MLB.TV is back, better than ever

MLB.TV is back, better than ever

Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced the launch on Friday of yearly subscriptions for MLB.TV, returning for a 14th season with everything you expect from the most widely distributed and No. 1 sports streaming service.

MLB.TV Premium returns with the same features as last year, but at $109.99 it is a full 20 bucks cheaper than the 2015 cost. This package has the best value and provides access to more than 400 devices and a free subscription to the MLB.com At Bat Premium app (a $19.99 value). It offers the best picture quality ever -- a new 60 frames per second -- for supported devices. MLB.TV Single Team is also now available for $84.99. You will be able to watch a single team's live out-of-market games in full HD.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets' Mejia handed permanent suspension

Mets' Mejia handed permanent suspension

NEW YORK -- Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia became the first player in Major League Baseball history on Friday to earn a lifetime suspension for performance-enhancing drug use. MLB issued a lifetime ban to Mejia following his third positive test for a PED, linking him with Pete Rose as the only people actively serving the league's harshest punishment.

Mejia, 26, tested positive for Boldenone, while in the midst of a 162-game suspension for using both Boldenone and Stanozolol. The pitcher's second and third positive tests occurred while he was serving earlier suspensions.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Australia, S. Africa to vie for 2017 WBC berth

Australia, S. Africa to vie for 2017 WBC berth

SYDNEY-- One more game remains before the first Qualifier ticket is punched into the main draw of the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Australia (2-0) and South Africa (2-1) will face off with a chance to advance to the Classic in March 2017. Game time is 2 p.m. local time Sunday (10 p.m. ET tonight). All games are streamed live on MLB.com and WorldBaseballClassic.com and air on MLB Network.

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Niall Adler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

South Africa tops Kiwis to reach Qualifier final

Four-run third, three-run sixth propel squad to rematch with Australia

South Africa tops Kiwis to reach Qualifier final

SYDNEY-- Keegan Swanepoel earned a starting nod for the first time and delivered four hits, including a key two-run single, to send South Africa into a rematch with Australia in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier with a 9-2 win over New Zealand at Blacktown International Sportspark on Saturday night.

Australia and South Africa will face off with a chance to advance to the Classic in March 2017 at 2 p.m. local time Sunday (10 p.m. ET Saturday). All games are streamed live on MLB.com and WorldBaseballClassic.com and air on MLB Network.

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Niall Adler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's land slugging outfielder Davis from Brewers

Prospects Derby, Nottingham dealt to Milwaukee; Nolin designated for assignment

A's land slugging outfielder Davis from Brewers

OAKLAND -- The A's cruised into their final weekend of the offseason in splashy style, pulling off a trade with the Brewers for slugging outfielder Khris Davis on Friday afternoon.

Davis injects power into an A's lineup that was craving some, and he also stabilizes the left-field position. The A's had to pay a price to get him, though, sending the rebuilding Brewers a pair of prospects in catcher Jacob Nottingham -- who is the eighth-ranked catching prospect in baseball according to MLBPipeline, and pitcher Bubba Derby. Nottingham. They also designated lefty Sean Nolin to make room on the 40-man roster.

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

Tom Singer's sons pay loving tribute to dad

Tom Singer's sons pay loving tribute to dad

Malvina Singer is amazingly stoic, grieving the sudden loss of her husband of nearly 43 years, Tom, our 15-year colleague at MLB.com, at 67. It has been a whirlwind of shock for the family, fortunately a far-reaching, faithful, highly supportive and positive group. Mal's mom, a concentration camp survivor, was there, and stood as much as anybody for the poignant, impactful presence of Tom's spirit and the unconditional love surrounding his life.

The graveside service was moving in ways that are impossible to describe. Tom Singer, a great writer, would have framed it best. The Singers' sons did not fall far from that treasured tree. See for yourselves.

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Dinn Mann is Executive Vice President, Content for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Nolan's 7 best bets to throw a no-no in 2016

Hall of Famer and owner of MLB-record 7 no-hitters handicaps the field

Nolan's 7 best bets to throw a no-no in 2016

Nolan knows no-nos.

No doubt about it.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Must-see MLB: 10 pivotal players to watch this spring

Stanton, Shark among top players to watch as camps prepare to open

Must-see MLB: 10 pivotal players to watch this spring

The first official report dates are about a week away, but the first reports are already emanating out of Spring Training camps. On Friday, for example, Yankees righty Masahiro Tanaka told reporters that he "can't really say" whether he'll be ready for Opening Day until his progression from offseason elbow surgery involves throwing off a mound.

There's an instant area of intrigue for a Yankees staff with major durability concerns in the rotation. As was the case last year, given the minor ligament tear he's attempting to pitch through, Tanaka's every pitch will be watched with great scrutiny.

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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.

$400M contract? Harper: 'Don't sell me short'

$400M contract? Harper: 'Don't sell me short'

As numerous record-breaking deals were handed out to free agents this offseason, speculation quickly shifted to Bryce Harper's possible free agency after the 2018 season. More specifically, how much money could Harper, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, potentially earn if he reaches free agency at the prime age of 26?

Harper gave his thoughts when asked about a potential $400 million contract on Friday, telling Washington D.C.'s 106.7 FM The Fan, "don't sell me short" on his next big contract.

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

Fenway a breathtaking site for Big Air

Red Sox host one-of-a-kind event for skiing, snowboarding

Fenway a breathtaking site for Big Air

BOSTON -- Red Sox fans have seen plenty of leaping grabs and diving catches from their favorite players over the years, but nothing compared to the air underneath skiers and snowboarders during the first Polartec Big Air at Fenway Park on Thursday and Friday.

The Red Sox's home turned into a giant man-made 140-foot ski hill that had fans in awe both nights. The two-day event featured more than 75 of the world's most talented big air freeskiers and snowboarders, with competitors representing 19 countries.

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

New, cooler spring jerseys, caps available

MLB shows off on-field Flex Base designs for all 30 clubs

New, cooler spring jerseys, caps available

It is almost time for Zack Greinke to suit up for the D-backs, Todd Frazier for the White Sox, David Price for the Red Sox, Justin Upton for the Tigers, Johnny Cueto for the Giants, Jason Heyward for the Cubs, and all those other new faces in new places.

Shop now for new Flex Base Spring Training gear

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

7 reasons to watch 'First Boys of Spring'

Documentary recalls original Spring Training camps in Hot Springs, Ark.

7 reasons to watch 'First Boys of Spring'

Larry Foley, a professor and chair of the journalism department at the University of Arkansas, recently told his 15-year-old grandson Jeremy: "I've gone about as long as I can stand without baseball."

Pitchers and catchers are about to report to Spring Training starting on Wednesday, thankfully. And few know better than Foley just why that is about to be the case.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka: Opening Day status to be determined

Tanaka: Opening Day status to be determined

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka said on Friday that he "can't really say" if he will be ready for Opening Day until he resumes throwing off a mound and then in Grapefruit League games.

Tanaka had surgery this offseason to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow. As such, the 27-year-old is not ready to commit to being on the mound for the Yankees' opener on April 4 against the Astros, as the team expects to handle him cautiously this spring.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Classic, MLB programs grow sport in S. Africa

Classic, MLB programs grow sport in S. Africa

SYDNEY-- South Africa's participation in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier has greatly helped to further baseball's impact across the region.

"What amazes me is we've had camp and campaigns throughout schools with people who didn't even know baseball existed, and they didn't even know what a bat was," said South African Olympian Brett Willemburg and current outfielder. "Then you see them a few months later and they are hitting line drives the other way, pulling balls, fielding ground balls and making plays. You're like, 'Is this the same kid?' It is so awesome to see."

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Niall Adler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Mejia provides sad, cautionary tale

Mejia provides sad, cautionary tale

Jenrry Mejia's emergence in 2014 told a larger story about the New York Mets. Something special was happening. As waves of gifted young players arrived, the future, suddenly, was bright and shiny.

Later, third baseman David Wright would say every veteran player saw it coming.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman, Yankees avoid arbitration

Ace reliever's contract for 2016 valued at $11.325M

Chapman, Yankees avoid arbitration

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees and left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman agreed to a one-year contract worth $11,325,000 Friday, avoiding arbitration.

The value of Chapman's contract is $275,000 above the midpoint of the two parties' filings and represents a considerable raise over the $8,075,000 he earned with the Reds last year.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Making Coors hockey-ready a big challenge

Conversion for Feb. 27 NHL game underway

Making Coors hockey-ready a big challenge

DENVER -- The nice days in Denver mean overnights for Mike Craig, the National Hockey League's senior manager of facilities operations.

Craig is in charge of the conversion of Coors Field from the baseball home of the Rockies into a hockey rink for the Feb. 27 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche, as well as other associated events such as the Wings-Avs alumni game the previous evening and the Division 1 collegiate rivalry between Colorado College and the University of Denver on Feb. 20.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New head protection for pitchers on the way

Hybrid devices designed to be worn under existing caps

New head protection for pitchers on the way

The campaign to protect pitchers from potentially dangerous line drives hit right back at them has taken another step forward.

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have collaborated on a new design for protective headgear that will be unveiled this spring. The development was first reported by ESPN.

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

Mejia joins list of banned athletes

Mejia joins list of banned athletes

Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia was on the wrong side of baseball history Friday, becoming the first player in Major League history to receive a lifetime ban for performance-enhancing-drug use.

Mejia, however, is not the first baseball player to receive a lifetime ban -- and he has even more company when expanding it to other sports. Though it's by no means a list any player wants to be on, the following is a look at some of the more significant lifetime bans, as well as some other notable suspensions, across the sports world.

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

The crazy stories behind 19 of the weirdest baseball team names from around the world

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The crazy stories behind 19 of the weirdest baseball team names from around the world
Continue Reading on Cut4

Healthy Pence hungry for Spring Training

RF 'better than ever' after injury-plagued '15

Healthy Pence hungry for Spring Training

SAN FRANCISCO -- Right fielder Hunter Pence described the Giants' collective attitude as containing "an undertone of extreme eagerness. There's a lot of excitement to get the ball rolling."

Pence might as well have been talking about himself Friday, as Giants players, coaches and manager Bruce Bochy spoke with reporters at AT&T Park in the club's annual day-before-FanFest media availability.

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

Zoolander and J.J. Watt have nothing on Brewers' new catcher of the future, Jacob Nottingham

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Zoolander and J.J. Watt have nothing on Brewers' new catcher of the future, Jacob Nottingham

In the last month of the 2015 season, outfielder Khris Davis hit .282 with 10 homers. So what does a 27-year-old darkhorse candidate for home run champ fetch you on the trade market?

Continue Reading on Cut4

Indians sign reliever Hunter to 1-year deal

Indians sign reliever Hunter to 1-year deal

CLEVELAND -- The Indians already stood to have a tight bullpen race this spring. Cleveland just made the competition for relief jobs a little more interesting with the signing of right-hander Tommy Hunter to a one-year contract.

The Indians officially added Hunter to the fold on Friday, effectively eliminating one of the vacancies in the Tribe's bullpen. As things stand right now, Hunter joins closer Cody Allen, setup men Bryan Shaw and Zach McAllister, and righty Jeff Manship on the list of virtual locks for the Indians' relief corps.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Terence Moore

Stowe was comforting presence for Reds

Beloved member of clubhouse should not be forgotten

Stowe was comforting presence for Reds

More than a few people are smiling and nodding these days when they think about Bernie Stowe, the beloved clubhouse manager of the Reds who died this week, and I'm among his eternal admirers.

Stowe specialized in comforting. Trust me. He and I went back to May 1975, when I entered a Major League clubhouse for the first time ever, as a terrified freshman for the Miami University newspaper in Oxford, Ohio. I was 40 miles south of campus in Cincinnati at Riverfront Stadium, where I entered the world of my childhood heroes on the Big Red Machine.

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Terence Moore is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mauer: 2013 concussion has affected vision

Former AL MVP says he will wear sunglasses at plate during day games in 2016

Mauer: 2013 concussion has affected vision

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that his vision has been affected by the concussion that ended his 2013 season, especially during day games, as the sun makes it tough for him to pick up the ball. Mauer's offensive production has declined the past two seasons.

Mauer, who switched to first base in 2014 after sustaining the concussion from a foul tip while catching, is going to try something new this spring, as he'll wear sunglasses while batting for the first time.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cain confident injuries are behind him

Righty still big part of revamped rotation

Cain confident injuries are behind him

SAN FRANCISCO -- A year ago, Matt Cain was beaming with optimism as he enjoyed the last moments of the offseason, wrapping up the top amateur performance at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament. After a rough 2014 season that ended with elbow surgery, he was feeling good and raring to go to Arizona to get his career back on track, a wayward ace fully focused on the task ahead.

"I wanted to be excited about it, and I was excited about it," Cain said Friday during a media session at AT&T Park. "I thought I was physically where I needed to be, but my body told me to take a little step back right before the season started. That was kind of the path we had to take, and it was a little bit of a roller coaster from there."

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Australia rides combined gem to Qualifier final

Former Mariner Rowland-Smith and Co. keep South Africa at bay

Australia rides combined gem to Qualifier final

SYDNEY -- Four pitchers combined to strike out 11 as Team Australia (2-0) moved within one win of returning to its fourth World Baseball Classic following a 4-1 win over South Africa (1-1) on Friday night at Blacktown International Sportspark.

New Zealand (1-1), which eliminated the Philippines (0-2) with a 17-7 win on Friday, will play South Africa on Saturday at 2:30 a.m. ET/6:30 p.m. local time. The winner of that game will face Australia in the Qualifier championship at 2 p.m. local time Sunday (10 p.m. ET Saturday). Fans can watch all games live on MLB Network, MLB.com and WorldBaseballClassic.com.

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Niall Adler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ex-Boston farmhand's 7 RBIs keep Kiwis alive

Moanaroa goes 4-for-5 with a homer in mercy-rule win over Philippines

Ex-Boston farmhand's 7 RBIs keep Kiwis alive

SYDNEY -- Former Red Sox prospect Boss Moanaroa went 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and seven RBIs to make a winner out of 18-year-old American high schooler Jimmy Boyce (1-0) and give New Zealand (1-1) a 17-7 mercy-rule win in eight innings over the Philippines (0-2) in a World Baseball Classic Qualifier elimination game on Friday at Blacktown International Sportspark.

"This was basically our last chance," said Moanaroa. "We said in the changing room, 'This is our final chance. Let's enjoy it and have fun.' And that's what we did."

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Niall Adler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panik optimistic about health for 2016 season

Giants All-Star '100 percent' recovered from lower back inflammation

Panik optimistic about health for 2016 season

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants All-Star second baseman Joe Panik insisted Friday that not only will he enter Spring Training fully recovered from lower back inflammation, but he'll also remain healthy through the season.

Panik, who missed most of the final two months of last season with his back woes, feels so fit that it's as if his injury never happened.

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