Cubbie scare: Sharks swim by Kris Bryant

NL Rookie of the Year posts dramatic video on Instagram

Cubbie scare: Sharks swim by Kris Bryant

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant may have given manager Joe Maddon an idea for an in-season stunt -- and also given Cubs fans a scare by swimming with sharks in Hawaii.

Bryant posted a video on Instagram that features at least three sharks very close to the National League Rookie of the Year, who, thankfully, is safely in a protective cage.

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

Love of baseball resonates with Broncos' Harris

Lineman dishes on diamond days with Super Bowl on deck

Love of baseball resonates with Broncos' Harris

DENVER -- Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Harris will use his 6-foot-5, 300-plus-pound frame on Sunday to keep Carolina Panthers pass rushers from drilling quarterback Peyton Manning in the back during Super Bowl 50.

But Harris understands it will take more than a big body to stop Panthers veteran defensive end Jared Allen, who may play despite a broken right foot, or second-year player Kony Ealy. That's where his baseball background and love of the game come in.

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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.

King of Crash course: Top 10 Ruth statistics

King of Crash course: Top 10 Ruth statistics

The first week in February is apparently a popular time to give birth to some of the game's greatest home-run hitters of all time.

While legendary slugger Hank Aaron celebrated his 82nd birthday on Friday, it was 121 years ago Saturday that fellow Hall of Famer Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore. With that in mind, what better way to celebrate Ruth's birthday than by examining 10 of the most amazing statistics surrounding his illustrious career?

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

Arrieta, Cubs reportedly reach one-year deal

Ace avoids arbitration with $10.7 million agreement

Arrieta, Cubs reportedly reach one-year deal

The Cubs and ace Jake Arrieta have agreed to a one-year contract for 2016 worth $10.7 million to avoid arbitration, according to the Associated Press. It's the richest one-year deal for a pitcher with four years of Major League service, per the AP.

The club has not confirmed the deal.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Best of the rest: Top FAs need homes

Fowler, Gallardo and Desmond still sit on open market

Best of the rest: Top FAs need homes

A certain season-ending football game will be played Sunday night, and we are within two weeks notice of Spring Training camps opening in Florida and Arizona. So how is it possible that you could still field an entire squad of viable free agents?

No more messing around, everybody. It's time to attack baseball's unemployment rate and find a home for some of these guys, so they can start shopping for that spring condo rental.

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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.

Mexico tops P.R.; Cuba advances to semis

Dominican Republic eliminated from Series with 0-4 record

Mexico tops P.R.; Cuba advances to semis

GAME 1
Mexico 8, Puerto Rico 4

Mexico's Venados de Mazatlan clinched the top seed in the semifinals with the 8-4 victory against Puerto Rico's Cangrejeros de Santurce in the first game of the Caribbean Series on Friday afternoon.

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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.

Blue Jays hoping to swing deals with sluggers

Bautista, Encarnacion contracts are high priority for club

Blue Jays hoping to swing deals with sluggers

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have a lot of heavy lifting to do this spring and most of the action will be taking place away from the field, in contract negotiations with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

Toronto president Mark Shapiro went on record Thursday night to confirm contract talks with two sluggers will take place during Spring Training. First things first, the Blue Jays need to settle Josh Donaldson's arbitration case but the focus will shift quickly after that.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Puig, Lazarito take in Caribbean Series game

Cuban teenager thrilled to meet Dodgers outfielder

Puig, Lazarito take in Caribbean Series game

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Two of the most popular and intriguing figures in Cuban baseball decided to take in a Caribbean Series game Friday night.

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and teenage prospect Lazarito Armenteros watched parts of the game between Cuba's Ciego de Avila and Dominican Republic's Leones del Escogido together from the stands at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal.

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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.

Top Cuban prospect Gurriel Jr. dreams of MLB

22-year-old playing for home country in Caribbean Series

Top Cuban prospect Gurriel Jr. dreams of MLB

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. can still recall the clothes he was wearing on the best day of his life: a white short-sleeved button-down shirt with a red stripe down the middle over the buttons, stylish black pants with rips across the knees and white high-top tennis shoes.

The aviator-style sunglasses were wiped clean, and the haircut was fresh. His big silver watch was polished.

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Jesse Sanchez is 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.

Pickles Pub hosts Babe's Birthday Bash

Great Bambino was born 121 years ago in Baltimore

BALTIMORE -- Babe's Birthday Bash went to the bar this year.

The annual event, the proceeds of which benefit the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, was hosted Friday night for the first time by Pickles Pub in downtown Baltimore. With the abrupt closing of The Sports Legends Museum -- located next to Oriole Park at Camden Yards -- in October, the venue change made for a different feel in commemorating the 121st anniversary of Ruth's birth in Baltimore.

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

Equipment trucks head south for Spring Training

Equipment trucks head south for Spring Training

The unofficial road to Spring Training began on Friday for three clubs.

A pair of moving trucks left Progressive Field in Cleveland for a cross-country trip to Goodyear, Ariz.; one from U.S. Cellular Field on the South Side of Chicago headed to Glendale, Ariz.; and one left Coors Field in Denver, bound for Scottsdale, Ariz.

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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.

Crane ready for another Astros playoff run

Owner a year ago correctly predicted postseason trip

Crane ready for another Astros playoff run

HOUSTON -- It was this time a year ago that Astros owner Jim Crane raised a few eyebrows by making the bold proclamation his team would make the postseason in 2015. Crane didn't beat his chest about his prediction when speaking to the media Friday at Minute Maid Park, but said he's pleased with the direction of the club and looks forward to big things in 2016.

The Astros -- who were baseball's biggest surprise team last year, when they won the American League Wild Card before losing in five games to the Royals in the AL Division Series -- are poised to contend again and are one of the favorites to win the AL West.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goldy always looking to improve routine

Star first baseman makes small tweaks to offseason program to continue progressing

Goldy always looking to improve routine

PHOENIX -- Given the results from each of his first four full seasons in the big leagues, it is clear that not much, if anything, is lacking in Paul Goldschmidt's offseason workout program. But that doesn't mean the D-backs' first baseman is not always looking for ways to make even the slightest of improvements.

"I have my base program that I've been doing really since the year before I got called up five years ago, and it's basically the same," Goldschmidt said. "Every year, I sit down with Nate Shaw, our strength and conditioning coordinator, and we kind of tweak the program a little bit."

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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.

Wondering who will win Super Bowl 50? The Yankees have made their predictions

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Wondering who will win Super Bowl 50? The Yankees have made their predictions

Super Bowl 50 presents so many factors to consider: How will Cam Newton hold up against the NFL's best defense? Does Peyton Manning have anything left in the tank? Making your pick can seem nigh impossible. But fear not: The Yankees have delivered a verdict, and these dark days of uncertainty have ended. 

On Friday night, 13 of New York's players and coaches sent in their pick via Twitter, and the answers were all over the map.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Close friends Betts, Bogaerts poised to lead Sox

Young stars are looking to build on excellent 2015 seasons

Close friends Betts, Bogaerts poised to lead Sox

BOSTON -- Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts are just six days apart in age, having both been born during the first week in October 1992. And as the two ultra-talented players enter their age-23 seasons, they might be ready to take center stage for the Red Sox.

Sure, you'll hear plenty over the next few weeks about newly acquired star pitchers David Price and Craig Kimbrel. There will be a lot of talk about the great David Ortiz entering his final season. Dustin Pedroia, the gritty second baseman, will again be a focal point of Red Sox Nation.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

Miggy's bat on par with Hammerin' Hank's

Statistical breakdown reveals similarities between greats

Miggy's bat on par with Hammerin' Hank's

Of all the players in MLB history, there is only one -- Hank Aaron -- who resides in the all-time top 10 in all of the following categories: runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, total bases and extra-base hits. Aaron, who turns 82 years old today, resides even closer to the top in most of these selected departments: fourth in runs; third in hits; second in home runs; and lifetime leads in RBIs, total bases and extra-base hits.

To many, Aaron's accomplishments seem unapproachable, but there is one active player who has been matching strides with Hammerin' Hank in a number of columns: Miguel Cabrera.

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

Cardinals in Asia: Oh just first step

Signing of reliever signals long-term commitment to market

Cardinals in Asia: Oh just first step

On the heels of South Korean reliever Seung Hwan Oh signing with the Cardinals, MLB.com began an examination of the organization's decade-long journey back into the Asian market. Earlier installments of this three-part series included a look at the foundation the organization built in Asia, and an inspection of the nuances of scouting there. In this final installment, MLB.com will trace the road to signing Oh and examine what that signing could mean for the organization's future in this market.

ST. LOUIS -- Almost seven years before they would make him the organization's first Asian-born signee since So Taguchi in 2002, the Cardinals laid eyes on a then-26-year-old South Korean reliever pitching inside San Diego's Petco Park in March 2009.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aaron documentary premieres on 82nd birthday

Crowd gathers at National Center for Civil and Human Rights for 'The Hammer of Hank Aaron'

Aaron documentary premieres on 82nd birthday

ATLANTA -- Hank Aaron was serenaded as he walked into the National Center for Civil and Human Rights early Friday evening. A cozy crowd had gathered within this downtown Atlanta museum for the premiere of a documentary that celebrates the undaunted determination that carried Aaron into uncharted lands of accomplishment.

But before watching this hourlong feature, some of the men and women took advantage of the chance to sing "Happy Birthday" to an appreciative Aaron, who was joined by his wife, Billye, and his longtime friend, Andrew Young, whose political and civil rights accomplishments led him to become the United States' representative to the United Nations.

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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.

O's agree with closer Britton, avoid arbitration

One-year deal reportedly worth $6.75 million

O's agree with closer Britton, avoid arbitration

The Orioles and left-hander Zach Britton have agreed to a one-year, $6.75 million contract to avoid arbitration.

Britton, 28, posted a 1.92 ERA with 36 saves in 58 appearances in his second season as Baltimore's closer. He is 25-20 with a 3.70 ERA and 73 saves in 183 games (46 starts) in five Major League seasons, all with the Orioles.

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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.

Roberts: Reflecting on Jackie's influence

Roberts: Reflecting on Jackie's influence

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are the groundbreaking franchise of Jackie Robinson. When I put on this uniform as a player, I understood the special responsibility to honor those that played before me, as well as the amazing bond between the Dodgers and their fans. I feel that I have now come full circle in my career, and there is plenty of unfinished business left in L.A.

Observing Black History Month is important for baseball. For me, I became aware of Jackie Robinson right around age 15-16. My father is African-American. He told me as I was getting more further along in my athletic career, he kind of educated me about Jackie and his story. So as I got older and more educated and wiser, just kind of digging more into his story, and I ultimately went to UCLA, and so I played at Jackie Robinson Field. So just seeing that really resonated with me and what an impact Jackie made on society and what a leader he was.

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Dave Roberts is the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hammer timeless: On birthday, Aaron's feats still awe

Hall of Famer turns 82, same year as Milwaukee's last WS appearance

Hammer timeless: On birthday, Aaron's feats still awe

Hall of Famer Hank Aaron celebrated his birthday on Friday, providing the baseball world with another chance to marvel at his many accomplishments.

This Oct. 3 will be the 40th anniversary of Aaron's final game, for the Brewers against the Tigers at Milwaukee's County Stadium. And it just so happens that Aaron is turning 82, which is fitting since 1982 is the last year Milwaukee made it to the World Series. Over the course of his 23 seasons, Aaron played in the city for two different franchises, the Braves (1954-65) and Brewers (1975-76).

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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.

Fearsome 5: Statcast's hardest-hitting lineups

These clubs figure to pack the most punch in 2016

Fearsome 5: Statcast's hardest-hitting lineups

It may have taken a bit longer than usual, but the majority of this offseason's top free-agent sluggers have found landing spots for 2016, while some teams went to the trade market to work on their lineups. Either way, by now most teams have a pretty solid idea of what their projected starting lineups look like.

With that in mind, let's use Statcast™ to take a look at which clubs figure to boast the hardest-hitting overall lineups. Though any number of offensive statistics can be used to create a formula geared toward 2016 projections, this ranking is simply based upon each player's average exit velocity from last season.

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

Beckham rooting for good friend Cam

Rays share their Super Bowl picks and plans

Beckham rooting for good friend Cam

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will be tuning in Sunday when the Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

While some might not have an allegiance to either team, Tim Beckham does not fall into that category. The Rays infielder is solidly behind Carolina, as he noted that he would be "going with the Panthers, because Cam's my boy."

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

Giants' annual FanFest set for Feb. 13

Giants' annual FanFest set for Feb. 13

SAN FRANCISCO -- Virtually every square inch of AT&T Park will be thrown open to the public next Saturday, Feb. 13, when the Giants conduct their annual FanFest.

Admission is free as gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. PT. Although parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis in Lots A and B and at Pier 48 for $10, the Giants urge fans to take public transportation to the ballpark.

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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.

Around the Horn: A's bullpen gets winter renewal

Doolittle refreshed for 2016; Madson among key additions

Around the Horn: A's bullpen gets winter renewal

The multipart Around the Horn series, which features a position-by-position look at Oakland's projected starters and backup options heading into the season, concludes with the bullpen.

OAKLAND -- The overriding goal of the A's offseason was to restore order to a bullpen that arguably cost the club more than a dozen victories in a last-place 2015 campaign, an objective that quickly came to fruition with a rapid-fire round of winter transactions.

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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.

Clock ticking on locking up Donaldson

Blue Jays hope to sign AL MVP to extension before arbitration hearing

Clock ticking on locking up Donaldson

TORONTO -- The clock is ticking, but the Blue Jays apparently have not abandoned hope that 2015 American League MVP Award winner Josh Donaldson can be signed to a multiyear contract extension before his arbitration case is heard later this month.

Arbitration dates are expected to remain confidential until a ruling is announced, but Donaldson's case will be heard on Feb. 15, according to a report by FoxSports.com. That leaves little time for Toronto and Donaldson to reach an agreement, but the sides are talking.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Piniella returning to Reds as senior adviser

Piniella returning to Reds as senior adviser

CINCINNATI -- The last manager to win a World Series with the Reds is back with the club in a consulting role. It was announced Friday that Lou Piniella will be a senior adviser to baseball operations, and he is expected to spend some time with the team during Spring Training.

Piniella, 72, spent 23 seasons as a Major League manager following his playing career and posted a record of 1,835-1,713.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, 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.

MLB Network ranks top 2B right now

Altuve leads Shredder's list; Kenny, Reynolds go with Cano

MLB Network ranks top 2B right now

Second base is home to some of the best defensive players in all of baseball, providing countless highlight-reel plays each season. The position also features some of the game's most steady and productive hitters.

MLB Network chronicled many of these dual threats Thursday night, unveiling its top 10 second basemen. The rankings are based on results from "The Shredder" -- an algorithm based on player performance that accounts for both offense and defense that was put together by MLB Network's research department "without emotion or bias." Host Brian Kenny and guest host Harold Reynolds also provided their top 10s.

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