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Jonathan Lucroy stays close to Yu Darvish with WBC looming

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy is making it a point to work with Yu Darvish as much as possible early this spring.

Not only does Lucroy want to get on the same page with his ace, he also realizes there's limited opportunities before Opening Day with the World Baseball Classic in play.

Lucroy is playing with Team USA. ...Read more

As extension talks continue, Eric Hosmer understands Royals' core can't stay together

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals and representatives for first baseman Eric Hosmer continue to discuss a possible long-term contract extension, according to a report from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, though any potential deal would likely have to be struck before Opening Day.

In an interview on Sunday, Hosmer told Rosenthal that the two sides had ...Read more

Why Martin Prado skipped free agency to sign extension with Marlins

Sports / Baseball /

The Miami Marlins' most important move of the offseason might've been their first.

On Oct. 5, at a news conference inside a quiet Marlins Park, president of baseball operations Michael Hill made official what had been known for about a week: Third baseman Martin Prado signed a three-year, $40 million extension to stay in South Florida.

For the...Read more

Marlins' Jeff Locke shut down for a few days with bicep tendinitis

Sports / Baseball /

Left-hander Jeff Locke has stopped throwing for a few days due to bicep tendinitis. The Marlins expect him to resume his program by the end of the week.

"We just want to get him calmed down before we get him back started again," manager Don Mattingly said. "We got plenty of time."

Locke is still participating in most of each day's workout -- ...Read more

Bumgarner's nemesis hopes to become his teammate with Giants

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's one of the tiny joys of spring training: an offseason acquisition enters the clubhouse, he's had past success against a new teammate, and good-natured ribbing ensues.

But what if you're Justin Ruggiano? What if you own three home runs in 14 at-bats against a certain Giants left-handed ace? What if your last encounter ...Read more

A year older, Profar still sees 'big things' coming with Rangers

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Even Jurickson Profar admits that he has been on the Texas Rangers scene for what feels like most of a decade.

Well, he has.

Signed as a non-drafted international free agent in 2011 from Curacao, Profar became the game's top prospect only two years later. He was the Rangers' second baseman of the future. A future All-Star.

...Read more

White Sox's Jose Abreu says he never had struggles like 2016

Sports / Baseball /

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After the White Sox played their last game of 2016, first baseman Jose Abreu held a meeting with his family at his home to discuss his season.

"I explained to them all of the challenges, the problems I had during that season," Abreu said Sunday through a team interpreter. "Once we ended with that meeting, last season was in ...Read more

Cubs' Schwarber eager to re-train eyes, legs behind the plate

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- After returning to catching Friday for the first time in nearly 11 months, Kyle Schwarber knows there's more to getting re-acclimated to the position than just testing his surgically repaired left knee.

"It's going to be limited," Schwarber said Sunday morning at the Chicago Cubs' rain-soaked spring training complex. "My role ...Read more

Dodgers' Utley accepts bench role

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- The text messages reached Corey Seager as a greeting and a warning.

"Watch out when I come into second base next year," Chase Utley wrote in the off-season, when a reunion with the Los Angeles Dodgers looked so unlikely. Even his jokes contain a hint of menace.

Seager idolized Utley during their time together and considered him a ...Read more

Moreno: Angels can compete

Sports / Baseball /

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sixty-nine Angels gathered Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium for their first full-squad workout of 2017.

Unseasonable rain pounding the Phoenix area nixed that. But, in a rare instance of public comment, their owner, Arte Moreno expressed excitement about the Angels' chances this season.

He said he believed the team had improved...Read more

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts hoping for Patriots-like stretch of domination

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- It started seven years ago trying to win the National League Central.

Now the Ricketts family wants the world.

After addressing the full squad Saturday at the Cubs' spring training complex, Chairman Tom Ricketts said he would like the team one day to be considered "one of the great sports organizations in the world."

They took ...Read more

Son beat him to video stardom, but Yoan Moncada might not be far behind

Sports / Baseball /

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The first viral video of a Moncada on the baseball field this year didn't feature new White Sox top prospect Yoan but his 2-year-old son.

Robinson Moncada has been playing T-ball for about a year, and he already knows how to do it with style. The video shows the youngster hitting a ball off a tee in a game, carrying the bat ...Read more

Rangers' Beltre still won't rule himself out for WBC's first round

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre said on Saturday that he has not ruled himself out for the first round of the World Baseball Classic even though a Texas Rangers press release stated that he was not going to play because of a strained left calf.

Beltre seemed taken aback by the release. He maintained that if his calf feels 100 ...Read more

Rangers' Cashner has something to prove in home state

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Free agency during the just-completed baseball offseason gave Andrew Cashner the opportunity he had been working toward since his major league service clock started ticking in 2010.

For the first time in his career, he had the opportunity to choose where he played, and topping his list was the Lone Star State. Being in Texas ...Read more

World Baseball Classic leaves teams holding collective breath

Sports / Baseball /

The World Baseball Classic is Major League Baseball's way of making the game a more global one, as well as bringing some patriotism into it.

But the reality is that there will never be a convenient time to hold the tournament, which this year begins March 6 with the championship round set for March 20-22. It leaves teams having to hope that ...Read more

Rangers' Beltre has strained calf, might miss World Baseball Classic

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre arrived at Texas Rangers spring training with an announcement: He has a strained left calf and he might not play in the World Baseball Classic.

Beltre said he was injured Tuesday while working out at his home. He underwent an MRI that showed the strain, which he said is slightly more severe than a ...Read more

Dodgers' Gonzalez shut down for two weeks with elbow inflammation

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- Adrian Gonzalez slipped a compression sleeve over his right elbow as he finished up his first day this spring at Camelback Ranch. From a few lockers away, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager pondered his teammate's outfit. The garb screamed golf.

"Where you going to play?" Seager asked.

"No, no," Gonzalez said. "I can't play."

Gonzalez ...Read more

No plans for Braves closer-by-committee

Sports / Baseball /

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Braves have two relievers with major league closer experience and another with a fastball that regularly reaches or exceeds 100 mph, but there are no plans to go with a closer-by-committee or have an open competition for the closer job this spring.

Barring injury or other unexpected development before opening day, ...Read more

Marlins president Samson confirms sale talks, Loria's potential ambassadorship

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. -- For the first time, the Miami Marlins acknowledged that the team is for sale and owner Jeffrey Loria is a candidate to be the U.S. ambassador to France -- two possibilities that are not connected, team president David Samson said.

Samson said Friday afternoon that the Marlins' talks with the Kushner family to purchase the ...Read more

Pirates' McCutchen says he had to 'not be as selfish' in move to right field

Sports / Baseball /

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Andrew McCutchen wasn't particularly pleased when manager Clint Hurdle phoned a few weeks back to inform the former center fielder he would play right field. McCutchen had always assumed he'd be the one who decided when he left center for a corner.

After 10,3171/3 innings in the majors, all in center, he discovered the ...Read more