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Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:23:07 PST

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Hot Stove Digest: Joba Chamberlain reportedly headed to Brewers (Big League Stew)

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:23:07 PST

On Friday, Joba Chamberlain became the latest veteran to find a new home, reportedly agreeing to a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. Chamberlain, 31, posted a 2.25 ERA over 20 innings for the Indians in 2016. Chamberlain was outright released on July 10 after refusing a minor league assignment, and ended up sitting home the rest of the season.

Francona on Encarnacion: I didn't think there was a chance (The Associated Press)

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:40:40 PST

When Edwin Encarnacion became a free agent this offseason, Indians manager Terry Francona didn't allow himself to daydream about adding the former Blue Jays slugger to his roster. ''I didn't think there was a chance to even talk to Edwin,'' Francona said on Thursday in his first comments since the AL champs signed Encarnacion to a three-year, $65 million deal this month. ''You've got to be realistic that in the winter we play in a different neighborhood'' than during his tenure in Boston, when the Red Sox were among the top-spending clubs in baseball.

Blue Jays ownership involved in bringing Bautista back (The Associated Press)

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:38:39 PST

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said ownership got involved in the re-signing of veteran Jose Bautista. Atkins said Thursday the desire of Edward Rogers, the controlling shareholder of Rogers Communication, to help was ''abundantly clear.'' He said thanks to Rogers, they don't have to rebuild. A longtime fan favorite, Bautista hit 22 homers with 69 RBIs last year while batting .234 in an injury-slowed season.

Even more MLB games will be available to stream in 2017 (Big League Stew)

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:36:19 PST

MLB is loosening their grip on where and how you can watch baseball games. Good news for people who want more ways to watch baseball! NBC Sports Regional Networks has reached a deal with MLB Advanced Media on in-market streaming rights. Starting with the 2017 season, several Comcast regional sports networks will be able to stream baseball games online for their paid subscribers.

Hot Stove Digest: Kole Calhoun signs three-year extension with Angels (Big League Stew)

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:31:25 PST

COST CERTAINTY: The Los Angeles Angels bought out all three years of Kole Calhoun’s arbitration eligibility on Wednesday, signing him to a three-year, $26M contract. Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun won’t have to worry about arbitration hearings over the next three years. WELCOME BACK: The A’s signed veteran pitcher Ross Detwiler to a minor league contract.

Outfielder Guyer agrees to $5M, 2-year deal with Indians (The Associated Press)

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:55:32 PST

Brandon Guyer has been targeted again. Guyer, who has led the majors in being hit by pitches over the past two seasons, agreed Wednesday to a two-year, $5 million contract with the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland has a $3 million option for 2019 with a $250,000 buyout.

2017 Category Sleepers: Wins (Rotoworld)

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:13:00 PST

Seth Trachtman analyzes possible wins sleepers for the 2017 season.

Longtime baseball executive Dan O'Brien Sr. dies at 87 (The Associated Press)

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:32:38 PST

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Longtime major league executive Dan O'Brien Sr. has died at 87.

Jose Bautista's new deal with Blue Jays is a far cry from what he wanted (Big League Stew)

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:08:09 PST

Jose Bautista is coming back home. The slugger has reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, his home since 2008, and the team he broke out with nearly seven years ago. The deal contains a mutual option, making it possible Bautista stays in Toronto past 2017.

Baseball-Major League Baseball roundup (Reuters)

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:00:58 PST

The president, who has a home in Chicago, is a diehard Chicago White Sox fan but rooted for the Cubs after the Sox failed to reach the postseason. The Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908 by defeating the Cleveland Indians in November.

Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs (The Associated Press)

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:49:41 PST

President Barack Obama celebrated the World Series champion Chicago Cubs on Monday and spoke about the power sports has to unite people. ''Throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together even when the country is divided,'' Obama said at a White House ceremony for his hometown team. ''It is a game and celebration,'' he said, and noted that ''there's a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here.'' Robinson, a second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, broke Major League Baseball's color line to become its first black player.

Obama fetes world-champion Chicago Cubs, his (wife's) favorite (AFP)

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:37:30 PST

Barack Obama, the man once known as the "hope candidate," on Monday warmly feted a team that had gone more than a century without much hope -- the world champion baseball team the Cubs from his adopted hometown of Chicago. Just four days before he hands power to Donald Trump, President Obama welcomed the members of the Chicago team -- who in November won their first World Series title since 1908 -- to a light-hearted White House ceremony. "I made a lot of promises in 2008," Obama said, referring to his first presidential campaign.

AP source: Bautista and Blue Jays working hard on return (The Associated Press)

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 10:04:52 PST

TORONTO (AP) -- Outfielder Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays are ''working really hard'' to bring him back to the club, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press on Monday.

Indians postseason hero thanks fans for unexpected wedding gifts (Big League Stew)

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 10:26:16 PST

Cleveland Indians postseason hero Ryan Merritt is tipping his cap to supportive fans. If you’re one of the many Cleveland Indians fans to send Ryan Merritt a wedding gift, make sure to check your mailbox. As you might recall, Merritt stepped in as an emergency starter for the Indians after injuries to Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer ravaged their rotation.

Hot Stove Digest: Is Jake Arrieta preparing for life after the Cubs? (Big League Stew)

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 18:40:46 PST

MOVING ON?: With free agency looming at the end of the 2017 season, Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta knew what was coming this weekend. As the team reunited for the Cubs Convention in Chicago, Arrieta was face-to-face with the media for the first time in two months, which meant he couldn’t avoid questions about his future. To his credit, Arrieta addressed the issue head-on rather than sweeping it under the rug with a “no comment.” However, his answers aren’t likely to instill much confidence in a potential extension.

David Price says he's heard racial taunts from Red Sox fans (Big League Stew)

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 11:25:23 PST

David Price’s first year in Boston was disappointing for many reasons. David Price’s first year in Boston could be considered a disappointment on many levels. Instead, it resides in the level of disdain and ignorance Price says was hurled toward him in the form of racial slurs and taunts from fans at Fenway Park.

Cubs OF Heyward hard at work on revamped swing (The Associated Press)

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 23:09:48 PST

A year ago, Jason Heyward was one of the main attractions at the Chicago Cubs' winter convention. The team got that title, but for Heyward, it was a bumpy road all the way to the very end. Heyward played Gold Glove defense in right field and was a solid clubhouse presence as Chicago claimed its first championship since 1908.

Indians, 4 pitchers agree to 2017 contracts (The Associated Press)

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:22:49 PST

The Indians got it right with four pitchers on Friday. Cleveland reached agreement on 2017 contracts with closer Cody Allen, starter Danny Salazar and relievers Bryan Shaw and Zach McAllister, four right-handers who were eligible for arbitration and are key members on one of baseball's deepest pitching staffs. The Indians also avoided salary arbitration with Salazar ($3.4 million), who went 11-6 with a 3.87 ERA last season but was slowed late in the year and limited in the playoffs by a forearm strain.

MLB-Major League Baseball roundup (Reuters)

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:51:39 PST

Washington Nationals star outfielder Bryce Harper avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $13.625 million deal Friday. The four-time All-Star was unanimous National League MVP in 2015 when he batted .330 with 42 homers and 99 RBIs. -- The Chicago Cubs and right-hander Jake Arrieta avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $15.64 million contract.

CC Sabathia will make more than the entire Indians rotation in 2017 (Big League Stew)

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:34:17 PST

Corey Kluber is giving the Indians Cy Young-level production at a bargain price. The Cleveland Indians boast one of the best teams in the majors heading into 2017. After pushing the Chicago Cubs to Game 7 of the World Series, the Indians added Edwin Encarnacion to an already impressive lineup. How were the Indians, typically a low-spending club, able to find the money to bring in a premier free-agent?

Curt Schilling: Is he a Hall of Famer? (Big League Stew)

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:01:58 PST

Performance-enhancing drugs are still the mother of all character issues for Hall of Fame voters, but Curt Schilling is giving that particular issue a run for its money. By the end of his career, he had racked up a 3.46 ERA in 3,261 innings with 3,116 strikeouts.

Bauer, Indians agree to $3.55M deal, avoid arbitration (The Associated Press)

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:08:10 PST

The enigmatic right-hander, whose best season in the majors was tarnished by a postseason drone accident in 2016, avoided salary arbitration with the team by agreeing Thursday to a $3.55 million, one-year contract, more than double the $1,697,500 he earned last year. Cleveland also came to agreement with reliever Dan Otero on a $1,055,000 deal for 2017. Bauer, who turns 26 next week, went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in a career-high 190 innings last year and was a valuable member of the rotation.

Hot Stove Digest: Orioles still negotiating with Mark Trumbo (Big League Stew)

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:09:13 PST

Mark Trumbo has lowered his demands, but the Orioles aren’t biting. IT’S COMPLICATED: The Baltimore Orioles are still negotiating with free-agent Mark Trumbo, but things are complicated. Trumbo has reportedly lowered his demands, requesting a three-year deal around $40 million.

World Series champion Cubs to visit White House on Monday (The Associated Press)

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 18:10:52 PST

President Barack Obama will welcome the World Series champion Chicago Cubs at the White House on Monday, just five days before he leaves office. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that Obama is ''really looking forward to it,'' as were a number of West Wing colleagues who are Cubs fans. ''I think anybody who's a sport fan, even if you're not a baseball fan and not a Cubs fan, appreciated the historic run that the Chicago Cubs had through the playoffs and to a World Series title this year,'' Earnest said.

Manny Ramirez: Is he a Hall of Famer? (Big League Stew)

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:52:10 PST

The 2017 baseball Hall of Fame ballot features a number of players who cause analysts to wrestle with their thoughts on steroids. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have seen their projected vote totals rise. While you can connect a number of players on the ballot to steroids, Ramirez is the only player on the ballot to fail a PED test. That wasn’t a fluky mistake, either.

Rejoice! Here are spring training report dates for all 30 teams (Big League Stew)

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 11:34:20 PST

Winter is terrible. The weather is cold, the days are short and baseball news is scarce. The only thing keeping us sane is the promise of spring.

Slugger Ramirez set for Japan baseball comeback at 44 (AFP)

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 19:39:35 PST

Former Major League Baseball slugger Manny Ramirez has joined Japanese independent league team the Kochi Fighting Dogs, the club said on its website. The 44-year-old, who has also played in Taiwan after retiring from the major leagues in 2011 as one of only 25 players to pass 500 home runs, is set to play in the four-team Shikoku Island League on the smallest of Japan's four main islands.

Manny Ramirez is making a comeback in Japan at age 44 (Big League Stew)

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 21:34:42 PST

Just a few weeks before we find out how Manny Ramirez fares in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, the 44-year-old ex-MLB slugger has agreed to terms with an independent team in Japan as he attempts to make another comeback. Ramirez is now a member of the Kochi Fighting Dogs — yes, that’s a real team — of the Shikoku Island League Plus. It’s a four-team league that plays 90 games per season, so it’s not like Ramirez is signing up to play in the Arizona Fall League for a month and a half.

Podcast: Could five players make the Hall of Fame this year? (Big League Stew)

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 16:44:48 PST

It’s Hall of Fame season in baseball, and with that comes all sorts of opinions and analysis. Including this: One projection says five new players could be voted in this year, the most by Baseball Writers Association of America voters since the historic 1936 class, which was the first. Will Cooperstown finally come calling for Tim Raines?

Minor-league team to allow very good dogs at every home game (Big League Stew)

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 11:44:57 PST

Get ready to see more dogs at the ballpark in Lynchburg. This season, the Hillcats will become the first minor-league team ever to allow dogs at every single home game. This isn’t a “Bark in the Park” situation, where the team is allowing dogs on select dates. As part of that deal, players and employees from the Hillcats will volunteer regularly at the Lynchburg Humane Society.