Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 4:41 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
With Prince Fielder finally off the market, we're officially in free-agent left-over time, with most of the big-name, big-money guys enjoying new contracts.
So, who is left? That's a good question. The best players available are starting pitchers -- with Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt leading the charge -- but in our free-agent tracker, only one position player (Derrek Lee) among the top 25 free-agent position players is available, while three top 25 pitchers remain (Jackson, Oswalt, Javier Vazquez).
Here's the best player -- and the rest -- among the remaining free agents at each position as we get closer and closer to spring training:
Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez. OK, he's a big name, a future Hall of Famer, but he's also 40 -- and a catcher. Rodriguez, 156 hits from 3,000, adjusted to being a backup catcher last season and it's the role he'll play if he can find a team for 2012.
Others available: Jason Varitek, Ronny Paulino, Ramon Castro, Jason Kendall.
First base: Derrek Lee. The 36-year-old finished the 2011 season in Pittsburgh and had a nice finish to the season, hitting .337/.398/.584 with seven homers in his return to the National League Central after struggling in Baltimore for most of the first half of the season. However, he did miss nearly a month after breaking a bone in his left wrist shortly after joining the Pirates. Lee could retire, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reported.
Others available: Casey Kotchman, Conor Jackson, Ross Gload, Russell Branyan.
Second base: Jeff Keppinger. The Giants non-tendered the 31-year-old infielder who struggled in his 56 games in San Francisco. Keppinger hit just .255/.285/.333 as the team's everyday second baseman, well off his career .281/.332/.388 line. Keppinger brings versatility with the ability to play any of the infield positions, and he's also played in the outfield. He could be a fit with the Mariners, Yankees or Rays.
Others available: Aaron Miles, Carlos Guillen.
Third base: Mark Teahen. Our top third baseman was recently released to make room for a 41-year-old relief pitcher, what does that tell you? The Blue Jays acquired the 30-year-old Teahen in three-team deal that sent Edwin Jackson and others to St. Louis and Colby Rasmus to Toronto. Teahen hit .200/.273/.300 with the White Sox and Blue Jays, playing both corner infield and outfield spots, in addition to handling some DH duties. Another positive is that he often tweets pictures of his two adorable boxers.
Others available: Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Alex Cora.
Shortstop: Ryan Theriot. Theriot is versatile, with the ability to play pretty much anywhere on the field -- but he's best suited, defensively, to second base. He started the 2011 season as the Cardinals' starter at shortstop, but there's a reason the team went out to get Rafael Furcal. He hit .271/.321/.342 for the Cardinals last season, but at this point he's likely best suited as a utility player.
Others available: Edgar Renteria, Miguel Tejada, Felipe Lopez.
Outfield: Yoenis Cespedes. While we have J.D. Drew ranked higher, he's expected to retire soon, leaving the extremely talented Cespedes as the top available outfielder. Cespedes has just recently acquired citizenship in the Dominican Republic, so now the official courting of the Cuban center fielder can begin. The Marlins, of course, are said to be very interested, even if Cespedes is less interested in Miami. Both Chicago teams are said to have interest in him as well.
Others available: Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez, Juan Pierre, Magglio Ordonez, Corey Patterson, Rick Ankiel, Marcus Thames, Jeremy Hermida, Jay Gibbons, Milton Bradley.
Designated hitter: Johnny Damon. The 38-year-old Damon is hardly the prototypical slugging designated hitter, but he still has some value. Last season he hit .261/.326/.418 for the Rays with 16 home runs. He could be a fit in Detroit, where he hit .271/.355/.401 with eight home runs in 2010.
Others available: Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero.
Starting pitcher: Edwin Jackson. At 28, Jackson has already pitched for six different teams and could be looking at his seventh. With the White Sox and Cardinals, the hard-throwing right-hander went 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 31 starts and 199 2/3 innings. He struck out 148 batters while putting up a 1.437 WHIP. There are recent reports that he's willing to sign a one-year deal, and is drawing interest from the Tigers. He was 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA for Detroit in 2009.
Others available: Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, Rich Harden, Jeff Francis, Brad Penny, Chris Young, Brandon Webb, Jon Garland, Livan Hernandez, Tim Wakefield, Scott Kazmir, Rodrigo Lopez, Kyle Davies, Ross Ohlendorf, Doug Davis.
Relief pitcher: Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes turned 42 during the World Series and still appeared in 51 games during the regular season and eight more in the postseason. The left-hander had a disappointing run with the Rangers after signing a two-year deal with Texas. But he returned as part of Tony La Russa's bullpen in St. Louis, earning his first World Series ring in his 19 years in the big leagues.
Others available: Chad Qualls, Brad Lidge, Dan Wheeler, Damaso Marte, Michael Wuertz, Zach Duke, Javier Lopez, Juan Cruz, Jason Isringhausen, Mike Gonzalez, Todd Coffey, Shawn Camp, Scott Linebrink, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jamey Wright, Chad Durbin, Brian Tallet, Hideki Luis Ayala, Micah Owings, Dan Cortes, Sergio Mitre, Tony Pena, David Aardsma, Pat Neshek, Danys Baez, Ramon Ortiz.
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Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Aaron Cook, Aaron Miles, Alex Cora, Arthur Rhodes, Bill Hall, Brad Lidge, Brad Penny, Brandon Webb, Brian Tallet, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos Guillen, Casey Kotchman, Chad Durbin, Chad Qualls, Chris Young, Connor Jackson, Corey Patterson, Damaso Marte, Dan Cortes, Dan Wheeler, Danys Baez, David Aardsma, Derrek Lee, Doug Davis, Edgar Renteria, Edwin Jackson, Eric Chavez, Felipe Lopez, free agency, free agent tracker, Hideki Matsui, Hideki Okajima, Hong-Chih Kuo, Ivan Rodriguez, Jamey Wright, Jason Isringhausen, Jason Kendall, Jason Michael, Jason Varitek, Javier Lopez, Javier Vazquez, Jay Gibbons, Jeff Francis, Jeff Keppinger, Jeremy Hermida, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Juan Cruz, Juan Pierre, Kosuke Fukudome, Kyle Davies, Livan Hernandez, Luis Ayala, Magglio Ordonez, Marcus Thammes, Mark Teahen, Micah Owings, Michael Wuertz, Mike Gonzalez, Milton Bradley, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Pat Neshek, Ramon Castro, Ramon Ortiz, Raul Ibanez, Rich Harden, Rick Ankiel, Rodrigo Lopez, Ronny Paulino, Ross Gload, Ross Ohlendorf, Roy Oswalt, Russell Branyan, Ryan Theriot, Scott Kazmir, Scott Linebrink, Sergio Mitre, Shawn Camp, Tim Wakefield, Todd Coffey, Tony Pena, Vladimir Guerrero, Yoenis Cespedes, Zach Duke
Posted on: December 20, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: December 20, 2011 2:18 pm
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
"Moneyball" hit movie theaters everywhere late this past summer and Brad Pitt-as-Billy Beane told us the A's have to be creative to compete in an unfair baseball landscape. There are haves and have-nots, the protagonist would tell us. And we all know the Oakland Athletics are have-nots in the salary-capless land of Major League Baseball. So what if the A's could afford to keep all their own guys? Surely they'd be much better, right? Uh ...
1. Jemile Weeks, 2B
2. Nick Swisher, CF
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Jason Giambi, 1B
5. Ryan Ludwick, LF
6. Kurt Suzuki, C
7. Ramon Hernandez, DH
8. Mark Teahen, 3B
9. Cliff Pennington, SS
1. Tim Hudson
2. Trevor Cahill
3. Dallas Braden
4. Tyson Ross
5. Joe Blanton
Yes, Braden was out for the season in real life, but we've got Rich Harden waiting in the wings. Oh, and yes, Harden is hurt all the time. So then we'd turn to Barry Zito.
Closer - Andrew Bailey
Set up - Huston Street, Santiago Casilla, Henry Rodriguez, Joel Peralta, Sam Demel
Long - Harden, Zito
Notable Bench Players
Miguel Olivo, John Baker, Gerald Laird -- yes, those three are all catchers, just like our DH -- Eric Chavez and Travis Buck.
Hey, at least we'd never run out of catchers with this group. There are four major-league caliber starters, even if some are lower-tier, and one quality backup in Laird. So the Athletics churn out catchers. Really, though, the strength of this team is unsurprisingly the pitching. The starting rotation is good, but not great. Hudson is steady and Cahill was very good in 2010. Blanton was good in 2009 but has battled injuries and ineffectiveness since then. Ross did show great promise before his injury last season, though. The bullpen is pretty good, too. Bailey is a solid closer and Street would be a fine eighth-inning man with Casilla and fireballer Rodriguez also setting the table.
Giambi and Ludwick in the middle of the order isn't near as potent nowadays as it would have been a handful of years ago. Plus, could Giambi even play everyday anymore? If not, our next option is playing a catcher, Chavez or Buck at first base. That's weak. In fact, at this point in time, there aren't many spots where the hitter is well above average for his slot. Swisher and Ethier are good, but they aren't elite second or third hitters. Weeks could prove an elite leadoff hitter as soon as 2012, but we don't have a large enough sample yet to declare that. Ramon Hernandez had a good past two offensive seasons, but take him out of the NL Central and Great American Ball Park and put him in the AL West in Oakland. That's a big difference. So while the offense isn't atrocious, it's not very good either -- and there is no bench depth anywhere but catcher. Also, Swisher's out of position in center, but, again, we don't have any other options.
Comparison to real 2011
While the rotation and bullpen are good, they are far from great, and the position players here just aren't enough. This team would be below average, an 85-90 loss ballclub. The real-life A's went 74-88, so I'd say it's just about the same result.
And we can now see the biggest problem. Of course it's tough to compete as a small-market team in a football stadium, but the A's haven't been drafting very well. They've made some good trades, sure, but also some pretty bad ones. For example, they spun Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith for Matt Holliday back in 2008, but then dealt Holliday at the next trade deadline for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson. So, yes, one reason the A's can't compete anymore in the AL West is because they don't have the money to retain or sign new expensive veterans. But another reason is they just aren't churning out draft picks like the Rays, for example, are.
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Tags: Andrew Bailey, Athletics, Barry Zito, Billy Beane, Cliff Pennington, Dallas Braden, Eric Chavez, Gerald Laird, Henry Rodriguez, Homegrown, Huston Street, Jason Giambi, Jemile Weeks, Joe Blanton, Joel Peralta, John Buck, Kurt Suzuki, Mark Teahen, Miguel Olivo, Nick Swisher, Ramon Hernandez, Rich Harden, Ryan Ludwick, Sam Demel, Santiago Casilla, Tim Hudson, Travis Buck, Trevor Cahill, Tyson Ross
Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:05 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 3:28 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The deal that sends Colby Rasmus from Tony La Russa's doghouse to Toronto is done, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
It's a three-way deal that was set in motion when the Blue Jays sent starter Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen from the White Sox to Toronto for reliever Jason Frasor and minor-league reliever Zach Stewart. And then the Cardinals got involved. When the dust cleared, here's what went down:
Blue Jays get: OF Colby Rasmus, 3B/OF Mark Teahen, LHP Brian Tallet, RHP P.J. Walters
Cardinals get: RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Octavio Dotel, LHP Marc Rzepczynski, OF Corey Patterson, three players to be named, cash
White Sox get: RHP Jason Frasor, RHP Zach Stewart, LHP Trever Miller
A free agent after the season is Jackson, who is 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts for the White Sox. He was redundant in the White Sox rotation that had six starters for five spots.
The Cardinals have been shopping Rasmus. who has clashed with his manager and the rest of the coaching staff. Rasmus fits Alex Anthopoulos' M.O. -- young, talented and disgruntled. Last year, Anthopoulos acquired Braves problem child Yunel Escobar. St. Louis needed help in the rotation and bullpen and this move would address both needs. St. Louis also has Jon Jay to replace Rasmus. Jackson can slide into the rotation for the Cardinals, moving Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen, which is strengthened by the additions of the right-handed Dotel and lefty Rzepczynski.
The move makes sense for the White Sox, who need help in the bullpen. The right-handed Frasor has a 2.98 ERA in 42 1/3 innings this season, striking out 37 and walking 15. Frasor is a free agent after the season.
FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal added in a tweet that the White Sox have also placed Jon Danks and Gavin Floyd on the market.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:00 am
Edited on: May 17, 2011 11:05 am
By Evan Brunell
BLOWUP: Think Armando Galarraga is nervous about doing his job? Check out this meltdown against a reporter...
Reporter: Do you worry about your spot in the rotation?
Galarraga: No, why would I be worried? Is there something I have to worry about?
Reporter: Well, after tonight's performance, possibly...
Galarraga: You think? Why don't we talk about it at the end of the season? I don't count five starts.
Reporter: Aren't you disappointed?
Galarraga: I'm disappointed for this start. I'm not disappointed for the rest of the season. What are you talking about? What are you talking about, "When I next start"? Huh? Who you say I'm gonna be worried about my next start? Huh? (Unintelligible) ... my next start, or are you saying I'm gonna lose my job. Are you trying to say that?
Galarraga has made eight starts on the year so far and has a 5.91 ERA to show for it. He was already in danger of losing his job prior to Monday and then gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings to the Padres, walking two and whiffing one.
Hey, it's not easy to be someone like Galarraga -- a fringe major-league player who won't ever haul in millions of dollars unless something changes fast. He's got minimal job security, is on his third team in his career and clearly sees the writing on the walk. Just chalk this one up to a bad day. Athletes are asked a lot to stand before a microphone day in, day out on both good and bad days -- and woe to those who aren't in the right frame of mind and run out of patience. Everyone's allowed one of these days. (AZ Snakepit)
APT COMPARISON? What to do when a diminutive white player gains a cult following, the appreciation of a manager and minimal impact on offense? Easy -- compare him to David Eckstein, which Rays skipper Joe Maddon did to Sam Fuld. (St. Petersburg Times)
GOODBYE: Tyler Colvin was optioned to Triple-A to get more at-bats, as he's been buried behind the hot play of the outfielders. But GM Jim Hendry wasn't forgiving in his evaluation of Colvin. "He had a really good year for us and since the first days of spring training he never played up to that level. We're in the production business. It wasn't that he wasn't given enough at-bats. He didn't earn enough at-bats. The other guys here outplayed him, too." (Chicago Tribune)
A STEP FORWARD: Danny Espinosa has been slumping lately and especially hideous from the left side. So naturally, when the Pirates brought in a right-handed reliever to flip Espinosa, a switch-hitter, to the left side of the plate, he cracked a two-run homer to send the Nats to victory. (MASN Sports)
It's all injuries, all the time today at Pepper...
TUESDAY TEST: Chipper Jones will test his injured right knee Tuesday after receiving two cortisone injections. If all goes well, he could be back in the lineup Tuesday night. But if his torn meniscus doesn't respond, he may need arthroscopic surgery, which will force him to miss two to three weeks of action. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
SORIANO OUT: Rafael Soriano will likely be put on the disabled list if the latest report is any indication. Soriano told reporters that he will probably miss another week or two unless his examination Tuesday goes splendidly. He hasn't pitched in the last seven games and threw his team under the bus (again) by saying he didn't think he would have affected the outcome of these games and the poor offense is responsible for the futility. (New York Times)
GUTIERREZ EN ROUTE: Franklin Gutierrez has been sidelined all year with a mysterious stomach ailment, but is progressing so well he could debut this week. He DHed at Triple-A Monday and will play a full nine in the field on Tuesday before going to Seattle for a status report. (Seattle Times)
BROXTON TOSSES: For the first time since hitting the disabled list, Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton played a game of catch. Exciting, right? There is no timetable yet on Broxton, nor any (public, at least) word on the next step. (MLB.com)
NISHIOKA TURNS CORNER: The Twins can't wait to have Tsuyoshi Nishioka back and received good news to that effect as "he's starting to turn the corner," trainer Dave Preumer says. He underwent sprinting drills Monday. (MLB.com via Twitter)
TILLMAN INJURED: Despite only having two pitches to work with, Chris Tillman was handcuffing the Red Sox through five innings and 88 pitches. He left the game and saw his bullpen cough up the game. Why? Now we know it's because he left the game with back tightness that flared up during the fifth. It was the second injury removal of the game, as Derrek Lee left the game in the third with a strained oblique. (MASN Sports)
DAVIES TOO: Vin Mazzaro gave up 14 runs against the Indians and is the story nationwide, but that never would have happened if not for Kyle Davies. Davies left Monday's game after just 21 pitches with shoulder soreness. He underwent a MRI, and the team is currently waiting for the results. If Davies hits the DL, Mazzaro may have been a candidate to replace Davies in the rotation... but then that whole 14-run thing... (Kansas City Star)
Rangers ON COMEBACK TRAIL: Good news for the Rangers, as two-thirds of their expected starting outfield could be back in the fold before long. Josh Hamilton is expected to head on on a rehab assignment as early as Wednesday and should be back with the big-league club at some point in their six-game homestand that begins May 23. Meanwhile, Nelson Cruz doubled in his rehab start Monday and could rejoin Texas on Friday. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
TEAHEN UP IN AIR: Mark Teahen, sidelined by a strained oblique, will be evaluated on Tuesday before a decision is made on whether to DL him. It's too early to guess which direction this goes in, but if Teahen is on the DL, it will constrain third base candidates to Brent Morel and Omar Vizquel. Dayan Viciedo will receive the call from Triple-A if needed. (Chicago Sun-Times)
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Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Armando Galarraga, Braves, Brent Morel, Chipper Jones, Chris Tillman, Cubs, Danny Espinosa, David Eckstein, Dayan Viciedo, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Franklin Gutierrez, Jonathan Broxton, Josh Hamilton, Mariners, Mark Teahen, MLB Rumors, Nationals, Nelson Cruz, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Omar Vizquel, Orioles, Rafael Soriano, Rangers, Rays, Royals, Sam Fuld, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Twins, Tyler Colbin, Vin Mazzaro, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: May 7, 2011 3:24 pm
By Evan Brunell
"[Teahen has] been great [with the glove]," Guillen said to the Chicago Sun-Times. "That’s why he keeps playing. That’s why he continues in the lineup and that’s why I’m going to use him a little bit more. He’s playing very well at third base."
Teahen (pictured), who doesn't quite boast a great bat but offers one good enough plus defensive versatility, has proved capable of manning the hot corner after losing the job to rookie Brent Morel. While Morel hasn't lost the gig, his .187/.197/.240 line in 77 plate appearances is enough to open up more playing time for the ex-Royal even though Teahen isn't exactly raking himself with a .234/.333/.340 line in 54 PA.
"I have a lot of confidence in this kid," Guillen said of Morel. "He’s not hitting, well we only have two guys hitting and everybody else is struggling."
Even though Morel is Chicago's long-term answer at third base, the situation in Chicago is getting dire enough that a move may have to be made if Morel doesn't snap out of it soon. Yes, Guillen is right that no one else is hitting, but that's not an excuse to keep trotting out someone who is overmatched at the plate; Morel certainly fits that bill thus far.
Posted on: March 22, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: March 22, 2011 1:29 pm
By Evan Brunell
The Phillies may be prepared to go after Michael Young (pictured) hard with the looming possibility that Chase Utley could miss the entire season with patellar tendinitis, which also threatens his career.
The report out of the New York Daily News makes note that the Phillies' payroll is virtually maxed out as it has cracked the $160 million barrier. However, Texas is reportedly open to eating half of Young's deal, which will pay him $48 million over the next three seasons. In addition, the Rangers could accept Joe Blanton back from the Phillies -- on the ledger for $17 million over the next two years. However, it is difficult to fathom the Rangers being willing to chew up $28 million in Young's salary over the next three years, plus add Blanton's deal on top. In addition, Texas is seeking a strong prospect in return for Young, and the Phillies may not be willing to offer up yet another prospect in a farm system that has been razed by the Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay trades.
Even if Utley is able to return to the roster this season, the club could just make Young a roving backup infielder. However, he could easily continue to start if Jimmy Rollins or Placido Polanco struggle. In addition, the two are free agents after the year, which would open up a starting spot for Young.
It's obvious, despite the team's denials to the contrary, that Philadelphia is extremely concerned about the state of Utley's knee and are rushing to contingency plans. Luis Castillo was signed to a contract Monday after being released from the Mets, but he is only a temporary stopgap unless he suddenly returns to the .300-average days of old, and even then he provides limited value.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, there just aren't any cheap, good options to supplant Utley at second base. The team may actually have better luck shifting Polanco to second, his primary position, and chasing a third baseman to fill the gap. The White Sox are known to have made Mark Teahen available, and he would be a nice fit in Philadelphia if the dollars make sense. Teahen could play third and is even capable of playing right field, another position in flux for the squad.
That's pure conjecture, but as heavy expectations are heaped upon the Phillies, the front office has to find a way to withstand the loss of Utley and ex-right fielder Jayson Werth on offense. After all, for all the good pitching a team can have, you can't win without scoring runs.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: January 22, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 10:59 pm
Chief among them was the announcement that Ozzie Guillen's 2012 club option was being picked up, tying the skipper to the team for two more seasons.
However, there was plenty more. For one, Guillen announced that the only starting job up for grabs is third base according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. All other positions are settled, but third is down to Mark Teahen and Brent Morel, with Morel in the lead for the gig.
"Morel (pictured) is gifted defensively, but the 23-year-old still has some work to do with the bat. In 70 plate appearances for the White Sox, he hit .231/.271/.415, but that came on the back of a .322/.359/.480 line in 527 PA split between Double- and Triple-A.
[Morel] can probably play four days a week, and you can still get the benefit of having his defense out there and growth offensively," GM Kenny Williams told Gonzales.
With Teahen and Morel handling third base, that freezes out Cuban Dayan Viciedo, who bashed five home runs in 106 PA for the White Sox at just age 21. Viciedo may be ticketed for Triple-A, but is also trying to learn the outfield in the hopes of winning a bench job as the Chicago Sun-Times reveals. If he was to stick with the team, he would help back up first, third and the outfield.
However, given Teahen's versatility of playing right field and a need for a backup center fielder -- Alejandro De Aza is the internal candidate there -- it's likely Viciedo is shipped out.
-- Evan Brunell
Posted on: August 7, 2010 9:03 pm
Mark Teahen, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte, made his first start in right field Saturday, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
Teahen was the starting third baseman for the White Sox for the first two months of the season, then broke his right middle finger fielding a grounder on May 30. Since then, Omar Vizquel has played well enough that apparently he'll keep starting at third and Teahen will come back as a utility player -- a situation he's used to. Teahen has played plenty of games in the outfield and started most of the season there for the Royals two years ago.
Teahen has been tearing it up offensively on his rehab assignment, batting .533 in six games entering Saturday.
-- David Andriesen
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