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Power boost: J.D. arrives at Red Sox camp

MLB.com

Just a few hours removed from calling Boston his new home, J.D. Martinez arrived at JetBlue Park at Fenway South to report for Spring Training on Wednesday morning.

Boston's primary offseason target could take his physical today and begin workouts with the team. Martinez has agreed on a five-year, $110 million contract that includes opt-outs after the second and third years of the deal.

Just a few hours removed from calling Boston his new home, J.D. Martinez arrived at JetBlue Park at Fenway South to report for Spring Training on Wednesday morning.

Boston's primary offseason target could take his physical today and begin workouts with the team. Martinez has agreed on a five-year, $110 million contract that includes opt-outs after the second and third years of the deal.

Spring info | Tickets | Schedule

Tweet from @PeteAbe: J.D. Martinez just walked into Jet Blue Park. pic.twitter.com/O07lcsvjq2

Martinez is set to wear No. 28 for the Red Sox, keeping the jersey number he wore for both the D-backs and Tigers. Boston's new manager Alex Cora, who was wearing No. 28, gladly gave it to Martinez. It is unclear what number Cora will wear.

Tweet from @LouMerloni: JD Martinez will wear #28 for the Sox. It���s the number he wore in Detroit and Arizona. Alex Cora was #28 but he will give it to JD. No update on what # Cora will now wear

The 30-year-old power hitter is expected to be the final puzzle piece in Boston's lineup after coming off a 45-homer year in 2017.

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

Boston Red Sox, J.D. Martinez

D-backs get Souza from TB, trade Drury to NYY

Rays receive Solak from Yankees, Banda and 2 PTBNL from Arizona
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- One day after losing free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez to the Red Sox, the D-backs continued their outfield makeover on Tuesday by acquiring Steven Souza Jr. from the Rays as part of a three-team deal that sent Brandon Drury to the Yankees.

The addition of Souza, along with Monday's signing of Jarrod Dyson, gives the D-backs much-needed depth in their outfield.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- One day after losing free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez to the Red Sox, the D-backs continued their outfield makeover on Tuesday by acquiring Steven Souza Jr. from the Rays as part of a three-team deal that sent Brandon Drury to the Yankees.

The addition of Souza, along with Monday's signing of Jarrod Dyson, gives the D-backs much-needed depth in their outfield.

Trade for Drury could impact Torres, Andujar

In addition to Souza, the D-backs acquired right-hander Taylor Widener, the Yanks' No. 14 prospect. The 23-year-old went 7-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 27 starts for Class A Advanced Tampa. There was a cost, though. In addition to parting with the Bronx-bound Drury, Arizona sent its No. 4 prospect, left-hander Anthony Banda, and two players to be named to Tampa Bay.

Video: Callis on D-backs acquiring pitching prospect Widener

D-backs get
Steven Souza Jr. (from TB)
Taylor Widener (Yankees' No. 22 prospect)

Yankees get
Brandon Drury (from ARI)

Rays get
Anthony Banda (D-backs' No. 4 prospect)
Nick Solak (Yankees' No. 8 prospect)
Two players to be named later (from ARI)

Drury became expendable because of Arizona's surplus of middle infielders -- Nick Ahmed, Daniel Descalso, Ketel Marte and Chris Owings -- but the 25-year-old fills a need for New York. He played mainly second base for the D-backs last season, but he can also play third. Drury's ability to play both positions gives the Yankees the flexibility to fill the other slot with either top prospect Gleyber Torres or No. 5 prospect Miguel Andujar. Drury hit .267 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs in 135 games in 2017.

The Yanks also sent their No. 8 prospect, Nick Solak, to the Rays. The 23-year-old second baseman who hit .297 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs in 130 games split between Class A Advanced and Double-A Trenton in 2017.

Souza, 28, brings a potent bat with him to Arizona. The right-handed hitter posted a .239/.351/.459 slash line last year, with a 121 OPS+ over 617 plate appearances.

Video: Souza Jr. on chasing a championship with D-backs

Set to make $3.5 million this season, Souza will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season.

Souza played primarily right field for the Rays and figures to do so with the D-backs as well. David Peralta, who has played both left and right field during his time in Arizona, profiles better in left.

A.J. Pollock will start in center, giving the D-backs a strong starting group, and Dyson's ability to play all three outfield spots gives manager Torey Lovullo plenty of opportunities to give guys days off.

What that means for Yasmany Tomas, who missed most of last season due to core injuries, remains to be seen. He will make $10 million this year and has a player option that would pay him $15.5 million in 2019 and $17 million in '20.

Banda, meanwhile, made his big league debut and pitched in eight games for Arizona last year, including four starts. He recorded a 5.96 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. Banda was expected to begin this season at Triple-A, but was viewed as someone who could be called on if one of the D-backs' five starters got injured.

Video: Zinkie on fantasy implications of Souza, Drury deal

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Owings gains the most value from this deal among those on the D-backs, as he could shift from utility player to starting second baseman. The trade also boosts the value of Souza, who warrants Round 10 consideration in standard-league drafts as he prepares to bring his power-speed blend (30 homers, 16 steals in 2017) to a productive Arizona lineup. Meanwhile, Mallex Smith becomes a late-round steals source who could swipe 35 bases if given 550 plate appearances with the Rays. As for the Yankees, the acquisition of Drury likely eliminates the chance of the club opening the season with both Torres and Andujar in the starting lineup, though one of the two prospects may still have an opportunity to land a spot.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks

Rangers trade with eye on top Cuban prospect

Texas adds international bonus money from Reds for Minor League pitcher
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers traded Minor League pitcher Miguel Medrano to the Reds on Wednesday for international bonus pool money.

The transaction comes one day after Major League Baseball declared Cuban outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez a free agent, making him eligible to sign with a team. Martinez, 21, is a 5-foot-10 outfielder who is considered one of the better prospects to recently come out of Cuba because of his mix of speed and power.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers traded Minor League pitcher Miguel Medrano to the Reds on Wednesday for international bonus pool money.

The transaction comes one day after Major League Baseball declared Cuban outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez a free agent, making him eligible to sign with a team. Martinez, 21, is a 5-foot-10 outfielder who is considered one of the better prospects to recently come out of Cuba because of his mix of speed and power.

The Rangers are considered one of the favorites to sign Martinez. They built up a large bonus pool in anticipation of pursuing Shohei Ohtani, who ended up signing with the Angels. Much of that money is still available. The Yankees and Marlins are also considered favorites to sign Martinez.

"From a philosophical standpoint, we want to gain flexibility and put ourselves in position when opportunity comes available," Rangers farm director Jayce Tingler said.

Medrano, 20, pitched in the Dominican Summer League last year and was 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 12 games. He struck out 61 in 59 innings.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers

Darvish impresses teammates with first live BP

Right-hander says he fits in 'naturally with the team'
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Yu Darvish and Kyle Schwarber squared off for the first time since the National League Championship Series during a live batting practice session on Tuesday. In October, Darvish was on the Dodgers, but now he and Schwarber are teammates.

"It definitely reminded me of the NLCS, but he didn't swing," Darvish said of Schwarber, who did not take a swing at any of the five pitches from the right-hander. "I hope to face him again soon in practice games."

MESA, Ariz. -- Yu Darvish and Kyle Schwarber squared off for the first time since the National League Championship Series during a live batting practice session on Tuesday. In October, Darvish was on the Dodgers, but now he and Schwarber are teammates.

"It definitely reminded me of the NLCS, but he didn't swing," Darvish said of Schwarber, who did not take a swing at any of the five pitches from the right-hander. "I hope to face him again soon in practice games."

Actually, only Willson Contreras took a swing during the 25-pitch session. It seemed the Cubs players wanted to see what their new starting pitcher could do. Darvish was OK with that.

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"If [Schwarber] swung, it would probably go over the fence," Darvish said of the Cubs slugger, who hit a solo home run off him in Game 3 of the NLCS last October. "It's a good thing he didn't."

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The right-hander, who signed a six-year deal with the Cubs a week ago, said his new teammates have been very friendly.

"It seems like I fit in naturally with the team," he said.

The Cubs are pretty impressed.

"He's insane," Contreras said, referring to Darvish's pitches. "The movement he has on the baseball, on the breaking balls and the fastball command he has is crazy."

Tweet from @CarrieMuskat: #Cubs hitters waited to give Darvish fist pump after session pic.twitter.com/DgIuIe6Zrw

"It's Feb. 20 -- wow," Cubs manager Joe Maddon of Darvish's first live batting practice. "My impression from the side as an opponent has always been that when he's right on, he has this low fastball with great carry. I walk up and that's all [the hitters] are talking about. Obviously, he's feeling pretty good about himself. His delivery looks clean, the ball was coming out of his hand well.

"I know it's early, I'm certain his adrenaline was flowing a little bit, but he threw the ball great -- great with great conviction," Maddon said. "I'm more of a purist. I looked at the delivery and how the ball was reacting at home plate and it was outstanding."

Video: Maddon discusses Darvish's bullpen session

Obviously, the pitchers have an edge during the live batting practice because they've been in camp longer. Still, Maddon liked what he saw.

"It's just that he's got that low carry working already," Maddon said, before explaining, "Low carry -- when a pitcher is able to start the ball out low in the strike zone, normally as a hitter, you process that it's going to drop more and become a ball. His pitch has the rotation on it so well, it hits that plane and stays on it. Your mind thinks it's going to go below. Guys who are able to do that -- I used to catch Mark Langston and he was like that. There are certain guys who spin it low and keep the plane and those guys are tough."

Even though he did pitch an extra month because of the World Series last year, Darvish said he's treating this Spring Training like any other one. The Cubs will be careful with his Cactus League outings. Contreras has some work to do, too. How will he call seven different pitches?

"I have to figure that out," Contreras said, laughing.

Have any of the Cubs players tried to learn Japanese?

"Not one," Darvish said. "I think [former Cubs infielder Munenori] Kawasaki got them too tired learning Japanese."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Yu Darvish

All clubs to don Douglas caps for ST openers

MLB.com @_dadler

All 30 Major League teams will wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball caps before their Spring Training games this weekend to show support for the Parkland, Fla., community and the Stoneman Douglas student body after the tragic shooting at the school on Feb. 14.

Players across MLB will then be signing the caps and auctioning them to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which will benefit the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund. Seventeen people were killed in the shooting, including 14 students and three staff members.

All 30 Major League teams will wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball caps before their Spring Training games this weekend to show support for the Parkland, Fla., community and the Stoneman Douglas student body after the tragic shooting at the school on Feb. 14.

Players across MLB will then be signing the caps and auctioning them to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which will benefit the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund. Seventeen people were killed in the shooting, including 14 students and three staff members.

"It's a tragedy. It was a tragedy that hit the state of Florida, where we have two teams, but obviously has very specific baseball connections," Commissioner Rob Manfred said. "Really a very strong sentiment among the clubs that this was the appropriate thing to do immediately."

MLB teams will wear the caps pregame on Friday and will also be allowed to wear them during their games. Since they're off on Friday, the Royals and Rangers will don the hats on Saturday.

The Commissioner approved the use of the caps during all games on Friday, the Spring Training openers for most of the clubs.

The effort started with a few Grapefruit League teams, which wanted to wear the caps pregame, and it quickly spread across camps in Florida and Arizona. Soon all 30 teams had decided to join in the support and fundraising effort for the school community.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo attended Stoneman Douglas, and spoke at a prayer vigil at Pine Trails Park the day after the shooting. 

"It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Rizzo said Monday about meeting with families of the victims of the shooting. "You don't know what to say, there's nothing you can say. When people get shot, you're grateful they're alive. When they pass away, you're grateful you knew them. Just to see how real it is, it's sad and it's why I'm so proud of what they're doing back in Parkland and how everyone is coming together. They're going to turn this tragedy into something positive.

"The caps made for the fundraising effort will be provided to all players, coaches and umpires."

The Stoneman Douglas High School caps are reminiscent of how the Mets wore NYPD and FDNY caps following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The Mets donned the caps to honor the first responders in their first game after the attacks, in Pittsburgh on Sept. 17, and again in their return to New York four days later. In that memorable game at Shea Stadium, Mike Piazza hit the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning to lead the Mets to an emotional win over the Braves.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Spring into action: D-backs set to host ASU

No. 3 prospect Clarke to take mound against Sun Devils
MLB.com

The Grapefruit and Cactus League exhibition slates don't begin until Friday, but there will be Major Leaguers in action Wednesday as the D-backs host Arizona State University.

The exhibition is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

View Full Game Coverage

The Grapefruit and Cactus League exhibition slates don't begin until Friday, but there will be Major Leaguers in action Wednesday as the D-backs host Arizona State University.

The exhibition is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

View Full Game Coverage

Right-hander Taylor Clarke will start for the D-backs. The 24-year-old was Arizona's third-round Draft pick in 2015 and is the club's No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Spring Training info | Tickets | Schedule

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The D-backs held their first full-squad workout Monday, and position players faced pitchers in batting practice Tuesday. They begin Cactus League play Friday against the Rockies at their shared Spring Training facility.

Both the D-backs and Rockies will wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball caps Friday in a league-wide show of support for the Parkland, Fla., community after the tragic shooting at the school on Feb. 14. Players will sign the caps and auction them, with proceeds going toward the Broward Education Fund, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Do you remember the pitch thrown in this iconic situation?

There's no doubt you remember Kirk Gibson's "impossible" pinch-hit home run. You probably recall Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" or have seen clips of Nolan Ryan's seventh no-hitter. But do you remember the pitch thrown in that situation? Was it a fastball? A slider? A curveball? A slurveball? What's a slurveball? Is a slurveball a real pitch?

Here's a test to see how well you remember these iconic moments below. Name the pitch and see if you got it right.

McCutchen takes Bumgarner deep in BP

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though Cactus League games haven't begun, Andrew McCutchen looked ready for what lies beyond: the regular season.

The Giants scheduled their first session of live batting practice Tuesday, and McCutchen celebrated the occasion by clobbering a home run off Madison Bumgarner and crushing a wall ball off Andrew Suarez.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though Cactus League games haven't begun, Andrew McCutchen looked ready for what lies beyond: the regular season.

The Giants scheduled their first session of live batting practice Tuesday, and McCutchen celebrated the occasion by clobbering a home run off Madison Bumgarner and crushing a wall ball off Andrew Suarez.

Spring Training information

Following the drive off Bumgarner, catcher Buster Posey nudged McCutchen out of the batter's box, half-playfully and half-seriously, as if to prevent an ensuing knockdown pitch from the big left-hander.

"I never understand how guys can do that in the first live BP," Posey said, referring to McCutchen's display. "He's got as quick of hips and hands as anybody I've ever seen."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

McCutchen owns a .136 regular-season batting average (3-for-22) off Bumgarner. So his batting-practice clout prompted a modest reaction.

"I don't think I really got too many of those," McCutchen said.

Asked whether he'd consider consulting Bumgarner for advice regarding how opposing pitchers set him up, McCutchen replied it simply wasn't his style.

"At the end of the day, I know what I need to do," the .291 career hitter said. "I know, regardless of who it is, the adjustments I need to make. I don't necessarily [ask pitchers about himself] because I know myself more than anything. A lot of people like to say it's the guy who got you out. No, I look at it as you get yourself out. When you get out, you know what you did wrong."

• Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that his thoughts and prayers would remain with Orlando Cepeda, the Giants legend and Hall of Famer who was hospitalized late Monday night.

"I'm sorry to hear it," Bochy said. "He comes here for our Hall of Fame get-togethers, he's in the clubhouse, he has fun with the players."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner, Andrew McCutchen

Marlins sign Maybin to one-year deal

Special to MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- While Don Mattingly's Marlins will enter the season with a mostly new-look outfield, one of the team's old faces is back.

Cameron Maybin, who spent the 2008-10 seasons with the Marlins after being acquired in the Miguel Cabrera trade with the Tigers, signed a one-year deal reportedly worth $3.25 million plus incentives for performance with the club.

JUPITER, Fla. -- While Don Mattingly's Marlins will enter the season with a mostly new-look outfield, one of the team's old faces is back.

Cameron Maybin, who spent the 2008-10 seasons with the Marlins after being acquired in the Miguel Cabrera trade with the Tigers, signed a one-year deal reportedly worth $3.25 million plus incentives for performance with the club.

"I'm excited about what I can bring back as a little bit [of an] older player," Maybin said on Wednesday morning. "I learned some good things in those seasons. ... I'm just here to try and help out, try and lead them in the right direction."

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Maybin, who turns 31 in April, split last year between the Angels and Astros and stole 33 bases. He won a World Series title with Houston, batting .286 across six postseason games. Though Maybin hit only .186 in 21 regular-season games with the Astros, the former first-round Draft pick said he picked up plenty of leadership advice from older teammates.

"Finishing up with Houston last year, I've been able to take so many things ... from Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann and some of those veteran guys on how to bring a clubhouse together," Maybin said, "how to create a way of cherishing every win. I think sometimes at the big league level, you get used to doing it so much that we don't take time to cherish a team victory."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Miami enters the 2018 season with questions in the outfield following offseason trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna. Utility player Derek Dietrich is the only outfielder who has been assured a starting job by Mattingly. With Dietrich in left, prospects Lewis Brinson, Braxton Lee and Magneuris Sierra will battle for spots in center and right. If they are not ready for big league action, Maybin provides insurance at all three outfield positions.

Maybin said the signing came together over roughly a three-day period, as talks with teams sped up after the Super Bowl earlier this month.

Marlins general manager Michael Hill said Maybin's skillset and maturity were key factors in inking the 11-year veteran outfielder to a contract.

Video: Brinson brings speed, athleticism to Marlins

"Anyone who's spent time with him knows what he represents as a person, as a teammate, as a professional," Hill said. "I think those are all qualities that, as we continue to build this organization, those are things that are important to us on top of being talented."

Maybin already has first-hand experience of Brinson, who was acquired in the Yelich trade, having played against him in a rehab assignment last season. Brinson is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins' No. 1 prospect and could earn his way onto the team's Opening Day roster with a strong showing this spring.

"He's got a tremendous talent, kind of reminds me of a younger me looking at him," Maybin said of Brinson. "I'm just excited to talk to him, pick his brains and bounce things off him to help him become the best player he can be."

Maybin compiled a slash line of .257/.323/.391 with 12 home runs over those three seasons in South Florida. Maybin, who will wear No. 1 with the Marlins, added that he feels he can participate in game action this weekend.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Coming off a season in which he tied his career high with 10 homers and placed fifth in the Majors with 33 steals, Maybin warrants attention in all roto leagues now that he is set for a full-time role with the Marlins. But as a career .255 hitter who has tallied 400 at-bats in just one of the previous five seasons, the speedster should be considered a boom-or-bust, speed-first asset who is best left for his potential in your draft's final rounds.

Jake Elman is a contributor to MLB.com.

Miami Marlins, Cameron Maybin

'Way better' Felix off to encouraging start

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's a long way until Opening Day, but the Mariners like what they've seen from Felix Hernandez in his first two mound sessions of Spring Training.

Hernandez was among the final group of eight pitchers to throw their second bullpen sessions of the spring on Tuesday, and the 31-year-old was encouraged by the results as well.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's a long way until Opening Day, but the Mariners like what they've seen from Felix Hernandez in his first two mound sessions of Spring Training.

Hernandez was among the final group of eight pitchers to throw their second bullpen sessions of the spring on Tuesday, and the 31-year-old was encouraged by the results as well.

• Mariners' goal is clear: End the drought

"Way better," Hernandez said. "My mechanics were much better. It was really good. My timing, I wasn't rushing. I was so calm and delivered the pitch. It was really good."

Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and manager Scott Servais have been encouraged by Hernandez's focus and effort in the early days of camp as he looks to bounce back from last year's injury-plagued campaign.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

He'll throw live batting practice on Friday, then make his Cactus League debut on Monday against the Cubs in Mesa.

Servais said it's all on schedule with Hernandez, who is on the mound earlier this spring than his usual program. And the manager's not worried about the results at this point.

"As long as he's healthy and throwing all of his pitches, you just keep moving along," Servais said. "That's what Mike Leake does. He's not out there going at 95 or 100 percent. He's getting a feel for his pitches and making a few adjustments and getting comfortable with certain catchers.

"That's what we are looking for from Felix, just to continue to build so that when he does step on the mound for the first Spring Training game, he's got a few more bullpens and he's done more to get to that point and build on it from there."

Erasmo optimistic about quick return

Erasmo Ramirez says the sore lat muscle that led the Mariners to shut him down on Sunday had actually been a lingering issue over the previous week, but he believes the problem really is minor and expects to be back on the mound later this spring without further concerns.

Video: Outlook: Ramirez looks to stick in Mariners' rotation

Ramirez said the tightness in his back was slowly getting better, even while he was throwing every day, but he told the Mariners' trainers about it when it wasn't recovering as quickly as he hoped, and they immediately shut him down for two weeks.

Ramirez had thrown three bullpen sessions even before arriving at camp, and he tossed another Thursday without any noticeable strain. But the location of the soreness led him to touch base with the trainers.

"That's the first time I've had anything in that area, and that's what worried me," he said. "If it was my shoulder or elbow, I know what exercises to do to take care of it."

Ramirez said the muscles already feel better after a couple of days off.

"I'll be fine," he said. "Everything feels awesome. I don't feel it at all. Now I just have to wait. I have to be patient. The good news is when they give me the green light to start throwing, my muscle is going to be 100 percent ready to go and my mind will be free of worry."

Healy healing, but still sidelined

While the rest of his new teammates were on the field for the initial workouts, first baseman Ryon Healy was limited to rehab work and some mobility exercises as he waits for the stitches to be taken out of his right hand following Wednesday's surgery to remove bone spurs.

Tweet from @GregJohnsMLB: Ryon Healy recovering from surgery to remove bone spur as rest of Mariners begin full workouts today..���It���s not fun when you see all those guys out there. I���d much rather be sweating and working as hard as I can instead of sitting here doing media. No offense to you guys.��� pic.twitter.com/7yvXZfbPHT

Healy said he started feeling soreness in the hand when he began hitting in early December.

"You always have some rust in your joints and hands when you start hitting again," he said. "I expected it to go away, and it never did. I eventually spoke up after a couple weeks and said it was too much, let's get it checked out. I took five weeks off, came back and hit and the pain was still there."

Video: Ryon Healy on his rehab from hand surgery

Healy said he's never had any issue with the hand before, and he figures it was probably cumulative over the years.

"That was the most frustrating thing," he said. "There was no initial thing I did to irritate it. I didn't fall on it, I didn't lift or drop a weight on it. It was literally just hitting. So I guess over time, it just built up. It wasn't even something I felt last season. It just started in December."

Worth noting

• Outfielder Guillermo Heredia is well ahead of his anticipated return from right shoulder surgery as he took part in all the hitting and some of the defensive work in Tuesday's opening session. Heredia will likely be cleared for game action fairly early in the Cactus League season.

Daniel Vogelbach and Mike Ford split duties at first base when the team took infield drills on the main field. As expected, Robinson Cano was at second, Jean Segura at short and Kyle Seager at third base, while new utility man Andrew Romine moved around at all three of those spots while working with that first group.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez

Carson-Newman's Charlie Brown made a perfect throw from right field to end the game

When you hear the name "Charlie Brown," you don't normally think about baseball success. However, the similarly named right fielder for the Carson-Newman University Eagles is trying to flip the script.

On Monday, the Eagles were clinging to a slim 7-6 lead at home against Northwood. They had two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but the Timberwolves had already scored twice in the inning off reliever Will Gardner and had pinch-runner Miles Hardy in scoring position. The next batter was Michael Karam, and he lined a single to Charlie Brown in right.

Injury updates: Murphy, Conforto, A. Sanchez

MLB.com @_dadler

Spring Training is underway -- and just as important as the players taking the field in Arizona and Florida are the ones who are in the process of making their way back to it.

Key players for teams across the Majors are recovering from injuries, and updates on their statuses are rolling in from camp Tuesday.

Spring Training is underway -- and just as important as the players taking the field in Arizona and Florida are the ones who are in the process of making their way back to it.

Key players for teams across the Majors are recovering from injuries, and updates on their statuses are rolling in from camp Tuesday.

The following are health-related notes you should know about from today's Spring Training action, as compiled by MLB.com's team reporters and contributors.

Murphy limited but still hopeful for Opening Day
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy wasn't able to participate in the team's first full-squad workout for position players on Tuesday. But he continues to be optimistic that he can hit his goal of being ready for the start of the season.

Murphy hasn't been able to hit for the last several months as he recovers from the debridement and microfracture surgery he underwent on his right knee after the Nationals' season ended. He couldn't take part in Tuesday's live batting practice session, MLB.com's Jamal Collier reported.

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"You see these guys bouncing around and playing, you want to participate and be playing with your teammates," Murphy said Tuesday. "But I think it's the understanding of when the training staff lets me go and it's time to play, you only want to come off the DL once. I don't want to start playing games and then have to stop."

Murphy's baseball activities are still limited to fielding grounders from his knees, playing some catch and running on the treadmill with about 60 percent weight-bearing on his knee. Still, he said he's happy with his progress so far and knows he has to be patient. Collier reports Murphy is no longer using the crutches he had at Nationals WinterFest in December. He still feels some slight discomfort in his knee but has full range of motion.

"I'm more concerned about rushing him and him not being fully ready," Washington manager Dave Martinez said. "When we get him back, we don't want him to go back on the DL, we want to get him back for the whole season."

Martinez said last week that Murphy is still on track to return by Opening Day -- for the Nationals, March 29 in Cincinnati. The Nats plan to first slowly incorporate Murphy into Spring Training games.

Mets won't rush Conforto back
Michael Conforto is eager to get back on the field after shoulder surgery prematurely ended his 2017 season, but he and the Mets want to make sure there's as little risk of re-injury as possible before giving him the green light.

Conforto addressed his recovery on Tuesday, saying, "The timetable is fluid." Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has targeted May 1 as a return date for the 24-year-old outfielder.

"My energy is channeled into my rehab," Conforto said Tuesday, as MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reported. "Every rep gets me a little bit closer to getting back out on the field. As long as I keep that fire, I think that's what's going to get me out there and be successful and be healthy."

Video: Conforto gives update on rehab progress

DiComo reports that Conforto started swinging off a tee this weekend, the latest step in his recovery process after he spent most of the offseason logging two hours of physical therapy daily.

"I want to make sure that when he's back, he's back," new Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Tuesday. "We want him to just go through his rehab routine, make sure we communicate with him along the way how he's feeling. Players always tell you they feel better than they probably are, so we're going to be aware of that. But we want him back and when he's ready, he's there for the rest of the season."

Conforto was an All-Star in 2017 and was the Mets' best hitter until he dislocated his left shoulder on a swing during a game on Aug. 24. Testing revealed a capsule tear and Conforto underwent surgery -- a choice which, according to team physician Dr. David Altchek, vastly reduces the odds that Conforto will dislocate the shoulder again.

All signs "positive" for Sanchez
Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez threw his first batting practice of the spring on Tuesday, and he showed no signs of the injuries that cost him most of the 2017 season.

Sanchez battled recurring blister issues on his pitching hand all year, and made just eight starts a year after his All-Star breakout in 2016. But he looked good throwing to a group of Blue Jays hitters including Kendrys Morales, Steve Pearce, Justin Smoak and Josh Donaldson at the team's facility in Florida, as MLB.com contributor J. Scott Butherus reported.

"In terms of how I felt and the ball coming out of my hand, there were no issues," Sanchez said. "I felt like the action was really good. My command was really good. No issues with the finger, which is a huge plus. Arm felt good. Body felt good. All signs were positive."

Video: Sanchez on recovery from his blister injury

The 25-year-old hadn't faced hitters since July. But he reported to camp early and said Tuesday that he now feels like he's ahead of schedule.

Manager John Gibbons said that Sanchez "really looked like midseason form, and that's exciting to see. Everything came out nice and easy and really locked in. I didn't expect to see him that good."

Marisnick back from thumb injury
Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick had to watch from the sidelines with a fractured thumb as Houston won its first World Series, so he's been especially eager to get back on the field as Spring Training begins.

On Tuesday, he did just that. Marisnick faced live pitching for the first time in nearly seven months, MLB.com contributor Glenn Sattell reported, and said that his thumb -- which he fractured Sept. 13 -- is now 100 percent healthy.

"It feels good to get back in there," Marisnick said Tuesday. "It takes a couple of rounds of it and you're good to go. It's been a long time since I've been able to step on the field. So I'm excited to get camp going. I'm excited to be able to run around the field, take some swings."

Video: WSH@HOU: Marisnick mashes solo homer to right-center

The 26-year-old was having a career year before the injury, with a personal-best 16 home runs and .815 OPS thanks to a retooled swing that helped him lift the ball with more regularity. Marisnick said Tuesday that he hasn't lost that new swing even with the long layoff, and now it's just a matter of getting his timing back with more reps in the batter's box.

"I've been hitting a lot," Marisnick said. "Hitting is all about timing. It's something that comes with repetition. Obviously, I'm a little bit off on timing, as is everybody here, for not seeing a pitch in a while."

Lewis sidelined after minor knee surgery; No firm timetable for Erasmo
Mariners top prospect Kyle Lewis, ranked the No. 70 overall prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline entering the 2018 season, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee about a week and a half ago, MLB.com's Greg Johns reported Tuesday.

Lewis is not expected to return to the field until the end of April. The 22-year-old outfielder is not yet at the team's Minor League mini-camp, but he will report on Thursday. General manager Jerry Dipoto said the club should know more then.

Lewis has had ongoing issues with his knee after major surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial and lateral meniscus following a 2016 home-plate collision. The Mariners are hoping this cleanup procedure will alleviate those issues.

"There was kind of a floating piece of bone that was pinching off or creating a problem," Dipoto said Tuesday. "It explains why he was having so much pain. Hopefully we are able finally to determine the source of the irritation and move forward in a productive way."

Dipoto also addressed right-hander Erasmo Ramirez's status. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a strained right lat muscle on Sunday, and Dipoto said Tuesday that the Mariners aren't certain that Ramirez will be ready for the start of the season. For now, Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks, and the best-case scenario is he can start throwing after that.

Video: Jerry Dipoto discusses Erasmo Ramirez's lat injury

"Hopefully we caught this one early enough that it's short to mid-term," Dipoto said. "We don't know yet. We're hoping in two weeks we get a thumbs-up and he's ready to roll. But that's not a slam dunk. Then we have to take it day by day."

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Michael Conforto, Jake Marisnick, Daniel Murphy, Erasmo Ramirez, Aaron Sanchez

Tillman: Baltimore 'really where I wanted to be'

Orioles finalize 1-year deal to bring back veteran right-hander
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

SARASOTA, Fla. -- He had been lurking around the Ed Smith Stadium complex for days waiting on official word. On the heels of a long offseason, right-hander Chris Tillman was finally able to step out into the spotlight on Wednesday morning and rejoin the place he's called home since 2008.

"It is a relief," said Tillman, who inked a one-year contract to return that has a base salary of $3 million and can reach $10 million in incentives. "I've been stuck inside looking out the windows for the last three days, so it feels good to finally be able to join the team and get out and get my feet under me."

SARASOTA, Fla. -- He had been lurking around the Ed Smith Stadium complex for days waiting on official word. On the heels of a long offseason, right-hander Chris Tillman was finally able to step out into the spotlight on Wednesday morning and rejoin the place he's called home since 2008.

"It is a relief," said Tillman, who inked a one-year contract to return that has a base salary of $3 million and can reach $10 million in incentives. "I've been stuck inside looking out the windows for the last three days, so it feels good to finally be able to join the team and get out and get my feet under me."

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Not that it will take long to acclimate. The veteran -- whose presence in Sarasota earlier this week created quite the buzz inside the clubhouse -- has long been a popular fixture and one of the leaders of the pitching staff. Now, the 29-year-old will get a chance to re-establish himself as a guy the Orioles can count on.

"We need the veteran leadership that Chris Tillman brought to our clubs from 2012 to 2016," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "Here's a guy who was a tough pitcher in the division, one of the top starting pitchers in the American League and a very dependable guy. He was on the mound when we went to the playoffs in 2016. At his age, having the benefit of training for the winter, there's a good chance he can come back and pitch [well]."

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To clear a roster spot, the Orioles designated outfielder Jaycob Brugman for assignment.

Slowed by injury last spring, Tillman never looked quite right, going 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 24 games (19 starts) that included a demotion to the bullpen.

So, what went wrong?

"Everything," said Tillman. "There wasn't a whole lot that went right, beginning in the offseason. I think that's a huge part of it for a starting pitcher is the preparation in the offseason to make 30 starts and to feel strong and confident with what you're bringing to the table for the team. I was a little bit behind last year based on the circumstances."

Video: Ghiroli on the Orioles re-signing Tillman

Tillman, who lives nearby, has had a normal offseason and has been throwing at the O's complex with their permission as a free agent. He said vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson reached out the first day of the offseason and the right-hander's heart has always been with the O's.

"It's special to me. It's the only place I know. It really is," Tillman said. "I think for me and my family, my wife and my parents, they've only really seen me pitch in a Baltimore uniform other than high school, so that was a big part of it. And you've got to go where you're comfortable and your family is comfortable."

Prior to last year, Tillman had been a rock for an inconsistent Orioles rotation. He had a solid year in '16 for the O's, going 16-6 and posting a 3.77 ERA in 30 starts. In nine career big league seasons, all with the Orioles, Tillman is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in 203 games (198 starts).

Now, he'll get the chance to return to form and help the club rebound from a last-place finish in the American League East.

"I've never had a player be so good in one year and struggle so much the next year at Chris' age. And I'm sure Chris didn't see it coming, certainly our club didn't see it coming. Our staff didn't see it coming. You have to find the right balance to that," Duquette said.

"The volatility of the performance was significant and here's a contract where Chris can give us the innings and if he pitches well, he can be rewarded and he could go back out on the market. Some people call these pillow contracts, the important thing for the player is you don't fall asleep on that pillow contract. You go out and you pitch."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Chris Tillman

Manfred talks pace of play, rebuilding clubs

MLB.com @RichardJustice

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said pace of play changes began with a basic understanding.

"Pace of game is a fan issue," Manfred said Tuesday at Cactus League media day. "Our research tells us that it's a fan issue. Our broadcast partners tell us it's a fan issue. Independent research that our broadcast partners do confirm the fact that it is a fan issue.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said pace of play changes began with a basic understanding.

"Pace of game is a fan issue," Manfred said Tuesday at Cactus League media day. "Our research tells us that it's a fan issue. Our broadcast partners tell us it's a fan issue. Independent research that our broadcast partners do confirm the fact that it is a fan issue.

"Because it's a fan issue at the end of the day, I hope it's an issue we'll be able to find common ground with all the constituents in the game moving forward because it is, after all, the fans that make the engine known as Major League Baseball run. They are our most important constituency."

Manfred began this offseason with the idea of working with the Major League Baseball Players Association to potentially implement a pitch clock as a way to reduce dead time.

After the players association pushed back against the idea of a pitch clock, a set of rule changes were agreed upon with the MLBPA that include limiting the number of visits to the mound to six and cuts the time between innings.

"We went the extra mile, maybe the extra two miles, in an effort to make sure that we not only received but took into account player input before we decided on pace of game changes that we're going to make for this year," he said.

"I know there's been some confusion about this, but I want to be clear: We reached an understanding with the Major League Baseball Players Association, the certified representative of our players, as to what was going to happen on the pace of game changes for 2018.

"It is true that under the basic agreement, which we also negotiated with the MLBPA, we had the option of proceeding unilaterally on a number of other changes -- two types of clock [pitch clock and batter's box]. We did not proceed with any of the rule changes we had the right to proceed with unilaterally. Instead, we reached an understanding with our players."

Every issue, including the pitch clock, will be revisited after the 2018 season. Manfred is hopeful that these changes could make a difference because the players also want a quicker pace.

He acknowledged that there could be some "shakeout period" as exists with most new rules.

"We have very intelligent, athletic people playing our game, and they're capable of adjusting whatever the rules are," he said.

And there could be additional changes in 2019.

"Going forward, we will continue to focus on this issue because we think it's important for fans, and we will continue to try and work with the MLBPA and the players on solutions that are effective in terms of giving us a crisp and quick game," Manfred said. "I think it's really a dead-time issue, taking out those parts of the game where our fans routinely comment there's a lack of action.

"Part of my thinking in moving forward more slowly, not going ahead and implementing some of the changes, was publicly and privately players admitted that pace of game was an issue and it was an issue we needed to improve on.

"I thought given that public recognition, it was prudent to proceed in a more limited manner to see how we do in 2018 with this more limited set of changes. Part of our understanding with the MLBPA is we reserved our rights to proceed on the clocks in 2019. I'm hopeful we'll see progress this year, and maybe more important, we'll have dialogue with the players."

Touching on a number of other issues, Manfred spoke on:

Rebuilding teams

"I don't buy into the concept that when a club adopts a strategy of rebuilding that that should be characterized as tanking," he said. "I think that our clubs -- all of them -- want to win. That's why owners own. The question is, 'What strategy are they going to adopt over what period of time to put themselves in position to win?"

"I actually went back and did a little research. If you look at the newspaper articles of a year ago, you will find articles saying that Arizona, Colorado, Milwaukee and Minnesota all did not do enough during the offseason to try to win. To refresh your recollection, three out of those four teams made it to the postseason, and another one [Milwaukee] was in the hunt all the way to September.

"My point is this: It is not always transparent to outsiders what the plan is for winning and what the timetable is for winning. We've always had a cyclical sport. Clubs have gone through cycles in an effort to be competitive. I suspect if and when, together with the MLBPA, we reached a conclusion that this is an issue that needs to be addressed, it'll be addressed in collective bargaining. I can tell you that in the last round of bargaining, this was not a major issue."

The free agent market

"We're glad that in the last few days we've seen a number of important signings in the free-agent market," Manfred said. "At the end of the day, we want players signed. We want the best players playing the game. That's always our goal.

"I guess I would just make a couple of points about the recent activity. First, market activities, by definition, is bilateral. Right? Club makes an offer, and in order to have a deal, the agent or the player has to accept that offer.

"For a number of weeks, I've been saying publicly that there are press reports out there about offers. We were aware of those press reports, and I think the recent activity shows that those press reports were accurate.

"Some of the delay in the market was related to players taking their time making a decision as to whether they were going to accept those offers. There's nothing wrong with that. It's the player's right to hold out as long as they want to get the best possible deal.

"But in evaluating what's going on out there, I think it's important to remember that it does take two parties to make an agreement."

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.