major League teams lack – a premium ace who is one of the most dominant starters in the game. As Opening Day approaches, the club also has enviable rotation depth at the big league and minor league levels. Though the Opening Day rotation appears set with Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Joe Saunders, Blake Beaven and either Erasmo Ramirez or veteran non-roster invitee Jon Garland, Seattle can dip into its farm system if needed during the regular season. On the... 
 

Red Sox Spring Training: Middlebrooks Cleared, Bradley Continues To Impress

Will Middlebrooks and the Boston Red Sox collectively breathed a sigh of relief Thursday afternoon when a hand specialist determined the 24-year-old third baseman did not need X-rays or additional tests on his right wrist. Amid a successful rookie campaign that saw him hit .288 with 15 home runs, 54 RBI and 14 doubles in 286 plate appearances, Will Middlebrooks saw his 2012 season abruptly end on August 10 when he was hit by a 96 m.p.h. fast ball from Cleveland’s Esmil Rogers. Middlebrooks rehabbed during the offseason and has looked impressive... 
 

Tampa Bay Rays: 2013 Spring Training Preview Guide

How many runs will the Tampa Bay Rays score? If the answer to that question is, “Significantly more than they did in 2012,” then it is likely the club will secure a post-season berth.  if the Rays duplicate last year’s anemic offensive display,  the performance of their formidable starting rotation will mean little, aside from some impressive numbers in the stat line. In 2012, the Rays rotation delivered one of the best cumulative seasons in Major League Baseball history, but it wasn’t enough to reach the playoffs because... 
 

Seattle Mariners: 2013 Spring Training Preview Guide

Seattle Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik was one of the busiest executives in baseball during the offseason. The result is a Mariners team that could surprise baseball pundits and fans alike in the American League West race. The most prominent news out of Seattle during the Hot Stove League was the signing of uber ace Felix Hernandez to a seven-year, $175 million contract. The transaction ended longtime speculation that the Mariners would trade the right-hander for a slew of young veterans and top prospects. With highly regarded pitching... 
 

San Francisco Giants: 2013 Spring Training Preview Guide

With two World Series trophies in the last three seasons, the San Francisco Giants are no longer considered the Cinderalla team of baseball. They shouldn’t have been known as that to begin with one of the game’s best rotations. Though the Los Angeles Dodgers are armed with an assortment of superstars and an ownership group with unlimited pockets, and the Arizona Diamondbacks have cultivated an up-and-coming rotation, the Giants are still expected to capture the National League West title by many baseball pundits. Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner,... 
 

San Diego Padres: 2013 Spring Training Preview Guide

Though they are not opening their pockets as deep as their National League West rivals to the north, the San Diego padres’ new ownership group has taken a new direction that is opposite of the penny pinching ways the franchise has demonstrated for years. Instead of trading hometown star Carlos Quentin, the Padres signed him to a long-term deal. They also retained closer Huston Street, and so far they have resisted offers to trade third baseman Chase Headley. With the three aforementioned names – plus promising young players like first... 
 

Texas Rangers: 2013 Spring Training Preview Guide

One strike away from winning the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 only to see David Freese turn their celebration into heartache, the Texas Rangers lost the American League West to Oakland on the last day of the 2012 campaign and then were dismissed from the wild card game by Baltimore. This year, the Rangers lineup will be without Josh Hamilton (Angels) and Mike Napoli (Red Sox), who both bolted via free agency; and Michael Young, who was dealt to Philadelphia. Yet manager Ron Washington‘s club should still score bunches... 
 
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