Players come to Haiti's aid after disaster
Tejada, Ortiz among those supporting neighbor
Miguel Tejada sent a van full of food, water and medicine from the Dominican Republic to Port-au-Prince on Sunday, then helicoptered into the Haitian capital to help earthquake victims.
The six-time All-Star told the The Associated Press that what happened in Haiti is unbelievable, and he will do anything he can to help.
Meanwhile, David Ortiz called for baseball fans all over to donate and announced that he will be providing food and medical supplies.
"I am saddened for my Haitian neighbors who have suffered through this natural disaster. Millions have lost family members, their homes and the little they had," Ortiz told the Boston Globe. "I encourage fans, not only from Boston but from all over the world, to donate to this cause as I have and help the victims of this terrible tragedy."
An estimated 100,000 or more people have died in Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 quake. Millions have been left homeless and without food, water, medicine and other supplies.
"We should come together to support those who have endured this devastation and remember to never take our lives and good health for granted," Ortiz said.
Soto dropping weight: Geovany Soto has shed nearly 40 pounds this winter.
"It's weird -- I feel like a 12-year-old," Soto told the Chicago Tribune. "I have a lot of energy. I'm kind of wired all day. I have a little one now, and it has helped me at home. I give Mama some rest. I'm active the whole day. I used to be a little sluggish -- like 'I want to take a nap.' Now I feel great, and I just want to put myself in the best position to help the club.
"If I'm agile back there, that will give me the best opportunity to not get hurt. I just want to be there for my teammates."
Penny excited to pitch in St. Louis: Brad Penny is anxious to pitch in St. Louis.
"I've always wanted to play here; it was my favorite team growing up," Penny told the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. "My dad was always a Dodgers fan, but I was a Cardinals fan. Ozzie Smith was my favorite player. I'm excited.
"When we've played against them, I've always made it a point to come say hello [to manager Tony La Russa] because I knew this was definitely a place I wanted to play. I've talked to him more than probably any other manager I've played against. He's a great manager, a competitor."
Wells shooting for better numbers in 2010: Randy Wells won 12 games in 2009 while posting a 3.05 ERA and wants to improve those numbers in 2010.
"I don't have the mentality where I'm happy with last year," Wells told the Chicago Tribune. "I'm ticked I didn't win 17 games. I'm going to try to be better than last year. I have a grip on this shooting star I'm riding, and I'm not letting go.
"I can't guarantee what kind of numbers I have. Maybe somebody figures me out, but I'm going to give it everything I have every pitch."
Redmond lands in Cleveland: Veteran catcher Mike Redmond will move to the Indians this season.
"Everybody really raves about him," assistant general manager Chris Antonetti told MLB.com. "He has an exceptionally high baseball IQ. He's a great teammate and an intense competitor but, at the same time, keeps things loose. He's universally respected, from front-office people, coaches and teammates."
Byrnes interested in playing for Giants: One team that interests 10-year veteran Eric Byrnes is San Francisco. Byrnes grew up a Giants fan and makes his home in the Bay Area.
"It's not a real secret [that] I'd definitely be interested," Byrnes told the San Francisco Chronicle. "The Giants, of course, that's the best fit geographically."
"I'm not in a position to say I'm an everyday player. The most important thing for me at this point in my career is to help a team win, wherever that is," Byrnes said.
Masset settling into role with Reds: Nick Masset, who recently agreed to a two-year extension with the Reds, says he enjoys the security of not only a multi-year deal but knowing exactly what role he will fill.
"In my first couple of years in the big leagues, I didn't know what I was destined to do," Masset told MLB.com. "I was tossed around as a long reliever or a starter. I never had an exact spot. Once I got here, I became a seventh-inning guy and then got into a setup role. That's where I found I'm at home. And now I feel like I have another family in Cincinnati. I'm excited about our team as a whole."
Johnson returns from Japan, rejoins Rays: Dan Johnson is returning from Japan to rejoin the Rays this season.
Johnson appeared in 10 games for the Rays late in the season in 2008. His pinch-hit home run against Boston that season remains the highlight of his career.
Johnson played for the Yokohama BayStars last season, hitting .215 with 24 home runs and 57 RBIs. He is expected to provide the Rays a left-handed power bat off the bench and be able to play both third base and first base.
"I'll fit in wherever they need me," he told the Tampa Tribune. "I had a lot of good times in Tampa Bay. It was a good part of the year to be there."
Barmes among trio signed by Rockies: The Colorado Rockies reached agreements with Jorge De La Rosa, Taylor Buchholz and Clint Barmes on one-year deals.
De La Rosa went 16-9 with a 4.38 ERA last year and led the NL in wins after June 1 while Barmes set career highs in both home runs (23) and RBIs (76) last season. Buchholz missed all of last season due to elbow surgery but was one of the team's top relievers in 2008.
"I'm happy with this deal, and I'm looking forward to proving myself again this season," Barmes told the Denver Post. "We have a really good team, and I obviously would love to spend the rest of my career here, if it could work out that way."
Keppinger, Sampson sign for one year with Astros: The Astros agreed to one-year contracts with Jeff Keppinger and Chris Sampson, avoiding salary arbitration with both players.
Keppinger hit .256 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs last season while Sampson, whose season was cut short by discomfort in his right shoulder, was 4-2 with three saves and a 5.02 ERA in 49 appearances. Sampson was 4-0 with a 2.09 ERA and three saves through his first 36 appearances.
"We're pleased to get these two guys done, and we hope to continue to make progress on the others," Astros general manager Ed Wade told MLB.com.
Trade of friends sends Kouzmanoff to A's: The A's have traded Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham to the Padres for Kevin Kouzmanoff and Minor League infielder Eric Sogard.
Kouzmanoff was traded for one of his best friends, Hairston.
"It was kind of strange," Kouzmanoff told the San Francisco Chronicle. "When I heard 'Oakland,' I was excited to get to play ball again with one of my friends, but when I talked to Scott, he said, 'You know who you got traded for? It was me.' I was like, 'Oh, OK.' He just came from San Diego; I didn't know he'd be going back there."
Carpenter enjoying a relaxing offseason: Chris Carpenter, who was 17-4 with a 2.24 ERA in 2009, likes that he isn't involved in injury rehab this offseason.
"It's actually been a lot of fun, enjoying my family a lot and not having to worry about rehab and stuff," Carpenter told the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. "It's been a real nice winter. I have enjoyed it a lot. I'm looking forward to a few weeks from now, getting down to Florida. Everything has been going good. I feel good. I feel like I am as strong as I have ever been and as conditioned as I have ever been. My shoulder felt good; my elbow felt good when I started throwing a couple weeks ago. I am looking forward to it."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.