MLB In Full Bloom 2/19/2014

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39 – Number of days until Opening Day

There is no doubt that Derek Jeter is the star of the day as he announced his retirement early today in Tampa Bay at George Steinbrenner Field. This is a big national story and we saw a big media turnout for it. Jeter answered questions as to why he announced it now and what the final year will be like for him in 2014. Jeter's career accomplishments are nothing less than impressive. He is a 13-time All Star, 1996 AL Rookie of the Year, 5 Silver Sluggers, 5 Gold Gloves, a 5-time World Champion, and he was the 2000 World Series MVP. Jeter will certainly get a phone call to enter the Hall of Fame in 2019.

MLB News & Notes

  • Stephen Drew remains a free agent , but according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com & MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reported on Tuesday that four teams are currently "in" on Drew. The Red Sox and Mets have been linked to the infielder for weeks, but who are the other two teams. According to Bowden, the Astros, Twins, Yankees, and Blue Jays have all been in contact with Drew's agent. We should see resolution soon.
  • Justin Masterson and the Indians avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday. The two sides basically settled in the middle of their two numbers as the two sides were able to hammer out a last-minute agreement. He's entering his contract year and will certainly be one of the top pitching free agents in 2015.
  • Brandon Belt and the Giants avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday. The two sides were set for the arbitration hearing this morning and had actually already flown to Florida for it. However, the two sides came to a last-minute deal. Belt batted .289 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs in 150 games last season and fantasy owners should expect the same type of production this year.
  • Jurickson Profar (shoulder) is still experiencing discomfort and will not throw for another week. On Monday, it was reported that Profar was cleared to resume a throwing program, but he's been shut back down due to renewed discomfort. In addition, Profar will be restricted from swinging a bat for the time being. Rangers GM Jon Daniels went on to say Tuesday that Profar being ready for Opening Day is in jeopardy if there are any other setbacks.
  • Justin Verlander (abdomen) threw a 54-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. Verlander continues to be right on track in his rehab following core muscle surgery, as this was his fourth session since having the procedure. There were concerns that Verlander would not be ready for Opening Day, but that notion is fading as the 30-year old right-hander continues to make positive progress.
  • Yasmani Grandal has developed a new batting stance. Grandal, who is working his way back from ACL surgery, has replaced his leg kick with a toe tap and has lowered the starting point of his hands down to his midsection. The goal for this change was to help Grandal not put so much pressure on his knee. Grandal remains optimistic about being ready for Opening Day and hopes that the new batting stance will get his career back on track.
  • Drew Pomeranz (leg) threw his first bullpen session on Tuesday and impressed A's manager Bob Melvin with his velocity. Pomeranz has been a bit behind this spring due to issues surrounding an infection caused by an ingrown hair in his leg, but it appears his first step to getting back on track was successful. Pomeranz, who was selected fifth overall by Cleveland in the 2010 Draft, was a highly touted prospect when he was traded to Colorado for Ubaldo Jimenez in July 2011. The change of scenery could certainly help him in 2014.