"When healthy, this guy is a very productive player," Towers said. "We certainly did our due diligence and talked to people who knew him. He said this is the best shape he's been in his career. He wants to play in 150 to 160 games."
At 37, Lopez is in the best shape of his life, trying to resurrect a career that went skidding off the tracks after one good year in Baltimore.
From there Bell traveled to Arizona for the Instructional League from mid-September to mid-October.
"It was a crazy year to say the least," Bell said. "But, I've lost 10 pounds, and I'm in the best shape possible."
"I am in the best shape I can be," Nix said. "To finally get this chance is something I am excited about."
"My back is great and my knee is just fine," he said. "I'm probably in the best shape of my career."
Yes, the 21-year-old would nod with a smile. Hernandez says he's down to 218 pounds, nine less than last February, when his weight loss generated headlines across baseball.
"I didn't feel I needed the extra weight, and I'm faster," he said. "And I'm just as strong as before, too."
"I'm right at 217 now," Posada said, laughing. "I'm like a boxer, just waiting for the weigh-in day."
"Everything feels good -- no pain, no soreness," Liriano said. "Now I'm just waiting to get started."
The entire process has changed Liriano's preparation. He's now included a daily strength training regimen as part of his workouts. It's helped to strengthen the muscles in his shoulder, considered to be a factor in his elbow problems, and has helped him add close to 20 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame.
"I'm working harder," Liriano said. "Before this, I didn't work out. Now I'm doing whatever I can to keep my shoulder strong."
Sheffield said he is swinging the bat "pain-free."
"I tried running," Damon said. "I ran for three days and I gained five pounds. Go figure. That was the end of that."