Author: D.J. Short

Alejandro De Aza AP

Orioles defeat Alejandro De Aza in arbitration hearing


Alejandro De Aza will make a $5 million salary in 2015 after the Orioles defeated the outfielder in an arbitration hearing, reports Rich Dubroff of

De Aza, who was arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter, filed at $5.65 million when figures were exchanged last month. The two sides went to a hearing despite the minor gap between them and the arbitration panel ultimately ruled in favor of the team.

De Aza turns 31 in April and batted .293/.341/.537 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 20 games after coming over from the White Sox last August. He figures to see at least part-time duty in Baltimore’s outfield this season.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels defends Jurickson Profar against criticism over injury

Jurickson Profar AP

We learned earlier this week that Rangers infielder and former No. 1 prospect Jurickson Profar is set to undergo shoulder surgery, which puts him at risk for missing a second straight season. Profar opted for rehab over surgery last September, which ultimately proved unsuccessful. He has faced some criticism in recent days for how the situation played out, but Rangers general manager Jon Daniels defended his young infielder to Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

“He did a tremendous job, saw a lot of results. And he’s hurt,” Daniels said. “In a lot of ways this was the tougher call to make. He put the work in and it hasn’t worked out. Fortunately, he’s still 22 and we will get him back, we will get him out there, it’s just going to take longer than any of us want.”

Daniels said he understands why Profar preferred to try rehabbing without surgery. Profar was hoping to make it back for the 2015 season and was in good spirits and feeling good throughout his recovery process this winter.

“I think that’s part of it. I also think any time you can avoid surgery it’s probably a good idea,” Daniels said. “That was somewhat his mentality. He felt he had a chance to avoid it and have a better chance to contribute this year.”

Profar likely would have been on track to contribute in 2015 if he just gone under the knife last September, so you can understand the frustration on the part of the fanbase, but surgery is always the last option and it’s his decision to make. He took a chance and it didn’t work out. As angry as some fans might be, you can only imagine how Profar feels. It’s unfortunate, as he’s now missing some crucial development time, but he’s young enough where redemption is still possible.

Nationals pick up 2016 option on manager Matt Williams

Matt Williams

The Nationals announced this morning that they have exercised their 2016 club option on manager Matt Williams.

As a rookie skipper last year, Williams led the Nationals to a 96 wins and a first-place finish. It earned him National League Manager of the Year honors. His in-game strategy played a part in the Nationals’ early exit from the playoffs, but he didn’t deserve to go into 2015 with questions about his status and it was pretty much a no-brainer that the option would be picked up.

Here’s part of the announcement from the team:

“We are happy to pick up Matt’s option for the 2016 season,” said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. “It shows the great confidence we have in Matt to continue to lead this team on the field.

“During his rookie season, he helped us navigate through injuries and led us to our second NL East Division title in three years. His leadership has earned him the respect of our players, coaches and his colleagues around the league.”

The Nationals also hold a club option on Williams for 2017.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has two stents inserted after experiencing heart discomfort

bochy getty

Alex Pavlovic of brings the following breaking news regarding Giants manager Bruce Bochy:

Pavlovic was told by a team official that Bochy is unlikely to be at the ballpark tomorrow, but the belief is that he should be fine. Bochy is set to turn 60 in April.

Baseball America names Kris Bryant as baseball’s top prospect

Kris Bryant AP

Baseball America unveiled their annual top 100 prospects list this evening and the top spot went to Cubs prospect third baseman Kris Bryant.

Bryant earned top honors after batting .325 with a 1.098 OPS while leading the minors with 43 homers in 138 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season at the age of 22. Twins prospect outfielder Byron Buxton was No. 1 on last year’s list, but he dropped one spot to No. 2 after an injury-plagued season. Addison Russell of the Cubs, Carlos Correa of the Astros, and Corey Seager of the Dodgers rounded out the top five.

The Red Sox and Mets tied for the most representatives in the Top 100, with seven each. You can see the full list here.