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Fantasy Baseball News

Span says this is his best offseason since '14 (Friday, January 19)
Outfielder Denard Span had mixed emotions after the Giants traded him and three other players to the Rays for third baseman Evan Longoria in December. Tampa is Span's home.

Hurdle excited for 'new era of Pirates baseball' (Friday, January 19)
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle isn't going to try to tell anyone how they should react to his club trading Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole -- not even Pirates fans or players.

Texas' Perez predicts he'll be ready by Opening Day (Friday, January 19)
Rangers left-hander Martin Perez said he will be ready for Opening Day, despite breaking the radial bone in his right elbow in December.

Stewart's goal: Get to Detroit and stay there (Friday, January 19)
The stretches when Christin Stewart looks every bit the power-hitting outfield prospect the Tigers desperately need in their rebuilding plans are easy to find. It's not just about the ball jumping off his bat toward the outfield fence. It's also about the former first-round pick shrugging off pitches he can't hit, thinking along with the pitcher.

Kipnis itching to return to second base (Friday, January 19)
Jason Kipnis has not been explicitly informed that he will open the season as the second baseman for the Indians. Manager Terry Francona described that as the probable scenario on Friday, but still stopped short of committing to that plan with Opening Day still more than two months away.

Who will fill Braves' final rotation spots? (Friday, January 19)
Sean Newcomb and Luiz Gohara stand as the favorites to win the final two available spots in Atlanta's rotation. But the Braves aren't making any guarantees as they approach Spring Training looking forward to the chance to see their young starters compete for a job.

Twins steady in pursuit of top-tier starter (Friday, January 19)
Even after signing three relievers this offseason, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said the club still has room in the budget for a front-line starting pitcher and hasn't ruled out any free-agent options.

Report: Halladay autopsy results revealed (Friday, January 19)
An autopsy performed on two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay revealed evidence of morphine and Ambien in his system following his fatal plane crash on Nov. 7, according to a USA Today report released on Friday.

Indians focus on additions, not subtractions (Friday, January 19)
Coming off an early postseason exit, Cleveland had Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw, Jay Bruce and Joe Smith depart via free agency. That has many wondering whether the reigning American League Central champions have taken a step backward for 2018.

Musing on slow-moving market for Moose (Friday, January 19)
Mike Moustakas finished last season with 38 home runs, setting a Royals franchise record. He entered the offseason with expectations of an exciting winter filled with teams eagerly vying for his services. Let's break down where things stand with Moose.

Papi, Pedro eager to play role with Red Sox (Friday, January 19)
David Ortiz won't be taking any more clutch swings. Pedro Martinez won't be throwing any more devastating changeups. But they can make contributions with their voices, their minds, their experience, their charisma and the respect they carry the minute they walk into a room or a practice field.

Cardinals land 2 arms from Jays for Grichuk (Friday, January 19)
Days after publicly expressing his disappointment in the prospect of entering Spring Training as the Cardinals' fourth outfielder, Randal Grichuk is on the move. St. Louis dealt Grichuk to the Blue Jays on Friday in exchange for right-handed pitchers Dominic Leone and Conner Greene.

Padres hope Galvis solidifies SS spot in '18 (Friday, January 19)
Freddy Galvis arrived last month via trade with Philadelphia, and he's entering his final season under contract. On the surface, the former Phillie is yet another stopgap shortstop for the Padres. Dig a little deeper, however, and there are plenty of reasons to believe the Friars' seemingly-annual shortstop search has produced different results this time.

Busy Yadi returns to PR to continue relief effort (Friday, January 19)
Having already spent two weeks going door-to-door to deliver food and water to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico last October, Yadier Molina is headed back to his homeland on Friday to continue assisting with relief efforts.

MLB could implement pitch clock this season (Friday, January 19)
The stage could be set for Major League Baseball to implement a slate of rules changes aimed at targeting pace of play for the 2018 season.

Robinson in trio named to Cactus League HOF (Friday, January 19)
Frank Robinson has been named to the Cactus League Hall of Fame. He will be honored next month, along with pitcher Gaylord Perry and Brewers announcer Bob Uecker.

Johan elected to Twins Hall of Fame (Friday, January 19)
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana is the latest addition to the Twins Hall of Fame. The left-hander was elected in his first season eligible, as announced during the annual media luncheon at Target Field on Friday.

Engel working to steady barrel in Year 2 (Friday, January 19)
Adam Engel played Gold Glove-caliber defense after taking over in center field for the 2017 White Sox. His rookie numbers on offense weren't anywhere near elite, and Engel described his mechanics as "pretty inconsistent."

Inbox: Where does Guerra fit on 2018 Crew? (Friday, January 19)
Beat reporter Adam McCalvy answers fans' questions about Junior Guerra, Milwaukee's use of the waiver wire and the projected outfield in a new Brewers Inbox.

MLB Network unveils Top 10 RF, 2B (Friday, January 19)
MLB Network's countdown of baseball's best players at each position continues Saturday at 9 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET with the next two installments of the "Top 10 Right Now!" series, featuring the game's top right fielders and second basemen.

Source: Miami interested in Cuban OF Martinez (Friday, January 19)
As part of their organizational makeover, the Marlins are placing a greater emphasis and more resources into signing international players. One of their early targets is Cuban-born outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez.

Best Machado fit might be Cleveland (Friday, January 19)
The Manny Machado trade market has been relatively quiet in recent days, but a number of intriguing destinations remain -- including Cleveland, where his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, recently signed a two-year contract.

Blue Jays land Grichuk from Cards for 2 arms (Friday, January 19)
The Blue Jays acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals on Friday in exchange for right-handed pitcher Dominic Leone and righty pitching prospect Conner Greene, who was ranked as Toronto's No. 11 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Diehard Eagles fan Leiter details enlightenment (Friday, January 19)
Phillies right-hander Mark Leiter became a diehard Eagles fan the same afternoon he wore a Randy Moss jersey to an Eagles-Vikings game at Veterans Stadium in November 2001.

Curacao roots important to O's Schoop (Friday, January 19)
Jonathan Schoop never forgets his roots. Schoop, a native of Curacao, spends his offseasons there. The All-Star -- coming off a career year in which he was name Most Valuable Oriole-- still goes to the same field he grew up on to prepare for the upcoming season.

Joel booked for first show at The K since '79 (Friday, January 19)
For the first time in 39 years, Kauffman Stadium will host a concert not associated with a baseball game.

Inbox: Will Montgomery get chance to start? (Friday, January 19)
Beat reporter Carrie Muskat answers fans' questions about Mike Montgomery, Albert Almora Jr., the outfield, pitching prospects and more in the latest Cubs Inbox.

Youth of today: MLB stars younger than ever (Friday, January 19)
Allow us to present a comparison of baseball in the year 2000 to baseball in '17, and it might help shed a little light on what baseball might look like in '18.

Mets invite Tebow to big league spring camp (Friday, January 19)
The Mets announced Friday that they have invited Tim Tebow to big league Spring Training. Tebow, a former college football star, was in Minor League camp last year but played multiple Grapefruit League games with the Mets.

Fister glad to sign contract early, autographs now (Friday, January 19)
Rangers pitcher Doug Fister was at Kroger in north Arlington on Thursday signing autographs. He was not at home in Merced, Calif., waiting for the phone to ring like so many other free agents this winter. That has to be a big relief during a winter when the free-agent market has moved far slower than anybody expected.

Klentak open to adding more pitching to Phils (Friday, January 19)
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak is not feeling tempted to throw a six- or seven-year mega-deal at anybody, even as Spring Training approaches and pitchers like Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish remain on the free-agent market.

Higashioka returns to MLB Youth Academy (Friday, January 19)
When Kyle Higashioka earned his callup with the Yankees last April, he became the latest MLB Youth Academy alumnus to break through to the big leagues.

Bochy healthy, stronger heading into 2018 (Friday, January 19)
Bruce Bochy enters 2018 as Major League Baseball's winningest active manager. More important, he's starting his 12th season with the Giants in improved health.

Boston BBWAA honors Yankees GM Cashman (Friday, January 19)
Brian Cashman heard applause in enemy territory on Thursday evening, as the Yankees' general manager was honored by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), bringing home honors as the game's Executive of the Year.

McKay, McMahon pace Top 10 1B Prospects list (Friday, January 19)
It's time to move around the infield with MLB Pipeline's Top 10 by position lists, starting with first basemen. It's a position that has a certain profile associated with it, involving power and run production. Some on this list look the part already, others are more hit-over-power right now.

Free-agent slugger CarGo ever the optimist (Thursday, January 18)
Carlos Gonzalez is caught in free-agent limbo. And he's not the least bit concerned. Gonzalez is a realist. He knows he is coming off the least productive of the seven seasons in which he has played in 100 or more games. Gonzalez understands there is a logjam created by a lack of activity in the signing of the top-tier free agents.

Tomas arrested for reckless driving, speeding (Thursday, January 18)
D-backs outfielder Yasmany Tomas was arrested Thursday morning after being cited for allegedly driving 105 mph on the northbound Loop 101, according to a report by KTAR News.

Make no mistake, Manny was a genius at plate (Thursday, January 18)
What an amazing hitter Manny Ramirez was. If you needed an extra-base hit against a dominant pitcher in order to save your own soul, well, Manny might not be your first pick, but he'd be on a very short list. And heck, on the right day, he might even be your first pick.

15 prospects to watch closely in 2018 (Thursday, January 18)
At some point this season, the Washington Nationals are going to pencil center fielder Victor Robles in their lineup and leave him there. This will be an important moment for the franchise, because Robles could be one of those special players that comes once a generation or so.

Unity, study hot topics at Reds' pitching summit (Thursday, January 18)
The Reds are calling this week's workouts a "pitching summit." While the term sounds like meeting of pitchers of different disciplines seeking to make peace and levy sanctions on rogue knuckleballers, manager Bryan Price's vision is team building and unity.

Big Hot Stove move or not, Cora confident (Thursday, January 18)
While Red Sox fans remain fixated on the slower-than-usual Hot Stove in hopes that it will eventually result in a slugger like J.D. Martinez packing his bats for Fenway, new manager Alex Cora is all in on his current roster.

Rangers ink Casali to Minor League deal (Thursday, January 18)
The Rangers have signed catcher Curt Casali to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Reid Ryan shares WS trophy with hometown (Thursday, January 18)
The emotions still pour out of Astros president Reid Ryan. That's what winning a World Series championship will do. That's what returning to the small town where you grew up and sharing the Commissioner's Trophy with those who watched you grow up will do.

Source: Blue Jays sign reliever Alburquerque (Thursday, January 18)
The Blue Jays reportedly added more depth to their bullpen on Thursday by signing veteran right-hander Al Alburquerque to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training.

Simmons a sure thing at short; Cozart insurance (Thursday, January 18)
Andrelton Simmons has long been one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball, but he distinguished himself even further in 2017 by putting together his best offensive season to date.

DeShields prepared to do what it takes (Thursday, January 18)
There was a brief flurry of rumors earlier this month the Rangers might be increasing the efforts to sign free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain. It appears there was nothing to the rumors, but it is accurate to say the Rangers would be open to upgrading defensively in center. Delino DeShields has heard the rumors.

Trammell, Morris laud scouts' efforts (Thursday, January 18)
When Alan Trammell and Jack Morris are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 29, they will not only represent themselves and the organizations for which they played, but also the scouts who signed them.

Dipoto talks tough calls, projections on podcast (Thursday, January 18)
Speaking on his latest Wheelhouse Podcast released Wednesday, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said personal connections must be set aside at times to make pragmatic decisions for the betterment of the club, and he cited the example of trading reliever Emilio Pagan this winter to acquire A's first baseman Ryon Healy.

JBJ lauded for defense, seeks more SBs in '18 (Thursday, January 18)
It would have been awkward if Jackie Bradley Jr. had come to Thursday's Boston Baseball Writers Dinner to collect his award for defensive excellence as a member of another team. But rumors proved to be just rumors, and Bradley seems just about certain to stay put with the Red Sox in 2018 and beyond.

Why Chipper is a no-doubt HOF selection (Thursday, January 18)
Chipper Jones grew up and progressed through his distinguished Major League career aspiring to be like his father's childhood idol, Mickey Mantle. During his successful journey, the Braves legend earned the opportunity to forever be included within discussions that solely focus on Cooperstown's most revered immortal residents.

Gallo: Harper 'as focused as I've ever seen him' (Thursday, January 18)
Rangers infielder Joey Gallo has been working out with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper regularly for the past three or four years in their hometown of Las Vegas, Nev. They played travel ball together and grew up together along with Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant.

Report: MLBPA rejects pace of play changes (Thursday, January 18)
After recent discussions with Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association appears set to reject the most recent proposal regarding pace of play rules.

After strong rookie year, Benintendi eyes more (Thursday, January 18)
Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi turned heads at Thursday's Boston Baseball Writers Dinner with strikingly shorter hair. Benintendi also plans on making something else a lot shorter in 2018 -- his slumps.

Zimmerman: Nats must 'learn from our mistakes' (Thursday, January 18)
First baseman Ryan Zimmerman is proud of the Nationals' accomplishments, despite losing the National League Division Series in four of the past six years.

Prospects Tatis Jr., Urias among Padres' NRIs (Thursday, January 18)
Padres general manager A.J. Preller has never been one to shy away from challenging his best prospects. He made that much clear once again on Thursday, when the club announced its non-roster invites to Major League Spring Training.

Bucs, Rivero complete 4-year contract (Thursday, January 18)
Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole are gone, but Felipe Rivero should be sticking around a while. The Pirates and Rivero completed a four-year deal with club options for 2022-23, with the club announcing the signing on Thursday.

Mariners' female scout Hopkins blazing trail (Thursday, January 18)
Amanda Hopkins, the daughter of special assistant to the general manager with the Pirates and former longtime scout, has been making a name for herself as a full-time scout for the Mariners.

Source: MLBPA to reject pace of play changes (Thursday, January 18)
After recent discussions with Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association appears set to reject the most recent proposal regarding pace of play rules.

Why is Martinez's big bat still out there? (Thursday, January 18)
In a season marked by a surge in home runs, nobody other than Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge hit more of them than J.D. Martinez. Martinez was as big a difference-maker as any player acquired last summer -- so why does there seem to be such a small market for his services this offseason?

Source: Frieri gets Minors pact from Brewers (Thursday, January 18)
The Brewers added potential bullpen depth Thursday, inking veteran reliever Ernesto Frieri to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The club has not confirmed the report.

Kaat returns to Twins as special assistant (Thursday, January 18)
The Twins continue to add former greats to their front office, as Jim Kaat was hired as a special assistant to the organization on Thursday, a day after Justin Morneau joined as a special assistant to baseball operations.

Alert gives Hamels brief scare on Hawaii trip (Thursday, January 18)
Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels was expecting a nice relaxing vacation with his family in Hawaii last weekend. He wasn't expecting to deal with a ballistic missile scare.

What are possible landing spots for Harrison? (Thursday, January 18)
Lots of players have no-trade clauses. None, as far as we know, have must-trade provisions in their contracts.

Lynn drawing interest from at least 4 teams (Thursday, January 18)
There may not be a more consistent pitcher in baseball, when healthy, than Lance Lynn. So what is the market for the 30-year-old free agent, who proved to be his durable self after returning from Tommy John surgery in 2017?

Sabathia: Yanks back to status of 'hated team' (Thursday, January 18)
The Yankees enjoyed much more goodwill than normal last season thanks to their success with young talent like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino, but they aren't expecting the same in 2018.

Mets sign A-Gon to one-year deal (Thursday, January 18)
The Mets have added another veteran bat to their lineup after finalizing a one-year deal with free-agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Thursday.

Lupica: Spring Training beginning to stir (Wednesday, January 17)
The first public workouts for the Astros and Nationals are still a month away, but their shared Spring Training home looked ready enough for a game on Wednesday morning, even with the smell of paint all around and work still being done on the windows for the team store and on the observation decks.

At plate, Sheffield struck fear in foes (Wednesday, January 17)
Gary Sheffield is almost certainly not going to get elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But if there was a scary hitter Hall of Fame, the slugger would be a first-ballot selection.

Morning Lineup Podcast: What's J.D. worth? (Thursday, January 18)
Anthony Castrovince and Richard Justice discuss J.D. Martinez's market value, the latest on Eric Hosmer and whether a move for another trusted veteran could be next for the busy Giants.

Mejia leads list of Top 10 catching prospects (Wednesday, January 17)
MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 10 Catching Prospects list looks a lot like our 2017 edition. Francisco Mejia (Indians) and Carson Kelly (Cardinals) once again occupy the top two spots, though they've flip-flopped from a year ago, and the top five catchers entering 2017 repeat on this year's Top 10.

Yankees' bullpen could be best of all time (Wednesday, January 17)
The 2017 Yankees bullpen was one of the best in baseball, but they reached that level with only partial seasons from Chad Green, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle. With that trio on board from the start, how great could the 2018 version be?

Chavis gives Red Sox a big bat in pipeline (Wednesday, January 17)
For all the talk about the Red Sox trying to find another power hitter via free agency or a trade, it should be noted that another slugger could be making his way through the pipeline with a possible arrival at Fenway Park at some point in 2018.

Huntington lauds Bucs' 'good core base' (Wednesday, January 17)
Pirates management has been bombarded with questions about the past, present and future of the franchise as the club moves forward after dealing Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, their best player and best pitcher.

Burnes rising fast, eyes MLB breakthrough (Wednesday, January 17)
Pitching prospect Corbin Burnes is not expected to crack the Brewers' Opening Day roster, but he could make his MLB debut with Milwaukee sometime this year.

Padres show off MLB-largest solar power plans (Wednesday, January 17)
The Padres on Wednesday officially unveiled plans for the installation of a new solar power system at Petco Park, which will be the largest in Major League Baseball.

First workout dates announced for all 30 clubs (Wednesday, January 17)
Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced each club's official first workout dates as well as photo days for Spring Training presented by Camping World, interrupting all of this #snowday drivel with a warm blast of Cactus League and Grapefruit League anticipation.

Callaway connection 'a big deal' for Bruce (Wednesday, January 17)
Early in the offseason, long before Jay Bruce fit together the puzzle pieces of his free agency, he spoke on the phone with Mickey Callaway. Recently hired as the Mets' manager, Callaway had come to know Bruce during the outfielder's brief tenure in Cleveland late last season. He outlined to Bruce his ideas and expectations for his new role.

New job with Dodgers has Prior excited for '18 (Wednesday, January 17)
New Dodgers bullpen coach Mark Prior joined MLB Network on Wednesday to discuss the transition to his role with the World Series runners-up.

With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy (Wednesday, January 17)
Eloy Jimenez was 15 years old when he made up his mind.

Cards consider moving Carp out of top spot (Wednesday, January 17)
Without putting anything in ink for 2018, manager Mike Matheny hinted this week that the Cardinals are leaning toward a lineup configuration that does not feature Matt Carpenter up top.

Morneau retires, starts new chapter with Twins (Wednesday, January 17)
For former Twins star Justin Morneau, Wednesday marked both the end of his playing career and the beginning of a new chapter as a special assistant to baseball operations for Minnesota.

Bellinger bulks up for sophomore season (Wednesday, January 17)
Opponents will see even more of Cody Bellinger in 2018. The unanimous National League Rookie of the Year, Bellinger has added 15 pounds during the offseason with a stepped-up conditioning and nutrition program.

Mets expect Conforto to return around May 1 (Wednesday, January 17)
Although the Mets spoke briefly with Jay Bruce about playing some first base this season, it appears their need for him will be greatest in the outfield. The Mets do not expect Michael Conforto to return until around May 1, general manager Sandy Alderson said Wednesday, placing the most concrete timetable yet on the outfielder's return from left shoulder surgery.

High heat helped Kimbrel rediscover his mojo (Wednesday, January 17)
Already blessed with premium velocity, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel pointed his fastball to the top of the strike zone in 2017. The move paid off handsomely.

Worst to first? It happens more than you think (Wednesday, January 17)
Need a warm thought on a cold day? One of the great things about baseball is history almost never repeats itself. You can finish last one season and win a division title the next.

Proud of career, Yadi responds to Contreras (Wednesday, January 17)
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina appears to be taking exception to recent comments from Cubs catcher Willson Contreras about how he plans to be a better backstop than perennial All-Stars Molina and Buster Posey.

Moreno: Pujols ready to make room for Ohtani (Wednesday, January 17)
Spring Training is less than a month away, and it's safe to say that a healthy share of the baseball world will descend upon Tempe Diablo Stadium on Feb. 14 for the unveiling of Shohei Ohtani, a two-way player from Japan who is preparing for his highly anticipated Major League debut in 2018.

Cole eager to learn, contribute with Astros (Wednesday, January 17)
The reigning World Series champions introduced their newest addition Wednesday, as longtime Pirates ace Gerrit Cole donned an Astros uniform for the first time in an introductory press conference.

Ziegler says he won't ask Marlins to trade him (Wednesday, January 17)
Brad Ziegler signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Marlins last offseason, and the veteran right-hander has every intention to stick with the club until he is told otherwise.

Mayors tour Marlins Park, discuss HR sculpture (Wednesday, January 17)
The Marlins had a couple of distinguished guests tour their ballpark on Tuesday. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez each made separate visits, and according to the team, they discussed a variety of topics.

Duensing reportedly re-signs with Cubs (Wednesday, January 17)
The Cubs and left-handed reliever Brian Duensing are reuniting after the two sides agreed to a two-year deal on Wednesday, sources told MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Ranking most dominant rotations of 2000s (Wednesday, January 17)
Headed by Roy Halladay, the 2011 Phillies boasted one of the greatest starting rotations of this century.

Agent discusses Yelich's desire for trade (Tuesday, January 16)
The agent for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich reportedly said on Tuesday that his client hopes to be traded before Spring Training starts.

Dombrowski: Despite slow market, goal same (Tuesday, January 16)
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who has been running front offices for nearly 30 years, said Tuesday in an interview with MLB Network Radio that he has "never seen a market go this slow, really."

On the rise: 5 clubs set to rebound into contention (Tuesday, January 16)
At least five teams have moved themselves into contention after tough 2017 seasons. Some of them still have work to do, but we shouldn't lose sight that they've already done a lot.

Estrada reveals root of midseason slide (Tuesday, January 16)
The contrast within Marco Estrada's 2017 season was striking. Estrada maintained a 3.15 ERA through April and May - the sort of performance the Blue Jays expected from a reliable starter who earned his first All-Star selection the year before. Then Estrada's season went awry, as trade speculation swirled around the disappointing Jays.

Padres' Gore atop list of 10 best LHP prospects (Tuesday, January 16)
Sitting atop this year's LHP list is 19-year-old MacKenzie Gore, who turned in a stellar professional debut after the Padres drafted him third overall. He's one of four southpaws ages 20 or younger in a group that also features three newcomers as well as a pair of Braves big leaguers.

Inciarte's elite defense backed by Statcast data (Tuesday, January 16)
Ender Inciarte might never have Hall of Fame credentials that equal those possessed by Andruw Jones, whose resume includes 434 home runs. But courtesy of the growing list of defensive metrics supplied by Statcast™, the current Braves center fielder will at least be able to have a better feel for exactly how he stacks up against his contemporaries and future Gold Glovers.

Mets finalize 3-year deal with Bruce (Tuesday, January 16)
The Mets announced Tuesday night they signed free agent Jay Bruce to a three-year deal, which is worth $39 million, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand last week.

Batting Bryant leadoff makes sense for Cubs (Tuesday, January 16)
Cubs manager Joe Maddon carries a reputation for outside-the-box thinking, and it shows up in his lineup construction. Maddon started 11 different players in the top spot in 2017. Not included among them was Kris Bryant -- but it's possible that could change in 2018.

Hoffman, Wagner HOF valuation a challenge (Tuesday, January 16)
Though I have spent countless hours studying the Hall of Fame -- the players in it, the trends, great choices, odd choices, philosophies behind the vote -- I still have absolutely no idea what to do with relief pitchers. No idea.

Tale of the tape: Darvish vs. Arrieta (Tuesday, January 16)
Though there are a lot of free-agent starters out there, Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta represent the class of the free-agent class, and something could come to fruition soon with teams that are open to the idea of springing for a front-line-type starter.

How many future HOFers will play in 2018? (Tuesday, January 16)
How many future Hall of Famers will take the field in 2018? It's impossible to know for sure, but it's easy to take a look at the current crop of studs and make an educated guess.

Pirates announce 2018 Minor League staffs (Tuesday, January 16)
The Pirates on Tuesday announced their Minor League coaching staffs for the 2018 season, introducing a new manager at Triple-A Indianapolis while keeping their championship-winning manager in place at Double-A Altoona.

By the book: Maples seeks 'pen role with Cubs (Tuesday, January 16)
Dillon Maples was sitting at a Starbucks in Memphis on Aug. 31, reading about George Washington, when Cubs player development director Jaron Madison interrupted him. Triple-A Iowa's game against the Redbirds had been called because of the weather. An avid reader, Maples' plan was to hunker down in one of the coffee shop's comfortable chairs for the day.

White Sox announce player development staff (Tuesday, January 16)
The White Sox announced the organization's player development staff and assignments for the 2018 season under second-year director of player development Chris Getz.

Bullpen depth a source of strength for Orioles (Tuesday, January 16)
The good news is the Orioles' relief corps has been here before. Yes, it's not ideal to lose All-Star closer Zach Britton for some -- if not all -- of the first half of the 2018 season, but not many bullpens could withstand that kind of loss. The O's relievers can.

As spring nears, 2B in SD still uncertain (Tuesday, January 16)
Yangervis Solarte may be gone -- dealt to Toronto on Jan. 6 for a pair of prospects -- but his departure did little to clarify things at second base for the Padres in 2018.

Royals hire Lamont as special assistant to GM (Tuesday, January 16)
The Royals have hired former White Sox and Pirates manager Gene Lamont as a special assistant to general manager Dayton Moore.

Tigers reportedly sign Russell to Minors deal (Tuesday, January 16)
As the free-agent reliever market remains hot, fueled by interest among contending teams, the Tigers' search for undervalued bullpen arms and bounce-back candidates continues. Their latest target appears to be former Cubs left-hander James Russell, who reportedly agreed to a Minor League contract with the Tigers last week.

Castillo, Chavis among 16 spring camp NRIs (Tuesday, January 16)
The Red Sox announced 16 non-roster invitees to Spring Training on Tuesday, including outfielder Rusney Castillo, who will once again try to work his way back on the radar.

Cutch on time with Bucs: 'A lot to be thankful for' (Tuesday, January 16)
On Tuesday, Andrew McCutchen began looking forward to his next act. But first, he reflected on the first chapter of his career.

With no MLB offer, Ichiro might return to Japan (Tuesday, January 16)
The Major League Baseball career of Ichiro Suzuki may be fading to black, the video term for the end of a production or show.

White Sox prospects Moncada, Robert bonding (Tuesday, January 16)
Luis Robert's training begins once he steps into Yoan Moncada's rental car each morning. The 10-minute drive from the nearby hotel to Camelback Ranch, home of the White Sox Spring Training facility and the site of this week's hitters mini-camp, is short but helpful.

J-Hay desires trade if Bucs won't contend in '18 (Tuesday, January 16)
The Pirates traded two franchise cornerstones over the long weekend, giving up Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen for young players and prospects. If their roster "retooling" takes them out of the postseason picture, Josh Harrison doesn't want to be a part of it.

Giants to play Cutch in right field, Pence in left (Tuesday, January 16)
A day after acquiring Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates to patrol the spacious gaps at AT&T Park, the Giants revealed that they plan to play the former National League MVP in right field, moving him from the center-field position he held for most of his nine seasons in Pittsburgh. Incumbent Giants right fielder Hunter Pence will move to left field, according to manager Bruce Bochy, who added that he approached Pence in advance.

Former Rockies 3B Castilla big fan of Arenado (Tuesday, January 16)
Before visiting Denver-area schools and hospitals Tuesday as part of the Rockies Winter Caravan, Vinny Castilla sang Nolan Arenado's praises on MLB Network's Hot Stove program via FaceTime.

Cutch deal affects markets for Yelich, Realmuto (Tuesday, January 16)
Pittsburgh on Monday dealt former National League MVP outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the Giants just two days after ace Gerrit Cole was sent to the Astros. The two major moves have reshaped the market, which could potentially impact the number of clubs coveting Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich and catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Robles ready to take next step in 2018 (Tuesday, January 16)
Victor Robles is going to play every day to start the 2018 season. The Nationals have stayed firm on that about their top prospect and one of the most electric talents in all of baseball. The question is where Robles -- the No. 3 overall prospect in baseball as rated by MLB Pipeline -- will take his at-bats every day.

Source: Grandy, Toronto agree to 1-year pact (Monday, January 15)
The Blue Jays shifted their attention to the outfield Monday night by reaching an agreement with veteran Curtis Granderson on a one-year deal worth $5 million. Toronto has yet to officially announce the signing, but it was first reported by MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal and has since been confirmed by MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects for 2018 (Monday, January 15)
This year's list of the Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects starts with a two-player who is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors in the American League.

Trade shakes up market for Cain, outfielders (Tuesday, January 16)
Gerrit Cole is an Astro. Andrew McCutchen is a Giant. Perhaps now a team other than the Pirates will stoke baseball's Hot Stove.

Sosa facing uphill climb in quest for Cooperstown (Monday, January 15)
It's all about 609 home runs, a massive number. But amid allegations of a failed drug test and never-ending whispers about PEDs haunting the latter part of his career, Sammy Sosa -- like his great rival Mark McGwire -- will not get to Cooperstown unless attitudes change dramatically.

Trading Cutch was a tough but wise decision (Monday, January 15)
Once Gerrit Cole was traded to the Astros, it was clear that the Neal Huntington and the Pirates' front office were going to swallow hard and do the thing they never wanted to do -- trade Andrew McCutchen.

A look at top franchise players who were dealt (Monday, January 15)
While it's jarring to see a club deal away its greatest player, such a move is not unprecedented. Here are 10 other examples from throughout baseball history.

Hoskins enjoying ride as new face of Phillies (Monday, January 15)
Rhys Hoskins has handled new celebrity about as well as anybody could be expected to handle it. He is trying to enjoy the moment, while remaining true to himself.

Bucs trade icon McCutchen to Giants (Monday, January 15)
The Pirates traded McCutchen to the Giants, ending the franchise player's nine-year tenure in Pittsburgh. The Pirates receive Giants' No. 4-ranked prospect Bryan Reynolds and right-hander Kyle Crick -- who is ranked No. 16, according to MLB Pipeline.

Cutch deal has Giants primed for turnaround (Monday, January 15)
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said recently that his team's 2018 turnaround would begin with being embarrassed about last season. That's a big part of why the Giants were poised for a bounce-back season even before making the second of two huge trades: Acquiring outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates on Monday after getting third baseman Evan Longoria from the Rays in December.

History provides precedent for MVP trades (Monday, January 15)
Here is a look at notable MVPs who went four seasons or fewer between winning the award and getting traded.

Cutch tweets fond farewell to Pirates fans (Monday, January 15)
Andrew McCutchen issued a heartfelt goodbye to Pirates fans and the city of Pittsburgh -- a place he called "My Home" in a classy tweet -- hours after it was revealed that he had been traded to the San Francisco Giants on Monday.

Source: Grandy, Toronto agree to 1-year pact (Monday, January 15)
Free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson is headed back to the American League after agreeing to a one-year, $5 million deal, plus incentives, with the Blue Jays, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The club has not confirmed.

Pros and cons of 6 potential acquisitions (Monday, January 15)
We've had an offseason in which huge, sweeping trades have been discussed. In that way, the Hot Stove has never been hotter. As for action, that's another story.

Giant move: SF acquires McCutchen from Pirates (Monday, January 15)
The Giants' aggressive offseason objective of bolstering a power-starved lineup took another significant step on Monday, as San Francisco acquired longtime Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen and cash considerations from Pittsburgh.

Prospect Puk pleased with 2017 progress (Monday, January 15)
Lefty A.J. Puk didn't disappoint in his first full professional season, and the pitcher's development on and off the mound continued into the offseason, as he represented Oakland at Major League Baseball's Rookie Career Development Program this month.

Bucs, Rivero reportedly agree to 4-year deal (Monday, January 15)
The Pirates and closer Felipe Rivero have agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension with two additional club options, according to a report from MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. The club has not confirmed the deal.

Nelson ahead of schedule in shoulder recovery (Monday, January 15)
Here's news that will not surprise anyone who has met the man or watched him hustle from task to task around the Brewers' clubhouse: Jimmy Nelson is ahead of schedule in his comeback from shoulder surgery.

Inbox: How do A-Gon, Bruce affect Mets at 1B? (Monday, January 15)
Finally, some action. The Mets made their first significant waves of the offseason last week, reportedly inking both Jay Bruce and Adrian Gonzalez to contracts that should become official in the coming days.

Inbox: Will the Marlins deal Realmuto, Yelich? (Monday, January 15)
From what I've gathered, after Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna were traded, the Marlins' intentions were to keep Yelich, Realmuto, and we can add Starlin Castro to that group.

Grichuk disappointed to lose starting spot (Monday, January 15)
As Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty separated for the offseason, they anticipated that their time as teammates was ending. The Cardinals' offseason priorities were evident, and among them was an intention to clear some outfield clutter.

Inbox: Should Sox rest Sale more next season? (Monday, January 15)
Ian Browne answers fan questions about Chris Sale, potential position switches and more.

Inbox: Strategy behind Brantley over Bruce? (Monday, January 15)
Beat reporter Jordan Bastian fields questions from fans on the Jay Bruce vs. Michael Brantley decision, Danny Salazar's return to the rotation and more in this edition of Indians Inbox.

Inbox: Which pitcher tops Rangers' wish list? (Monday, January 15)
Which of the remaining free-agent pitchers is of most interest to the Texas Rangers? Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers this question and more in his latest Inbox.

Musgrove eager to work in Pirates' rotation (Monday, January 15)
Joe Musgrove will immediately join the Pirates' young rotation as the club retools its roster without Gerrit Cole. The Bucs believe the 25-year-old Musgrove will thrive as a starter, even after some ups and downs with the Astros.

DeWitt: Cards likely done making 'major' moves (Monday, January 15)
Describing the Cardinals' 2018 roster as "strong" and "improved," principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr. suggested on Monday that the organization has wrapped up the bulk of its winter work.

Yadi planning to retire after 3-year deal is up (Monday, January 15)
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said on Monday that he plans to play out his current contract with the Cardinals and then call it a career.

Big prospect soaks up wisdom at Dream Series (Monday, January 15)
One of the biggest names at the Dream Series belonged to literally the biggest pitching prospect on the field. Kumar Rocker, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound right-hander from Georgia, completed the five-day event at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday feeling like a much better player, which is saying something.

Source: Bucs, Giants agree to McCutchen deal (Monday, January 15)
The Giants' aggressive offseason objective of bolstering a power-starved lineup took another significant step on Monday, as the club has agreed to acquire longtime Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, pending a review of medical records.

Dr. King a guiding light in Grissom's life (Monday, January 15)
This is the definitive weekend for Marquis Grissom. Not only was he born and raised in Atlanta -- the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- but he has done a bunch of things to enter the Hall of Fame of Philanthropy before, during and after his 17-year Major League career.

Source: Nats, Kendrick agree to 2-year deal (Monday, January 15)
The Nationals and Howie Kendrick have agreed to a two-year contract, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal was first to report the deal.

Source: Brewers sign Choi to Minors deal (Sunday, January 14)
The Brewers have agreed to terms with free-agent first baseman/left fielder Ji-Man Choi on a Minor League deal, according to a report from Naver Sports. The club has not confirmed the report.

Ranking 2018's top 5 starting rotations (Sunday, January 14)
Adding Gerrit Cole alongside Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander put the Astros in the conversation for MLB's best starting rotation. Here is an early guess at this year's top five.

Week Ahead: Big names remain on Hot Stove (Monday, January 15)
The week ahead in baseball begins with an already-established Major League milestone, and it's one that makes any seamhead smile. Yes, it's less than a month until pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training, and 30 clubs will start revving up for what they hope will be a memorable championship run in 2018.

Classic rematch? Astros, Dodgers best on paper (Sunday, January 14)
Last year, the Astros and Dodgers met in the World Series, and the way the projections currently look, they'll be baseball's best in 2018 as well. Who else is on their level -- and how can they catch up?

Umps share new perspective at Dream Series (Sunday, January 14)
The relationship between the pitcher, catcher and umpire and questions about the strike zone were among the many topics discussed in a presentation with veteran umpire Kerwin Danley and Chris Jones, an umpire supervisor since 2005, on Sunday afternoon at the Dream Series.

Crime Dog a curious Hall of Fame case (Sunday, January 14)
In all the years I have been writing this series, the one guy that to me sits most directly on the Hall of Fame line is Fred McGriff. I could absolutely defend voting for him. I could absolutely defend not voting for him.

Perfect fit: Free-agent deals that feel right (Sunday, January 14)
Sometimes, two parties don't know how much they need one another until it's too late. Let's hope no one goes down that road this offseason. Everyone take a deep breath and see if we can do the right thing.

Ozuna enjoys first interaction with Cards fans (Sunday, January 14)
For Marcell Ozuna, Sunday was a day of first impressions. A first-time participant in the Cardinals' Winter Warm-Up event, Ozuna got an intimate introduction to the fanbase. Fans, in turn, were greeted by Ozuna's glowing smile.

Confident Pham targets 30/30 season in '18 (Sunday, January 14)
Ever since hearing that those who write down their goals are 30 percent more likely to achieve them, Tommy Pham has been deliberate about transferring his intentions onto paper. He has no interest in keeping them a secret, either.

Cubs put emphasis on developing young arms (Sunday, January 14)
When Rob Zastryzny made his Major League debut in August 2016, it was a significant moment for the Cubs organization.

MLB Pipeline's 2018 All-Defense Team (Sunday, January 14)
Jim Callis asked numerous front-office executives to identify baseball's best defensive prospect to help determine MLB Pipeline's 2018 All-Defense Team.

MLK's spirit rings strong at Dream Series (Sunday, January 14)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message resonated during the Dream Series, an initiative of Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that features a diverse group of some of the nation's top high school pitching and catching prospects. The series began on Thursday.

Hall of Fame umpire Harvey, 87, passes away (Sunday, January 14)
Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey passed away, his wife, Joy, told MLB.com's Barry Bloom. He died on Saturday afternoon of natural causes at 87.

Bucs' Cole deal helps fill holes on '18 roster (Sunday, January 14)
With Gerrit Cole now an Astro, what's next for the Pirates?

Scouts star at annual awards dinner (Sunday, January 14)
Hall of Famers as well as the unsung heroes of the baseball community turned out Saturday night for the 15th annual Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation Awards Dinner.

MLB Buzz: Mets reportedly will sign A-Gon (Saturday, January 13)
The Hot Stove is open for business, and news, trade buzz and rumors are in full swing. Here's the latest from around the big leagues.

Wrigley Field renovations progressing nicely (Saturday, January 13)
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts hasn't forgotten the feeling that haunted him as his Cubs were seeking success, not enjoying it.

Star gazing: Top 10 third basemen entering '18 (Saturday, January 13)
Third base is full of superstars in a way it may never have been before, with studs who aren't just sluggers, but elite fielders as well. Who tops the Top 10 Right Now list headed into 2018?

Robertson honors father, family with fundraiser (Saturday, January 13)
In the Rays' clubhouse, no one is more compassionate toward the burdensome impact of cancer than rookie Daniel Robertson, whose charitable efforts brought a number players from across Major League Baseball together on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Upland, Calif.

Bucs net 4 players as Cole goes to Astros (Saturday, January 13)
The Pirates traded right-hander Gerrit Cole to the Astros on Saturday for right-handed pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, as well as prospects Colin Moran and Jason Martin.

Youth leads way in 2018's Top 10 shortstops (Saturday, January 13)
MLB Network's "Top 10 Right Now" series ranks Major League Baseball's top players at each position headed into 2018, with two episodes airing each Saturday night from Jan. 13 through Feb. 10.

Cole key as Astros aim for Series repeat (Saturday, January 13)
The Astros probably could not be better positioned to win a second straight World Series than right now. In its simplest terms, that's what the trade for Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole on Saturday means.

Mets, A-Gon reportedly agree to deal (Saturday, January 13)
The Mets will sign free-agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pending a physical, according to USA TODAY Sports.

Wong: Missile false alarm a 'surreal moment' (Saturday, January 13)
Second baseman Kolten Wong was eating breakfast and scrolling through social media in St. Louis on Saturday morning when he spotted the news. Back home in Hawaii, his family and friends were receiving alerts that a ballistic missile was headed toward the island. "This is not a drill," it read.

Hendricks, Fister the best at 'stealing' strikes (Saturday, January 13)
Before a bat ever slices through the airspace in front of a catcher's glove, before any collision of wood and leather, the best thing a hitter can do is spring into action against a pitch headed for the strike zone. Flip it around, and a pitcher's task is decidedly more complicated.

Network unveils Top 10 at SS, 3B right now (Saturday, January 13)
MLB Network's countdown of baseball's best players at each position returned for an eighth season Saturday with the first two installments of the "Top 10 Right Now!" series.

Together again? Potential free-agent reunions (Saturday, January 13)
Jay Bruce was a Met. Then he wasn't. Then he was again. The baseball transaction wire can be weird like that, with team needs and tastes and competitive states shifting all the time. Just 154 days after the Mets traded Bruce to the Indians in the midst of a lost summer, they signed him to a three-year, $39 million deal this week.

Youth pitchers, catchers live the 'Dream' (Saturday, January 13)
The Dream Series, an initiative from Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, features a diverse group of some of the nation's top high school pitching and catching prospects.

Davis bringing new plate 'mentality' to Cubs (Saturday, January 13)
Asked about how his sessions with outfielder Jason Heyward were going in Arizona, new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis offered to show some videos. Apparently, the workouts are going very well.

Astros mum on remaining arb-eligible trio (Saturday, January 13)
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow wouldn't divulge Saturday if the team planned to go to hearings with their three remaining arbitration-eligible players: World Series Most Valuable Player George Springer, closer Ken Giles and starter Collin McHugh.

McCullers looks to renew changeup in spring (Saturday, January 13)
All-Star pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. said Saturday during the Astros' annual FanFest at Minute Maid Park that getting his changeup back to form will be one of his goals when Spring Training starts next month.

With Cole out, Yanks move on in pitching search (Saturday, January 13)
With Gerrit Cole headed to the Astros as part of a trade consummated on Saturday, the Yankees will look elsewhere to upgrade their starting pitching.

Cubbie blue: Players aid fans' gender reveal (Saturday, January 13)
Colin Carney went to the Cubs Convention when he was 12 years old and living in a Chicago suburb. Now 33 and a Houston resident, he and his wife Jennifer brought their two children this weekend in hopes of escaping the headaches and heartache of dealing with the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. They also wanted to share some news with the Cubs regarding their third child and do a gender reveal.

Manuels impacting Dream Series participants (Saturday, January 13)
Former big league manager Jerry Manuel walked to the podium from the back of the crowded conference hall at the team hotel, grabbed the microphone and smiled at this year's class of Dream Series participants.

Cardinals confident Gregerson can close (Saturday, January 13)
Though more experienced closers remain available on both the free-agent and trade markets, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, speaking on the first day of the Cardinals' Winter Warm-Up, expressed confidence in one the club already has: Luke Gregerson.

Astros land Cole in 5-player deal with Pirates (Saturday, January 13)
Less than a week after owner Jim Crane said the Astros were pursuing a high-end starter, the defending World Series champions traded for hard-throwing right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pirates. The Astros will send pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, infielder Colin Moran and Minor League outfielder Jason Martin to the Pirates.

Source: Twins, Reed agree to 2-year pact (Saturday, January 13)
The Twins agreed to terms with reliever Addison Reed on a two-year deal worth slightly less than $17 million, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi on Saturday.

Legendary broadcaster Jackson, 89, dies (Saturday, January 13)
Longtime sports broadcaster Keith Jackson, the legendary voice who called the 16-inning 1986 National League Championship Series Game 6 contest between the Mets and Astros, passed away Friday night. He was 89.

Q&A: Blackmon a late-blooming ex-pitcher (Saturday, January 13)
Three years into his college career, Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon was a left-handed relief specialist. Now look at him. He's an All-Star center fielder, coming off a season in which he set a record for leadoff hitters with 102 RBI.

Report: Padres, Hand shake on 3-year deal (Saturday, January 13)
Coming off his best season as a Major Leaguer, left-hander Brad Hand has agreed to a three-year extension with the Padres pending a physical, sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal on Saturday. The club has not confirmed the report.

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