MLB Player News
D'Arnaud will see action at other positions during the spring in an attempt to increase his versatility and potentially find a way to get his bat in the lineup when Kevin Plawecki is behind the plate, the New York Post reports.
Those other positions are likely first base and left field, though Travis d'Arnaud 's main work will come behind the plate. D'Arnaud has suffered a variety of injuries while catching, so moving him out from behind the plate has been discussed for a while, but his bat plays much better as a catcher than at another position.
Kevin Plawecki will see action at first base during the spring in an attempt to increase his versatility and potentially find a way to get him in the lineup when Travis d'Arnaud is behind the plate, the NY Post reports.
Plawecki saw some time at first base in the minors, so playing the position won't be that foreign to him. It's unlikely he sees much time there, though he could possibly play against lefties when Lucas Duda sits and Wilmer Flores is deployed elsewhere in the infield.
Blake Lalli signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves last week, Baseball America reports.
According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, Lalli will attend major league camp for spring training as a non-roster invitee, but the team intends to pair him with Ryan Lavarnway at Triple-A Gwinnett to start the season. The 32-year-old Lalli has made 40 plate appearances at the highest level, the last of which came back in 2013.
Tim Federowicz was invited to the Chicago Cubs ' major league spring training.
Federowicz isn't expected to be much more than organizational depth after four years of sub-Mendoza Line hitting in Los Angeles. He's likely to spend a few weeks with the top level, then open the season with Triple-A Iowa while Miguel Montero and David Ross occupy catcher in Chicago.
Yasmani Grandal (shoulder) was cleared to swing from both sides of the plate Friday, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Grandal continues to work his way back from left shoulder surgery, and clearance to swing certainly represents a step in the right direction. Fortunately, the left shoulder issue really only impacts the backstop in the batter's box, as he throws with his right hand like nearly every other catcher. Barring something unforeseen, the 27-year-old should be on track to serve as the Los Angeles Dodgers ' primary catcher once again in 2016 despite an underwhelming second half in 2015.
Devin Mesoraco remains on track to be ready for the first day of camp on Feb. 18, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. "I've done everything," he said. "I've been hitting for a couple of months. Catching-wise, I've been blocking, throwing, receiving and doing just about everything with no pain."
Mesoraco has reached the final stages of his recovery from season-ending hip surgery, which was undertaken on June 29 to repair a labrum and remove a spur. With hitting and some catching duties already behind him, his next test will likely be manning catcher in exhibitions. When healthy, he'll serve as the Cincinnati Reds ' No. 1 backstop, from which he logged 100-plus games in both 2013 and 2014.
Yasmani Grandal agreed to a one-year, $2.8 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday to avoid arbitration, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
Grandal was the centerpiece of a trade that brought sent Matt Kemp to the Padres in 2014. While his first half of the season was promising, he tanked in the second half to finish with just a .234/.353/.403 batting line. Despite the downfall, he should once again serve as the Dodgers' primary catcher in 2016.
Nevin Ashley signed a minor league deal that includes an invite to spring training with the New York Mets on Friday, The Record's Matt Ehalt reports.
Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki are the pretty clear top two catchers on the organizational depth chart, so look for Ashley to serve as an organizational soldier in 2016, spending most of the year at Triple-A.
Tim Federowicz signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs on Friday, Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports.
He has a .194 average and five home runs in 271 MLB plate appearances, and will offer organizational catcher depth for the Cubs in 2016.
Jordan Pacheco agreed to a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training.
Pacheco entered 2015 in contention for playing time behind the dish after the Diamondbacks sent Miguel Montero to the Cubs, but injuries and poor play led to the Diamondbacks looking elsewhere. The veteran did bat .242/.333/.333 with two home runs last season, however, and did enough to earn himself an invite to spring training with the Reds, where he'll face an uphill battle to earn a major league roster spot out of spring training.