Is your alter ego Cooperstown-bound?

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Is your alter ego Cooperstown-bound?

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the odds of you one day being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., are … well, let's just say not great: There have been nearly 20,000 players in MLB history and only 314 of them have made it into the Hall. 

Still, even if you probably won't make it into the Hall, you can certainly live vicariously through the players eligible for induction this year.

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Center of attention: Eaton is a hit in DC

New Nationals outfielder interacts with fans at club's WinterFest

Center of attention: Eaton is a hit in DC

WASHINGTON -- Once Adam Eaton saw the White Sox had traded ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Wednesday, he knew it opened up the possibility that he would also be dealt. He just wasn't expecting to find out that he had been traded to the Nationals later that night.

Washington acquired Eaton to be its center fielder this season and traded away Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning, three of the club's top six overall prospects, in order to do so. The trade was surprising to many around baseball, especially considering the Nats are usually reluctant to trade top prospects.

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

Cutch happy to still be wearing black and gold

Despite trade speculation, outfielder wants to spend entire career with Pirates

Cutch happy to still be wearing black and gold

PITTSBURGH -- Late Saturday morning, Andrew McCutchen walked out from behind a set of black-and-gold curtains and moved toward an autograph table, receiving cheers and a round of applause from the long line of people waiting to meet him.

Those fans might not have expected to see him at PirateFest, wearing the No. 22 jersey he's owned since bursting onto the scene in Pittsburgh seven years ago. McCutchen wasn't sure he'd make it here, either.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels acquire Espinosa from Nationals

Pitching prospects McGowin, Adams headed to Washington

Angels acquire Espinosa from Nationals

The Angels have acquired infielder Danny Espinosa from the Nationals in exchange for Minor League right-handers Kyle McGowin and Austin Adams, the Halos announced Saturday night.

Espinosa, who turns 30 in April, hit .209/.306/.378 with career highs in home runs (24) and RBIs (72) for Washington in 2016, playing shortstop the entire season. 

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

Four for Frazier: Sensible trade fits for Sox slugger

104 homers over last three years is second-most among third basemen

Four for Frazier: Sensible trade fits for Sox slugger

With Chris Sale now employed by the Red Sox and Adam Eaton preparing for his first season in Washington, there can be no question about the current objectives of the White Sox. Having flipped a pair of elite players for top prospects Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Yoan Moncada (among others), it's clear a rebuild is going down.

That means it remains likely that Jose Quintana's days in the South Side are likely numbered, and first baseman Jose Abreu may soon be out the door as well, but if you're placing odds on White Sox players likely to be traded in the near future, no one would be higher on the list than third baseman Todd Frazier.

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MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Protected picks could mean surprise deals

Protected picks could mean surprise deals

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- When the Rockies signed Ian Desmond to a five-year, $70 million contract at the Winter Meetings, they sacrificed a lot of money, obviously, but they also gave up the No. 11 overall pick in next June's Draft. That was, in fact, the highest possible pick that could have been surrendered by a club, because the first 10 are protected. The teams holding a top-10 pick would only have to give up a second-round selection when signing a free agent who was tied to Draft-pick compensation.

As the Rox illustrated, there are situations in which parting with prominent picks is something a club can live with. But sometimes players attached to compensation wither in the open market, and those in the top 10 have an opportunity to investigate them without worrying about the added costs associated with forking over a first-rounder. (Of course, this will be moot next year, when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement kicks in and teams will no longer have to sacrifice first-round picks as part of free-agent compensation.)

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. 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.

On top of the standings, not the Draft

Seven clubs haven't picked in the Top 5 since before 2000

On top of the standings, not the Draft

The biggest trade of this week's Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md., featured two teams with opposite goals.

The Red Sox aggressively acquired Chris Sale, looking to deliver a boost to their championship aspirations coming off a regular season with 93 wins and a postseason with none. The White Sox, on the other hand, landed big-time prospects for Sale, an important first step in a new approach that continued with a deal sending Adam Eaton to Washington for three promising arms.

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Andrew Simon is a research analyst 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

Phil Rogers

Aroldis strategy brilliant on Cashman's part

Yankees reunite with elite closer after stockpiling top prospects in midseason trade

Aroldis strategy brilliant on Cashman's part

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Finally, it wasn't lip service when a player traded away by a team said he'd love to come back.

On the morning of July 25, the Yankees were in fourth place in the American League East, 7 1/2 games behind the Orioles and six games back of the Red Sox. They were tied for fifth in the AL Wild Card standings, 4 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays for the second spot. Things would have been far more bleak if not for the powerful bullpen that Brian Cashman was about to unplug.

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

Rumor Roundup: Cubs in talks with T. Ross

Rumor Roundup: Cubs in talks with T. Ross

The Hot Stove season is underway, and we're keeping you up to date with the latest free-agent news, trade buzz, rumors and more.

Hot Stove Tracker

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Fuld's Wiffle Ball tourney features host of big leaguers

Event at South Florida will raise money to help fight diabetes

Fuld's Wiffle Ball tourney features host of big leaguers

TAMPA, Fla. -- Every year, the SlamT1D Sam Fuld Classic on the University of South Florida campus is growing.

The Whiffle Ball fundraiser, hosted by the former Rays outfielder, has grown in three years from a small gathering to supplement Fuld's Type 1 diabetes camps to a yearly phenomenon. The number of teams has nearly doubled since the inaugural tournament in 2014 and the amount of money raised for Type 1 diabetes has quadrupled.

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Bryce Harper hung out with the Duke basketball team after its win in Las Vegas

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Bryce Harper hung out with the Duke basketball team after its win in Las Vegas

On Saturday night, the Duke men's basketball team -- currently ranked fifth in the nation -- cruised to 94-45 road win over University of Nevada-Las Vegas. After the game, they met up with somebody who also knows a little something about excellence and Las Vegas: Sin City native Bryce Harper.

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Photo of the Day: The Dodgers got together for Kenley Jansen's wedding

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Photo of the Day: The Dodgers got together for Kenley Jansen's wedding

If you're a Dodgers fan -- or really a supporter of any team looking to make some upgrades on the free agent market (so, all of them) -- you're likely wondering where Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner are going to end up. Will they return to Los Angeles? Will Jansen go to Miami, as has been rumored

Well, you'll likely need to wait a little longer. Becuase this weekend, Turner and his Dodgers teammates Yasiel Puig and Scott Van Slyke put on their finest to attend Jansen's wedding in Curacao: 

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Nats trade Espinosa to Angels for pitching prospects

Turner likely to take over at SS after Eaton acquisition

Nats trade Espinosa to Angels for pitching prospects

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have traded shortstop Danny Espinosa to the Angels for right-handers Kyle McGowin and Austin Adams, the team announced Saturday night.

Espinosa spent the past season as the Nationals' starting shortstop, his first opportunity to start the season at that position since he was drafted by the organization in the third round in 2008. He played strong defense at shortstop and hit 24 home runs, but he struggled at the plate overall, batting .209/.306/.378 with an OPS+ of 81 and a strikeout rate of 29 percent.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

In need of more work: 10 contenders with holes

In need of more work: 10 contenders with holes

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Winter Meetings served their purpose, with some stunning swaps, some significant signings and the usual rounds of rumors, both ridiculous and realistic. But as we say every year when the executives, agents, media members, job-seekers and everybody else associated with this industry gathering filters through the exit doors, we're far from done here.

The Hot Stove will keep burning for weeks to come, and these are the 10 biggest holes contending teams still need to fill this offseason.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. 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.

Puig reflects on homeland in documentary

MLB Network's 'Cuba: Island of Baseball' provides in-depth look

Puig reflects on homeland in documentary

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig talks about fulfilling his Major League dream and his desire to play for his native Cuba in the World Baseball Classic in a new episode of "MLB Network Presents" titled "Cuba: Island of Baseball,"  which debuts Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT.

This episode of the documentary series looks closely at the history of Cuban baseball players leaving their country for the U.S. to pursue an MLB career, as Puig did in 2012. It explores the excitement of fame and fortune, as well as the profound cultural challenges of starting anew in a foreign country, leaving behind family and friends.

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

Father, son team up for upset at Fuld Classic

Father, son team up for upset at Fuld Classic

TAMPA, Fla. -- The No. 16-seed upset remains a dream in March, but December madness took hold early Saturday in Tampa at the SlamT1D Sam Fuld Classic Wiffle Ball tournament, and there was no better player to embody the David vs. Goliath showdown than The Savage's Logan Marlo.

Marlo isn't even four feet tall and weighs about 50 pounds after gorging himself at one of the food trucks lined up on the University of South Florida campus for the event.

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David Wilson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Florida. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats' Norris ready to move on from 'awful' season

Nats' Norris ready to move on from 'awful' season

WASHINGTON -- New Nationals catcher Derek Norris had an easy way to evaluate his performance offensively last season.

"Awful," he said with a laugh at Nationals Winterfest on Saturday.

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

Cole set to start throwing, reflects on tough '16

Watson discusses acknowledging trade buzz during offseason

Cole set to start throwing, reflects on tough '16

PITTSBURGH -- While the Pirates seek a veteran starter to upgrade their rotation, the best news for their pitching staff may have come Saturday morning from Gerrit Cole: His offseason throwing program starts Monday.

Cole, who battled a rib injury in Spring Training and two separate arm injuries during the season, said he is feeling healthy and looking forward to next season. Cole followed up a dominant 2015 season with a disappointing '16, going 7-10 with a 3.88 ERA in 21 starts.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matt Moore hits game-tying plastic bat HR

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Matt Moore hits game-tying plastic bat HR

Just when you thought the full grip of winter was going to end any hope of witnessing dingers, Matt Moore stepped in. That's right, the Giants pitcher helped extend the year of #PitchersWhoRake with an opposite-field dinger during Sam Fuld's annual SLAM T1D Wiffle Classic. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Ed-when? One of these 10 should dig dEEp

146 wRC+ since 2012 is seventh-best mark in baseball

Ed-when? One of these 10 should dig dEEp

Edwin Encarnacion entered the offseason as one of the three best free agents available, but as stars like Yoenis Cespedes, Dexter Fowler and Aroldis Chapman fall off the board, Encarnacion is available as his market remains a moving target. How can that be? Well, in part it's because there's a glut of 1B/DH types looking for teams this year, and it's also because he's 34 in January with a qualifying offer weighing him down. So while he's an elite hitter, there are a lot of factors here.

But if the price really is falling, there's a certain point where more than a few teams ought to be interested in a player who can help it win immediately -- even teams that already have options at first base or designated hitter.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fulmer eager to begin sophomore season

Rookie of Year ready to build off award, impressive debut

Fulmer eager to begin sophomore season

DETROIT -- Michael Fulmer rolled into Comerica Park on Saturday with a flannel shirt and a trucker's hat, but no winter coat. He admitted he wasn't quite ready for Michigan weather, though the return of the full beard helped out.

"I still don't know what you're talking about," he said with a wry smile when asked if he could finally admit why he suddenly shaved it at midseason.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Birds of a feather: Fowler a perfect fit for Cardinals

Veteran center fielder, leadoff hitter will also contribute in clubhouse

Birds of a feather: Fowler a perfect fit for Cardinals

The negotiations between Dexter Fowler and the Cardinals were nearing the home stretch this week when general manager John Mozeliak wanted to call the center fielder he was courting from the Winter Meetings. Fowler did not answer his phone, however.

"We were on a two-hour time difference, and Mo actually wanted to get in touch with me, but I was actually in the dentist chair," Fowler explained Friday. "So I couldn't answer my phone. I actually showed [my agent] the picture and he showed Mo. So [Mozeliak] knew I wasn't lying."

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins mourn death of Minor Leaguer Landa

Twins mourn death of Minor Leaguer Landa

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins received tragic news out of Venezuela early Saturday morning, as Minor League pitcher Yorman Landa died in a car accident outside of Caracas. He was 22.

Landa, who had been with the organization since signing as a 16-year-old in 2010 and was a two-time Minor League All-Star, had just agreed to re-sign a Minor League deal with the Twins this week after being taken off the 40-man roster on Dec. 2.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Giolito excited to join White Sox talent haul

Top-ranked pitching prospect acquired in 4-player trade with Nationals

Giolito excited to join White Sox talent haul

CHICAGO -- A few moments existed on Monday when Lucas Giolito thought the White Sox stood as his next pitching destination as part of a high-level trade for Chris Sale.

Such is the world of social media, especially at the Winter Meetings.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Foe finish: Free agents who signed with rivals

Fowler is the latest player to switch loyalties during Hot Stove season

Foe finish: Free agents who signed with rivals

When Dexter Fowler exchanged Cubs blue for Cardinals red Friday, he became the latest in a long line of Major Leaguers to move from rival to rival in free agency.

He's not even the first mover this offseason -- Carlos Beltran, for instance, left the Rangers for the Astros.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manfred showers Bronx family with gifts

Commissioner joins Boys & Girls Clubs' 12 Days of Giving campaign

Manfred showers Bronx family with gifts

NEW YORK -- After the successful Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, the Winter Meetings and many other pressing matters in recent days, this was a moment of special joy for Commissioner Rob Manfred. He welcomed a family of five into his Park Avenue offices at the end of the day on Friday and surprised them with many bundles of holiday gifts, part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 12 Days of Giving campaign.

"This is just a fantastic experience, to see these young people from the Boys & Girls Clubs and have an opportunity to make the holiday season special for them," Manfred said. "It's also an honor for us. A lot of great alums like CC Sabathia participated in this event, and we're glad to have an opportunity to do our part.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. 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.

Rodney excited to start anew with D-backs

Rodney excited to start anew with D-backs

PHOENIX -- New D-backs closer Fernando Rodney joked that he's already placed an order for 45 invisible arrows, one for every save he hopes to rack up in 2017, and he plans to launch them into the sky from the mound with his new teammates after each victory.

Rodney's postgame bow-and-arrow celebration is well known in baseball circles. It's also no secret that he'll be expected to fill the void at the back end of the bullpen left by veterans Brad Ziegler and Tyler Clippard, who were traded prior to last seaon's Trade Deadline.

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

All eyes to be on McCutchen at PirateFest

Annual two-day event runs noon-7 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday

All eyes to be on McCutchen at PirateFest

PITTSBURGH -- The 27th annual PirateFest is set to begin today, and after a busy week of trade rumors, all eyes will be on Andrew McCutchen.

McCutchen is among the large contingent of players and coaches scheduled to appear at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center during the two-day event. This year's PirateFest will begin with a season-ticket holder event from 10 a.m.-noon ET today then opens to the public from noon until 7 p.m. Season-ticket holders can return from 10 a.m.-noon on Sunday, with the general public hours running from noon to 4 p.m.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

This young fan wrote a letter begging the Giants' GM to sign Mark Melancon

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This young fan wrote a letter begging the Giants' GM to sign Mark Melancon

On Friday, the Giants introduced their new closer, Mark Melancon, at a news conference. While it was a move that made a lot of sense for the Giants -- the team had a need at the back end of their bullpen and Melancon's affinity for inducing weak contact makes him a good fit in AT&T Park -- one young fan wasn't going to take any chances. He wrote to general manager Bobby Evans and begged him to sign the closer.

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Astros, Cuban lefty Perez agree to revised deal

After $5.15 million contract voided in October, elite prospect signs for $2 million

Astros, Cuban lefty Perez agree to revised deal

Cionel Perez once again has a deal with the Astros.

The Astros announced the signing Friday afternoon almost two months after Houston voided a deal with Perez worth $5.15 million -- the largest contract awarded to an international amateur prospect under the international signing guidelines in franchise history -- because of concerns with his physical. Earlier in the day Perez's agent issued a statement on his behalf in which he expressed frustration with the international free-agent process and MLB. The statement said Perez's contract is for $2 million.

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