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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred criticizes minor league owners

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- Commissioner Rob Manfred took a contentious stance Wednesday at the winter meetings when addressing the owners' plan to eliminate 42 minor league teams, in the name of what he said would be better facilities, travel arrangements and pay for minor league players.

Although major league owners successfully lobbied Congress last year ...Read more

Angels sign elite third baseman Anthony Rendon to seven-year, $245 million contract

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Angels spent the last week watching starting pitchers come off the board. In the face of a fast-moving free-agent market, general manager Billy Eppler and his staff scrapped multiple plans plotting a path toward contention.

"There are a lot of ways to create a winning team," Eppler said late Wednesday in response to...Read more

Ken 'Hawk' Harrelson wins Hall of Fame's top broadcasting honor after decades of colorfully calling White Sox games

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- You can put it on the board -- yes!

Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, whose 42 years as a major league broadcaster included 33 with the White Sox, is the winner of the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2020 Ford C. Frick Award.

The selection by a panel of the 11 living past Frick honorees and four historians/columnists was announced Wednesday at baseball...Read more

MLB has reviewed 76,000 emails as it investigates Houston Astros' cheating scandal

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- The MLB commissioner's office has interviewed more than 50 witnesses and reviewed more than 70,000 emails and additional messages as it looks into the Houston Astros' high-tech sign-stealing scheme.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said the initial round has created the need for follow-up interviews, which will push the investigation into ...Read more

Opioid testing among MLB players will begin next season

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- Five months after Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died in a hotel room with two opioids in his bloodstream, Major League Baseball and its players union have agreed on a new drug policy that will add opioid testing for major leaguers and marijuana use will not be punished in the major or minor leagues.

The policy, which ...Read more

Dodgers sign relief pitcher Blake Treinen to a one-year, $10 million deal

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- The only area the Dodgers have specifically sought to upgrade this offseason is the bullpen. As president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman described it, the need to bolster a relief corps is "omnipresent."

The Dodgers were specifically looking for someone they believe could dominate batters in the later innings. On Wednesday,...Read more

A look at some higher-profile options to fill Braves' power void

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- The Braves surely are exploring unpredictable avenues, but they've been clear about their hopes to supplement their lineup with power. The addition could come at third base or the outfield; it could be re-signing Josh Donaldson or bringing in an alternative.

"It's fair to say we'd like to do something for the middle of the order," ...Read more

Boras says 'our ears are open' to a Bryant long-term extension with Cubs, but they're also preparing for other scenarios

Sports / Baseball /

Agent Scott Boras said he's unsure whether Kris Bryant will be on the Cubs' Opening-Day roster.

So Boras is preparing his client for an array of scenarios -- including a possible trade as speculation spreads like brush fire at the winter meetings.

"We talk to Kris all the time," Boras told reporters Tuesday during a 52-minute briefing. "Kris ...Read more

Phillies, shortstop Didi Gregorius agree to one-year contract, source says

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- It might wind up being only a short stop for Didi Gregorius, but the Phillies have found their shortstop for 2020.

Gregorius and the Phillies agreed to terms on a one-year contract, a source confirmed Tuesday as the winter meetings continued here at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The deal is reportedly worth $14 million, which would ...Read more

Angels trade Zack Cozart and prospect Will Wilson to Giants

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday traded veteran infielder Zack Cozart and 2019 first-round draft pick Will Wilson to the San Francisco Giants for cash or a player to be named, clearing space on the payroll and roster as negotiations heat up at baseball's winter meetings.

Cozart, 34, signed a three-year contract as a free agent ...Read more

Agent Scott Boras on Orioles' Chris Davis: 'I'm always concerned when a player's not performing'

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- Baseball super-agent Scott Boras made an extended metaphor about major league teams as different species of birds Tuesday at the winter meetings, but his comments on one bird in particular -- Orioles first baseman Chris Davis -- were straightforward.

The representative that negotiated Davis' massive seven-year, $161 million ...Read more

Orioles' front office remains committed to rebuild as tanking, 'Astroball' roots come under scrutiny

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- After years of slowed-down signings in free agency and a general cooling of baseball's hot stove, the winter meetings kicked off Monday with a flurry of activity and World Series Most Valuable Player Stephen Strasburg re-signing with the Washington Nationals for a record contract.

But as the player movement that's made the baseball...Read more

Padres' concerns over Tommy Pham's elbow delay trade's completion

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- Tommy Pham effectively passed a series of physicals this weekend, but the Padres' trade for the outfielder remains in limbo due to the team's lingering concerns over the health of his elbow.

"We're still working through some final details but hope to have some clarity on that in the next 24 hours," General Manager A.J. Preller said...Read more

Texas Rangers' plan for winter meetings, pursuit of Rendon buoyed by gains in 2019

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- For the past year, if not longer, the general assumption when it came to the Texas Rangers' finances was that ownership was biding its time for 2020.

The new ballpark, with the roof the owners wanted, would be ready for play.

The rebuild would be further along, with more known about the young players on the roster and with the ...Read more

Phillies finalize Zack Wheeler signing, focus on other needs at winter meetings

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- As the baseball world came together here Monday for the start of the winter meetings, the Phillies put a bow on their first big piece of offseason business.

Five days after reaching agreement on contract terms with free-agent pitcher Zack Wheeler, the Phillies finalized the five-year, $118 million deal. The 29-year-old right-hander...Read more

David Ross' 1st Cubs coaching staff is complete after addition of Kyle Evans

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- The Cubs finalized their 2020 coaching staff Monday by appointing Kyle Evans as senior director of major-league data and development and shifting Will Venable from first base coach to third base coach.

Venable, the first base coach the last two seasons, moved after the hiring of Craig Driver as first base/catching coach last month....Read more

Nationals re-sign Stephen Strasburg to record seven-year, $245-million deal

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- The Washington Nationals, weeks removed from winning their first World Series title, arrived at baseball's winter meetings Sunday facing crucial decisions. Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, two of their best players, were free agents. Clubs, including the Dodgers, were in pursuit and the prices would be high. Last week, owner ...Read more

As winter meetings arrive, Cardinals warm to pitching market

Sports / Baseball /

When members of Mike Shildt's major-league staff begin contacting position players next week to discuss reports delivered this week and discuss how they'll prepare for this spring, the information will all be individualized, but the first question won't be.

"It's always going to be: 'What do you think?'" Shildt, the Cardinals' manager, said ...Read more

A.J. Preller, Padres more prepared to go wild this winter

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- The last time the Baseball Winter Meetings were in San Diego, A.J. Preller walked out of his temporary home at the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter each day, made his way toward Harbor Drive and entered the Manchester Grand Hyatt, where he launched a transformation of the Padres roster.

He didn't officially consummate any trades during ...Read more

Braves enter winter meetings with most needs filled

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- As Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos readies for baseball's winter meetings, which open Monday in San Diego, most of his to-do boxes are already checked.

Anthopoulos has wasted no time since the World Series concluded. He added All-Star reliever Will Smith on a healthy $13 million-a-year commitment. He retained seasoned ...Read more