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.

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.

A's trade for Brewers outfielder Davis

Oakland sends Derby, Nottingham to Milwaukee

A's trade for Brewers outfielder Davis

The A's have acquired outfielder Khris Davis from the Brewers in exchange for Minor League right-hander Bubba Derby and Minor League catcher Jacob Nottingham, the team announced Friday.

To clear a spot for Davis on the 40-man roster, left-hander Sean Nolin was designated for assignment.

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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.

$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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HS star gladly risks eligibility for Classic 'W'

Washington prep star Boyce makes most of time with Team New Zealand

HS star gladly risks eligibility for Classic 'W'

SYDNEY -- For an 18-year-old American high school kid, the world stage is a dream come true. Add to that a win that keeps your native New Zealand alive in the World Baseball Classic? For Kiwi right-hander Jimmy Boyce, pitching 7,700 miles away from home, it gets a bit more complicated.

First, to the ballgame at hand Down Under. New Zealand had just surrendered the lead with three runs and was trailing, 7-4, with two outs in the sixth inning of the elimination game at Blacktown International Sportspark. The Mount Si High Wildcat came on and surrendered a single before getting former Mets and Marlins outfielder Chris Aguila on a called third strike.

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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.

Astros GM: 'Our goal is win a championship'

Club upbeat about '16 as it hosts season preview luncheon for media

Astros GM: 'Our goal is win a championship'

HOUSTON -- The Astros held a season preview luncheon for the media Friday at Minute Maid Park that would have made the local optimist club envious.

Coming off a season in which they won the second American League Wild Card and lost to the eventual World Series champion Royals in the AL Division Series, the Astros are among the AL West favorites, and general manager Jeff Luhnow spoke confidently about the state of the club.

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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.

Top White Sox prospects to compete for jobs in camp

Fulmer, Anderson and Engel among Minor Leaguers vying for roster spots this spring

Top White Sox prospects to compete for jobs in camp

CHICAGO -- In the third installment of MLB.com's seven-part Spring Training preview, we take a look at some of those White Sox prospects who could help the team in the future:

RHP Carson Fulmer: Some fans hope the team's No. 2 prospect follows the same quick path to the Majors as Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon. The White Sox certainly will promote Fulmer when he's ready, but they are not rushing him. General manager Rick Hahn said that the No. 8 selection from the 2015 MLB Draft would be ahead of schedule if he arrived by the outset of 2017.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Inbox: What must Nats change to compete in East?

Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers questions from fans

Inbox: What must Nats change to compete in East?

What is the biggest change the Nationals must make to be competitive in the NL East?
-- Jason H., Rockwood, Tenn.

The bullpen must improve. It was below average during the second half of the season last year. Yes, the Nats revamped the relief corps by adding Shawn Kelley, Trevor Gott and Yusmeiro Petit, but we won't know how much they help until the season starts. I also want to know how much Jonathan Papelbon has left in the tank. He is 35 years old, and he had a respectable 3.04 ERA during his time with the Nationals last season.

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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.

Snowboarders get Big Air at Fenway Park

Snowboarders get Big Air at Fenway Park

Fenway Park was home to a different type of world-class athlete Thursday evening.

Snowboarders flocked to the historic ballpark for the Polartec Big Air at Fenway, which featured numerous competitors. U.S. snowboarder Julia Marino won the women's competition, while Canadian Max Parrot was the male champion.

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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.

New teams in mix as Lazarito mulls options

Agent says 16-year-old Cuban is not close to a decision, may still sign during current period

New teams in mix as Lazarito mulls options

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Lazaro "Lazarito" Armenteros, one of the most dynamic young talents to come out of Cuba in recent memory, is still weighing his options, some of which are new.

The 16-year-old free agent was expected to make a decision Wednesday on where he will sign. But on Friday, his agent, Charles Hairston, told MLB.com that the 6-foot-2, 205-pound outfielder was not close to a decision and that there are new teams in the mix.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Favorite mistakes: Hitters who devour meat

Sano led MLB with 1.159 slugging percentage on fat pitches in 2015

Favorite mistakes: Hitters who devour meat

Among the many reasons Major League hitters are having a tougher time putting runs on the board these days is that pitchers simply aren't giving them much to work with. According to pitch tracking data, the percentage of pitches in the strike zone has fallen consistently each year from 2010's 50.4 percent to 2015's 47.8 percent, and that's a big deal, because we've learned that making contact on pitches in the zone as compared to outside it is among the most important things a hitter can do.

So if a hitter actually does get a fat pitch -- or a mistake, or a meatball, or one served on a platter, or whatever you want to call it -- he'd better be ready to do something with it, because he's not likely to get such a lucky opportunity again. But before we run down the best in baseball at taking advantage of the chances offered, an important question arises: What is a mistake, from a pitcher's point of view? We can't always know what a pitcher's intent is, and there's not necessarily one characteristic that always applies to identify those pitches.

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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.

Catcher Quiroz inks Minors deal with Indians

Catcher Quiroz inks Minors deal with Indians

CLEVELAND -- With a wealth of pitchers set to be in camp this spring, the Indians added another layer of catching depth to help handle the workload.

On Friday, Cleveland signed veteran catcher Guillermo Quiroz to a Minor League contract, which includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the big league club. Quiroz gives the Tribe five catchers for camp, joining starter Yan Gomes, backup Roberto Perez, and non-roster invitees Adam Moore and Anthony Recker.

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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.

10 to watch from MLB's international showcase

Eight countries represented for first time at two-day event

10 to watch from MLB's international 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.

Judge among Yanks' top prospects to look out for in '16

Exciting young talent hopes to grab attention of New York's brass this spring

Judge among Yanks' top prospects to look out for in '16

The countdown to Thursday, the official reporting day for Yankees pitchers and catchers, is underway. Activity has already started at the team complex in Tampa, Fla., and anticipation is kicking into high gear for the upcoming season.

In the third installment of our Spring Training preview package, "Prospects to Watch," MLB.com will take a quick glance at some of the exciting young talent that manager Joe Girardi and his staff will be evaluating at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

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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.

Tigers' Crespo to manage Spain in WBC Qualifiers

Tigers' Crespo to manage Spain in WBC Qualifiers

Manny Crespo, the Tigers' director of Latin American player development, will manage Spain in the upcoming Qualifiers for the World Baseball Classic.

Spain's first Qualifier game is scheduled for March 17 against Colombia at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, Panama. France and Panama are the other teams in that group, and the winner will advance to the World Baseball Classic in March 2017.

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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.

Red Sox have plenty of talent waiting in farm system

Johnson, Owens lead youngsters who could contribute in Boston this season

Red Sox have plenty of talent waiting in farm system

As MLB.com's Spring Training primer continues, it's time to focus on some of the prospects who will get a chance to demonstrate their growth.

Though the Red Sox don't have many roster spots up for grabs, spring is the time when prospects can prove they are ready in the event something opens up over the course of the season.

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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.

Phillies get moving to Florida on Truck Day

Equipment, various items make Spring Training journey to Bright House Field

Phillies get moving to Florida on Truck Day

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies could pack their Spring Training truck blindfolded at this point.

But they made things easier on themselves Friday morning, when they loaded the truck for its annual 1,058-mile trek from Citizens Bank Park to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., where pitchers and catchers will have their first workout on Thursday. The truck is loaded with everything from uniforms and baseballs to golf clubs, the Phanatic's infamous hot dog launcher and one canoe.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A definitive Orbit Prank Power Ranking

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A definitive Orbit Prank Power Ranking

Unless you've been living under a particularly baseball-averse rock for the past 12 months, you know about the Houston Astros. They're young, they're exciting, they have Carlos Correa , and after coming within six outs from an ALCS appearance last season, the arrow is only pointing up. (Did we mention they have Carlos Correa?)

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