Myers to SD in blockbuster with Rays, Nats

Friars also add catcher Hanigan, Minors pitchers, while giving up prospects to Rays, Nationals

Myers to SD in blockbuster with Rays, Nats

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' efforts to bolster a weak offense has led them to two very unlikely players -- a two-time National League All-Star slugger and a former American League Rookie of the Year.

Last week, the Padres agreed to a five-player trade with the Dodgers that got them Matt Kemp, though the deal has yet to be announced.

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

Volquez agrees to 2-year deal with Royals

Right-hander went 13-7 with Pirates in 2014

Volquez agrees to 2-year deal with Royals

A week before Christmas, the Royals have apparently finished up their holiday shopping.

Kansas City finished off a wildly active post-Winter Meetings week by agreeing to terms on a two-year, $20 million contract with free-agent right-hander Edinson Volquez, a source confirmed to MLB.com. The club has not yet announced the deal, which was first reported by CBSSports.com.

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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.

Shift in U.S.-Cuban relations may affect MLB

Those seeking career in Majors may find less restrictive path to America

Shift in U.S.-Cuban relations may affect MLB

The re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, announced by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, could affect Cuban players currently in the Major Leagues and pave the way for an easier passage for Cuban players seeking to play in the U.S. in the future.

"This is a game-changer," one American League general manager said.

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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.

With future uncertain, Hamels keeps open mind

Amid rumors, southpaw discloses interest in possibly joining contender

With future uncertain, Hamels keeps open mind

PHILADELPHIA -- Is Cole Hamels the next Phillies player to be traded?

Jimmy Rollins is headed to the Dodgers, if the Padres and Dodgers ever announce the Matt Kemp deal. The Dodgers are sending Kemp to the Padres, who are sending players back to Los Angeles. One of those players -- Minor League right-hander Zach Eflin -- is headed to the Phillies as part of the Rollins trade.

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

Report: Romo remains a Giant, gets 2-year deal

Report: Romo remains a Giant, gets 2-year deal

The Giants have reportedly reached an agreement to bring back free-agent reliever Sergio Romo on a two-year contract worth $15 million.

Romo, 31, has spent his entire Major League career with the Giants and has served as an instrumental part of the back end of their bullpen. FOXSports.com first reported the agreement Wednesday afternoon, and says it is pending a physical.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Padres go for gold in blockbuster deal for Myers

Rays, Nationals jump in trade mix with hopes of future gains

Padres go for gold in blockbuster deal for Myers

Right there at the beginning, the Rays found out Wil Myers had a chance to be special.

In just his sixth game, Myers stepped to home plate in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and the Rays trailing, 3-1, at Yankee Stadium. There in front of a packed house, with the crowd roaring, he fell behind CC Sabathia, 0-2.

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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.

The 10 most GIF-able MLB moments of 2014

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The 10 most GIF-able MLB moments of 2014

2014 is drawing to a close, so it's time to remember all the things that made the year fantastic. What's on your list? Friends? Family? The fact that Spring Training really isn't that far away? Well, the MLB year was so packed with amazing things that we can't fit them all in one post. For now, let's just take a look at the most GIF-able moments from the 2014 season: 

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Markakis has neck surgery to repair herniated disk

Braves right fielder should be ready for the start of Spring Training

Markakis has neck surgery to repair herniated disk

ATLANTA -- Nick Markakis underwent fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck on Wednesday. The Braves expect the veteran outfielder to begin baseball-related activities before the start of Spring Training.

When the Braves signed Markakis to a four-year, $44 million deal earlier this month, they expected that he would undergo this surgical procedure, which was performed in Atlanta by Dr. Steven Wray.

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

Kipnis has finger surgery; should be OK for start of season

Kipnis has finger surgery; should be OK for start of season

Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis had surgery on Tuesday to repair a damaged extensor tendon in his left ring finger. He is expected to be ready to go in time for the regular season.

Kipnis sustained the injury during offseason strength and conditioning activities in Chicago, then was seen this weekend by Indians medical personnel and Dr. Thomas Graham, who diagnosed the injury and recommended the surgery.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Nats acquire 2 prospects in three-team deal

Source: Nats acquire 2 prospects in three-team deal

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals involved themselves in a three-team, 11-player trade with the Rays and Padres on Tuesday evening, a baseball source has confirmed.

Washington acquired right-hander Joe Ross and a player to be named from the Padres -- it is believed that shortstop Trea Turner is that player -- and the Nationals sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and left-hander Travis Ott to the Rays.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Sox back in driver's seat after Cherington's maneuvers

Sox back in driver's seat after Cherington's maneuvers

Let's say Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington doesn't make any further moves this offseason. Is his team good enough to win the American League East?

Of course it is.

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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.

Brewers coach LeBoeuf undeterred by cancer battle

Popular member of Minor League staff shares love of the game with players, family

Brewers coach LeBoeuf undeterred by cancer battle

MILWAUKEE -- The little milestones mean so much these days to Al LeBoeuf, a popular coach in the Brewers' Minor League system who has been fighting to reclaim his legs from cancer. Like the day he appeared in Spring Training to visit the players he worried he'd never see again. Or the morning earlier this year when he returned to the golf course. Or the day later in summer when LeBoeuf, fitted with braces on each of his lower legs, threw batting practice.

Some milestones are even smaller. A couple of weeks ago, LeBoeuf wiggled his toes for the first time in more than two years. He called the experience "wonderful."

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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.

Morse, Marlins finalize 2-year, $16 million deal

Morse, Marlins finalize 2-year, $16 million deal

MIAMI -- The Marlins' power play is now completed. The club on Wednesday announced the signing of free agent Michael Morse, who will take over at first base while providing additional pop to the middle of the lineup.

Morse, who reached an agreement with the team on Tuesday, becomes an imposing figure to bat cleanup behind Giancarlo Stanton, the National League home run champion.

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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.

Source: Rays land 5 prospects in dealing Myers

Former Rookie of Year heading to Padres; Nats' Souza among Tampa Bay's haul

Source: Rays land 5 prospects in dealing Myers

ST. PETERSBURG -- If Wil Myers is going to develop into the player some believe he will, he won't be doing so on the Rays' dime.

The Rays are expected to announce on Thursday that they have traded the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year to the Padres in an 11-player deal that also involves the Nationals. 

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

10 reasons to put 2015 MLB.TV Premium on your gift list

With holidays around the corner, subscription is perfect present for baseball fan

10 reasons to put 2015 MLB.TV Premium on your gift list

The perfect holiday gift for Major League Baseball fans has just arrived: 2015 MLB.TV Premium.

Signups are underway at $129.99 for the yearly gift subscription, and you can even give it to yourself. The recipient will be able to watch every live out-of-market game in the next regular season over more than 400 devices, thanks to the Internet's longest-running and No. 1 sports streaming product.

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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.

Hank the Wonder Dog is nominated for Dog of the Year

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Hank the Wonder Dog is nominated for Dog of the Year

While there are thousands of awards out there, from the Ig Nobel Prize given to strange science research to the Rotten Sneaker Award, given out to the child with the stinkiest pair of shoes, it is pretty much understood that these are the three most prestigious of them: 

1. MVP

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Preller is bold enough to shoot for the stars

Padres GM attempting to bolster weak offense with major deals for Kemp, Myers

Preller is bold enough to shoot for the stars

Padres executive vice president and general manager A.J. Preller doesn't relax.

When he was overseeing international and professional scouting for the Rangers, he was always pushing himself to find that one player everyone else missed.

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

Comfort essential to Tribe's winter program for Kluber

Club working with righty to monitor throwing, maintain 2014 level

Comfort essential to Tribe's winter program for Kluber

CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber worked with robotic precision last season, piling up innings and strikeouts at a rate unlike any other year in his professional career. The Indians are now doing what they can to make sure the pitcher's workload does not make him a one-year wonder.

Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway has met with a variety of former pitchers and pitching coaches this offseason to discuss how to handle Kluber's program this winter and during Spring Training. Callaway and Kluber have also had a handful of conversations in an effort to find a balance between the team's ideas and the pitcher's comfort level.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Latos embraces homecoming with Marlins

Newly acquired South Florida native hopes to help Miami to return to prominence

Latos embraces homecoming with Marlins

MIAMI -- Mat Latos' playing career is coming full circle. The 27-year-old, who grew up a Marlins fan and played high school and college ball in South Florida, is now looking to help take his hometown big league team to the next level.

At age 5 in 1993, Latos attended the Marlins' inaugural game. And growing up, he regularly rooted on the club at Sun Life Stadium. So when the right-hander learned he was acquired from the Reds at the Winter Meetings last Thursday, he embraced the opportunity to go home.

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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.

Moya's future in Detroit delayed by Cespedes' arrival

Top-notch prospect likely to start 2015 in Minors

Moya's future in Detroit delayed by Cespedes' arrival

DETROIT -- Steven Moya rose from hit-or-miss prospect at this point a year ago to the Major Leagues in September. Even he's in awe of how quickly it all happened.

"It was a really blessed season," Moya said earlier this month. "I thank God that I had that season."

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

Heaney's path has led him to Halos' rotation competition

Heaney's path has led him to Halos' rotation competition

ANAHEIM -- When Frank Anderson first saw Andrew Heaney walk into the Oklahoma State University campus in the fall of 2009, the young left-hander was carrying 140 pounds on a 6-foot-2 frame.

"He was just a string bean," said Anderson, the longtime Oklahoma State baseball coach who is now an assistant at the University of Houston. "I always joked around that he looked like one of those Dr. Seuss characters."

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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.

Mariners acquire versatile outfielder Ruggiano from Cubs

Seattle sends Minor League right-handed reliever Brazis to Chicago

Mariners acquire versatile outfielder Ruggiano from Cubs

SEATTLE -- The Mariners added some needed outfield depth Wednesday by acquiring Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs in a trade for Minor League reliever Matt Brazis, and the club will continue looking for other opportunities to improve its offense, according to general manager Jack Zduriencik.

The move could foreshadow a platoon scenario for the Mariners in their right-field situation. Ruggiano, 32, gives Seattle a right-handed option who can play all three outfield positions. The six-year Major League veteran hit .281 with six home runs and 28 RBIs in 224 at-bats in 81 games last season for the Cubs.

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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.

Red Sox add righty Varvaro in trade with Braves

Red Sox add righty Varvaro in trade with Braves

The Red Sox bolstered their bullpen on Wednesday, acquiring right-hander Anthony Varvaro from the Braves in exchange for Minor Leaguer Aaron Kurcz and cash considerations.

The Braves designated Varvaro for assignment on Monday to make room for Alberto Callaspo on the 40-man roster.

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

No ace? Recent history says no problem for Sox

Strong bullpen, potent lineup, capable rotation has proven formula for success

No ace? Recent history says no problem for Sox

BOSTON -- Once Jon Lester made his decision that there would be no return engagement in Boston, there was an unsettling feeling for Red Sox fans who have just about always had an "ace" to cheer on in recent decades.

However, if you look at some of the top contenders of the last couple of seasons, some were able to survive and thrive with a rotation of competitive starters, rather than one dominant force. Those teams typically have a lights-out bullpen and an offense capable of putting runs on the board.

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

After playing a lot in '14, Pena stays home this offseason

Reds backup catcher usually at winter ball, but spending down time with family

After playing a lot in '14, Pena stays home this offseason

CINCINNATI -- Reds backup catcher Brayan Pena is usually a lock to play winter ball during his offseason, but that isn't the case during this particular offseason. Pena has decided to skip it this year -- pretty much.

"I'm not saying I won't play winter ball. But I'm 99 percent sure," Pena said. "It's just taking care of my family a little bit. I want to give my body some rest and some time to recover. I played a lot this year. I wasn't expecting to play that much. I'm preparing myself much better this year because you never know in this game."

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Lester, Samardzija are right fits in Windy City

Pair of aces sure to add plenty of spice to City Series rivalry

Lester, Samardzija are right fits in Windy City

CHICAGO -- With apologies to the late Bob Wills and all Texans, this Hot Stove season has been a tale of the Chicago two step, with the White Sox and Cubs adding aces through a series of calculations and reactions that both teams believe could not have worked out better.

Not only did Jeff Samardzija jump from the A's to the White Sox, with Jon Lester being signed to replace him on the North Side, but the series of events that led them to Chicago bodes well for both teams.

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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.

Marlins announce Morse signing in Morse code

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Marlins announce Morse signing in Morse code

Hey everybody, the Marlins have something very important to announce. Are you ready? Pay very close attention. OK, here it is (make sure to unmute the Vine and turn your sound on):

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Cards won't retain any free agents

Ellis, Pierzynski don't appear to fit in '15 plans

Cards won't retain any free agents

ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals were never all that pursuant of their own free agents, the activity of the last week has all but ensured that none of the seven players to enter free agency after finishing the season in St. Louis will return. Only two -- Mark Ellis and A.J. Pierzynski -- remain unsigned, and neither has an obvious fit on the Cardinals' 2015 roster.

Of the other five who have already moved elsewhere, they received a combined $30.1 million in guaranteed salary with the possibility that incentives push that final figure even higher. These were investments that did not match the Cardinals' future needs.

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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.

White Sox unveil Samardzija, Robertson, Melky

Three offseason additions introduced at U.S. Cellular Field

White Sox unveil Samardzija, Robertson, Melky

CHICAGO -- Rick Hahn looked at the large crowd assembled in the U.S. Cellular Field Conference and Learning Center and presented a perfect opening line for the Tuesday afternoon news conference introducing Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson and Melky Cabrera as the newest members of the White Sox.

"So how was your week?" said a smiling Hahn, drawing laughter from the group.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Why the sudden upheaval among scouting directors?

Eight teams make changes at the important front-office position this offseason

Why the sudden upheaval among scouting directors?

Working as a scouting director inherently brings a certain amount of job instability. Baseball is a results-based industry, after all, and if an organization feels a scout isn't identifying and helping to bring in enough talent, it might go in a different direction.

Or perhaps a scouting director was hired by a certain general manager. Fast forward a few years and ownership wants to make a change at the GM position. In all likelihood, that means a new scouting director is coming.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.