Cubs continue talks with free-agent Yu Darvish as spring training looms

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The Cubs continue talks with Yu Darvish this week as the slow-motion pursuit of the free agent pitcher appears to be picking up.

The Cubs and Brewers are both pursuing Darvish, along with the Rangers, Twins and a few others.

An Associated Press report on Monday said the Cubs talks are "active." President Theo Epstein has made no secret of the ...Read more

Wildfire, mudslide, missile warning: Joc Pederson's memorable wedding week

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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers threw open their stadium to firefighters on Monday, welcoming some 350 first responders from Los Angeles and Ventura counties for a round of batting practice, lunch and a chance to meet Dodgers players.

No player was more delighted to meet the men and women who fought wildfire in Southern California than ...Read more

Yordano Ventura's hometown ballpark will get a facelift from Royals' ACE 30 Fund

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LAS TERRENAS, Dominican Republic -- Kids from Yordano Ventura's hometown will not have to play baseball in a dilapidated stadium for much longer.

The Royals announced Monday that money from the ACE 30 Fund, which was established in Ventura's memory shortly after his Jan. 22, 2017 death in his native Dominican Republic, would be used to renovate...Read more

Brewers reportedly make an offer to Yu Darvish

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There has been speculation all winter that the Milwaukee Brewers would jump in at some point on one of the top free-agent starting pitchers, and apparently they finally decided to do so with Yu Darvish.

Reports out of both Japan and the United States on Sunday indicated the Brewers made an offer to Darvish, considered one of the top starters on...Read more

Indians' Jason Kipnis searching for healthier, bounce-back season in 2018, most likely at second base

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CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis once again sounds as if he has something to prove.

Kipnis essentially struggled through a lost 2017. He opened the season on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. He returned in late May but never got going offensively, starting his season just 5-for-31 and hitting .232 with a .693 OPS in the first half. ...Read more

In crazy offseason, could something crazy still happen for Rangers?

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Fan Fest traditionally serves as the kickoff to another Texas Rangers season, and before any of those who attended Saturday's festivities know it, spring training will be upon them.

Rangers pitchers and catchers must be in the state of Arizona by Feb. 14 for report date. The positions players must report five days later. ...Read more

After a slow offseason, Indians don't see reason for pessimism ahead of 2018 season

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Terry Francona dropped the line of the winter this week.

The Indians manager guaranteed that once spring training begins next month, the Indians will come back "with a vengeance" in the wake of a disappointing, early exit from the 2017 postseason.

It's a line that sort of goes without saying, but it certainly fired up some Indians fans on ...Read more

Autopsy: Roy Halladay had morphine, sleeping aids in system at death

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An autopsy released Friday said that Roy Halladay had evidence of morphine, amphetamine, and zolpidem in his system in November when he fatally crashed his single-engine plane into the Gulf of Mexico.

The autopsy, conducted by the Pasco and Pinellas Counties (Fla.) medical examiner, listed the former Phillies pitcher's cause of death as blunt ...Read more

Cardinals trade Grichuk to Blue Jays for two pitchers

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The Cardinals made their second offseason deal with Toronto by shipping outfielder Randal Grichuk, who was going to be a reserve this season, to the Blue Jays on Friday for setup reliever Dominic Leone and another right-hander, Class AA pitcher Conner Greene.

Grichuk, 26, played four seasons with the Cardinals after coming over in a November ...Read more

Orioles draft pick Tucker Baca suspended 60 games for PED violation

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Orioles minor-league pitcher Tucker Baca, who was the club's 12th-round draft pick last June, was suspended 60 games without pay after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug in violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program.

Baca, who tested positive for the PED Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, posted a 4.50 ERA ...Read more

A crowded Cubs outfield has plenty to prove in 2018

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After Ben Zobrist earned his second straight ring and was named the World Series MVP in 2016, you can't blame him for taking some time to relax last offseason.

But that's old news.

Zobrist, who turns 37 in May, is coming off a subpar season and doesn't know how he will be used this year in Joe Maddon's revolving-door lineup. So Zobrist took ...Read more

Cubs' Contreras: Comment about 'going to be better' than Molina and Posey 'misinterpreted'

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Willson Contreras clarified a comment he made about fellow catchers Yadier Molina and Buster Posey, saying that his "I'm going to be better than them" quote is being misinterpreted.

The Cubs catcher led off a series of tweets late Wednesday acknowledging, "Many people have misinterpreted what was said during a recent interview, I see no wrong ...Read more

Christian Yelich's relationship with Marlins is reportedly 'irretrievably broken'

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Christian Yelich doesn't want to be a Miami Marlin anymore.

His agent, Joe Longo, told ESPN on Tuesday that the outfielder's relationship with the Marlins is "irretrievably broken" and that the team would be best off trying to trade Yelich in advance of spring training next month.

The Marlins, under CEO Derek Jeter and chairman Bruce Sherman, ...Read more

Derek Jeter wants to get rid of Marlins home run sculpture

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MIAMI -- Derek Jeter may get an assist from Miami-Dade in ridding Marlins Park of its kitschy home run sculpture, which the new owner and the county's mayor both want removed.

"I just don't think they're all that crazy about it," Mayor Carlos Gimenez said after meeting with Jeter and other front-office executives at the county-owned ballpark on...Read more

Padres owner on Eric Hosmer offer: 'We like it. I don't know if Mr. Boras likes it.'

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Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler indicated Tuesday the team is not planning significant changes to its offer to free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer. The Union-Tribune reported earlier this month that the Padres had presented agent Scott Boras with a seven-year deal worth less than $140 million, and the club apparently has not budged from ...Read more

Danny Duffy enters DUI plea, receives probation

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Royals pitcher Danny Duffy has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Overland Park, Kan., and placed on probation, according to a city spokesman.

Sean Reilly, a communications manager of Overland Park, confirmed on Tuesday that Duffy entered the plea last Thursday. He was fined $1,220, including court fees and must not drink or use ...Read more

Yadier Molina plans to retire at the end of his three-year extension

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Repeating a stance that he took into contract negotiations a year ago, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said he has three more years on his contract and three more years of playing.

"Three more years, and that's it," Molina said.

The Cardinals catcher attended Day 3 of the team's Winter Warm-up and after signing autographs for two hours he ...Read more

Report: Giants acquire Andrew McCutchen in trade with Pirates

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SAN FRANCISCO -- After an offseason of fits and starts and false rumors, the Giants finally reeled in a high-profile outfielder Monday.

The team agreed to acquire center fielder Andrew McCutchen, a five-time All-Star and former MVP, from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the deal was in place, pending a review...Read more

Darvish staying calm in stalled market, but would Rangers have a chance if he blinks?

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Yu Darvish can probably scratch the Houston Astros off his list of suitors.

The Astros, the reigning world champs, added to their deep starting rotation over the weekend by acquiring right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Texas Rangers figure to see him a least a couple times in 2018 over the 19 games the American League West...Read more

Mets reportedly set to sign Adrian Gonzalez

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The New York Mets are expected to sign former Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to a one-year contract, according to multiple media outlets.

The deal reportedly is contingent on the 35-year-old Gonzalez passing a physical examination. Gonzalez said last season that he has a herniated disk in his back.

Gonzalez, a five-time All-...Read more