Trenni Kusnierek

CSNNE’s Trenni Kusnierek opens up about her battle with depression

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Former MLB Network reporter and current CSNNE anchor Trenni Kusnierek discusses dealing with depression in a feature on MilwaukeeMag.com.

Based on her TV appearances, one would peg Kusnierek as just about the last person to deal with depression, but that’s one reason why she wanted to tell her story. She said she decided to talk about her history with the illness after Junior Seau’s suicide earlier this year.

“Just understanding a little bit of what he must have been going through, and people not understanding,” she said. “Then thinking they’ll never understand because he’s dead. If people aren’t willing to talk about it, how can we move forward?”

Kusnierek also talks about starting and stopping antidepressants. After her “amicable divorce” with MLB Network in 2010, she tried stopping them again, but said she knew within two weeks it was  the wrong decision. “Maybe I’m just a person who needs to be on medication for the rest of my life,” she said.

After a couple of years back at home in Milwaukee, Kusnierek just relocated to Boston to start a job with CSNNE this month. “I feel infinitely different about this move. I’m mature enough this time to leave,” she said. “I even talked to my therapist about it. She said, ‘You had to go through all of that.’ Sometimes, you have to go through really sh**ty stuff to get to a better place.”

You can read the full piece here.

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.