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Last Build Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2017 16:07:25 PST

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Baseball-Major League Baseball roundup (Reuters)

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 16:07:25 PST

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson expects to be sidelined two to three weeks due to a right calf strain. Donaldson admitted that he felt something grab his muscle while running sprints during a workout on Friday. The 2015 American League Most Valuable Player and three-time All-Star underwent an MRI exam the following day and required the use of crutches while walking in the clubhouse on Sunday.

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.

'Here I come to save the day!' Eaton likes Mighty Mouse look (The Associated Press)

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:31:24 PST

Adam Eaton donned his ''go-to shirt'' - a gray T, with the words ''Mighty Mouse'' in red, and a sketch of the small-but-strong cartoon character who debuted in the 1940s - before and after the Washington Nationals' first full-squad workout of spring training on Sunday. The piece of casual clothing, purchased by his wife at a Nordstrom Rack, contains the nickname given to the 5-foot-8 Eaton in college at Miami (Ohio).

Lucas Giolito honors late grandfather, 'Seinfeld' actor Warren Frost (Big League Stew)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 08:26:47 PST

Lucas Giolito (left) says goodbye to grandfather Warren Frost, who died Friday at age 91. Warren Frost, a veteran actor remembered most for his roles on “Twin Peaks” and “Seinfeld,” died on Friday. Giolito was the No. 16 overall pick of the Washington Nationals in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Swisher, 2 years after last game, says he has retired (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:41:49 PST

At spring training with the New York Yankees as a guest instructor, Nick Swisher says he has retired as a player. Slowed by knee injuries the past several years, Swisher appeared in 76 games with Atlanta and Cleveland in 2014. The 36-year old slugger played in 55 games last season for the Yankees' Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team, then ended his season in July when his second child was born.

Yoan Moncada's 2-year-old son is already bat-flipping like a pro (Big League Stew)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:04:12 PST

Yoan Moncada’s son Robinson already has All-Star bat-flip skills. Chicago White Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada has yet to really make his mark at the big league level. Yoan’s son, Robinson, showed off some of the skills he learned from his dad at a Play Ball event.

Derek Holland seeks a fresh start with White Sox (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:56:34 PST

Derek Holland is pitching for a major league team other than the Texas Rangers for the first time. Now if he can just remember where he is - and learn the names of his new Chicago White Sox teammates. ''I made the mistake of saying to somebody, 'It's good to be with the Rangers - yeah I mean the White Sox,''' the eight-year veteran said.

Mat Latos, Blue Jays agree to minor league contract (The Associated Press)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:58:42 PST

Mat Latos agreed to a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, reported for big league spring training and will try to earn a spot on the 40-man roster. The 29-year-old right-hander went 6-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 11 starts for the Chicago White Sox last year, was released, then was 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA in one start and five relief appearances for Washington. ''I'm happy to just be playing baseball, let's be honest,'' Latos said after his deal was announced Thursday.

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.

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.

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.

Reds have opening at 2B after trading Phillips to Braves (The Associated Press)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:34:53 PST

The Cincinnati Reds opened a spot for 22-year-old Jose Peraza to become an everyday player when they traded second baseman Brandon Phillips to the Braves for a pair of pitching prospects. Manager Bryan Price said Monday that Peraza would be the second baseman unless he struggles. Peraza was one of the Reds' most impressive young players last season, batting .324 in 72 games with three homers and 25 RBIs.

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.

With David Ortiz retired, Red Sox now look to LHP Chris Sale (The Associated Press)

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 15:06:40 PST

For the first time since 2003, the Boston Red Sox will enter spring training without David Ortiz. With Ortiz gone, the Red Sox enter 2017 with a big prize that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski acquired during the offseason - landing left-hander Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for four prospects. ''This gives us a significant chance to win,'' Dombrowski said.

Detroit Tigers hold off on significant cost cutting for now (The Associated Press)

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:53:14 PST

The Detroit Tigers were willing to cut payroll. ''Let's say we would have moved two or three players,'' Avila said. Instead of making major changes and starting a rebuilding process, Detroit kept its roster largely intact this offseason.

White Sox go young, rebuild after 4 straight losing seasons (The Associated Press)

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:44:49 PST

No more quick fixes for the White Sox: The overhaul is underway. The White Sox made their intentions clear with two huge moves at the winter meetings, and they come to spring training stocked with new young players and a huge task still in front of them. Virtually every Sox fan I've had a conversation with understands that and is eagerly embracing this and looking forward to when we start to see the fruits of this labor.

Texas Rangers head to spring after 'incomplete mission' (The Associated Press)

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:11:10 PST

The Texas Rangers have been AL West champions in each of manager Jeff Banister's first two seasons, and their 95 wins last year were the most in the American League. You've got to have talent, but desire overrides a lot of that,'' Banister said. Texas heads to spring training in Arizona five seasons removed from their only World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011.

Officials: Suspicion abounds in Cuban player documents (The Associated Press)

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:59:27 PST

The federal trial over smuggling Cuban players to the U.S. has revealed that officials with the U.S. government and Major League Baseball missed a lot of red flags regarding how the athletes came to America. Hundreds of documents shown to jurors in the first week of the trial of sports agent Bartolo Hernandez and baseball trainer Julio Estrada contain what prosecutors say are falsehoods and deceptions intended to illegally speed up the process. A State Department agent, Bryan Baer, testified Thursday that officials depend on the reliability of these documents to allow Cuban players into the U.S.

McCutchen's move, rotation provide intrigue for Pirates (The Associated Press)

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 10:30:06 PST

Andrew McCutchen's spot in center field was the fulcrum around which the Pittsburgh Pirates swung from laughingstock to contenders. Now it belongs to Starling Marte after McCutchen gracefully opted to pass the torch at his favorite position to pick up the torch at another: right field. The five-time All-Star and 2013 NL MVP will arrive in Bradenton, Florida for spring training as the starting right fielder as part of a shuffling that saw Marte - a two-time Gold Glove winner - slide over to center and Gregory Polanco flip from right to left.

Stanton, Jones headline US roster for World Baseball Classic (The Associated Press)

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 18:19:17 PST

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton and Baltimore star Adam Jones are among the returnees on the 28-man U.S. World Baseball Classic roster, which also includes Colorado's Nolan Arenado, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, San Francisco's Buster Posey and Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen.

Hot Stove Digest: Rangers finally agree to terms with Mike Napoli (Big League Stew)

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:45:29 PST

After months of rumors, Mike Napoli is finally going back to Texas. FINALLY: The Texas Rangers have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with first baseman Mike Napoli. The 35-year-old Napoli hit .239/.335/.465, with 34 home runs, for the Cleveland Indians last season. It had been assumed Napoli would sign with the Rangers for weeks now, but the two sides put off finalizing a deal until now.

Indians finalize $6.5M deal with lefty Boone Logan (The Associated Press)

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:24:39 PST

The Cleveland Indians have finalized a $6.5 million, one-year contract with left-handed reliever Boone Logan. Logan gets a $5.5 million salary this year under the agreement announced Tuesday, and the Indians have a $7 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout. Logan had a 3.69 ERA in 66 games last season, limited left-handed hitters to a .142 average and struck out 57 overall in 46 1/3 innings.

Cubs no longer the class of the NL according to early projections (Big League Stew)

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 10:47:25 PST

The reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs may find it a bit harder to repeat last season’s incredible success. The early projections are in, and while Chicago is still expected to be a great team, the Los Angeles Dodgers are projected to win the most games in baseball. The Dodgers might give the Cubs a run for their money in the NL.

Chris Sale provides visual proof that baseball is almost here (Big League Stew)

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:52:10 PST

Football season has officially come to an end. The New England Patriots pulled off a dramatic, 34-28 victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The contest was enjoyable, tense and entertaining all the way through. When it was over, we found ourselves craving more.

Cuban player smuggling trial resumes for agent, trainer (The Associated Press)

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 08:59:35 PST

The trial is resuming in Miami for a sports agent and a trainer accused of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S. so they could sign lucrative professional contracts. Testimony is scheduled to continue Monday in the federal case against agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, both of whom have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and alien smuggling charges.

Hot Stove Digest: Will Astros use hacking bounty to acquire Jose Quintana? (Big League Stew)

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 20:25:53 PST

MOST INTERESTING RUMOR OF THE DAY: Earlier this week we heard conflicting reports on the Texas Rangers level of interest in acquiring Chicago White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, that could leave the door open for Texas’ other team, the Houston Astros, to ramp up their efforts in the coming weeks. The Astros are one of several teams that have been connected to Quintana throughout the offseason.

Orioles beat catcher Joseph for 9th straight arbitration win (The Associated Press)

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 14:38:54 PST

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles won their ninth straight salary arbitration decision over more than two decades, defeating catcher Caleb Joseph.

AP source: Indians, Boone Logan agree to 1-year contract (The Associated Press)

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 12:43:07 PST

A person familiar with the negotiations says free agent left-hander Boone Logan and the Cleveland Indians have agreed to a one-year contract. Logan's deal includes a 2018 club option, the person told The Associated Press on Thursday. The 32-year-old Logan pitched for Colorado last season, going 2-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 66 appearances for the Rockies.

Orioles catcher loses arbitration after failing to drive in any runs in 2016 (Big League Stew)

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 12:16:40 PST

Like most of us, Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph wouldn’t mind a little extra cash. So, when he showed up to his arbitration hearing Thursday, Joseph likely came prepared with facts that proved he deserved a pay raise.

Lawyers: Sports agent, trainer deny Cuban player smuggling (The Associated Press)

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 14:41:45 PST

A Florida-based sports agent and a trainer ran legitimate businesses aimed at getting Cuban baseball players to sign U.S. major league contracts but were not involved with smuggling players from the communist island or falsifying travel documents, their lawyers told a federal jury Wednesday. Opening statements were held Wednesday in the case against agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, both of whom have been charged with conspiracy and alien smuggling. Prosecutors said the pair used shady boat captains, document forgers and phony paperwork to get 20 players to the U.S. quickly so they could sign lucrative free agent contracts totaling some $150 million.