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Mitt Romney's son Tagg reportedly trying to buy stake in Yankees (Big League Stew)

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:09:59 PST

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports is reporting that Mitt Romney’s son Tagg Romney is trying to buy a piece of the New York Yankees. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who ran for president in 2012, isn’t involved himself, as he emphatically told Heyman. Mitt Romney, in response to an earlier version of this story about his potential involvement in a sale, denied that he’s involved in the talks in a statement, per a spokesperson… Romney is a lifelong Red Sox fan and is sensitive to being associated with the Yankees after hearing early reaction from Red Sox fans.



World Baseball Classic 2017: Boycott hurts Chinese Taipei's chances (Big League Stew)

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:39:48 PST

From now until the World Baseball Classic begins on March 6, we’ll be helping you get to know each team involved in baseball’s global tournament. Today’s team: Chinese Taipei. The team from Chinese Taipei had high expectations when it competed in 2013’s World Baseball Classic, and it even made a decent showing with an upset in the first round. The Chinese Taipei team is dealing with a fairly significant boycott, which essentially boils down to which governing body should be (or wants to be) making the decisions about the team the country is fielding for the WBC.



Shields still going, hits re-set button for White Sox (The Associated Press)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:22:52 PST

No one in Chicago White Sox camp is happier for a new season than James Shields. ''You're always learning, no matter how many years you've been in the game,'' Shields said Wednesday. Shields was 6-19 with a 5.85 ERA last year with San Diego and Chicago, including 4-12 with a 6.77 ERA in 22 starts for the White Sox.



Column: Baseball should get serious about speeding up games (The Associated Press)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:18:40 PST

There are all sorts of ways to give baseball a much-needed boost of speed. ''All of it is stupid,'' Atlanta Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips said Wednesday. Over the last 35 years, the length of a regular-season game has increased by nearly a half-hour - much of that extra time consumed by batters stepping out of the box between every pitch for the always-thrilling helmet tug, enough meetings on the mound to bring about world peace, and so many pitching changes one can only assume managers are investing in companies that make bullpen door hinges.



Mattingly: Reversing the tolerance for Ks would speed play (The Associated Press)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:41:50 PST

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly thinks reversing the tolerance for strikeouts would speed the pace of play. ''Analytically, a few years back nobody cared about the strikeout, so it's OK to strike out 150, 160, 170 times, and that guy's still valued in a big way,'' Mattingly said. ''Well, as soon as we start causing that to be a bad value - the strikeouts - guys will put the ball in play more.



Marlins' Ichiro held out of workouts following collision (The Associated Press)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:05:00 PST

Ichiro was kneed in the quadriceps on Tuesday by fellow outfielder Brandon Barnes, sending the 43-year-old Ichiro tumbling to the ground. Marlins manager Don Mattingly says he believes Ichiro will ''be OK.'' Barnes was not injured. Mattingly says Ichiro came to the Marlins facility Tuesday with a sore quad and back.



Royals working through grieving process after Ventura death (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:14:39 PST

Nearly a month after losing prized pitcher Yordano Ventura in a car accident, manager Ned Yost has thought about so much through all the pain and grief: What could the Kansas City Royals have possibly done to better support him? Yost and general manager Dayton Moore have spent hours discussing the loss of Ventura, and Moore had even offered Ventura the option to stay with him in Kansas City. It's a tough deal,'' Yost said.



Marlins catcher Ellis is a backup with several major roles (The Associated Press)

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:49:16 PST

Tom Koehler already understands why A.J. Ellis is considered a pitcher's catcher even though they've only been Marlins teammates for a week. ''He seems like he's a guy who's really going to push us,'' said Koehler, who went 9-13 with a 4.33 ERA last season. In need of a backup catcher, Miami signed the 35-year-old Ellis during the offseason to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.



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.



Marlins' Hechavarria admits lying in Cuban smuggling probe (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:25:03 PST

Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria told a federal jury Friday he lied to investigators about knowing a key figure in an alleged Cuban ballplayer smuggling network linked to a Florida sports agent and a trainer. Hechavarria testified in the trial of agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, who are accused of conspiracy and alien smuggling. Hechavarria admitted lying to federal agents in a 2012 interview about knowing a man who helped organize smuggling trips and obtain Cuban player documents.



Yordano Ventura's toxicology report won't be released to public (Big League Stew)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:22:50 PST

Toxicology reports on Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura will only be released to his family and attorneys, according to the Kansas City Star. Ventura, 25, died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in late January. On Thursday, Tessie Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the Dominican attorney general’s office, said the toxicology report is not a public document.



Kushner family puts brakes on talks to buy Miami Marlins (The Associated Press)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:26:29 PST

The Kushner family, which has close ties to the White House, put the brakes on its negotiations to buy the Miami Marlins because of a report team owner Jeffrey Loria may be nominated by President Donald Trump to become ambassador to France. Joshua Kushner, whose older brother is an adviser to the president, has a preliminary agreement to buy the Marlins.



Slugger Stanton eager to rebound from awful 2016 season (The Associated Press)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 09:16:50 PST

The Instagram photo Giancarlo Stanton posted last November shows him sitting atop a camel and both of them grinning. ''Not one to remember for the good, I'll tell you that,'' Stanton said. Hardest of all was the death of teammate Jose Fernandez in a boat crash a week before the end of the season.



Kushners to back away from Marlins bid (Reuters)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:06:55 PST

(Reuters) - The Kushner family, relatives of U.S. President Donald Trump through son-in-law Jared Kushner, said on Wednesday they will not pursue the purchase of the Miami Marlins if current owner Jeffrey Loria is nominated as U.S. ambassador to France. There were reports last week that the Kushner family were in talks to purchase the Marlins for $1.6 billion. “Although the Kushners have made substantial progress in discussions for us to purchase the Marlins, recent reports suggest that Mr. Loria will soon be nominated by the President to be Ambassador to France,” the statement said.



Baseball-Kushners to back away from Marlins bid (Reuters)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:43:03 PST

The Kushner family, relatives of U.S. President Donald Trump through son-in-law Jared Kushner, said on Wednesday they will not pursue the purchase of the Miami Marlins if current owner Jeffrey Loria is nominated as U.S. ambassador to France. There were reports last week that the Kushner family were in talks to purchase the Marlins for $1.6 billion. “Although the Kushners have made substantial progress in discussions for us to purchase the Marlins, recent reports suggest that Mr. Loria will soon be nominated by the President to be Ambassador to France,” the statement said.



President Donald Trump considering Jeffrey Loria as ambassador to France (Big League Stew)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:12:40 PST

Jeffrey Loria could be the next ambassador to France. President Donald Trump is considering Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria to serve as ambassador to France. Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus has reportedly pushed Loria for the position.



Marlins bolster bullpen to help compensate for loss of ace (The Associated Press)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:35:05 PST

A cluster of Miami Marlins relievers stood chatting and laughing on a sun-splashed practice field Wednesday, enjoying the leisurely pace of February baseball. The Marlins hope to win more games by shortening them, joining baseball's trend of relying more on relievers and less on the rotation. Miami acquired three established relievers in the offseason and is counting on a deep bullpen to help compensate for the loss of ace Jose Fernandez.



Carter Capps' insane delivery is more fun in slow motion (Big League Stew)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:41:21 PST

Carter Capps and his unique delivery have returned. Games aren’t officially being played on the field just yet, so we’ll have to enjoy bad spring training photos and grainy videos of players taking batting practice or tossing the ball around. In response, we would ask if you’ve ever seen San Diego Padres pitcher Carter Capps take the mound?



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.



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 stage of grieving for Miami Marlins as camp opens (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:45:01 PST

Even before the first workout of spring training began, Miami Marlins closer A.J. Ramos felt Jose Fernandez's absence - and presence. ''I was almost late,'' Ramos said. ''Right off the bat, Jose would have yelling at me.



Ventura's death weighs on Royals as spring training opens (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:15:30 PST

Back on the field for the first time this year, the Kansas City Royals couldn't help but think of Yordano Ventura, their 25-year-old teammate who died in a car crash on Jan. 22 in his native Dominican Republic. ''He's always on your mind,'' manager Ned Yost said Tuesday as Kansas City started spring training workouts. Ventura signed with the Royals in 2008 and came up to the major league team in 2013.



Rays finalize $2M, 1-year deal with injured pitcher Eovaldi (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:12:21 PST

The Tampa Bay Rays have finalized a $2 million, one-year contract with injured pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, a deal that allows him to earn an additional $5.5 million in 2018. The 27-year-old right-hander is expected to miss the 2017 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery last August, when he was with the New York Yankees. Eovaldi can earn $3.5 million in performance bonuses each year as a starter and $3 million as a reliever.



Royals reliever Flynn hurt in barn roof accident (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:55:28 PST

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Kansas City Royals left-hander Brian Flynn is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks after falling through a barn roof at his Oklahoma residence.



Mattingly, Marlins lift ban on facial hair (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:21:47 PST

Beards are back for the Miami Marlins. Manager Don Mattingly said he and owner Jeffrey Loria decided lift their prohibition on facial hair after one season. The Marlins will continue to require players be well-groomed.



Reds' Scott Feldman won't pitch for Israel in WBC (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:26:03 PST

Scott Feldman won't compete in the World Baseball Classic for Israel, choosing instead to get ready to fill a spot in the Cincinnati Reds' rotation. The Reds signed him on Jan. 26 to fill the spot that opened when they traded Dan Straily - their top starter last season - to the Marlins for prospects. The 34-year-old Feldman will get $2.3 million on his one-year deal and can make an additional $2.2 million in bonuses based upon starts and $1.5 million for relief appearances, depending upon which role he fills.



Don Mattingly has relaxed the Marlins' facial hair policy (Big League Stew)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:48:37 PST

Don Mattingly, manager of the Miami Marlins and the former owner of a luxurious mustache, instituted a no facial hair policy for Marlins players in 2016. And now, a year later, he’s reversing course. Marlins players are now free to grow mustaches and beards and goatees. Mattingly changes facial hair policy this season.



Indians, LHP Narveson agree to minor league contract (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 07:11:43 PST

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Free agent left-hander Chris Narveson has agreed to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians.



Hot Stove Digest: Travis Wood signs two-year deal with Royals (Big League Stew)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:35:30 PST

BRING HIM IN: The Kansas City Royals have signed pitcher Travis Wood to a two-year deal. By most rankings, Wood was the best pitcher left on the market. After posting a 2.95 ERA over 61 innings with the Chicago Cubs, Wood ranked as the 38th best player on the market this winter according to our own Jeff Passan. Travis Wood will get a chance to start again with the Royals.