Prized Cuban prospect Moncada works out for Rays

Tampa Bay's international signing pool likely prevents acquiring infielder

Prized Cuban prospect Moncada works out for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays held a workout for Cuban free agent Yoan Moncada this week at Tropicana Field, but it's still unlikely they will sign the highly coveted 19-year-old prospect.

Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said last week on MLB Network Radio that the Rays had looked into Moncada. But the switch-hitting infielder could receive a signing bonus between $30 million and $40 million, a high price for any club but particularly for Tampa Bay.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pablo Sandoval wants to honor the Marathon shoveler

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Pablo Sandoval wants to honor the Marathon shoveler

Pablo Sandoval has been a member of the Boston Red Sox for roughly two months, but he's already helping out his fellow Beantowners.

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Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

Buxton looking to defend No. 1 slot with 2015 rankings set to be unveiled

Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

After an offseason filled with transactions and intrigue, Spring Training is fast approaching. That means it's time for the unveiling of the latest MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

The annual preseason ranking of the Top 100 prospects in baseball will be revealed tonight, with the Top 50 being unveiled during a one-hour special on MLB Network and MLB.com beginning at 9 p.m. ET, and the entire list on MLB.com. The show, hosted by Greg Amsinger, will feature analysis from MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, as well as MLB Network analyst Bill Ripken.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2015 Prospect Watch: Top 10 outfielders

Twins' Buxton leads list again, followed by Pederson (Dodgers), Soler (Cubs), Winker (Reds)

2015 Prospect Watch: Top 10 outfielders

MLBPipeline.com's 2015 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Friday, Jan. 30, on MLB.com, with the Top 50 revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.

The top 10 outfielders list annually has some of the most athletic and exciting prospects in the Minor Leagues, and this year is no different. Though half of the players on last year's preseason list lost their rookie eligibility in 2014, the other half returns, led by last year's No. 1 overall prospect, Byron Buxton.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox embrace position as contenders

While players aren't making predictions, they know club is in a good spot

White Sox embrace position as contenders

CHICAGO -- There have been no ironclad American League Central title predictions coming from members of the 2015 White Sox, much like Anthony Rizzo did for the Cubs a few weeks back with the NL Central crown.

While the White Sox haven't been as publicly confident as Rizzo -- an admirable quality for any player who believes in his team -- they feel exhilarated by the eight offseason moves made by general manager Rick Hahn. Confident enough that a case could be made for the White Sox jumping from 63 wins in 2013 to 73 wins in '14 to the playoffs this season.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Veteran scout says Tom Brady had MLB tools

Patriots QB was drafted by the Expos in 1995 but opted to play college football

Veteran scout says Tom Brady had MLB tools

MIAMI -- A victory on Sunday would further cement Tom Brady's place among the National Football League's all-time greats. Already, the New England Patriots superstar stands alone as the only quarterback to guide his team to six Super Bowls, and he is aiming at joining legendary QBs Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only four-time winners.

As Brady continues to build on his football legacy, there are some in the baseball world who wonder what might have happened if the 37-year-old had made a different career choice.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Charitable Gordon honored with Hutch Award

Royals outfielder recognized for outstanding community service

Charitable Gordon honored with Hutch Award

SEATTLE -- Alex Gordon has emerged as one of the best all-around players in Major League Baseball. He's also working on being one of its best all-around people.

The outfielder -- who helped lead the Kansas City Royals to the club's first American League pennant in 29 years and stood on third base, 90 feet from scoring the tying run, as the Royals lost in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series to the San Francisco Giants -- made more history Thursday afternoon when he received the 50th Hutch Award for outstanding community service at the annual luncheon at Safeco Field.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Which uniforms of yore should be brought back?

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Which uniforms of yore should be brought back?

In case you haven't heard: The Padres are celebrating "Way Back Wednesdays" during the 2015 MLB season by bringing back brown pinstriped uniforms. But why stop there? The Padres' announcement today inspired the folks on MLB Tonight and its viewers to brainstorm a few other retro uniforms they'd like to see make a comeback.

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Speakers, procession route for Banks' service announced

Former teammates, family, Chicago mayor among those giving remembrances

Speakers, procession route for Banks' service announced

CHICAGO -- Hall of Famers Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Lou Brock, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be among the speakers Saturday at the funeral service for Cubs legend Ernie Banks.

Saturday's memorial service at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 East Chestnut Street in downtown Chicago, will begin at 10 a.m. CT and will include remembrances, readings and tributes. The list of speakers also includes Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. A simulcast of MLB Network's coverage will stream live on MLB.com and cubs.com, starting at 9 a.m.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Red Sox don't need true 'ace' at this point

In age of proactive bullpens and parity, going after starter might not be necessary

Red Sox don't need true 'ace' at this point

The absolute worst people to ask if the Red Sox need an ace are those already in Boston's rotation, biased beings that they are.

But, hey, it's good Hot Stove fodder to ask them what they think. So, in addition to general manager Ben Cherington's upbeat talk of "untapped potential" in Boston's rotation, we've seen plenty of pooh-poohing of the "Boston needs an ace" topic from members of the Clay Buchholz-Rick Porcello-Justin Masterson-Wade Miley-Joe Kelly fivesome this winter.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Bo knows brief baseball career, but has lasting legacy

Bo knows brief baseball career, but has lasting legacy

It was a festive Sunday at Angel Stadium, a celebrity softball game unfolding as part of the 2010 All-Star Game activities. In conversation were Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson and Bo Jackson, the two-sport legend who could have been an all-time great outfielder if his career hadn't been cut short by a devastating football injury at age 28.

Henderson was telling Jackson how, as a kid in Oakland, his dream was to be a running back like his hero, Walter Payton.

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Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Brewers sign lefty reliever Cotts to 1-year deal

Source: Brewers sign lefty reliever Cotts to 1-year deal

The Brewers have agreed to a one-year deal with left-handed reliever Neal Cotts, a source told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy on Thursday. FOX Sports reports it's worth $3 million. The club has not confirmed the signing.

Cotts, who turns 35 in March, will replace Zach Duke and serve as Milwaukee's No. 2 left-handed reliever. Duke signed with the White Sox earlier this offseason.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies add pitching depth with Billingsley signing

Righty gets 1-year, $1.5 million deal after missing most of past two seasons

Phillies add pitching depth with Billingsley signing

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies need to protect themselves in the starting rotation in the event somebody is injured or they trade Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee or both.

They hope Chad Billingsley can be that guy.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In honor of Lynch, 8 great MLB interviews

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In honor of Lynch, 8 great MLB interviews

Marshawn Lynch has been delighting the world with his Super Bowl pressers this week. It's almost as fun as watching him plow his way through an opponent's defense.

In recognition of his terrific prose, we've highlighted some of our favorite MLB interviews over the past 15 years. Enjoy.

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Scheppers working toward major role in bullpen

Rangers looking for right-hander to seize setup job after injury-plagued 2014

Scheppers working toward major role in bullpen

GARLAND, Texas -- Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers took a significant step on Wednesday by throwing off the mound in the bullpen for the first time this offseason.

"It went good," Scheppers said. "Everything has been feeling good. I feel healthy, I'm excited for the year."

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

When they were prospects: Trout

He's the 1: Little doubt reigning AL MVP deserved top ranking in 2011

When they were prospects: Trout

There is still time for Bryce Harper to win the Harper vs. Mike Trout debate, but so far we look pretty smart for having Trout at No. 1 in 2011 in rankings by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.

As we gear up for the unveiling of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects for 2015 -- which will be revealed on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday -- we're looking back at what was written about some of today's superstars back when they were still on prospect lists.

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Commissioner Rob Manfred's letter to fans

Commissioner Rob Manfred's letter to fans

Dear Fans:

On the night of August 14, 2014, I left a Baltimore hotel after being elected Commissioner of Baseball. As I began to reply to the overwhelming number of congratulatory messages coming in, it hit me that I'd just been entrusted to protect the integrity of our National Pastime and to set a course that allows this great game to continue to flourish -- now and in the years to come. Needless to say, I was deeply honored by the trust the owners placed in me.

Today is my first day as Commissioner, and I am incredibly excited to get to work. I am grateful to Commissioner Selig for his expertise and friendship. His leadership set a direction that led to historic success.  

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When they were prospects: McCutchen

Pirates outfielder, ranked No. 12 in '09, leapfrogs others in his class en route to star status

When they were prospects: McCutchen

The 2005 Draft was loaded with dynamic high school outfielders, including Justin Upton (No. 1 overall pick), Cameron Maybin (No. 10), Jay Bruce (No. 12) and Colby Rasmus (No. 28). In 2009, we still had Rasmus and Maybin ranked slightly ahead of Andrew McCutchen (No. 11 pick in '05) in our prospect rankings -- Upton and Bruce were already in the Majors -- but he earned a promotion after destroying Triple-A in 49 games in '09, and has had the most distinguished career of the group ever since.

As we gear up for the unveiling of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects for 2015 -- which will be revealed on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday -- we're looking back at what was written about some of today's superstars back when they were still on prospect lists.

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Porter excited to reunite with Fredi in Atlanta

Third-base coach played for skipper in Minors, was on Gonzalez's Marlins staff

Porter excited to reunite with Fredi in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- As Bo Porter distances himself from his days as the Astros' manager and prepares to assume his new role as the Braves' third-base coach, he is looking forward to the opportunity to be reunited with Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez, the man who gave Porter his first job as a Major League coach.

The duo met in 2002, when Porter was playing for the Triple-A Richmond Braves squad that was managed by Gonzalez. As they sat in the dugout during a rain delay that year, the outfielder got the sense that his skipper was hinting that it was time to start looking toward his future as a coach.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves sign rotation candidate Stults to Minors deal

Left-hander gets Spring Training invite in battle for fifth starter spot

Braves sign rotation candidate Stults to Minors deal

ATLANTA -- Looking to add experience and more certainty to the battle for the fifth spot in their starting rotation, the Braves have signed left-handed veteran Eric Stults to a Minor League deal and invited him to Spring Training.

Stults and Michael Foltynewicz stand as the early favorites in what will be a crowded battle for the last available spot in Atlanta's rotation. Promising prospect Manny Banuelos seems best suited to gain a little more seasoning by beginning the season with Triple-A Gwinnett. Two of the other veteran candidates -- Wandy Rodriguez and Chien-Ming Wang -- remain long shots until they prove they are healthy enough for the job.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

When they were prospects: Kershaw

No. 4 ranking in 2008 hinted at reigning NL MVP's greatness to come in LA

When they were prospects: Kershaw

While no one could have predicated that Clayton Kershaw would become the first NL pitcher in almost 40 years to win the MVP Award, there was every reason to believe he was destined for stardom when MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo ranked him as the No. 4 prospect in baseball heading into the 2008 season.

As we gear up for the unveiling of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects for 2015 -- which will be revealed on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday -- we're looking back at what was written about some of today's superstars back when they were still on prospect lists.

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When they were prospects: Bumgarner

Giants lefty has lived up to 'front-of-the-rotation potential' prediction from 2009

When they were prospects: Bumgarner

It's easy to forget now, but after being ranked by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo as the No. 6 prospect in baseball, Madison Bumgarner suffered a surprising drop in velocity while pitching for Double-A Connecticut in the second half of the 2009 season, topping out in the high-80s in some starts. Of course, he still posted a 1.85 ERA across two levels that season, made his Major League debut in September of that year and has been a key cog in three World Series winners, including taking home Series MVP honors after an unforgettable performance in the 2014 Fall Classic.

As we gear up for the unveiling of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects for 2015 -- which will be revealed on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday -- we're looking back at what was written about some of today's superstars back when they were still on prospect lists.

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Hear an ABL announcer call some of MLB's best homers

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Hear an ABL announcer call some of MLB's best homers

We'd listen to Chris Coleman announce pretty much anything. The broadcaster for the Australian Baseball League's Canberra Calvary and host of Strike Zone on ABC Grandstand, Coleman is a world-class orator with a knack for loquaciously divine home run calls. We're already on the record as fans of Coleman's work. And now, we combine Coleman's prodigious skill with the best of MLB, and wait for the world to come to a grinding halt.

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Minor League catcher Marjama traded to Rays

Minor League catcher Marjama traded to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays acquired Minor League catcher Mike Marjama from the White Sox on Thursday in exchange for a player to be named or cash.

Marjama, 25, is not expected to attend Major League Spring Training. He played 70 games for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem last year, hitting .266/.292/.383 with three homers and 17 RBIs.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

When they were prospects: Price

Lefty made good on top ranking in '09, developing into ace, Cy Young winner

When they were prospects: Price

David Price was the No. 1 pick in the 2007 Draft, and after closing out the 2008 American League Championship Series for Tampa Bay it was pretty obvious he would be ranked the No. 1 prospect by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo heading into 2009, and he was. Of course, he didn't really hit his stride until 2010, when he went 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA. Five years and a Cy Young Award later, the lefty is hoping to end Detroit's World Series title drought before he heads to free agency.

As we gear up for the unveiling of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects for 2015 -- which will be revealed on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday -- we're looking back at what was written about some of today's superstars back when they were still on prospect lists.

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When they were prospects: Longoria

Rays third baseman moves from No. 2 ranking in '08 to AL Rookie of Year

When they were prospects: Longoria

It was pretty clear why Evan Longoria was ranked by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo as baseball's No. 2 prospect in 2008 when the Rays called him up just two weeks into the season. He promptly hit .272 with 27 home runs in 122 games en route to winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award and helping the upstart Rays reach the World Series.

As we gear up for the unveiling of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects for 2015 -- which will be revealed on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday -- we're looking back at what was written about some of today's superstars back when they were still on prospect lists.

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Legion of Boom welcomes Cruz to Seattle

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Legion of Boom welcomes Cruz to Seattle

As we approach Super Bowl XLIX, we remember the moments when a few members of the Patriots and Seahawks osmosed through the cross-sports membrane and found themselves in the world of MLB. Today: when the Legion of Boom welcomed Nelson Cruz into their ranks.

Shortly after the Mariners signed Nelson Cruz in December, he was welcomed into the ranks of the Seahawks' Legion of Boom. But that doesn't mean that just anyone can hang out with Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. Just take a look at Cruz's application. 

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When they were prospects: Teheran

Patience pays for righty, who has become Braves workhorse after No. 10 ranking in '11

When they were prospects: Teheran

It took a little longer than some had hoped, including a combined 5.19 ERA across brief callups in 2011 and 2012, but Julio Teheran has finally justified his spot as the No. 10 preseason ranking by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo on our 2011 prospect list (later moving up to No. 4), posting a 3.03 ERA in more than 400 innings over the last two seasons.

As we gear up for the unveiling of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects for 2015 -- which will be revealed on MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET on Friday -- we're looking back at what was written about some of today's superstars back when they were still on prospect lists.

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Prospect Anderson needs more time for elbow to heal

Rockies taking conservative approach with former first-round Draft pick

Prospect Anderson needs more time for elbow to heal

DENVER -- Rockies lefty pitching prospect Tyler Anderson will not be ready to pitch at the start of Spring Training in order to allow a stress fracture in his left elbow to continue healing, the club announced Thursday.

Anderson, 25, the Rockies' top Draft pick out of Oregon in 2011, entered last season ranked the club's No. 12 prospect by MLB.com. He outperformed that expectation by going 7-4 with a 1.98 ERA in 23 starts at Double-A Tulsa, and earned Texas League Pitcher of the Year honors. But Anderson was shut down for the playoffs because of the elbow issue. He was also limited to 16 starts in 2013 because of a stress fracture.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dominguez designated for assignment

Dominguez designated for assignment

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants trimmed their Major League roster to its 40-man limit Thursday by designating infielder-outfielder Chris Dominguez for assignment.

The 6-foot-4, 233-pound Dominguez made his Major League debut last September after spending most of six professional seasons in the Minors. He mustered one hit in 17 at-bats, a home run at San Diego on Sept. 21. Dominguez owns a .269 career batting average with 91 homers in 689 games as a Minor Leaguer.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.