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Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Phillies, Zack Wheeler agree to three-year, $126 million extension

Sports / Baseball /

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Within a three-day span, Zack Wheeler celebrated the birth of his third child and finalized a nine-figure contract extension with the Phillies.

How’s that for an epic week?

“It was definitely busy,” Wheeler said Monday in a news conference to announce a three-year deal that’s worth $126 million, according to ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Bill Plaschke: Be like Tommy? Dave Roberts faces must-win season to ensure Dodgers legacy.

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — He stands up at his spartan desk on a dull February morning and grins as if handed a gift.

"Dude this is so good, so much fun!" he says. "I can't wait to get to work every day!"

He is asked if this could be the most difficult of his nine seasons, and answers as if leading a cheer.

"This will be the toughest, because anything ...Read more

Steph Chambers/Getty Images North America/TNS

As Tommy John surgery turns 50, procedure has many success stories. The Rockies are hoping to add a few more to that list.

Sports / Baseball /

German Marquez flexed his right arm as he pointed to the small zipper scar near his elbow.

“I have a brand new arm,” Marquez said. “I’m ready for 10 more years.”

It’s all systems go for the Rockies’ 2021 All-Star pitcher who underwent Tommy John surgery last May. What seemed like a crushing blow for Marquez at the time now looks ...Read more

Meg McLaughlin/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Father Time not yet coming for Padres right-hander Yu Darvish

Sports / Baseball /

PEORIA, Ariz. — Including variations of variations, Yu Darvish has about a dozen pitches in his back pocket. Maybe more.

He dissects mound work like a biologist. His 6-foot-5 frame is as trim as it was upon jumping across the Pacific as a 25-year-old, all of it part of a carefully manicured plan that dictates Darvish's every move.

These are...Read more

Tigers' Matt Manning continues to take no prisoners in quest to retain his rotation spot

Sports / Baseball /

TAMPA, Fla. — Matt Manning’s intensity didn’t let up Sunday. He was still in full lather well after he set down eight straight Yankee hitters to end his second spring start.

Asked about facing five of the Yankees’ top hitters right out of the gate, he said, “Sure. Why not? They’re out there. Might as well.”

Asked about his ...Read more

Mariners' top breakout candidates this year? Dominic Canzone ranks high on list.

Sports / Baseball /

PEORIA, Ariz. — Jarret DeHart doesn't need much prompting. Mention Dominic Canzone's name and the Mariners' hitting coach perks up immediately.

"He is incredibly talented," DeHart said. "Like, he's one of the more skilled hitters I've been around. His ability to impact the baseball and his ability to make contact — it's a unique skill set. ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Manager Dave Roberts says Dodgers infielders Gavin Lux, Max Muncy passing the eye test

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — Dave Roberts doesn’t put much stock in the defensive metrics available on websites such as Fangraphs and Baseball Savant, and not just because the Dodgers have their own internal system to measure how their players are performing in the field.

“The metrics certainly have a place, but I have two good eyes, or sorta good eyes, ...Read more

Elsa/Getty Images North America/TNS

Rays prospect Yoniel Curet getting 'a little bit closer to my dreams'

Sports / Baseball /

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Yoniel Curet is experiencing a lot of firsts.

In November, the 21-year-old right-hander was added to the Rays’ 40-man roster, a bit of a surprise even though he hadn’t pitched above the Class A level, and thus included in big-league spring camp.

Sunday, he pitched in his first major-league exhibition, working a ...Read more

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jason Mackey: The Venezuelan team that signed Felipe Rivero this soon can't possibly be serious

Sports / Baseball /

BRADENTON, Fla. — Spring training represents a time for unbridled hope and unrealistic expectations. It's apparently also now the time for sheer stupidity, at least in Venezuela.

Basically three months after he was deported — a move made by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations stemming from his conviction on 15 charges that included ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Can James Paxton deliver again? The Dodgers are counting on it.

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — His check-engine light was illuminated, and his gas gauge was nearing empty, but James Paxton had little choice but to ignore those warning signs as July turned to August last summer.

The Boston Red Sox were 56-50 and 2 1/2 games out of an American League wild-card spot when they opted to keep Paxton beyond the Aug. 1 trade deadline...Read more

Winslow Townson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Giants finally land their man in Matt Chapman: reports

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It took until the 116th day of free agency, but one of the most obvious pairings from day one finally came to fruition.

The San Francisco Giants agreed to terms late Friday night with third baseman Matt Chapman on a three-year contract that includes two opt-outs, according to multiple reports, making one of their biggest ...Read more

Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Top 10 Bryce Harper moments as a Phillie: From Mr. 300 to 'attaboy' to Bedlam at the Bank

Sports / Baseball /

PHILADELPHIA — Five years ago this week, Bryce Harper chose the Phillies.

And the franchise entered a new era.

It took a few seasons, two managerial changes, and a new leader in the front office to complete the Phillies’ transformation into a World Series contender. But when Harper showed up for that first news conference atop the dugout ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Dylan Hernández: How Japanese culture shaped Shohei Ohtani's marriage announcement

Sports / Baseball /

Before Shohei Ohtani became Japan's most popular athlete, that designation belonged to figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu.

Like Ohtani, Hanyu is 29.

Like Ohtani, Hanyu was born and raised in the Tohoku region, the northern part of Japan's main island.

Last year, the retired Hanyu announced on social media that he was married. Three months later, he ...Read more

Winslow Townson/Getty Images North America/TNS

SF Giants finally land their man in Matt Chapman: reports

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It took until the 116th day of free agency, but one of the most obvious pairings from day one finally came to fruition.

The San Francisco Giants agreed to terms late Friday night with third baseman Matt Chapman on a three-year contract that includes two opt-outs, according to multiple reports, making one of their biggest ...Read more

JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Brandon Crawford says he was 'not wanted back' by Giants

Sports / Baseball /

Former San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said Friday in an interview with The Athletic that he expressed a desire to re-sign, a willingness to play multiple positions and an interest in mentoring Marco Luciano, but that he was rebuffed by team president Farhan Zaidi.

“The bottom line is I was not wanted back by the one person ...Read more

Julio Aguilar/Getty Images North America/TNS

Twins' Joe Ryan was going to give Carlos Santana No. 41, until MLB charged $225,000

Sports / Baseball /

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Carlos Santana has played for six different major league teams in his career, and at each stop, he wore No. 41. It's a tribute, he said, to five-time All-Star Victor Martinez, the Venezuelan slugger who played for 16 seasons, most of them also with No. 41 on his back.

"In the minor leagues [while with Cleveland], he taught ...Read more

HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. getting right knee evaluated

Sports / Baseball /

NORTH PORT, Fla. — After reporting right knee soreness, Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. went to be evaluated by a doctor, manager Brian Snitker said after Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Orioles at CoolToday Park.

Snitker said Acuña — who was scratched from Friday’s lineup “as a precaution,” the Braves said — might’ve started ...Read more

Elsa/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mets pitching depth takes hit as Max Kranick goes down with hamstring strain

Sports / Baseball /

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Mets are getting thin on starting pitching already.

Right-hander Max Kranick was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain Thursday. He’ll be shut down for 7-10 days before he’s allowed to resume his progression. The Mets expect him to join Kodai Senga on the injured list at the start of the season.

“It’s ...Read more

Angels' Mickey Moniak looks to build on breakthrough season

Sports / Baseball /

TEMPE, Ariz. — Mickey Moniak is finally beginning a season without the weight of unmet expectations.

Moniak, a former No. 1 overall draft pick who never found his big-league footing until 2023, comfortably has a job as a regular in the Angels’ lineup.

“It feels different in the sense of finally having the success I had and almost ...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Why Zach Eflin feels so much more comfortable with Rays this year

Sports / Baseball /

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Zach Eflin has ample reason to feel more comfortable with the Rays this spring.

Last year he was the new guy, leaving the Phillies — and their veteran-led clubhouse — after seven seasons. Signing the largest free-agent contract in Rays history — $40 million over three years — created expectations, and some ...Read more