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Shohei Ohtani's free agency turns into full-blown spectacle with conflicting reports, plane conspiracy theories

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — Rumors continue to fly about Shohei Ohtani — and a flight to Toronto he may or may not have been on.

The two-time American League MVP’s super-secretive MLB free agency transformed into a full-blown spectacle Friday as conspiracy theories swirled and two national baseball insiders shared conflicting reports on Ohtani’s ...Read more

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Angels trade David Fletcher and Max Stassi to Braves as part of a four-player deal

Sports / Baseball /

The Angels traded infielder David Fletcher and catcher Max Stassi to the Atlanta Braves for first baseman Evan White and right-handed reliever Tyler Thomas, both teams announced Friday.

Neither White nor Thomas has been added to the Angels' 40-man roster. Cash considerations were not part of the deal, the Angels announced.

White signed a six-...Read more

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Red Sox trading for two-time Gold Glove outfielder Tyler O'Neill

Sports / Baseball /

BOSTON — Two days after trading away an outfielder, the Red Sox are acquiring a new one.

On Friday night, the club announced that they acquired outfielder Tyler O’Neill from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for right-hander Nick Robertson and minor league righty Victor Santos.

O’Neill, 28, has spent his entire major league career with...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Orioles and Maryland reach tentative 30-year lease deal, sources say, pending needed approvals

Sports / Baseball /

BALTIMORE — After years of negotiation and a nonbinding memorandum of understanding reached in September, the Orioles and the state of Maryland have reached a tentative agreement on a lease deal that would keep the club at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for at least 30 more years, according to two people directly familiar with the document.

The ...Read more

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Shohei Ohtani's free agency could also be life changing for Japanese reporters

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Everyone who gathered at the Gaylord Opryland for Major League Baseball's winter meetings this week asked the same question over and over again: Which team is going to sign Shohei Ohtani?

For one franchise, Ohtani's decision will define the offseason. For other prominent free agents, it will finally move their markets ...Read more

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Sam McDowell: The Royals got fleeced by the draft lottery (again). The system is flawed.

Sports / Baseball /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the heels of a season in which they lost 106 times, as many as any other in team franchise history, the Royals took their biggest loss of the year on a random weekday in early December.

I’m not kidding.

Didn’t even know they were playing a game this week? Oh, but they were, because the latest collective bargaining ...Read more

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By trading Juan Soto, Padres attempt to fix a mess of their own making

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — This was where the Padres were, so they did what they felt they had to do.

It can be true both that they made a mind-blowing choice to jettison a highly motivated future Hall of Famer in his prime and that they made what seems to be a strong effort to mitigate the stench of spilled milk.

At any rate, we can stop talking ...Read more

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Los Angeles vs. Toronto in a free-agency battle for Shohei Ohtani? It's on!

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — We don't know whether the Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays are the two finalists to sign Shohei Ohtani. We don't know much about Ohtani's free agency, by design.

But we do know that Ohtani has met with the Dodgers and Blue Jays in recent days, and that was enough to spark what turned into an international debate.

On Wednesday, on ...Read more

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What's next for Yankees after Juan Soto blockbuster?

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — Juan Soto is officially a Yankee.

The Bronx Bombers pulled off a blockbuster trade for the 25-year-old superstar and Trent Grisham late Wednesday night. Doing so took a ton of pitching, as the Yankees sent right-handers Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito and Randy Vásquez, along with catcher Kyle Higashioka, to the Padres.

...Read more

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Jorge Castillo: Are Dave Roberts and Dodgers front office experiencing a disconnect?

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On Tuesday, to the shock of just about anybody who cares, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts disclosed that his club indeed had a meeting with free agent Shohei Ohtani this offseason. He even offered some details.

It happened a “couple of days ago” at Dodger Stadium. He was there with a few team officials, but no Dodgers ...Read more

Meg McLaughlin/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Padres send Juan Soto, Trent Grisham to Yankees

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On the final day of baseball’s winter meetings, the Padres helped roust the annual gathering from its slumber.

And in completing a trade that sent outfielders Juan Soto and Trent Grisham to the Yankees, the Padres made strides toward achieving two of their overriding offseason objectives — adding to their starting ...Read more

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Jacob Calvin Meyer: John Angelos and the Orioles should follow their 'example' and, like Brewers, extend a young star

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The last time Baltimore-area media had the opportunity to ask Orioles CEO and Chairman John Angelos about the club’s low payroll, he named the Milwaukee Brewers as an organization to compare with Baltimore.

“I’m simply using Milwaukee as a good example of a market that’s similar to Baltimore, in the shadow of a much...Read more

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Jorge Castillo: The NBA In-Season Tournament has been a success. Could one work for MLB?

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A year ago, one conversation driver during the winter meetings had nothing to do with free agency or the trade market. Major League Baseball, historically hesitant to implement change, had just announced a series of new rules designed to produce a more entertaining product for the 2023 season.

A pitch clock. Infield shift ...Read more

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Yankees acquire outfielder Alex Verdugo in trade with Red Sox: reports

Sports / Baseball /

The Yankees were said to be searching for left-handed hitting outfielders, and they landed one on Tuesday.

The Bombers acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo in a trade with the rival Boston Red Sox, according to multiple reports.

Pitchers Richard Fitts, Greg Weissert and Nicholas Judice are reportedly heading back to Boston.

Verdugo slashed .264/....Read more

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Aaron Boone talks Juan Soto, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and more as Yankees eye upgrades, good health

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Yankees had yet to make any splashes by the time Aaron Boone spoke at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday afternoon, but that didn’t stop the manager from discussing some of his team’s top targets.

The first name to come up was naturally Juan Soto’s. The Yankees and Padres have discussed trade scenarios for the ...Read more

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Dave Roberts confirms Dodgers met with Shohei Ohtani, to the surprise of team officials

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Dodgers held a meeting with two-way star Shohei Ohtani at Dodger Stadium last week, manager Dave Roberts revealed Tuesday at Major League Baseball's winter meetings, marking the biggest on-the-record development in a free-agent pursuit that had previously been shrouded in secrecy and speculation.

"Yeah, we met with him,...Read more

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Half a billion: That's the latest price for a gondola to Dodger Stadium

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — In 2018, when the Dodger Stadium gondola was first proposed, the cost was estimated at $125 million. On Monday, an environmental impact report projected the cost at up to $500 million.

The report sets the stage for a series of votes and regulatory hurdles on the project, starting at Metro early next year and continuing to Los ...Read more

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Dodgers met with Shohei Ohtani last week, Dave Roberts says

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Dodgers held a meeting with two-way star Shohei Ohtani at Dodger Stadium last week, manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday at Major League Baseball’s winter meetings, marking the biggest on-the-record development in a free-agent pursuit that had previously been shrouded in secrecy and speculation.

“Yeah, we met with him...Read more

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Shohei Ohtani's free agency is playing out in secrecy. That's not good for MLB

Sports / Baseball /

The night before this week's winter meetings launched inside a dystopian resort and convention center, the event's top storyline was plastered all over Major League Baseball's official website.

The homepage Saturday featured a box in the top right corner titled "Ohtani Watch," where readers could "keep track of the latest news and rumors."

...Read more

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Yankees' Michael Fishman talks analytics, communication: 'We always could have done better'

Sports / Baseball /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While the Yankees didn’t have any scheduled media availability at the Winter Meetings on Monday, assistant general manager Michael Fishman answered a few questions regarding the team’s analytics department.

Fishman, previously the club’s director of quantitative analysis, has come under scrutiny recently, as there is ...Read more