Record growth at Int'l Prospect Showcase

Eight countries represented for first time at two-day event

Record growth at Int'l Prospect Showcase

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Major League Baseball wrapped up its fifth annual International Prospect Showcase on Thursday with a celebration of the present and a look toward the future of the event.

The two-day showcase at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal featured 59 teenage prospects who will be eligible to sign when the international signing period begins on July 2. The eight countries represented -- the Bahamas, Colombia, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela -- was a record number for the event. What started as a matchup between the top 25 players from Venezuela versus the top 25 players from the Dominican Republic in 2012 could eventually feature prospects from such places as Europe, South Africa and Brazil.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moustakas gets 2-year deal from Royals

Moustakas gets 2-year deal from Royals

The Royals agreed to terms with their final arbitration-eligible player Thursday, when they and third baseman Mike Moustakas agreed to a two-year contract. The deal is reportedly worth a combined $14.3 million, with Moustakas set to earn $5.6 million in 2016 and $8.7 million in 2017.

Kansas City continued its streak of avoiding arbitration hearings during Dayton Moore's tenure as general manager. The Royals have now gone 10 consecutive seasons settling all cases before a hearing.

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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.

White Sox reportedly in on Desmond

White Sox reportedly in on Desmond

Shortstop Ian Desmond, who continues to languish on the free-agent market, could soon find a home on the South Side of Chicago. The White Sox are among the teams considering a deal with Desmond, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported on Thursday.

The White Sox would appear to be a natural fit for Desmond. Tyler Saladino currently tops the club's depth chart at short, but the 26-year-old batted just .225/.267/.335 with four homers and 20 RBIs in 68 games as a rookie in 2015.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Goldy sets the fantasy standard at first base

Rizzo, Miggy, Abreu among other safe bets at offense-friendly position

Goldy sets the fantasy standard at first base

In recent seasons, fantasy owners have come to rely on first base as one of the last outposts of premium power production. But in 2016, the list of premier players at this position is not as deep as past years. Unless owners have a specific sleeper in mind, pouncing on one of the top options in the early rounds could be a sound strategy.

Tier One: Paul Goldschmidt

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers said to be shopping Guerrero

29-year-old from Cuba hit .233 in 106 games last season

Dodgers said to be shopping Guerrero

The Dodgers are attempting to trade infielder/outfielder Alex Guerrero and have talked to "numerous" clubs about the possibility, FoxSports.com reported on Thursday. The club has not commented on or confirmed the report.

Guerrero, a native of Cuba, signed with the Dodgers as a free agent in March 2014. His four-year, $28 million deal runs through 2017 but also stipulates that if he is traded, he can become a free agent at the end of that season. Additionally, Guerrero cannot be optioned to the Minor Leagues without his consent.

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

Sharon Robinson shares in father's legacy

MLB icon's daughter visits with children at Nats' academy

Sharon Robinson shares in father's legacy

WASHINGTON -- Sharon Robinson had some eye-opening experiences Thursday. The daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson went to the Library of Congress and then took a tour of the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.

Going to the Library of Congress was the first order of business for Robinson, as her father's memorabilia and letters were on display.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fenway goes Xtreme with 140-foot ski ramp

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Fenway goes Xtreme with 140-foot ski ramp

You have entered an alternate dimension, one where soda sprays from drinking fountains and parkour has replaced the car as humanity's preferred means of travel. It is a more Xtreme dimension.

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Beloved MLB.com reporter Tom Singer passes away

Beloved MLB.com reporter Tom Singer passes away

With news like this, there is crying in baseball.

Tom Singer, among the first journalists hired at MLB.com, passed away suddenly on Monday at his residence in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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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.

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.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Ohtani will be next rising star from Japan

Two-way player for Nippon Ham features 100-mph heater

Ohtani will be next rising star from Japan

PHOENIX -- Shohei Ohtani is the next heralded player coming out of Japan. He's a 6-foot-4 right-hander for the Nippon Ham Fighters with a 100-mph fastball and four other pitches that dance like darts around the plate.

And, oh yeah, at 21, Ohtani is so productive with the bat that his Nippon Professional Baseball team utilizes him as a designated hitter in many of the the games he doesn't start on the mound. That's a first in Japan, where pitchers start only once a week. And it's rarely happened in Major League Baseball, either.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

10 crucial spring battles for fantasy owners

10 crucial spring battles for fantasy owners

Major League teams take Spring Training position battles seriously, understanding that a correct call in March could lead to participation in October. Similarly, wise fantasy owners will keep tabs on battles across the Grapefruit League and the Cactus League, looking for an edge to fill their roto and head-to-head rosters. Let's take a look at 10 competitions to monitor over the next month-plus.

1. Astros first baseman
After non-tendering all-or-nothing slugger Chris Carter, Houston may be left with Carter clone Jon Singleton as its Opening Day first baseman. The native Californian can rip roundtrippers, but his strikeout-prone ways may not be the best fit in a lineup that already whiffs at a great rate. As a result, prospect A.J. Reed could push Singleton during Spring Training. After hitting .340 with 34 homers and 127 RBIs in the Minors last season, Reed will be an attractive mixed-league option as soon as he reaches the Majors.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cuban phenom Lazarito nearing decision

9 teams show strong interest in 16-year-old outfielder

Cuban phenom Lazarito nearing decision

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Lazaro "Lazarito" Armenteros, one of the most dynamic young talents to come out of Cuba in recent memory, is close to deciding on his future.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound outfielder is expected to make a decision on where he will sign soon, about one month after Major League Baseball declared him a free agent.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres hire Nomo as baseball ops advisor

Former pitcher to be involved in player development and assist club in Pacific Rim

Padres hire Nomo as baseball ops advisor

SAN DIEGO -- In a move to help strengthen their ties in the Pacific Rim, the Padres hired former Major League pitcher Hideo Nomo as an advisor for baseball operations.

Nomo will be involved in player development and baseball operations as well as helping the Padres expand their presence in the Pacific Rim.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glenn Hubbard's snake-draped baseball card will be memorialized as a bobblehead this summer

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Glenn Hubbard's snake-draped baseball card will be memorialized as a bobblehead this summer

On June 24, the Lexington Legends, Class A affiliate of the Royals, will be giving away a Glenn Hubbard draped in a snake bobblehead. We can only hope that Hubbard, now the bench coach for the Legends, will be on hand with another snake wrapped around his shoulders for the game. 

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Inbox: Will Cano burst from gate?

Beat reporter Greg Johns answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Cano burst from gate?

With Spring Training just around the corner, let's open the Inbox and answer fans' questions.

Robinson Cano broke his toe last offseason and had a slow start. Do you think he starts off better this season?
-- Tyson M., Maple Valley, Wash.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brandon Crawford travels back in time 24 years for all-time great #TBT photo

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Brandon Crawford travels back in time 24 years for all-time great #TBT photo

Most people who post #TBT (Throwback Thursday) photos don't take it too seriously. Maybe it's a picture of them as a baby eating cat food or some embarrassing moment from college. But Brandon Crawford? He takes #TBT's very seriously.

The Giants shortstop traveled back in time (possibly via McCovey Cove's DeLorean) to post one of the greatest versions of all-time. Check it out below.

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Nova eager to earn his spot in Yanks' rotation

Righty knows 'pen a possibility, wants to regain command from early in career

Nova eager to earn his spot in Yanks' rotation

TAMPA, Fla. -- Ivan Nova understands that he does not have the luxury of a guaranteed rotation spot, but as the Yankees right-hander eyes a bounce-back campaign in his second year removed from Tommy John surgery, he has made his preference clear.

"I'm a starting pitcher; I'm not a reliever," Nova said on Thursday. "But like I say, it's their decision. Whatever they tell me to do, that's what I've got to do. Maybe I can feel bad going into the bullpen, but what does that change? Nothing, I've still got to go to the bullpen."

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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.

deGrom willing to talk potential long-term deal

All-Star pitcher discusses his willingness to negotiate a contract extension

deGrom willing to talk potential long-term deal

NEW YORK -- The Mets insist they're willing to talk about long-term deals with their young starting pitchers. And Jacob deGrom, at least, says he's prepared to listen.

"I'm a little bit older, so I might be more willing to do something like that," deGrom told the New York Post this week at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal. It's something I'd have to look into and make sure I agree with it.

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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.

#TBT: Mr. Smith goes to St. Louis

In February 1982, McKeon traded Ozzie from Padres to Cardinals

#TBT: Mr. Smith goes to St. Louis

It was December 1981, and Jack McKeon had yet another situation on his hands.

It had only taken McKeon, then the general manager of the San Diego Padres, one offseason on the job to build such a significant reputation as a wheeler and dealer that he had earned the nickname "Trader Jack," and now he was faced with another potential mega-trade.

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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.

D-backs remodel rotation with Greinke, Miller

Club adds reliever Clippard, middle infielder Segura

D-backs remodel rotation with Greinke, Miller

PHOENIX -- The D-backs made the most surprising free-agent signing this offseason when they inked Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million deal, and they further signaled their commitment to be competitive in 2016 by trading for right-hander Shelby Miller.

Those two highlight a host of newcomers the D-backs will have in camp. Part II of the D-backs' Spring Training preview takes a look at some of the new faces:

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

Inbox: Is the next HOF-bound Royals player on the roster?

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan answers questions from Royals fans

Inbox: Is the next HOF-bound Royals player on the roster?

KANSAS CITY -- Royals fans once again delivered some terrific questions for the latest inbox.

Pitchers and catchers report a week from today, so let's get to it:

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

Fans give Angels festive sendoff

Gear heads to Spring Training, along with high hopes

Fans give Angels festive sendoff

ANAHEIM -- The Angels celebrated "Moving Day" on Thursday, giving their Arizona-bound equipment truck a sendoff with a fan event that included autograph signing by past greats Chuck Finley and Garret Anderson plus current left-hander Tyler Skaggs.

Bats, balls and bubble gum were among the essentials shipped to Tempe Diablo Stadium, an eight-hour, 365-mile trip for the truck, Angels equipment manager Keith Tarter said. It will be his 23rd Spring Training with the club he first joined as a bat boy in 1991. He served as assistant equipment manager for 15 seasons before getting the top job in November 2009.

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

Bucs add two lefties on Minor League deals

Luebke, O'Flaherty to compete for bullpen spots as non-roster invitees

Bucs add two lefties on Minor League deals

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates added two intriguing left-handers to their staff Thursday, signing Cory Luebke and Eric O'Flaherty to Minor League contracts with invitations to big league Spring Training.

Both pitchers will compete for a spot in the Pirates' bullpen this spring. But Luebke must show he is healthy after three years lost to injuries, and O'Flaherty will have to prove last season was a misstep in an otherwise impressive career.

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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.

Prospects invited to Rockies' big league camp

Dahl, McMahon, Hoffman among 24 players on list

Prospects invited to Rockies' big league camp

DENVER -- Rather than have their non-roster invitees to Spring Training largely populated with veterans from other organizations looking for big league jobs, the Rockies' list released Thursday weighs toward prized homegrown players.

All but three of this year's 24 invitees spent last season in the Rockies' organization. The list includes three of MLB.com's Top 100 overall prospects -- center fielder David Dahl (No. 46), third baseman Ryan McMahon (No. 48) and right-hander Jeff Hoffman (No. 52) -- plus catcher Dom Nunez, who was rated the seventh-best prospect at his position by MLBPipeline.com.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Which division winner is most likely to repeat?

Which division winner is most likely to repeat?

In 2015, there were only two Major League teams that repeated as division winners. Don't count on a 6-for-6 performance by the current division champs in 2016, either.

We're completely out of the era in which the Atlanta Braves could win a record 14 division titles in a row, or the Yankees could dominate the American League East in the regular season for nearly a decade. This was a relatively recent era, but it has departed.

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

WBC play could cost prep Boyce HS eligibility

New Zealand-born Washington resident hopes to pitch for Kiwis

WBC play could cost prep Boyce HS eligibility

National pride and the chance to play in the ultimate international baseball tournament are apparently enough for Jimmy Boyce to be willing to potentially sacrifice his high school baseball career.

The 18-year-old pitcher, who was born in New Zealand but lives in Snoqualmie, Wash., is on the roster for the Kiwi team at the World Baseball Classic qualifier that is taking place in Sydney this week, with one of four teams (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Philippines) to emerge and make the 16-team field for the 2017 Classic.

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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.

Spring around corner as Padres send off trucks

Spangenberg, Jankowski interact with fans at Petco Park

Spring around corner as Padres send off trucks

SAN DIEGO -- When the first of two trucks carrying 17,000 pounds of equipment slowly rolled away from Petco Park on Wednesday, Spencer Dallin had just one thought continually race through his head.

Spring Training is finally here? No, that wasn't it.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets' newcomers shore up infield, bullpen

Walker, Cabrera and Bastardo among New York's notable offseason additions

Mets' newcomers shore up infield, bullpen

This is the second in a seven-part Mets Spring Training preview. Today's installment: The new guys.

NEW YORK -- The Mets weren't missing much during their World Series run last year, finishing a few wins shy of their ultimate goal. And much of the optimism for an encore revolves around the players they re-signed -- Yoenis Cespedes, anyone? -- and retained.

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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.