MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Pitcher? Hitter? Both! And soon, Ohtani in play

Parties agree to new rules regarding NPB player transfers

Pitcher? Hitter? Both! And soon, Ohtani in play

At last, we can say it: Shohei Ohtani is coming to Major League Baseball in 2018.

Officials from Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and Nippon Professional Baseball agreed Tuesday on a new posting system to govern player transfers from Japan to North America, sources confirmed to MLB.com. Once MLB owners ratify the terms on Dec. 1 -- viewed as a formality -- the NPB's Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters will post Ohtani to MLB clubs, initiating a courtship period for the two-way phenom that will culminate just before Christmas.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He has also covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Climb machine: Eloy working way up to MLB

White Sox top prospect Jimenez full of confidence after strong Winter League showing

Climb machine: Eloy working way up to MLB

Fresh off a strong performance in the Dominican Winter League and being added to the White Sox's 40-man roster on Monday, top prospect Eloy Jimenez said he's feeling confident and believes he's close to reaching the Majors.

Jimenez, ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, spoke with reporters in a conference call from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on Tuesday, discussing a wide range of topics about his play and expectations for the coming season.

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

'Pure joy': Astros' World Series doc premieres

'Pure joy': Astros' World Series doc premieres

HOUSTON -- November remains one of the busiest months of the year for Jeff Luhnow, but even the always-active Astros general manager was willing to make time in his schedule for a premiere of the 2017 World Series documentary.

Luhnow attended an event for the 90-minute showing with Houston manager A.J. Hinch, Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and numerous other club staffers. Produced by Major League Baseball, the documentary showcases the franchise's first World Series title through highlights and exclusive access and interviews.

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

With Shohei Ohtani cleared to come to MLB in 2018, watch what he can do on a baseball field

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With Shohei Ohtani cleared to come to MLB in 2018, watch what he can do on a baseball field

It's official -- the path has been cleared for Shohei Ohtani to come to Major League Baseball in 2018. Whoever is lucky enough to sign him will get a truly one-of-a-kind talent because Ohtani is a rare two-way player and will only be 23 on Opening Day.

Since debuting for the Nippon-Ham Fighters at the mere age of 18 in 2013, Ohtani has had more than his share of highlights.

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Braves penalized for int'l signing violations

Braves penalized for int'l signing violations

ATLANTA -- After spending the past two months investigating infractions committed by the Braves in the international market and in relation to the domestic Draft, Major League Baseball announced its finding and the resulting sanctions late Tuesday afternoon.

The Braves' penalties include the forfeiture of 13 international prospects, strict restrictions on the international market over the next three years and the loss of their third-round pick for the 2018 Draft.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Joe Posnanski

Morgan's letter makes HOF picture cloudy for pair

Cases for Bonds, Clemens had been building momentum

Morgan's letter makes HOF picture cloudy for pair

For several years now, the Baseball Hall of Fame -- and generally speaking, the Hall of Famers -- has stayed pretty silent on the question on what to do about accused and admitted steroid users. This specifically includes two players: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Bonds is the all-time home run leader and one of the greatest players in the history of baseball. Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards, 354 games and has a case as the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball.

Both have been connected to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The connection is somewhat tenuous. Bonds, it seems, tacitly admitted to limited and unintended steroid use. Clemens has furiously denied all charges. Neither ever failed a drug test. But both have been at the center of high-profile PED investigations and court cases and were mentioned in the Mitchell Report, MLB's 2007 investigation into PED use. Polls suggest that the majority of people believe that they both knowingly used.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Donaldson key to Blue Jays' rebound

Club eyes return to postseason in '18; teams eye Frazier, Kinsler as multipositional options

Donaldson key to Blue Jays' rebound

After reaching the American League Championship Series in back-to-back seasons, the Blue Jays' 2017 campaign was nothing short of a disappointment.

Yet despite his team's 76-86 record, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins believes a return to the postseason in 2018 is only a roster tweak or two away, no matter how many Josh Donaldson trade rumors surface this winter.

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Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge has surgery, should be fine for camp

Judge has surgery, should be fine for camp

American League Rookie of the Year Award winner Aaron Judge underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on Monday, the Yankees announced Tuesday. Judge is expected to complete his recovery before the start of Spring Training.

Judge, 25, traveled to Los Angeles for the treatment, where Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery. The procedure involved a loose-body removal and cartilage cleanup.

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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB's Compton academy hosts turkey giveaway

Dodgers, Angels participate in effort to help community enjoy Thanksgiving

MLB's Compton academy hosts turkey giveaway

COMPTON, Calif. -- Major League Baseball's Youth Academy and its partners helped put a meal on thousands of Los Angeles-area dinner tables this Thanksgiving with the city of Compton's 13th annual turkey giveaway.

More than 2,000 turkeys were distributed Tuesday through the giveaway, which was hosted at the academy in conjunction with area politicians; Compton College; the local chapter of Omega Psi Phi, the nation's first African-American college fraternity; the Dodgers and the Angels as well as both Southern California clubs' charitable foundations.

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

MLB Buzz: Giants getting 'deeper' on Stanton

MLB Buzz: Giants getting 'deeper' on Stanton

The Hot Stove is open for business. As the top free agents begin to ink new deals and clubs begin to make the moves they think will vault them into contention or put them over the top, MLB.com will have you covered with all the latest buzz right here.

Hot Stove Tracker

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Morgan urges HOF voters to reject PED users

1990 inductee, Hall vice chairman sends letter to writers

Morgan urges HOF voters to reject PED users

The Baseball Hall of Fame has left it to voters to use their judgment when it comes to the issue of performance-enhancing drugs and potential inductees. But one prominent Hall of Famer decided to make his voice heard on the subject.

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan -- who also serves as the Hall's vice chairman -- penned a letter that was e-mailed Tuesday to all eligible Hall voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, urging them to keep known PED users out of Cooperstown.

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Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The story of the Ivy Leaguers who used their Thanksgiving to invent the sport of softball

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The story of the Ivy Leaguers who used their Thanksgiving to invent the sport of softball

There's no such thing as a baseball offseason -- at least not if you try hard enough.

As proof, we offer the story of the Harvard and Yale alumni who congregated at the Farragut Boat Club in Chicago on Thanksgiving 1887. So badly did they miss our national pastime, so desperately did they need baseball back in their lives, that they went ahead and invented an indoor version -- a game that would eventually grow to become ...

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Say cheese-cake: MLB Thanksgiving recipes are back!

Former and current players, families and broadcasters share their favorite dishes

Say cheese-cake: MLB Thanksgiving recipes are back!

Thanksgiving falls at a perfect time on the baseball calendar, right on the heels of the World Series and awards season. It's an ideal time for players and fans to catch their collective breath before the Hot Stove burns bright again during the Winter Meetings.

Major League players, coaches, and broadcasters love a delicious Thanksgiving meal as much as the rest of us, and many of them have been kind enough to share their favorite recipes. We've been collecting recipes from Major Leaguers for the last few years, and below is a sampling of some of the best we've encountered, along with the stories behind them. We'll be adding to this leading up to Thanksgiving, so please keep checking back if you are looking for some inspiration for your family dinner.

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Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

'Legendary' Astros WS run back on display

MLB premieres Fall Classic documentary on Tuesday night

'Legendary' Astros WS run back on display

HOUSTON -- Fans showed up to cheer the Astros again Tuesday night, loudly and raucously, stomping, chanting and letting it all go. No use holding anything back when you've had 56 years to dream about something.

Only this time, it was different. In some ways, it was better. This time, there was no World Series tension, no anxiety and no more turning off the television to take a breath. As Astros radio broadcaster Steve Sparks said at the beginning of the evening, "You're going to like the ending."

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Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring Training caps set for holiday debut

Spring Training caps set for holiday debut

Just in time for the start of holiday shopping, New Era on Monday unveiled the new PROLIGHT 59FIFTY, a fitted cap that will be worn by all Major League Baseball players in Spring Training games and during batting practice prior to regular-season games throughout 2018.

These caps feature a new featherweight polyester material that is the lightest on-field fabric in MLB history. The fabric is uniquely engineered for a structured, fitted cap and is 26 percent lighter than New Era's Diamond Era fabric -- which was used in caps worn on-field in Spring Training and prior to regular-season games from 2013-17.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him on Twitter @Marathoner. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

League MVP Acuna leads All-AFL Team

League MVP Acuna leads All-AFL Team

Deep rosters and ongoing roster moves throughout the Arizona Fall League season can make it difficult to evaluate players, many of whom also are mentally and physically exhausted after playing the longest schedules of their careers.

However, it's those same considerations that make standout Fall League performances all the more impressive, offering a potential preview of what the future holds for some of baseball's top prospects.

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

Joe Kelly gave a mini oral history of the Red Sox basketball-themed #WinDanceRepeat

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Joe Kelly gave a mini oral history of the Red Sox basketball-themed #WinDanceRepeat

Hundreds of years from now, there will be many things we'll remember about the great game of baseball during the late 2010s. The Cubs finally winning another World Series, Shohei Ohtani descending upon the Major Leagues and, most importantly, the Red Sox's #WinDanceRepeat victory celebration. 

One of the best performances the outfielders came up with this past season included Rajai Davis, Joe Kelly and a basketball sequence. It was beautiful.

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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Finding the best free-agent fits for Hosmer

From 30 to 1, we count down every Major League team

Finding the best free-agent fits for Hosmer

Eric Hosmer may be the offseason's most interesting free agent, simply because he might be the player with the future that's most difficult to predict.

In the last six seasons, three would be considered to be strong years (2013, '15, '17). He's won four Gold Glove Awards, yet most advanced defensive metrics don't consider him elite. Hosmer has a reputation as a winner with a strong clubhouse presence, yet when the Royals won it all in 2015, he hit just .212/.236/.288 that October. And in a world where hitters are trying to elevate, he had one of the highest ground-ball rates in the game.

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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.

Inbox: Will Washington trade Harper?

Beat reporter Jamal Collier fields questions from Nationals fans

Inbox: Will Washington trade Harper?

After the General Managers Meetings last week in Orlando, Fla., and as the offseason continues to roll along, it's time for a Nationals Inbox to address some of your questions before the Thanksgiving holiday.

This week's Inbox focuses on Bryce Harper's status in Washington, the luxury tax and a reason to believe in Dave Martinez.

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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.

Latest Hall of Fame ballot stacked

Hoffman, Guerrero among top repeat candidates for Cooperstown

Latest Hall of Fame ballot stacked

The National Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2018 could be part of another blockbuster induction weekend next summer.

The 2018 Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot was released on Monday and it includes three possible first-ballot electees: Braves prolific switch-hitting third baseman Chipper Jones, slugger Jim Thome -- eighth all-time with 612 home runs -- plus Omar Vizquel, the shortstop who played 24 seasons and won 11 Gold Gloves for six teams.

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

If Tigers deal Kinsler, what could they get?

Tigers seeking prospects with impact bats for veteran second baseman

If Tigers deal Kinsler, what could they get?

DETROIT -- The Tigers have been entertaining trade talks with teams for Ian Kinsler on and off since last fall. In that time, they've traded Justin Verlander, Justin Upton, J.D. Martinez, Justin Wilson and Alex Avila, all for prospects.

With the Tigers' rebuilding project now well underway and Kinsler entering the final year of his contract, it now appears it's his turn to go. What a deal could do for Detroit's rebuild depends on where he goes.

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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 Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs' Williams to wear No. 34 to honor friend

Bucs righty pays homage to ASU teammate, who was paralyzed on field

Bucs' Williams to wear No. 34 to honor friend

PITTSBURGH -- Trevor Williams recently received a shipment of Pirates jerseys with his name and No. 57 on the back. They're collector's items now, memories of his fine rookie year. He'll wear a different number next season -- and for an inspired reason.

Williams announced Tuesday that he will wear No. 34 next season to honor Cory Hahn, his former roommate and teammate at Arizona State University. Hahn, who wore No. 34 at ASU, had his career cut short on Feb. 20, 2011, when he fractured the C5 vertebrae in his neck and was paralyzed from the chest down while sliding headfirst into second base.

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

Phils may pursue prospect Maitan

Phils may pursue prospect Maitan

PHILADELPHIA -- Remember those trades the Phillies made this summer that got them a whole lot of "international amateur signing bonus space?"

It sounded boring at the time, but the extra $1 million could turn into something exciting in the future. Major League Baseball announced Tuesday it had declared 13 Braves prospects free agents following an investigation that determined Atlanta circumvented international signing rules from 2015-17.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

History provides precedent for MVP trades

Stanton could become latest to be dealt soon after winning the award

History provides precedent for MVP trades

Last week, Giancarlo Stanton became the first Marlins player to take home an MVP Award. Whether he will suit up for the club on Opening Day 2018 remains an open question.

The trade talks surrounding Stanton are one of the big stories of this Hot Stove season, with Miami perhaps launching a grand rebuilding project by shipping off a player who slammed 59 home runs and slugged .631 last season. Meanwhile, Toronto's Josh Donaldson (2015 American League MVP) and Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen ('13 National League MVP) also are part of the rumor mill entering their final seasons before free agency.

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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.

Trevor paid tribute to AC/DC's Malcolm Young

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Trevor paid tribute to AC/DC's Malcolm Young

Even before Mariano Rivera popularized Metallica's "Enter Sandman" as his closer entrance music, Trevor Hoffman began the trend of heavy metal theme songs when he started entering games to AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" in 1998 with the Padres.

After the death of AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young on Saturday, Hoffman took to Twitter to pay tribute to a man whose music accompanied him into so many of his 601 career saves:

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Fans wait more than a day to meet Altuve

AL MVP: 'They are the biggest reason why we won the World Series'

Fans wait more than a day to meet Altuve

HOUSTON -- For Jose Altuve, 2017 was already an unforgettable year once the Astros won their first World Series title. But last week, he added even more to the legend by securing just the second Most Valuable Player Award in franchise history.

On Monday, thousands of fans celebrated all over again when Altuve signed autographs and posed for pictures at an Academy Sports + Outdoors store in nearby Katy. It was Altuve's first public appearance since winning the American League MVP Award, and fans greeted him with a hero's welcome and a slew of "MVP" chants.

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Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Sources: Tigers talk Kinsler with Halos, Mets

Four-time All-Star 2B has one year left on contract

Sources: Tigers talk Kinsler with Halos, Mets

After trading Justin Verlander and Justin Upton on Aug. 31, Tigers general manager Al Avila reiterated to MLB Network last week that his team remains in "full rebuild" mode.

The Tigers' next step could be dealing Ian Kinsler.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He has also covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grapefruit, Cactus action to begin Feb. 23

Defending World Series champion Astros open with tilt vs. Nats

Grapefruit, Cactus action to begin Feb. 23

The countdown to Spring Training started as soon as the Astros prevailed in Game 7 of the World Series in Dodger Stadium, giving them their first title in franchise history.

• Complete Spring Training schedule

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

Who should make the Hall? You tell us

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Who should make the Hall? You tell us

The Baseball Hall of Fame released its 2018 ballot on Monday, and in addition to the usual laundry list of stars, this year's newcomers are a doozy -- including names like Jones (both Andruw and Chipper), Johan and Thome. 

We still have to wait until January to find out who gets inducted. Until then, though, it's time to find out who your Cooperstown Class of 2018 would be: Simply swipe left or right below to vote yea or nay on each eligible player. And since this is just for fun, we won't cap you at 10 choices either -- vote for as many as your heart desires (just remember to show your work in the comments). 

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