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Led by Max Fried, Braves should once again have stellar starting rotation

Sports / Baseball /

The idea is simple: When you have a great starting rotation, you have a chance to win every night. It’s a relatively reliable path to piling up victories.

The execution is difficult, because only a select group of teams find themselves in that position each season. Building a dominant rotation is tough because you need at least five good ...Read more

Matt Stone/Boston Herald/TNS

Jason Mastrodonato: Red Sox failing to find momentum heading into Spring Training

Sports / Baseball /

Some scattered thoughts on the Red Sox as the truck pulls into JetBlue Park in Fort Myers…

1. The Red Sox are doing a heck of a job alienating both their fanbase and former players this winter, with Matt Barnes the latest longtime player they’ve irritated.

While Barnes was honest and professional in his goodbye press conference this week, ...Read more

Kevin Richardson/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Orioles star Adley Rutschman is expected to be one of the best in baseball. The pressure is 'more exciting than anything.'

Sports / Baseball /

Opening beer cans for Orioles fans during Saturday’s Birdland Caravan happy hour, Adley Rutschman got hasty, prompting a Checkerspot Brewing Company employee to jokingly remind him to make sure the patrons paid for their drinks. A nearby fan offered a reason the Orioles’ catcher should have been able to get away with it.

“He can do what ...Read more

K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Padres must engage Manny Machado to keep 2023 from being his final season in San Diego

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO — The Padres have some work to do to keep their de facto captain beyond 2023.

"We've expressed our feelings regarding the opt-out to them," Manny Machado said Saturday, smiling wide.

Machado's candor regarding his ability to opt out of his contract after this season qualifies as news. But the idea he will do so hardly is.

Machado ...Read more

Eric Espada/Getty Images North America/TNS

Miguel Rojas agrees to two-year contract extension with Dodgers

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — On the same day he was reintroduced to fans at the Dodgers’ FanFest event at Chavez Ravine on Saturday, infielder Miguel Rojas also ensured his return to Los Angeles could last at least a couple of seasons.

The Dodgers agreed to a two-year contract extension with Rojas that will cover this season and the 2024 campaign, ...Read more

Brett Davis/Getty Images North America/TNS

Braves prevail over pitcher Max Fried in salary arbitration

Sports / Baseball /

ATLANTA — The Braves won against pitcher Max Fried in salary arbitration, as a panel of arbitrators ruled in the club’s favor Saturday, multiple people familiar with the matter confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In 2023, Fried will make $13.5 million — the figure the club filed — instead of the $15 million he sought in his ...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Fernando Valenzuela's number retirement celebrated by Jaime Jarrín and Julio Urías

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — Jaime Jarrín summed up the biggest news from the Dodgers FanFest event at Chavez Ravine on Saturday in just one sentence.

“This,” the Dodgers’ recently retired Spanish radio voice said after the team announced it would retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this coming season, “is something overdue.”

For years, much ...Read more

Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Fernando Tatis Jr. expects to be a full participant when Padres begin spring training

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO — Fernando Tatis Jr.'s push to return from the long-awaited shoulder surgery and two wrist procedures began roughly a month ago, setting up the 24-year-old to be a full participant not only for the start of spring training but when he's able to return from his PED suspension on April 20.

He's already a full-go in batting practice, ...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Bill Plaschke: Dodgers are finally retiring Fernando Valenzuela's number

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — It is more than digits on a uniform, it is a symbol of community, a monument to connection, a deep blue landmark that has long bonded a city and its baseball team.

Thirty-four is the Dodgers' true magic number.

And now, finally, officially, gloriously, it will live forever with Fernando Valenzuela.

In a long-awaited move that ...Read more

Meg McLaughlin/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Bryce Miller: San Diego's favorite Joe (Musgrove) puts the 'we' and 'us' in Padres' rise

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO — The cars lined both sides of Tavern Road and Victoria Park Terrace as far as eyes could see. They jockeyed for spots because of a man sitting at a small table in a parking lot next to a giant ice machine, sandwiched between a landscaping business and a Shell station.

They came to get a glimpse of Padres' homegrown pitcher Joe ...Read more

Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Black-led group wants to prove skeptics wrong with big dreams and sports teams for Oakland Coliseum

Sports / Baseball /

OAKLAND, Calif. — For the past decade, the vast Coliseum complex in East Oakland has increasingly felt like a forsaken land, its once proud ballpark and arena on a path to concrete ruin following the departures of the Raiders and Warriors and likely the A’s.

Striding into this bleak outlook are Brien Dixon and Ray Bobbitt, co-founders of ...Read more

John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TND

Jason Heyward opens his baseball academy -- a 10-acre campus that also includes Chicago's largest indoor soccer field

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO — Former Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward attended a ribbon cutting Thursday for the North Austin Center, a 10-acre campus for education, sports and wellness on Chicago’s West Side.

The Jason Heyward Baseball Academy has a major league sized infield and will provide sports training and leadership development programs for ...Read more

Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Trea Turner's path to Phillies' $300 million man began as a baby-faced freshman at N.C. State

Sports / Baseball /

RALEIGH, N.C. — During Trea Turner’s three years at North Carolina State, the only opponents who could stop him were the ones manning the entrances to the local taprooms. When Turner was a freshman, his buddies on the baseball team would bar-hop on Friday and Saturday nights, many of them bearing driver’s licenses that indicated they were ...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

How Rays' Jeffrey Springs evolved into a $31 million man

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The primary explanation for how Jeffrey Springs evolved from a fringy reliever who was dumped off big-league rosters three times and traded twice into a key part of a standout Rays rotation with a new four-year, $31 million contract is his fervent drive and determination to succeed.

Much the same way he got to the major...Read more

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How might another luxury tax bill affect the Dodgers' future?

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — One of the biggest questions of the Dodgers’ offseason finally has a definitive answer.

Will the team stay below Major League Baseball’s luxury tax threshold in 2023?

No, club president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman confirmed Wednesday, probably not.

The news didn’t come as much of a surprise. While there ...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Nathan Ruiz: Turning down lease option another case of Orioles disregarding public perception

Sports / Baseball /

BALTIMORE — The Orioles don’t seem to care what you think.

On Wednesday, the team — meaning CEO and Chairman John Angelos and whoever he might have asked for input — decided to decline the option in its lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority that would have extended the agreement by five years. That choice, which leaves 11 months on ...Read more

Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, Fla./Tampa Bay Times/TNS

John Romano: Money talks for the Yankees. It whispers for the Rays.

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Outside of Tampa Bay, the money flows freely.

Some might say recklessly; others would argue gloriously. Whichever side of baseball’s economic fence you land on, there is little doubt that the divide continues to grow wider.

The top 10 spenders in the majors shelled out a little more than $3 billion for free agents ...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Orioles to decline 5-year Camden Yards lease extension, say new long-term agreement would revitalize stadium district

Sports / Baseball /

BALTIMORE — The Orioles will decline an option to extend their Camden Yards lease by five more years, planning instead to secure a longer-term, more comprehensive stadium agreement, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

The lease expires at the end of 2023, and the baseball team expects to reach a new agreement by then with...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Dodgers executives are 'comfortable' with decision to cut Trevor Bauer

Sports / Baseball /

Dodgers executives addressed Trevor Bauer's release for the first time publicly Wednesday, though they left several pressing questions about the process behind the decision unanswered, including details about their meeting with Bauer the day before cutting ties with him last month.

In a meeting with local reporters inside a Dodger Stadium ...Read more

Larry Stone: Mariners are clear. This year, they want more than just to reach playoffs.

Sports / Baseball /

Teoscar Hernandez said that as the playoff pairings were being determined down the stretch of the MLB season last year, he heard talk among his team — the Blue Jays at the time — that they preferred to face the Mariners.

Hernandez’s reaction? Au contraire.

“I was one of the ones to say no, because of the really good team they had,” ...Read more