Wells said no to HGH use

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Surprise, surprise. According to Ed Eagle of MLB.com,
during an injury-riddled 2001 season, David Wells said that White Sox
teammate Jose Canseco advised him to use human growth hormone. Wells,
who was 38 at the time, passed on the advice.

“I didn’t need to do that and I wasn’t going to do that. That stuff is not good for the game and it is not good for your body.”

Wells instead opted for back surgery, quit drinking and underwent an
intense offseason workout program that had him lose 30 pounds by Spring
Training in 2002. Wells enjoyed one of his best seasons with the
Yankees in 2002, going 19-7 with a 3.75 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Wells
retired in 2007 with 239 wins, tied with Hall of Famer Mordecai Brown
for 56th on the all-time list.

Appearing at Yankee Stadium last month for the 11th anniversary of his perfect game, Wells suggested that baseball should give harsher penalties or even lifetime bans to those who test postive for PEDs.

“Just ban them right out of the
get-go; I think that would be great. No 50-game suspension. Ban them
right away, that would stop it in a heartbeat — especially with the
money they are giving out today. It would be incredible if they did
that. You wouldn’t have to worry about steroids or HGH.”

As he told reporters at Yankee Stadium last month, Wells believes that
any player who tests positive or admitted to steroid use should not be
admitted to the Hall of Fame. It’s almost comical, really, but Wells
just might be the perfect leader for an anti-performance enhancing drug
movement, proof-positive that a player can have a long-lasting and
decorated career without looking like an Adonis.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.

Brandon Belt signs $6.2 million deal, avoiding arbitration with Giants

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In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.

Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.

He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.

Orioles sign ex-Padres reliever Dale Thayer

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Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.

At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.

Phillies acquire Taylor Featherston from Angels

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Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.

He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.