Post Cuba: O' Brothers, Where Start Thou?

Yulieski Gurriel said to be MLB-ready; Lourdes a highly regarded prospect

Post Cuba: O' Brothers, Where Start Thou?

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Two top players from the most famous baseball family in Cuba are not expected to return to the island.

Brothers Lourdes Gurriel Jr., 22, and Yulieski Gurriel, 31, defected from Cuba's Ciego de Avila team following the Caribbean Series that concluded Sunday in order to seek contracts with Major League teams, according to sources. Lourdes is considered the top prospect in Cuba while his brother is considered the country's best player.

More

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.

Source: Donaldson, Blue Jays reach 2-year deal

Source: Donaldson, Blue Jays reach 2-year deal

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have avoided a potentially contentious arbitration hearing by signing reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson to a two-year contract worth $29 million, a source has told MLB.com.

The agreement was first reported by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Toronto has yet to comment on the deal, while Donaldson tweeted a rather cryptic message that said, "Mood right now" with a photo of him celebrating after a home run at Rogers Centre.

More

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.

Pollock, D-backs agree on two-year deal

Pollock, D-backs agree on two-year deal

PHOENIX -- The D-backs on Monday reached agreement with outfielder A.J. Pollock on a two-year contract, which avoids a salary arbitration hearing.

The deal is worth $10.25 million, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

More

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.

Source: Tigers, J.D. come to 2-year agreement

Contract valued at $18.5M, covers arbitration seasons

Source: Tigers, J.D. come to 2-year agreement

DETROIT -- The Tigers' streak of settling arbitration cases before a hearing rolls on. The team has reached an agreement with outfielder J.D. Martinez on a two-year contract worth $18.5 million, a source confirmed to MLB.com on Monday.

The club has not confirmed the agreement, which is pending a physical. Robert Murray of Baseball Essential first reported the agreement.

More

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

MLB Showcase puts spotlight on international talent

59 players from 7 countries to participate in 2-day event

MLB Showcase puts spotlight on international talent

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Venezuela's Kevin Maitan, considered by many to be top player available during the upcoming international signing period that starts July 2, is expected to be there.

Outfielder Tirso Ornelas, the best teenage prospect in Mexico, will to be there, too. Right-handed Edisson Gonzalez will take the mound as the best teen pitcher Panama has to offer and outfielder Jeisson Rosario, one of the top outfielders from the Dominican Republic, will roam the grass at Estadio Quisqueya.

More

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

Jim Duquette

Best of the best: Top offseason moves

Braves, Rays and Dodgers just a few to earn A's this winter

Best of the best: Top offseason moves

Of the many deals this offseason, some appear to be shrewder than others. With roughly two weeks to go before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, let's take a look at five moves that I believe stand above the rest.

1. Braves acquire SS Dansby Swanson, RHP Aaron Blair and OF Ender Inciarte from D-backs for RHP Shelby Miller
In dealing Miller to the D-backs, the retooling Braves managed to acquire some major building blocks. Swanson, the first overall pick of the 2015 Draft and the No. 8 prospect in MLB, could be a batting-average and on-base-percentage machine, with solid pop from the shortstop position, perhaps sooner rather than later given his advanced skill set.

More

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

Which Yankee would look best with a beard?

|
Which Yankee would look best with a beard?

Spring Training is less than a month away! Let us keep you company until the first pitcher-and-catcher workouts on Feb. 18 with a team-by-team countdown of reasons to get excited for the 2016 MLB season. Today: The New York Yankees.

Previously: PHI | OAK | ATL | DET | CIN | SEA | COL | CWS | MIL | BOS | TB | ARI | MIA | BAL | SD | MIN | SF | CLE | PIT  | LAA | TOR 

Continue Reading on Cut4

D-backs sign reliever Clippard to 2-year deal

Ziegler still likely candidate to open 2016 season as Arizona's closer

D-backs sign reliever Clippard to 2-year deal

PHOENIX -- Given the chance to make their bullpen better, the D-backs couldn't pass on the opportunity to sign free-agent right-hander Tyler Clippard to a two-year deal Monday.

According to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, the deal is worth $12.25 million and includes a $4 million signing bonus, a $4.1 million salary this year and a $4.15 million salary in 2017.

More

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rebounds could give Angels boost in 2016

Weaver, Pujols among players looking to bounce back

Rebounds could give Angels boost in 2016

There are two distinct ways you can choose to look at this upcoming Angels team, though the best approach usually resides somewhere in the middle. You can be pessimistic and lament the fact that they didn't attain the marquee bat they needed to keep pace in an ever-improving American League West, or you can be optimistic and consider that they fell one game shy of the postseason last year despite a rough August and underperformances throughout the roster.

A bevy of players -- players with good track records, in fact -- are coming off down years and are in need of a rebound. If they do bounce back, perhaps the Angels will find out that they didn't really need that shiny new left fielder or that accomplished new second baseman.

More

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. 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

More

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.

Cuban phenom Lazarito nearing decision

9 teams show strong interest in 16-year-old outfielder

Cuban phenom Lazarito nearing decision

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Lazaro "Lazarito" Armenteros will spend the next 24 hours pondering his future.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound outfielder is expected to make a decision on where he will sign Wednesday, about one month after Major League Baseball declared him a free agent.

More

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.

Road to World Baseball Classic starts Down Under

First qualifier for 2017 tournament set for Thursday in Australia

Road to World Baseball Classic starts Down Under

First, it'll be Sydney. Soon enough, it'll be the World.

Baseball's ultimate international tournament is still more than a year away, with the fourth World Baseball Classic slated for 2017. There's a lot to look forward to, including rosters packed with Major League talent.

More

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.

Still on the market, Fowler boasts a truly unique skill set

Free-agent OF could be the game's best switch-hitting OBP threat

Still on the market, Fowler boasts a truly unique skill set

The market for free-agent outfielders was particularly loaded this offseason, and as a result, one of the most unique players in the class seemed to get lost in the shuffle.

It's the second week of February, and Dexter Fowler still hasn't found a home. He's 29 years old -- younger than Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon -- and fresh off a season in which he manned center field and batted leadoff for a Cubs team that reached its first postseason in seven years.

More

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

Perry to get statue at Giants' ballpark

Hall of Famer pitcher will join Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda in honor

Perry to get statue at Giants' ballpark

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will put the finishing touches on honoring their San Francisco-era Hall of Fame quintet by unveiling a statue in right-hander Gaylord Perry's honor before the Aug. 13 game against Baltimore, the organization announced Monday.

The bronze image of Perry, 77, will join the sculptures of Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda that are located along AT&T Park's perimeter. Each played virtually all or a significant amount of his career with the Giants after they moved to San Francisco in 1958.

More

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.

Baseball's on deck: Prepare to pick now!

Supporting cast helps boost Harper past Trout for top spot

Baseball's on deck: Prepare to pick now!

We're roughly two months away from Opening Day, when hope will spring anew at a ballpark near you.

Are you ready to swap sweater weather for fitted hats and baseball stats? If so, we have just what you need. Welcome to MLB.com's Fantasy Player Preview, your one-stop information shop for the upcoming campaign.

More

Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baker recalls lessons from Aaron, Gilliam

Nats' new skipper looks back on mentors during Black History Month

Baker recalls lessons from Aaron, Gilliam

WASHINGTON -- When Nationals manager Dusty Baker looks at the wall in his house in California, he is reminded that black history is celebrated every day, not just during Black History Month in February.

There are photos of former player and coach Jim Gilliam, Baker's former coach with the Dodgers; Hall of Famer Hank Aaron; and former Braves farm director and general manager Bill Lucas and his father, Johnnie B. Baker Sr. Baker said he has been successful for more than 50 years in professional baseball because of those people.

More

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.

Wily Mo Pena, Jonny Gomes and the rest of MLB's Missing Consonants All-Stars

|
Wily Mo Pena, Jonny Gomes and the rest of MLB's Missing Consonants All-Stars

For as long as there has been baseball, there have been baseball players with odd names. But while the Jazz Chisholms and Cisco Factors of the world get all of the attention, we're here to celebrate something much more specific -- the MLB All-Missing Consonant Team, a full lineup dedicated to those who fought back against the hegemony of traditional naming conventions ... by daring to get rid of a letter.

Because, really, why be one of 130 all-time big league Matts, when you can be the one and only Mat?

Continue Reading on Cut4

Tweet fantasy baseball questions to MLB.com guru

Zinkie hosting live Twitter chat @Fantasy411 today at 3 p.m. ET; submit now using #Fantasy411

Tweet fantasy baseball questions to MLB.com guru

You've prepared all winter for this day. Draft Day, the most important several-hour span for your upcoming fantasy season.

Sure, you've read through MLB.com's Fantasy Player Preview. You've followed MLB.com/fantasy's Twitter handle, @Fantasy411, for years. But you still need that edge over your competition. What do you do?

More

Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

5 players primed for Manning-esque 'last rodeo'

5 players primed for Manning-esque 'last rodeo'

Surrounded by his comrades and confetti, Peyton Manning didn't explicitly say he was retiring after his Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 on Sunday night. But in saying the win was a great way "to cap it off," he certainly hinted that this was his goodbye to the game -- and what a way to go.

Whether any baseball player will make a similarly enchanted exit in 2016 is a matter as-yet-undecided -- not just by the baseball fates, but also in most cases by the players themselves. But here are five who are possibly in position to achieve the ultimate walk-off win.

More

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.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

5 potential impact arms in wild NL West

5 potential impact arms in wild NL West

Remodeled pitching staffs make the National League West one of the most unpredictable and fascinating of the six divisions as Spring Training approaches. Any number of arms could prove pivotal in a lively race. Here are five to watch:

1. Kenta Maeda, Dodgers
Division champions three years running with dominant starting pitching, the Dodgers can't replace what Zack Greinke gave them with one arm. But Maeda, polished and experienced on the international stage, is one of several who can help ease the impact of Greinke's move to Arizona.

More

Lyle Spencer is a columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reports: Veteran outfielder Young arrested

Free-agent outfielder Delmon Young was arrested Sunday night in Miami and charged with battery after he allegedly choked and threatened a valet attendant, according to multiple reports.

A police report said that Young grabbed the attendant by the neck and began to choke him after the attendant did not allow Young to enter a nightclub at the Viceroy Hotel. Young also directed racial slurs towards the attendant and law enforcement, according to the police report.

More

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 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.

More

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.

Mexico's walk-off HR wins Caribbean Series

Mazatlan defeats Venezuela to give nation third title in four years

Mexico's walk-off HR wins Caribbean Series

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- The rhythmic chants began before the first pitch at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal.

"Meh-he-co, Meh-he-co, Meh-he-co."

More

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

Tracy Ringolsby

Royals exemplify evolved bullpen usage

Teams spreading workload over larger relief corps

Royals exemplify evolved bullpen usage

The Royals brought the emergence of the bullpen to prominence during their road to the 2015 World Series championship, underscored by a bullpen that allowed only one unearned run in the seventh inning or later during the five-game World Series success against the Mets.

The role of the reliever, however, has undergone a major transformation during the expansion era, particularly during the last two decades.

More

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

Padres eye Schumaker on Minors deal

Veteran utility man led Majors in pinch-hits last season

Padres eye Schumaker on Minors deal

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are close to signing infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker to a Minor League contract.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com indicated late Monday that Schumaker, who turned 36 on Wednesday, is signing with the Padres.

More

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Cards starters must eat innings

Full season of Wainwright should boost rotation's biggest need

Around the Horn: Cards starters must eat innings

This is the fifth installment in a six-part Around the Horn series that will take a position-by-position look at the Cardinals' projected starters and backup options heading into Spring Training. After previously looking at the club's catching depth, corner infield, middle infield and outfield options, let's examine the group of starting pitchers.

ST. LOUIS -- Anchored by their rotation a year ago, the Cardinals enter 2016 hopeful of both rebound and repeat seasons. They'll need both, too, in order to match the success of a 2015 rotation that was baseball's best.

More

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.

Orioles invite 17 roster hopefuls to camp

Orioles invite 17 roster hopefuls to camp

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will have 17 non-roster players in Major League Spring Training, the club announced on Monday.

The group is comprised of four left-handed pitchers, three right-handers, three catchers, four infielders and three outfielders. They will compete, along with the members of the Orioles' 40-man roster, for a spot on the team's Opening Day roster while in Sarasota, Fla.

More

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pitchers get in last Turner Field workouts

Foltynewicz, Wisler and others will report to Orlando by Feb. 19

Pitchers get in last Turner Field workouts

ATLANTA -- Though there was still a little chill in the air, those who passed through the Braves clubhouse at Turner Field on Monday could certainly get the sense that the baseball season is quickly approaching.

Braves general manager John Coppolella added a couple suitcases to a group of boxes that will be placed on a moving truck that will transport most of the club's equipment to Spring Training on Friday. As Coppolella packed, pitchers Matt Wisler, Mike Foltynewicz and Williams Perez were at the stadium to complete one of their final workouts before heading to Florida. Braves pitchers and catchers are required to report to Spring Training by Feb. 19, but many of them will arrive in the Orlando area a few days early to get settled before entering daily grind of the baseball season.

More

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Finding a common thread among MLB's best teams

Top 5 clubs show player development, smart talent assessment can be key

Finding a common thread among MLB's best teams

Baseball people spend a lot of time thinking about successful organizations. Specifically, is there a common thread running through them? Can success be traced back to spending, drafting, managing or some combination of everything?

With that in mind, let's look at baseball's winningest regular-season teams the past three seasons:

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox counting on rebounds from several players

Red Sox counting on rebounds from several players

MLB.com is providing a multipart Spring Training primer over the next few days that will bring you up to speed on all the key issues as the Red Sox try to bounce back from consecutive last-place finishes.

Fittingly, the first segment features the players who are on a mission to have a rebound season.

More

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.