It doesn't matter to Ty Wigginton what position he plays as long as he gets to play.
"I've never cared where I have played on a baseball field," Wigginton told the Baltimore Sun. "I enjoy wherever I am playing. Any position is fine with me. I want to put on my cleats and compete."
Wigginton does have some idea of what he'd like to accomplish in 2009.
"I'm not the kind of guy that sets goals on the season, to hit .300 or have 20 home runs," he said. "My goal is to step on the field and respect the game of baseball, and all those numbers will take care of themselves."
Murphy gets plaudits from Ryan: David Murphy has an important fan in his corner in team president Nolan Ryan. The Hall of Fame pitcher likes what Murphy adds to the Texas lineup.
"David Murphy you've got to keep on your ballclub and you have to get him in the lineup every chance you get," Ryan told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "If you watch him, and he has four at-bats in a night, in three of the four he'll be 3-2 [in the count].
"He has an unbelievable eye, works the strike zone, fouls pitches off, makes pitchers throw a lot of pitches. He can do a lot of things."
Boyer drops 15 pounds with Smoltz as workout partner: Blaine Boyer spent the offseason working out with former teammate John Smoltz in an effort to reshape his body and maintain his strength through the second half.
Boyer lost 15 pounds and gained strength in both his legs and chest.
"Lots and lots and lots of reps," Boyer, who worked out with Smoltz at an L.A. Fitness in Alpharetta, Ga., told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'd see people going, 'I think that's Blaine Boyer,'" he said, "and then they'd see Smoltz and go, 'I know that's John Smoltz.'"
Braun eyes starting spot in Classic: When the United States takes the field for its first game in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, Ryan Braun expects to be in the starting lineup.
"They [USA officials] told me they expected me to be the starting left fielder, and I have the same expectation," Braun told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Maine signs, itching to go for Mets: John Maine and the Mets avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract, Newsday reported. Maine was 10-8 with a 4.18 ERA last year in 25 starts, but his season came to an end in August due to a rotator cuff injury. He had surgery on Sept. 30 and is expected to be ready when Spring Training begins in a couple of weeks.
"I feel great and ready to go," Maine said in a statement released by the team. "I have been throwing bullpen sessions for a month now, and things couldn't be going better. I can't wait to get to Spring Training."
Greene strives for improvement at the plate: Khalil Greene is confident that, given the right opportunity, he can be a factor at the plate in his first season with the Cardinals.
"I do have the ability, I feel, to drive in runs and to hit doubles and home runs and do damage," Greene recently told MLB.com. "When I look at my own game as an offensive player, that's where I see it. At the same time, I feel that I need to continue to get better and to be able to get on base more, walk more, hit the ball the other way more and do all of those types of things to be more of a complete hitter."
DeRosa to switch to third base: Mark DeRosa has played very little third base in the Major Leagues, but he'll likely be at the hot corner for the 2009 Indians.
"With his athleticism, with his body and remembering what he's done there, we feel he can be better at third than second," Cleveland general manager Mark Shapiro told MLB.com. "In talking to him, it's no doubt. He has to work hard and grind to play second base. At third, he feels it's easy and natural for him."
Given the choice, DeRosa would like to play third base.
"If you're asking me to be honest, I'm a better left-hand side of the infield guy than right-hand side," he said. "Turning the double play, I worked very hard on it to get it done, and I felt I became pretty good at it. But if I'm able to hit for power, I'd like to be on the left side. But you have to hit, because there are some pretty impressive guys on that side of the field."
Laffey develops core with eye on staying healthy: After having his 2008 season end early with an elbow injury, Aaron Laffey has been working out at Progressive Field since November and is ready to get the season underway.
"In talking to Cliff [Lee] last year, I asked him what were some of the things he did from a physical standpoint, and he said he emphasized his core muscles," Laffey told MLB.com. "He had had the oblique injury [in 2007], and he didn't want that to happen again. So he emphasized his core, and he threw harder on a more consistent basis. He was sitting at a higher velocity. A lot of that comes from the strength of your core and the strength of your legs."
Bonderman's rehab takes him to the mound: For the first time in eight months following his 2008 shoulder surgery, Jeremy Bonderman threw off the mound earlier this week.
"It felt so good to get away from the regular rehab stuff and just throw," Bonderman told the Detroit News. "I don't know what's next -- whatever they want. I guess I'll throw again later in the week. I don't really know about any schedule; I just know I'm throwing again."
Larish could snag spot on Opening Day roster: The Tigers are high on prospect Jeff Larish, a 25-year-old left-handed hitter with power who wasn't overwhelmed in 102 MLB at-bats last season.
"I never thought there was a chance to be up in the big leagues last year with the group of guys that they had," Larish told MLB.com during TigerFest. "But in my very brief time, I've learned that you never know what's going to happen. I try not to think about that stuff too much and just go about my business and control what I can control. That's great to be considered in that. It's an honor. But whether that happens, I guess that's up to me."
Junior has sights set on Seattle: MLB Network personality Harold Reynolds, a teammate of Ken Griffey Jr.'s when both played for Seattle, thinks the Mariners offer the right fit for the future Hall of Famer.
"I know he'd love to be back there," Reynolds told the Seattle Times. "I don't know what they're waiting for. He's personally told me he'd love to be in Seattle."
Wuertz lands with A's after trade: The A's bolstered their bullpen by sending two Minor League players to the Cubs for Michael Wuertz. Last year, Wuertz split time between the Majors and Minors, going 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA for Chicago.
"We were surprised he was sent down," A's assistant general manager David Forst told MLB.com. "But one of our scouts saw him in Triple-A, and he was still throwing up to 94 [mph] with a good slider."
Guardado to return to Rangers: Eddie Guardado has signed a non-roster contract with the Texas Rangers, the team he pitched for most of last season, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Guardado was 3-3 with four saves with the Rangers before being traded to Minnesota in August.
"I enjoyed it there last year," Guardado said of his time in Texas. "I think we had a good chemistry. You build things off chemistry in the clubhouse, and hopefully these guys remember that and we start off with a bang."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.