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Phillies' Maikel Franco: Focused on conditioning this offseason
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Franco said he spent the offseason focusing on his conditioning, Ryan Lawrence of the Philly Voice reports. "I've lost five to seven pounds right now," Franco said. "I feel better. I feel great. My body is in good shape right now."

Every year before spring training there are stories of athletes claiming they are in the best shape of their lives. Improved conditioning does not necessarily equate to improved performance on the field, but it is good to see Franco, who is entering his third season, focused on making improvements to try to become a better player. He had a solid first half last season, hitting .269 with 18 homers, but he slumped after the All-Star break and finished with an OPS more than 100 points lower than in 2015. The Phillies have added some additional offensive firepower this offseason in Michael Saunders and Howie Kendrick, which will help take some pressure off Franco. He has the talent to reach 30 homers this season if he puts everything together.

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Phillies' Tommy Joseph: Fully recovered from wrist injury
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Joseph is fully recovered from the wrist tendinitis that forced him to cut his stint in the Dominican winter league short this offseason, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports.

Joseph remains on track to open this season as the Phillies' regular first baseman. He said his goal this season is to improve his on-base percentage after he posted a .308 OBP in 2016 while splitting time at first base with Ryan Howard. Joseph already showed some signs of improvement last season. He walked at a 3.7 percent clip in the first half, but improved that to 8.6 percent while also cutting his strikeout rate from 24.7 percent to 18.9 percent after the All-Star break. He has 30-plus homer upside this season with everyday playing time.

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Phillies' Michael Saunders: Finalizes deal with Phillies
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

The Phillies officially announced the signing of Saunders to a one-year deal with a club option for 2018 on Thursday, Corey Seidman of CSN Philadelphia reports.

Saunders will earn $9 million this season and the club option for 2018 is worth $11 million, with escalators that could push the total value to $14 million. He will start in right field for the Phillies this season, and could be trade bait over the summer if the team is not in playoff contention. Severino Gonzalez was designated for assignment to make room for Saunders on the Phillies' roster.

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Phillies' Severino Gonzalez: Booted from 40-man roster
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Gonzalez was designated for assignment Thursday.

Gonzalez spent a considerable amount of time with the major league club last season, although his 5.60 ERA and 1.0 HR/9 go to show he wasn't up for the task. This led the Phillies to DFA him when they needed a spot on the 40-man roster for Michael Saunders, which will likely relegate the young reliever to an organizational depth role for the time being.

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Phillies' Jeanmar Gomez: Will get chance to earn closing role
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Manager Pete Mackanin said Gomez will get a chance to earn his closing job back this spring, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports. "I'm going to give Gomez every opportunity to show that he's the guy that pitched the first five months and not the guy that pitched in September," Mackanin said.

Gomez racked up 37 saves last season before faltering in September and losing his job. Joaquin Benoit, Hector Neris and Edubray Ramos will also be in the mix for closing duties this spring.

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2016 Team Leaders
AVGCesar Hernandez , 2B.294
HRMaikel Franco , 3B25
RBIMaikel Franco , 3B88
OBPCesar Hernandez , 2B.371
SLGMaikel Franco , 3B.427
ROdubel Herrera , CF87
SBOdubel Herrera , CF25
WJeremy Hellickson , SP12
ERAJerad Eickhoff , SP3.65
WHIPJeremy Hellickson , SP1.15
KJerad Eickhoff , SP167
SVJeanmar Gomez , RP37

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