Legendary Koufax stops by for first full-squad workout

Hall of Famer comments on Kershaw, new-look Dodgers at Spring Training

Legendary Koufax stops by for first full-squad workout

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With all of the new faces in uniform for the first full-squad workout on Thursday, there was also the most iconic Dodgers face in uniform: Sandy Koufax.

The Hall of Famer did his thing as special assistant to the chairman, watching a full set of bullpen sessions, including that of 18-year-old prospect Julio Urias.

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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.

Maddon binge-watching 'The Office' at Spring Training

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Maddon binge-watching 'The Office' at Spring Training

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is known for refined cultural palate. He used to take the Rays on Woodstock-themed road trips, he's quoted "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and now he's binge-watching "The Office" at Cubs Spring Training.

That last revelation came when Maddon said he felt like Michael Scott when he couldn't remember the team's upcoming scrimmage schedule.

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Scherzer reportedly adding cutter to arsenal

MLB Network crew breaks down new pitch for Nationals right-hander

Scherzer reportedly adding cutter to arsenal

The newest member of the Nationals' star-studded rotation doesn't seem to be resting on his past success, not even after signing a $210 million contract this offseason.

Right-hander Max Scherzer is adding a cutter to his existing four-pitch repertoire, The New York Times reported on Thursday, and former Major League pitchers Al Leiter and Ron Darling discussed the news during a Diamond Demo segment on MLB Network.

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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 players argue over the color of a dress

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MLB players argue over the color of a dress

There are two types of people in this world: Those who think the above dress is black and blue and people who are wrong. Seriously, though, the entire Internet came to a screeching hault on Thursday night when a picture of a dress went viral because people were arguing about its colors.

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Royals staying hungry for World Series title

Royals staying hungry for World Series title

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- How devoted are the Royals to getting back to the World Series?

They won't even eat cheeseburgers.

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

Before donning special helmet, Stanton takes first live BP

Having not faced a pitcher since being hit in face, slugger tracks pitches, but doesn't swing

Before donning special helmet, Stanton takes first live BP

JUPITER, Fla. -- The result wasn't very eventful, but the occasion was monumental for the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton stepped into the batter's box on Thursday morning and saw live pitching for the first time since being struck in the face by a pitch at Milwaukee last September.

It was a significant step, but it wasn't very exciting, as Stanton tracked all 10 pitches he saw. The slugger didn't swing at any of the five offerings from right-hander Henderson Alvarez in his first round and lefty Brad Hand in his second.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Johan signs Minor League deal with Blue Jays

Johan signs Minor League deal with Blue Jays

Johan Santana is back in baseball as the Blue Jays signed the two-time Cy Young Award winner to a Minor League contract on Thursday.

Santana injured his shoulder in 2013 and hasn't pitched in the Majors since '12.

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

Cards relieved Wainwright's injury not serious

Ace will take it easy while abdomen heals, should make Opening Day

Cards relieved Wainwright's injury not serious

JUPITER, Fla. -- Adam Wainwright's visit to a St. Louis-area specialist Thursday brought some relief to Cardinals camp, as they learned soon after that the staff ace is dealing with an abdominal strain that should not keep him from being ready for the season opener on April 5.

General manager John Mozeliak called the diagnosis "good news," adding that Wainwright is cleared to continue throwing while he allows the abdominal area to heal. Nevertheless, the Cardinals will have Wainwright "take it slow for about four or five days" with an eye on then having him at full strength in a couple of weeks.

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

Felix opens road toward Opening Day start

Mariners have mapped out ace's Spring Training path for April 6 at Safeco Field

Felix opens road toward Opening Day start

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez made his spring debut for the Mariners on Thursday, throwing his first bullpen session as the progression begins toward his club-record eighth Opening Day start.

Hernandez punctuated his 30-pitch outing with a full 360-degree leap after his final toss, looking like a man who was happy to be back on the mound again after a long winter.

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

McCutchen declares Pirates' outfield baseball's best

Former MVP states case for Pittsburgh trio over Kemp's group in San Diego

McCutchen declares Pirates' outfield baseball's best

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Three years ago, when Matt Kemp showed up for Spring Training with a National League Gold Glove in his bag, Andrew McCutchen had a message for his buddy.

"You've got it now, but I'm coming to get it," warned McCutchen, who sure enough ousted Kemp from the NL's Gold Glove outfield in 2012.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Happy Prince gives Rangers reason to smile

Fielder's disposition clearly different from last spring, when he played through injury

Happy Prince gives Rangers reason to smile

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- You're not really supposed to hit the ball hard during live batting practice, at least not in February.

Even the best hitters take some time to catch up to pitching in Spring Training.

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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.

Sterling hosts fundraiser for families displaced by NJ fire

Sterling hosts fundraiser for families displaced by NJ fire

NEW CITY, N.Y. -- If anything was made clear by the goings-on Thursday night at D&D's Restaurant & Pub, it's this: Yankees fans love them some John Sterling.

While hosting a meet-and-greet fundraiser in support of the families displaced last month by a fire at the AvalonBay luxury apartment complex in Edgewater, N.J., Sterling, the Yankees' longtime radio play-by-play man, barely had a moment to himself.

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

Bumgarner faces Pence, Sanchez in first BP

Giants ace 'got better' since last season, says backup catcher

Bumgarner faces Pence, Sanchez in first BP

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Looking as powerful as ever, Madison Bumgarner, the Giants' 2014 postseason hero, threw his first round of live batting practice this spring on Thursday.

Occasionally grunting from the effort as he released a pitch, Bumgarner missed the catcher's target more often than he ordinarily might. But neither Hunter Pence nor Hector Sanchez, who faced Bumgarner, made solid contact.

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

Mattingly ready for some 'open competition' in camp

Mattingly ready for some 'open competition' in camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Don Mattingly held a 70-minute meeting before the Dodgers' first full-squad workout of Spring Training on Thursday, presumably just to introduce everybody.

There were 58 players in last year's Major League camp and 61 this year, but only 24 are holdovers from 2014 to '15.

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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.

The Johan Santana comeback is officially on

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The Johan Santana comeback is officially on

Remember Johan Santana? You should. All he's done is win two Cy Young Awards and a Gold Glove Award while making four All-Star appearances and earning MVP votes three different times over his 12-year career.

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Surveying full spring squad, Cashman expresses optimism

Yankees GM hopeful roster of veterans, young players mesh into title contender

Surveying full spring squad, Cashman expresses optimism

TAMPA, Fla. -- After Brian Cashman watched the full squad of Yankees players assemble Thursday, the veteran general manager referred to his roster as a "potpourri" of bounce-back candidates and young newcomers, voicing hope that they will fit together for a run at a championship.

"I know this year is different, I guess, because we have some youth involved now, too -- but it marks the baseball season," Cashman said. "It's true of every camp.

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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.

Huge snake pays visit to Astros clubhouse

Not everyone happy to see Sunshine, 11-foot Burmese python

Huge snake pays visit to Astros clubhouse

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Astros welcomed a guest into the clubhouse at Osceola County Stadium on Thursday morning that more than a few players hoped would have just stayed away.

Before taking the field for the morning work, some players posed for photos with Sunshine, an 11-foot albino Burmese python from nearby attraction Gatorland. Dallas Keuchel, Chad Qualls and Jed Lowrie were among those to pose with the reptile

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

Williams sets tone of Nats camp with first team meeting

Williams sets tone of Nats camp with first team meeting

VIERA, Fla. -- At the top of the Nationals' workout schedule each day during Spring Training, manager Matt Williams leaves a quote of the day for his club.

"The road to the World Series begins today," it read on a cloudy Thursday morning, before the team's first full-squad workout.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Blue Jays have the look of a postseason team

Blue Jays have the look of a postseason team

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- At about 1:30 ET on Thursday afternoon Michael Saunders hobbled out of the Blue Jays' clubhouse, his crutches shiny new and the huge brace on his left leg just out of the box.

Saunders, obtained from the Seattle Mariners on Dec. 3 to play left field for the recast Blue Jays, tore the meniscus in his knee jogging after a fly ball in the outfield Wednesday and will be lost until the All-Star break in mid-July.

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Casilla OK after batting-practice mishap

Closer hit in leg by McGehee's line drive; Romo improving

Casilla OK after batting-practice mishap

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Santiago Casilla and the Giants survived a scare Thursday morning when the reliever escaped with a bruise after a batted ball struck him on his left shin.

Casilla, the Giants' closer, was pitching live batting practice to Casey McGehee, who smacked a low line drive up the middle that hit Casilla. After lying nearly motionless on his side for almost a minute, Casilla rose to his feet and walked off the field under his own power, following assistant athletic trainer Eric Ortega.

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

Werth confident he will be ready for Opening Day

Outfielder had surgery on his right shoulder on Jan. 9

Werth confident he will be ready for Opening Day

VIERA, Fla. -- Jayson Werth served as a spectator for most of the Nationals' first full-squad workout of the season Thursday. His participation was limited as he continues to rehab his surgically repaired right shoulder.

Werth participated in a few outfield activities although was not able to join his teammates for fielding drills or batting practice. But he remained optimistic about his chances to be in the Nationals' lineup for Opening Day on April 6 against the Mets..

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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.

Wilson shares strong bond with Hamilton

Veteran pitcher wishing best for Angels teammate and his family

Wilson shares strong bond with Hamilton

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Josh Hamilton arrived in Texas for the 2008 season, he and C.J. Wilson shared an instant bond that had little to do with baseball and everything to do with staying clean.

Wilson was never pulled into drug-and-alcohol addictions, but he always admired the way Hamilton overcame them.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Rockies embracing Coors Field advantage

Rockies embracing Coors Field advantage

SCOTTSDALE -- The Rockies are embracing Coors Field.

"I've talked to our guys," said manager Walt Weiss. "We've got the best home-field advantage in baseball. I don't know if there is a close second. Teams feel vulnerable when they come to our place. We need to take advantage of that."

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

Teenager Arroyo learning at Giants camp

Infielder adjusted last season after slump, injury at Class A Augusta

Teenager Arroyo learning at Giants camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Like most ambitious young men his age, Christian Arroyo is preparing for his career. Except Arroyo's counterparts are in college surrounded by peers. Arroyo is an apprentice engulfed by titans of his industry.

Arroyo is the youngest player at the Giants' Spring Training camp. In fact, he's believed to be the youngest Giant in camp for a while. Arroyo is 19, one year older than outfielder Ken Henderson was when he arrived at Spring Training in 1965 as one of Willie Mays' understudies.

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

Change offers Canha opportunity to go home

Power-hitting OF/1B gets chance to stay in bigs

Change offers Canha opportunity to go home

MESA, Ariz. -- Mark Canha and his wife, Marci, always wanted to settle down in the Bay Area. A life in baseball, though, comes without the freedom to plan such things. So when Canha heard he had been selected by Colorado in December's Rule 5 Draft, after five seasons in Miami's organization, he again set aside that vision.

He only had to wait 10 minutes for it to become a reality, though, when he was suddenly on the phone with the A's, who had pulled off a quick trade (for right-handeder Austin House and cash) with the Rockies.

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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.

Dickerson striving for more plate discipline

Rockies outfielder must find way to maintain aggressiveness

Dickerson striving for more plate discipline

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson is confident he can hit pitches that aren't even strikes. But can he improve his discipline without losing his natural aggressiveness?

Dickerson hit .312 with a .364 on-base percentage, a team-high 24 home runs and 76 RBIs in 131 games last season. Part of his appeal is the ability to do damage to pitches outside the strike zone. For example, according to Pitch f/X data, on pitches between the belt and knees inside but not in the strike zone, Dickerson was 7-for-31 (.225). However, the hits included two home runs and three doubles. Another homer came on a pitch high and inside.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Girardi, Yankees adjusting to life without Jeter

Manager calls it 'strange' not to see shortstop on field at spring camp

Girardi, Yankees adjusting to life without Jeter

TAMPA, Fla. -- As the Yankees went through their drills Thursday, Joe Girardi wandered around the lip of the outfield grass, exchanging pleasantries with the infielders. When he reached the shortstop position, he had to remember why Derek Jeter was absent.

"You get used to seeing guys out there on the field, it's a little abnormal when they're not out there," Girardi said. "It was a little strange not seeing Derek out there today. We looked and we were doing the mass infield and he wasn't there. It was kind of strange to me."

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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.

K-Rod inks two-year deal with Brewers

All-Star closer saved 44 games a season ago in Milwaukee

K-Rod inks two-year deal with Brewers

PHOENIX -- It's Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers ... again.

The veteran reliever agreed Thursday to a two-year, $13 million free-agent contract that includes a club option, giving the Brewers their closer and reuniting Rodriguez with the team that has acquired him on five separate occasions since July 2011. Milwaukee won't make a formal announcement until Rodriguez passes a physical exam and the club clears a 40-man roster spot.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs prospect Russell embracing new team

Ranked No. 5 by MLBPipeline, SS looks forward to season after being acquired from A's

Cubs prospect Russell embracing new team

MESA, Ariz. -- Addison Russell has not had a chance to thank Jason Hammel for being part of the reason the shortstop was traded from the Athletics to the Cubs last July. It should be easy to do and won't even require a phone call. Hammel and Russell now find themselves in the same clubhouse with the Cubs.

Last July 5, Russell was included in the package the A's sent to Chicago for Hammel and Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs also received outfielder Billy McKinney and pitcher Dan Straily, who was dealt to the Astros in January along with Luis Valbuena for Dexter Fowler. Hammel returned to the Cubs after signing a two-year contract last December.

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