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Spring training notebook: San Diego Padres’ Blake Snell set for next shot at Los Angeles Dodgers

Oct 27, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) is taken out of the game during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgersduring game six of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Snell, the San Diego Padres’ newest rotation fixture, is eager for his first shot at facing the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers while wearing a San Diego uniform.

The 28-year-old left-hander’s last start in 2020 came in World Series Game 6 against the Dodgers last fall. He had allowed two hits and was leading 1-0 when manager Kevin Cash replaced him. The Dodgers went on to score twice in that inning and win 3-1 to clinch the title.

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San Diego Padres Blake Snell talks facing Los Angeles Dodgers

Blake Snell Houston Astros
Jun 19, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) reacts after a play during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Snell, who was traded to the Padres in December in exchange for four players, reported to work with his new club Wednesday as spring training began in Peoria, Ariz.

“I can’t wait to play the Dodgers,” Snell said. “They’re talented beyond belief. We’re talented beyond belief. … It’s going to be a lot of fun. Every game.”

Read More: MLB world reacts to Fernando Tatis signing 14-year, $340 million extension with the San Diego Padres

St. Louis Cardinals optimistic after Nolan Arenado trade

Cardinals Nolan Arenado
Sep 24, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

–The St. Louis Cardinals eked into the expanded playoff field as a wild-card team last year, but optimism abounded as they opened camp in Jupiter, Fla., due in part to new arrival Nolan Arenado.

The eight-time Gold Glove winner and four-time Silver Slugger winner was acquired in a trade with the Colorado Rockies on Feb. 1.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Cardinals, check out #STLCards rumors, rankings, and news here.

Manager Mike Shildt said, “I understand St. Louis is a lot of warm and fuzzy even in a cold temperature right now for a lot of reasons, including Nolan. … He’s a pillar to what we’re doing as far as being strong on both sides of the baseball. And he also is a high-character guy that is super dedicated about winning and loves the game of baseball. He’s going to fit right in.”

Cincinnati Reds shortstop battle

–The Cincinnati Reds opened spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., without a clear choice of who will play shortstop this season.

The candidates for the position include Jose Garcia, Kyle Holder, Kyle Farmer, Dee Strange-Gordon and Alex Blandino.

“I feel great about the options we have,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I’m not ready today to name a starting shortstop by any means, but at the same time, we know who we have. We’re familiar with our personnel and the options that we have at that position, and we feel great about that.”

Related: If you’re a fan of the Reds, check out #Reds rumors, rankings, and news here.

Oakland Athletics players sidelined

Oct 8, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning during game four of the 2020 ALDS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning during game four of the 2020 ALDS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

–Right-hander Frankie Montas and catcher Sean Murphy were absent due to medical situations when the Oakland Athletics’ pitchers and catchers reported to spring training in Mesa, Ariz.

Montas tested positive for COVID-19, according to manager Bob Melvin, while Murphy recently underwent surgery for a collapsed lung.

Montas is at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and battling the virus, according to Melvin.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Athletics, check out #RootedInOakland rumors, rankings, and news here.

San Diego Padres add to talented roster

–The Padres signed veteran reliever Mark Melancon, MLB Network reported. Melancon, a three-time All-Star who turns 36 in March, will receive a $2 million salary in 2021 and has a $1 million buyout option for 2022, per the report.

The right-hander was 2-1 with 11 saves and a 2.78 ERA in 23 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2020.

Miami Marlins add Adam Duvall

Sep 19, 2020; New York City, New York, USA;  Atlanta Braves right fielder Adam Duvall (23) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Adam Duvall (23) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

–The Miami Marlins signed free agent outfielder Adam Duvall to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2022. Contract terms were not announced, but reports indicated the deal is worth at least $5 million guaranteed.

The 32-year-old hit .237 with 16 home runs, 33 RBIs and a .532 slugging percentage last season with the Atlanta Braves.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Marlins, check out #JuntosMiami rumors, rankings, and news here.

San Francisco Giants add pitcher to the mix

–The San Francisco Giants reportedly reached an agreement with free agent right-hander Aaron Sanchez on a $4 million contract.

Sanchez, 28, did not play last season while recovering from a shoulder injury but reportedly threw 98 mph during a bullpen session last week.

Philadelphia Phillies sign infielder

–The Philadelphia Phillies signed infielder Brad Miller to a one-year contract. MLB Network reported that Miller will earn $3.5 million.

Miller, 31, spent part of the 2019 season with the Phillies before playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020, when he hit .232 with seven homers and 25 RBIs in 48 games last season.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Phillies, check out #RingTheBell rumors, rankings, and news here.

Some troubling Minnesota Twins news

–Minnesota Twins bench coach Mike Bell is on indefinite leave after recently undergoing surgery due to a kidney cancer diagnosis.

Bell, 46, experienced symptoms in mid-July and underwent a procedure on Jan. 28 to remove the growth and surrounding tissue. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said that doctors feel Bell will fully recover.

Cody Allen retires

Aug 8, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 8, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

–Former Cleveland Indians closer Cody Allen retired, the team announced. Allen, 32, is the franchise’s all-time leader with 149 saves. He pitched for the Indians from 2012-18. In 2020, he was signed and later released by the Texas Rangers.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Indians, check out #OurTribe rumors, rankings, and news here.

Miami Marlins add reliever

–The Miami Marlins acquired right-handed reliever John Curtiss from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league infielder Evan Edwards.

Reds legend to the booth

–Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin is joining the Cincinnati Reds’ television broadcast booth. Veteran play-by-play man Thom Brennaman resigned in September from FOX Sports Ohio, a little more than one month after he used a homophobic slur on the air.

–Field Level Media