All you need to know: MLB rumors and news roundup for March 4

The M’s received good news regarding Taijuan Walker and his injured shoulder. (USATSI)
The M’s received good news regarding Taijuan Walker and his injured shoulder. (USATSI)

MORE: Spring Training | FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

On the MLB hot stove front, here's all that's worth knowing for Tuesday, March 4 ...


- Our man in the chopper reports that Justin Masterson may be willing to accept a contract extension from the Cleveland Indians that spans fewer years than you might think -- perhaps as few as three. Such a stance increases the Tribe's chances of getting him locked up. 


- Chicago Cubs : Have hired retired lefty Ted Lilly as a special assistant to the president and GM.

- Washington Nationals : Signed LHP Mike Gonzalez to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.  

- Baltimore Orioles : Signed free agent LHP Johan Santana to a minor-league contract.

- Texas Rangers : Have signed LHP Joe Saunders to a major-league contract


- Kansas City Royals : RHP James Shields says he has no interest in talking contract extension after the season begins. He's eligible for free agency next winter. 


- Los Angeles Dodgers : Pitching prospect Ross Stripling will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entirety of the 2014 season. Baseball America recently named Stripling as the no. 10 prospect in the Dodgers' system. (Ken Gurnick via Twitter)

- Seattle Mariners : RHP Taijuan Walker (shoulder inflammation) is expected to resume throwing on Thursday of this week. The M's are hoping that the highly touted Walker, age 21, will be a core member of the rotation in this, his rookie season. He won't be ready for opening day, but, barring addition setbacks, he should be ready to contribute soon thereafter. (Bob Dutton, Tacoma News Tribune)

- Philadelphia Phillies : LHP Cole Hamels (shoulder tendinitis) should see Grapefruit League action next week, and if all goes well he could be ready to pitch by the middle of April. (Jim Salisbury, CSN Philly)

- Boston Red Sox : It's still not certain whether RHP Jake Peavy (lacerated finger on non-pitching hand) will be ready for the start of the regular season. (Ian Browne,

- Detroit Tigers : OF Andy Dirks is scheduled for surgery on his lower back and will likely miss the next three months

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