Chipper, Thome, Vizquel head HOF ballot

Hoffman, Guerrero among top repeat candidates for Cooperstown

Chipper, Thome, Vizquel head HOF ballot

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.

Thanksgetting: Week of meals, deals ahead?

Free agents, trade candidates may have busy Thanksgiving holiday

Thanksgetting: Week of meals, deals ahead?

The week ahead leads us to the festive and filling holiday of Thanksgiving, when we show gratitude for family and friends and food and everything else we're lucky enough to enjoy.

One of those things is Major League Baseball, of course, and while the 2017 season might be over, the Hot Stove has been fired up and offseason wheeling and dealing is the gravy.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Cards, Giants make trade offers for Stanton

Cards, Giants make trade offers for Stanton

The Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes have moved beyond the preliminary stage.

The Cardinals have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins for the reigning National League MVP Award winner, a source told MLB.com Sunday. And they are not alone.

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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. Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Hot Stove dominoes that might be ready to fall

Hot Stove dominoes that might be ready to fall

We need just one or two dominoes tumbling to get the Hot Stove going. If it's the right guy -- say Jake Arrieta to the Phillies or Lorenzo Cain to the Giants -- it might just start a chain reaction of other deals.

For instance, if Arrieta signs elsewhere, the Cubs might feel a bit of urgency to get a deal done with Yu Darvish, which could then open up several possiblities for Lance Lynn.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Broadcasters reflect on most memorable calls

Broadcasters reflect on most memorable calls

Most baseball fans readily acknowledge that the broadcasters who call the games of their favorite teams are almost like members of their family.

A broadcaster's voice is piped into our radios and televisions for at least six months of every year. That's a lot of time to spend together, and as is the case with most relationships, it's easy to become attached.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB Buzz: Talks continue over Ohtani's status

MLB Buzz: Talks continue over Ohtani's status

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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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

10 pitchers who deserved better results in '17

Statcast's quality-of-contact metric shows potential rebound candidates

10 pitchers who deserved better results in '17

When it comes to winning games, the only thing that matters is the outcome. Did you let that runner score? Did you hit that home run? If not, if the runs don't get on (or stay off) the board, then what might have happened -- or should have happened -- doesn't really matter. You don't win games based on hypotheticals.

But during the offseason, when teams are trying to make player decisions for the upcoming campaign, hypotheticals are everything. Teams look past the high ERA of a Rockies pitcher -- knowing Coors Field is a factor -- to try to find skill. General managers know that run scoring can be influenced by defense, a ballpark or simple bad timing or bad batted-ball luck. Everyone in the game is trying to find the next hidden gem or undervalued asset.

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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.

5 reasons why Hosmer is drawing interest

5 reasons why Hosmer is drawing interest

Eric Hosmer could earn the biggest contract of any free-agent hitter on the market this offseason.

Hosmer is in his prime, only 28 years old and coming off a career year at the plate for the Royals. Just two years ago, he led Kansas City to its first World Series championship in 30 years.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander, Eminem rep Detroit at SNL

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Verlander, Eminem rep Detroit at SNL

Justin Verlander may not pitch for the Tigers anymore, but his years of dominance for Detroit no doubt hold him in high esteem for fans even though he's pitching for Houston.

Speaking of years of dominance, Eminem is one of the most successful musicians to come from the region thanks to years of his own chart-topping dominance in the hip-hop realm. Combine the two, and what do you get? A pretty formidable duo. 

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Eagles or Cowboys? Trout, Smyly debate

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Eagles or Cowboys? Trout, Smyly debate

Sunday morning, in advance of Sunday night's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, Angels outfielder Mike Trout sent out a tweet encouraging his home team, as is his custom.

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Clemens, Wagner eyeing surge on HOF ballot

Clemens, Wagner eyeing surge on HOF ballot

HOUSTON -- Jeff Bagwell's induction to the Hall of Fame this year raised the Astros' profile in Cooperstown and provided a goal for the franchise's succeeding stars to pursue.

It's clear what Roger Clemens and Billy Wagner need from Baseball Writers' Association of America Hall of Fame voters to approach Bagwell's standard. Clemens hopes that his support will continue to grow. Wagner must wish for a semblance of the momentum Clemens has enjoyed.

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Chris Haft has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2007. 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.

Bonds, Kent lead SF contingent on HOF ballot

Bonds, Kent lead SF contingent on HOF ballot

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent frequently appeared back to back in the batting order as Giants teammates. When the subject is Hall of Fame voting, however, Bonds has steadily separated himself from Kent in recent seasons. 

Bonds and Kent again joined forces to lead the Giants' contingent on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot that was released Monday. The momentum surrounding their respective candidacies, however, is vastly different.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. 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.

Braves land pair of Joneses on HOF ballot

Legends Chipper, Andruw lead Atlanta players on list

Braves land pair of Joneses on HOF ballot

ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones stood as two of the most revered and influential figures within the greatest era in Braves franchise history. The two Braves legends will soon get a better feel for the strength of their Hall of Fame candidacies, as both were on the 2018 Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot for the first time on Monday afternoon.

Chipper Jones stands as a near-certain first-ballot Hall of Famer with a legitimate chance to become just the 16th player to be included on at least 95 percent of the ballots cast. A player must appear on 75 percent of the ballots cast to gain enshrinement.

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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.

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.

Phillies slugger Thome lands on HOF ballot

Power hitter smashed 612 career HRs, led Philadelphia's resurgence

Phillies slugger Thome lands on HOF ballot

PHILADELPHIA -- Jim Thome sparked a baseball renaissance in Philadelphia in 2003. He could be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee 15 years later.

Thome is one of seven players with Phillies connections on the 2018 Baseball Writers' Association of America Hall of Fame ballot, released Monday. He is considered a heavy favorite to receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots needed for enshrinement in Cooperstown, N.Y. The election announcement will be on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

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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.

Edgar eyes push to top on '18 HOF ballot

Edgar eyes push to top on '18 HOF ballot

SEATTLE -- Edgar Martinez's career with the Mariners got off to a late start, so he knows as well as anyone that it's how you finish that counts. And that lesson might come in handy again for one of the game's premier designated hitters as he waits to see if he can convert some strong recent momentum into election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Martinez is one of 43 players on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot that was released Monday and will be voted on by eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, with the election announcement due on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Hoffman hoping third time's a HOF charm

Former Padres closer saved an NL-record 601 games

Hoffman hoping third time's a HOF charm

SAN DIEGO -- For the last two years, Trevor Hoffman has anxiously awaited the call from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, anticipating his possible election. This marks his third year on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.

In 2016, the former Padres closer with a National League record 601 saves came off a golf course near his home in North County and learned that he missed by 34 votes (67.3 percent). Earlier this year, the Padres brought video crews to his house awaiting the blessed call. It never came.

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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.

Santana a draw for teams seeking 1B or DH

Red Sox, Phillies, Cards, Rays among clubs involved in free-agent market

Santana a draw for teams seeking 1B or DH

The free-agent market for first basemen/designated hitters continues to be closely monitored by several teams, including the Red Sox and Phillies. Both clubs, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, remain interested in 31-year-old slugger Carlos Santana.

Santana slashed .259/.363/.455 with 23 homers for the Tribe last season and was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base, the first defensive honor of his eight-year MLB career.

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matsui 'looking forward' to Ohtani in Majors

Matsui 'looking forward' to Ohtani in Majors

NEW YORK -- Fewer than 10 Japanese-born players are currently in the Major Leagues. So when a Japanese baseball legend provides insight on the next generation of talent coming out of Asia, you listen.

After hosting a baseball clinic on Sunday for youth players at Columbia University's Robertson Field at Satow Stadium, Hideki Matsui gave his thoughts on young star Shohei Ohtani and how involved the former outfielder, now special advisor to the Yankees, wants to be in the rookie's baseball career.

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

A look back at birthday boy Gallo's 2017 HRs

A look back at birthday boy Gallo's 2017 HRs

Joey Gallo turned 24 on Sunday, but he already ranks as one of the Majors' top producers of eye-popping home runs.

The young Rangers slugger entered some elite company with his 41-homer campaign in 2017, becoming one of 21 players to ever hit at least 40 dingers before his age-24 season. He also joined Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds -- some elite company as far as power hitters go -- as one of only three players to register more homers than singles in a qualified season.

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

Watch Prince bust a move at Andrus' wedding

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Watch Prince bust a move at Andrus' wedding

Weddings are great for a number of reasons. They are celebrations of love and unity between two people, offer chances for friends to reconnect and have great food. But most of all, they are one of the few settings where adults are encouraged to dance in public.

The guest list at Elvis Andus' wedding to Cori Febles was impressive, with Jose Altuve, Adrian Beltre and Felix Hernandez all making appearances. But the MVP of the evening appears to have gone to Prince Fielder, who stole the show on the dance floor:

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Relive 11 of the most unique and entertaining home run celebrations of 2017

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Relive 11 of the most unique and entertaining home run celebrations of 2017

When it comes to the perfect home run, there are many elements that go into making it superb. The swing, the dinger itself and, of course, the celebration that follows once the ball is over the fence.

While there are many ways to celebrate such an impressive feat, there are a few that stood out this season. Here are some of our favorites.

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Aaron Judge hung out with J. Cole and we can't tell who was luckier

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Aaron Judge hung out with J. Cole and we can't tell who was luckier

Aaron Judge has had quite the productive offseason. He took home the American League Rookie of the Year Award, earned Best Rookie in the Esurance MLB Awards and was the runner-up for AL MVP (and accepted his loss in a classy way). With the awards out of the way, the Yankees outfielder was spotted hanging out with a very familiar face during some downtime.

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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Measuring slick: All-Statcast Team dazzles

10 stars who dominate the Statcast leaderboards

Measuring slick: All-Statcast Team dazzles

We're three years into Statcast™, and it's time to share the third annual Statcast™ All-Star team. As we say every year, this is not a list of the best players at each position; it can't be, because studs like Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw and Bryce Harper don't appear. This is a roster comprised of players who have stood out in a particularly interesting way, displaying a skill that's especially intriguing by the Statcast™ metrics.

Looking back at the teams of 2015 and '16, you can see how far we've come. In the first two years, it was largely about exit velocity and spin rate, and those two measurements remain important, but we didn't have Sprint Speed, Catch Probability, Hit Distance, Expected Weighted On-Base Average or Outs Above Average. There's so much more to consider now.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

10 standouts from AFL championship game

10 standouts from AFL championship game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The fall of Ronald Acuna concluded in appropriate fashion. The Arizona Fall League's best prospect and MVP led its best team to the championship Saturday afternoon, driving in four runs as the Peoria Javelinas defeated the Mesa Solar Sox, 8-2.

After the Braves outfielder lined out to third base in his first at-bat, he went down to get a breaking ball from Cubs right-hander Alec Mills and lined it into center field for a third-inning RBI single that tied the game 2-2. An inning later, Acuna fought off a high fastball from right-hander Jake Stinnett and dumping it into right-center for a two-run single that doubled Peoria's lead to 6-2. He later capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

GIF ideas: How would GMs react to deals?

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GIF ideas: How would GMs react to deals?

Being a Major League GM is a high-stakes job. You're constantly searching for ways to improve every aspect of your team, while going up against 29 other executives with the exact same goal in mind.

Given that, it's natural to assume that trade talks are an intense affair, full of poker faces and innuendo and brinkmanship. Which is probably true ... plus the occasional GIF or two.

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David Freese introduced his dog and newborn son to one another and it was too precious for words

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David Freese introduced his dog and newborn son to one another and it was too precious for words

The offseason has gifted us with so many wonderful things: Justin Verlander and Kate Upton tied the knot, Brad Peacock got to meet the Backstreet Boys and Jake Arrieta's son proved he has some ball skills of his own. When it comes to David Freese, he not only welcomed a son into the world, but shared a precious family moment with their newest addition.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Orioles seeking pitching to make run in '18

Free agents Cobb, Lynn are targets, according to sources

Orioles seeking pitching to make run in '18

The Orioles finished last in the American League East this season, but they're planning to compete -- not rebuild -- in 2018.

How do we know? Rather than entertain trade proposals for three-time All-Star third baseman Manny Machado during the recent General Managers Meetings, sources say executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette used the time to contact agents representing free-agent starting pitchers.

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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.

Trio of free agents primed to bounce back

Trio of free agents primed to bounce back

A player's value in free agency often comes down, in large part, to timing.

On one end of the spectrum, J.D. Martinez crushed his way to a career season before hitting the market -- including a torrid run down the stretch for the postseason-bound D-backs. That's the type of performance that will attract plenty of suitors.

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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.

Acuna caps sensational year with AFL MVP

Braves top prospect becomes youngest in Fall League history to win award

Acuna caps sensational year with AFL MVP

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As the 2017 season comes to a close, Ronald Acuna has one more piece of hardware to add to his trophy case.

The Braves' No. 1 prospect was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League after he hit .325/.414/.639 and led the league with seven homers in 23 games for the Peoria Javelinas.

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