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Abreu now a mentor to young White Sox roster (The Associated Press)

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:15:28 PST

Jose Abreu begins his fourth season in the majors in a much different situation than when he first joined the Chicago White Sox. When Abreu arrived in the U.S. from Cuba in 2014, the White Sox were a veteran team with players like Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, John Danks and Alexei Ramirez. Now Chicago is rebuilding, and Abreu finds himself as one of the team's veterans and leaders.



Veteran Lester thinks Cubs' youth helps chance for repeating (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 23:04:12 PST

No baseball team has repeated as World Series champions since the New York Yankees reigned from 1998 through 2000. Jon Lester, a three-time World Series champion, thinks the Chicago Cubs have a few legs up on the situation. ''The biggest positive on our side is we have so many young guys who aren't banged up, who don't have a lot of innings or at-bats,'' said Lester, who helped Boston to titles in 2007 and 2013, as well as helping to anchor the Cubs' rotation last year.



Blake Swihart's catching comeback encounters an unexpected glitch (Big League Stew)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:36:48 PST

A lot of eyes are on Blake Swihart this spring. The Boston Red Sox catcher is trying  to get back in the groove at his natural position after a move to the outfield derailed his 2016 season. According to Mass Live’s Christopher Smith, what Swihart has is a good old fashioned case of the yips, and so far it’s been one of the biggest stories at Red Sox camp.



Mike Trout stays humble and hungry in new season with Angels (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:29:40 PST

Although Mike Trout is a fairly well-known baseball player at this point, he still made his way around the Los Angeles Angels' clubhouse on Saturday morning to introduce himself to several new teammates. While a few things change every year, Trout's teammates and coaches say he has been the same unassuming, upbeat guy throughout one of the greatest half-decades in recent big league history. ''Mike hasn't changed a bit from the first day he stepped up here on a major league field,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.



Mookie Betts still relaxed coming off near-MVP season (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 10:50:45 PST

Mookie Betts isn't about to get caught up in the hype coming off his near-MVP season. If you mention NBA star Stephen Curry, his eyes light up and he'll chat about how much he loves Curry's game and watching his Golden State Warriors. Talk to him about his own play, and Betts just shrugs it off as hard work.



Samson says multiple groups interested in Marlins (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 07:42:22 PST

Multiple groups are interested in purchasing the Miami Marlins, according to team president David Samson, who confirmed owner Jeffrey Loria is being considered for nomination as U.S. ambassador to France. ''He is in the process right now,'' Samson said before the club's first full-squad workout on Friday. A group led by Joshua Kushner, whose brother Jared Kushner is married to President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, led a group that had a preliminary agreement to buy the Marlins for about $1.6 billion.



Jimmy Rollins eager to prove himself, earn spot on Giants (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:16:39 PST

Post-practice, Jimmy Rollins relaxed at his locker and added some orange shoelaces to his cleats, sharing with locker mate and San Francisco center fielder Denard Span how much he appreciates a pop of color in his baseball gear again. Now the veteran infielder just needs to land a long-term job with the Giants out of spring training. ''Last year was the first time I wore black,'' Rollins said, smiling.



John Henry, Tom Werner focusing on 4th ring (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:12:22 PST

Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry called it strange not to see David Ortiz at the team's first full-squad workout this year and knows only one achievement will satisfy the team's management, players and fans. ''We really are focused on that fourth ring like we were that first,'' Henry said Friday. Ortiz joined the Red Sox ahead of the 2003 season and retired last fall after helping the Red Sox win their first three World Series titles since 1918.



Giants add infielder Aaron Hill on minor league contract (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 08:05:10 PST

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Versatile infielder Aaron Hill has agreed to a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants and would get a $2 million, one-year deal if he is added to the 40-man roster.



Slimmed Sandoval hopes to regain Boston 3B job (The Associated Press)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:06:10 PST

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval hopes his to son can remember him playing professional baseball. Since signing a $95 million, five-year contract with Boston, he hit .242 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs in 129 games. ''There's a lot more sense of redemption on his part where he's looking to make up from the previous two years,'' Red Sox manager John Farrell said.



Nap time: Rangers, Napoli finally reunited for 3rd stint (The Associated Press)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:44:07 PST

Mike Napoli's return to Texas certainly didn't come out of left field. The slugger's long-anticipated reunion with the Rangers , and a third stint with his first World Series team, finally became a reality Thursday when he was re-introduced after finalizing an $8.5 million, one-year contract. ''This is obviously a place I wanted to be,'' Napoli said.



Barry Zito is first Cy Young winner to appear on Billboard chart (Big League Stew)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:45:56 PST

Barry Zito has always shown an interest in music. Barry Zito’s post-baseball career is going pretty well. The former pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants released an EP of country songs in January, and played a sold-out show the night before its release.



Diamondbacks pitcher has good reason for not shaving since Halloween (Big League Stew)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 22:06:01 PST

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Archie Bradley believes he’s solved the riddle that will bring him success in Major League Baseball. Speaking to the media at the Diamondbacks spring training facility this week, Bradley revealed that he hasn’t shaved since Oct. 31, a span that now covers 108 days.



Red Sox expect to bunt a lot more this season, and here's why (Big League Stew)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:35:07 PST

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell thinks bunting against the shift could be a new weapon for his club. The Boston Red Sox lineup will have a different look this season with David Ortiz officially retired. Even with the signing of Mitch Moreland, a potential bounce back season from Pablo Sandoval and a hopeful boost from Andrew Benintendi, the dynamic is going to change and perhaps require more creativity in order to make up for Ortiz’s production. According to manager John Farrell, the solution might be more bunts.



Spring Training 2017: Jimmy Rollins says White Sox clubhouse was in 'disarray' last season (Big League Stew)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:34:42 PST

DISARRAY: Veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins enters camp hoping to win a job with the San Francisco Giants this spring. At this time last year, he was attempting to do the same under much crazier circumstances with the Chicago White Sox. As everyone knows, the White Sox were involved in a bizarre storyline surrounding Adam LaRoche, who abruptly retired when the team no longer allowed his teenage son in the clubhouse.



AP sources: Napoli passes physical, set for 3rd Texas stint (The Associated Press)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:22:03 PST

Mike Napoli has passed his physical, clearing the way for an $8.5 million, one-year deal and his third stint with the Texas Rangers. Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that the deal was done and that Napoli will be introduced Thursday. While not saying who, the team announced a news conference at its Arizona spring training complex before workouts Thursday morning to announce a free-agent signing.



Healthy Zack Greinke aims for better Year 2 in Arizona (The Associated Press)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:55:07 PST

The 2016 season certainly wasn't what the Arizona Diamondbacks and Zack Greinke expected when the team signed him to a six-year, $206.5 million contract. Greinke knew it would be hard to duplicate the numbers from his magnificent 2015 season, when he went 19-3 with a 1.99 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hampered by injuries and on an Arizona team that quickly nosedived out of contention, Greinke went 13-7 with a 4.37 ERA.



Jose Quintana is ace of the Chicago White Sox - for now (The Associated Press)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:17:14 PST

Jose Quintana is the ace of the Chicago White Sox - for now. With Chicago rebuilding, the 28-year-old All-Star left-hander knows he could be traded. Chicago dealt ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton during the offseason for prospects.



High hopes as always in first spring training workouts (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:30:29 PST

Even for an accomplished veteran like Justin Verlander, the start of spring training can be special. Verlander's Tigers were among 15 teams with their first scheduled workouts for pitchers and catchers Tuesday. As major leaguers took the field in Florida and Arizona, that familiar sound of balls popping into mitts served as a reminder that in baseball at least, winter is finally over.



Pirates ace Cole hoping for healthier, more productive 2017 (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:54:36 PST

Two years ago, Gerrit Cole won 19 games and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting. After slogging through an injury filled 2016, the Pittsburgh Pirates' ace has set more modest goals for the upcoming season. ''Staying healthy, being able to contribute,'' Cole said.



New Arizona GM touts rotation, expects 'bounce-back' year (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:48:17 PST

Starting pitching was a big part of the problem a year ago for an Arizona Diamondbacks team that entered with high expectations but nosedived to a 69-win season. ''I'm nobody that looks in the mirror, any of us coming off a 69-win team, doesn't want to look for some type of bounce-back,'' Hazen said. ''We see him as a big piece of this ball club moving forward,'' Hazen said.



Uncertainty still hanging over White Sox as spring begins (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:37:46 PST

The Chicago White Sox are a work in progress as spring training begins. Finally committing to a rebuilding project after four consecutive sub-.500 seasons, the White Sox are without former ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton, who were dealt away for some of baseball's top prospects. General manager Rick Hahn said trade talks will likely not fade away.



Stroman, McHugh, Odorizzi win; Wacha, Anderson, Walker lose (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:08:15 PST

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi, Houston's Collin McHugh and Toronto's Marcus Stroman won their salary arbitration cases Tuesday, and St. Louis' Michael Wacha, Milwaukee's Chase Anderson and Arizona's Taijuan Walker lost.



Cuban players: We paid thousands for journey to US baseball (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:01:54 PST

Two Cuban baseball players told a federal jury Tuesday that they paid tens of thousands of dollars from signing bonuses with Major League Baseball teams to a smuggling network that prosecutors say was overseen by a Florida sports agent and his trainer associate. The players, Jorge Padron and Reinier Roibal, described how they were spirited off the communist-run island on speedboats bound for Cancun, Mexico, where they trained while awaiting documents necessary to go to the U.S. to sign lucrative free-agent contracts. The testimony came in the trial of agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, who face lengthy prison sentences if convicted of conspiracy and alien- smuggling charges.



New D-backs bench coach Ron Gardenhire has prostate cancer (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:36:30 PST

New Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach and former longtime Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has prostate cancer. The 59-year-old Gardenhire revealed the diagnosis in a meeting with reporters on Tuesday, saying it was the only time he would talk publicly about the subject this spring. Gardenhire said he received the diagnosis about a week ago after tests in Minnesota and would undergo surgery to remove the prostate gland, probably the second week in April.



Grady Sizemore returns to the Indians with a brand new job (Big League Stew)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 08:21:08 PST

Grady Sizemore is returning to baseball and to the Cleveland Indians. Grady Sizemore has returned to the Cleveland Indians. The 34-year-old former center fielder has started a new chapter in his life, one where he doesn’t play baseball, but instead helps the players of today get prepared for what tomorrow may bring.



Diamondbacks report with essentially same team as in 2016 (The Associated Press)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:32:34 PST

The Arizona Diamondbacks reported to spring training on Monday with a roster pretty similar to the one from last season. With new general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo at the helm, the Diamondbacks are planning to give their young players another shot to turn the organization around. Arizona has been in a rut since winning the NL West in 2011, a downward spiral that culminated with a 69-93 season in 2016.



Rhode Island governor seeks 38 Studios investigation records (The Associated Press)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:29:37 PST

Rhode Island's governor is asking a court to release grand jury documents from a criminal investigation into the state's failed deal with former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo filed the formal petition on Monday in state Superior Court.



Jake Odorizzi, Michael Wacha go to arbitration (The Associated Press)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:14:54 PST

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Jake Odorizzi of Tampa Bay and Michael Wacha of St. Louis have gone to salary arbitration and are among six first-time eligible starting pitchers who could get decisions Tuesday.



Cubs no longer sole favorite to win World Series according to odds (Big League Stew)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:52:54 PST

The first repeat championship in Chicago since the late ’90s Chicago Bulls dynasty has been put on hold. After being favored to win the 2017 World Series all offseason, the Chicago Cubs now have some competition to bring home baseball’s ultimate prize. The company released its latest World Series odds Monday, and for the first time all offseason, the Cubs are not the odds-on favorite.