Braking news: Flashy car revs up Cubs camp

Strength coach Buss plans joke with Maddon, arrives in style

Braking news: Flashy car revs up Cubs camp

MESA, Ariz. -- When you win a World Series, you travel in style, and Cubs strength coach Tim Buss arrived for Tuesday's workout in a white Ferrari convertible.

"I don't think I've seen a Ferrari on the field before," pitcher Kyle Hendricks said. "You never know what to expect. It was a little unexpected, but not so unexpected. You expect the crazy around here, especially with 'Bussy.'"

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Machado, O's give young fan unforgettable day

Machado, O's give young fan unforgettable day

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Eleven-year-old Nicole Parker, of Ellicott City, Md., had a once-in-a-lifetime experience on Tuesday, as the aspiring sportswriter -- who started an Orioles blog of her own about a month ago -- got to visit O's camp and meet some of her heroes.

Parker, who came down with her father, Alex, to take in a little Spring Training action, wore a Manny Machado Orioles jersey and was surprised when the All-Star third baseman paid a visit to the media workroom to do an interview.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. 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.

No major rules changes for '17, but '18 a possibility

No major rules changes for '17, but '18 a possibility

PHOENIX -- Major League Baseball may have one notable rule change this season -- an automatic international walk. As for significant rule changes, they appear to be very much on the table for 2018, with an eye toward speeding up the pace of play.

Commissioner Rob Manfred made this clear on Tuesday afternoon during a news conference that opened the fifth annual Cactus League Spring Training Media Day.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Joe Posnanski

Is 300-wins club done adding members?

Is 300-wins club done adding members?

Pitcher wins, as you probably know, have been going out of style for about a decade now. There have been campaigns against them, like Brian Kenny's "Kill The Win." There are numerous examples of how random the win has become; a pitcher is now more likely to pick up a victory pitching an inning in relief than pitching seven good innings as a starter. And, anyway, the way the game is pointing -- with pitch counts and fewer complete games -- the win loses meaning every year.

And so we ask: Will there ever be another 300-game winner?

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Joe Posnanski is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, an Emmy Award-winning writer and has been awarded National Sportswriter of the Year. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats agree to deal with Wieters

Backstop's bat adds depth to Washington's lineup

Nats agree to deal with Wieters

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Nationals had been the speculated landing spot for free-agent catcher Matt Wieters this offseason, and the two sides reached a deal on Tuesday, pending a physical, manager Dusty Baker confirmed.

The deal reportedly is for $21 million over two years, with an opt-out after the first season. Wieters will be paid $10.5 million in 2017 and the same amount if he returns for '18, with $5 million deferred through '21, according to The Washington Post.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Greinke could bounce back through better fielding, framing

D-backs outfield's Defensive Runs Saved fell by 56 from 2015 to '16

Greinke could bounce back through better fielding, framing

Zack Greinke's first season in the desert hardly went as intended, and that's not exactly a controversial statement. "It didn't go as planned, for the team and myself for the most part," he told MLB.com's Steve Gilbert last October. "I didn't do that good when I came back [from the disabled list]," he added after reporting to camp earlier this month. "I kind of didn't pitch as good as I probably could have or should have."

That's not really in dispute, not after his ERA ballooned from a stunning 1.66 in 2015 with the Dodgers to an inflated 4.37 ERA with the D-backs in 2016. After missing six weeks in the summer with a left oblique strain and his final two starts of the year with a sore right shoulder, certainly better health would help. Better performance on Greinke's end would help, too.

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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.

Four umpires promoted to replace retiring veterans

New full-timers include first product of MLB Umpire Camps initiative

Four umpires promoted to replace retiring veterans

Major League Baseball announced the retirement of longtime umpires Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce and Tim Welke on Tuesday. All four had spent several decades calling big league games.

That brings four new umpires to the full-time Major League ranks -- Adam Hamari, Pat Hoberg, Gabe Morales and Carlos Torres.

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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.

Britton to miss intrasquad game with oblique issue

Britton to miss intrasquad game with oblique issue

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles closer Zach Britton will not pitch in Wednesday's intrasquad game as the lefty is dealing with early signs of an oblique issue.

The O's want to be extra cautious with Britton, which is why manager Buck Showalter said right now they'll take it day by day. Baltimore had half of its pitchers throw in Tuesday's intrasquad game and the other half were slated for Wednesday.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. 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.

Simmons gearing up for 2017 Classic

Simmons gearing up for 2017 Classic

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Four years ago, Angels infielder Andrelton Simmons played a pivotal role in helping the Netherlands reach the semifinals of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Simmons, a native of Curacao, started at shortstop and hit .333 with two home runs, three doubles and six RBIs in eight games, an effort that helped the Netherlands secure its best finish in the tournament.

Next week, Simmons will depart for Seoul to represent the Netherlands in his second career World Baseball Classic. He'll join a loaded infield that will also feature the Yankees' Didi Gregorius, the Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, the Orioles' Jonathan Schoop and the Rangers' Jurickson Profar, many of whom are childhood friends of Simmons.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Watch out, opposing teams: Evan Gattis and Brian McCann could be planning a Parent Trap

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Watch out, opposing teams: Evan Gattis and Brian McCann could be planning a Parent Trap

Were Evan Gattis and Brian McCann accidentally separated at birth? Are they merely the result of top secret human cloning? Was the Astros acquisition of McCann all a ploy to trick the opposition using top secret subterfuge? Just one week into Spring Training and the baseball world already can't separate the two players. 

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You've never known true love until you've watched Bartolo Colon on Photo Day

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You've never known true love until you've watched Bartolo Colon on Photo Day

Valentine's Day may have been last week, but with Bartolo Colon, romance is always in the air. 

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Cubs keep eye on new wave of young studs

Front office hopes to repeat method of using homegrown talent to win World Series

Cubs keep eye on new wave of young studs

PHOENIX -- On Tuesday, manager Joe Maddon took a good look at the Cubs' future. He spent a lot of time during the workout watching Ian Happ and Eloy Jimenez, Nos. 1 and 2 on MLB.com's list of the Top 30 Cubs prospects, who are in big league camp for the first time.

"Everyone thinks our talent is already here," Maddon said. "Time out: there's other guys coming."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bumgarner expecting to start Cactus opener

Lefty ace likely to get nod Friday; Cueto expected this weekend

Bumgarner expecting to start Cactus opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Madison Bumgarner is likely to start for the Giants in Friday's Cactus League opener against the Reds.

Or at least Bumgarner thinks he will. "I don't know for sure, but I think it's a pretty realistic option," he said after Tuesday's workout.

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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.

KC GM not worried about losing big-name stars

Moose, Hosmer, Cain and Escobar can be free agents following season

KC GM not worried about losing big-name stars

PHOENIX -- Much has been made in the past year or so about the Royals' window of opportunity closing.

This is the last year the core of the Royals' 2015 World Series championship team is guaranteed to stay together. Kansas City has four potential big-name free-agents after the '17 season -- third baseman Mike Moustakas, first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes throws knucklers in camp

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Cespedes throws knucklers in camp

The Mets are pretty stocked with pitching this year. Although they lost a legendary pitcher/hitter in the offseason, the return of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to a staff that already includes Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom should strike fear in hitters around the league.

But just in case it doesn't, Mets fans needn't worry, for Yoenis Cespedes is working on his knuckleball this spring. 

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Ichiro tweaks back in minor outfield collision

Ichiro tweaks back in minor outfield collision

JUPITER, Fla. -- Ichiro Suzuki needed directions to the training room. He'd never been there before -- ever. For the first time in his illustrious career, the 43-year-old Marlins outfielder sought medical assistance after colliding with non-roster invitee Brandon Barnes in what was ironically enough a communication drill late in Tuesday's Spring Training workout.

Ichiro, playing center, and Barnes, who was in right field, were chasing a fly ball. The two called for it simultaneously and neither heard the other.

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

Same pinstripes, new role for 'grateful' A-Rod

Former Yankee ready to guide team's next generation as special guest instructor

Same pinstripes, new role for 'grateful' A-Rod

TAMPA, Fla. -- When Alex Rodriguez needs a moment to clear his mind, he'll sometimes reach for one of his old game-model bats, now stashed near his office desk. Those indoor swings are enough for the three-time American League Most Valuable Player, who says that he is retired and has "zero" urge to play again.

Rodriguez arrived in Yankees camp on Tuesday, embracing his new role as a special guest instructor. Just six months after stepping into the box for what he promises was his final Major League at-bat, Rodriguez's new assignment will be to help guide the team's next generation of players.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giolito feels work from offseason paying off early in camp

No. 11 overall prospect hoping to see better results in 2017

Giolito feels work from offseason paying off early in camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Lucas Giolito likes the way the ball is coming out of his hand, a noticeable difference even through just one week of Spring Training pitching with the White Sox.

"Much better than last year," said Giolito, MLB's No. 11 overall prospect, per MLBPipeline.com. "I made a lot of positive changes in the offseason trying to simplify things -- get back to basics, let the ball kind of come out of my hand instead of forcing it. And it's feeling very good."

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quiz: Which MLB city should you move to?

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Quiz: Which MLB city should you move to?

A hypothetical question: If a genie came down and granted you the ability to move anywhere in the country, where would you go? (And no, "more wishes" is not an option.) You'd want to be near a Major League Baseball team, obviously, but that doesn't narrow it down very much -- there are 30 of those, after all, in every part of the country. How to choose?

Luckily, we've got just the thing: Take the quiz below -- backed by our exclusive, ballpark snack-fueled algorithm -- and your new dream destination will be revealed. 

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Correa easing into drills after oral surgery

Correa easing into drills after oral surgery

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Still recovering from having four wisdom teeth removed, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is slowly working his way into baseball drills. On Tuesday, Correa worked out at the team's complex, where he took about 50 swings in the cage and said he felt good.

"I'm still a little sore, obviously, because it was kind of like a surgery, but I'm feeling better. It's pain I can tolerate, and I can go out there and do most of the work."

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ozzie aims to help bolster Cardinals' defense

Hall of Fame shortstop working on mental approach in spring camp

Ozzie aims to help bolster Cardinals' defense

JUPITER, Fla. -- On the heels of a season dotted with fundamental lapses, the Cardinals prioritized defensive work this spring and they summoned the most distinguished defensive player in franchise history to assist with that instruction.

Hall of Fame shortstop and 13-time Gold Glove Award winner Ozzie Smith arrived at the team's Spring Training complex on Tuesday for a weeklong stay in which he intends to be more than a quiet bystander. His hope is to help the Cardinals recalibrate defensively following a season that he described as "uncharacteristic of the organization."

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bochy sees Rockies on rise in NL West

Giants manager comments on tough division, difficulties of repeat championships

PHOENIX -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy typically says before every season begins that the National League West is a thoroughly balanced division.

This year is no exception. Moreover, Bochy has good reason to view the Giants and their West rivals as a bunched field.

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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.

Padres considering new way to use SP depth

Piggybacking starters among unique ideas team could try in 2017

Padres considering new way to use SP depth

PHOENIX -- The Padres are already tinkering with a few outside-the-box ideas to try this season.

They entered camp with Christian Bethancourt as a pitcher/catcher/outfielder hybrid. They're going to try putting their two best defensive outfielders in the corners during Cactus League play.

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

Angels to take time on naming first baseman

Angels to take time on naming first baseman

PHOENIX -- General manager Billy Eppler knows there will be tough roster decisions to make before Opening Day, particularly when it comes to first base.

After signing Luis Valbuena to a two-year, $15 million deal over the winter, the Angels have a surplus of corner infielders at their disposal. The resulting logjam means that there will be competition this spring between Valbuena and incumbent first baseman C.J. Cron for at-bats and playing time.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

How does reported signing of Wieters affect Nats?

How does reported signing of Wieters affect Nats?

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- You still see hard hats interspersed with the caps and helmets at the Nationals' new camp, with construction work going on inside and outside the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and the practice fields where the team trains. On Tuesday morning, for instance, workers were drilling into the exterior wall near the clubhouse entrance as they hung a team logo on what had been an empty space, thereby taking care of a finishing touch.

Turns out, the Nats' roster is/was similarly unfinished.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. 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.

Rockies ready to compete with big spenders

Rockies ready to compete with big spenders

PHOENIX -- Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich hopes to follow the steps of the 2014 and '15 Royals and the '16 Indians as mid-market teams that reached the World Series.

Bridich, speaking Tuesday at Cactus League Media Day, didn't see the point in pronouncing the Rockies contenders after six straight sub-.500 seasons.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zaidi: A-Gone to get strategic rest in 2017

Urias may begin season in extended spring training

Zaidi: A-Gone to get strategic rest in 2017

PHOENIX -- General manager Farhan Zaidi, speaking at the annual Cactus League Media Day on Tuesday, touched on a few minor issues his loaded Dodgers face on the first day of full-squad workouts.

Zaidi repeated manager Dave Roberts' desire to find more days off for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who earlier in the day said he will learn from team doctor Neal ElAttrache in the first week of March whether he will be cleared to begin hitting. Gonzalez has been shut down with right elbow tendinitis, and he added that if he can play in at least one Dodgers exhibition game, he will join Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic the second week of March.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5 pitchers aim to repeat breakout campaigns

5 pitchers aim to repeat breakout campaigns

MLB.com earlier profiled five breakout hitters from 2016 and examined their chances of sustaining that improvement this coming season.

Now, it's time to switch the focus to five starting pitchers who will face a similar challenge in 2017:

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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.

Padres set with current crop of players

GM Preller doesn't expect any adds before start of regular season

Padres set with current crop of players

PHOENIX -- There's already plenty of competition for roster spots in Padres camp. But don't expect more names to be added to the mix before Opening Day.

Speaking at Tuesday's Cactus League Media Day at the Arizona Biltmore, general manager A.J. Preller said he doesn't foresee any Major League transactions in the near future.

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

New A's reliever Casilla held up by visa process

New A's reliever Casilla held up by visa process

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's are still awaiting the arrival of their newest reliever and hold out hope Santiago Casilla will be in camp "any day," manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday.

The veteran right-hander is held up in the Dominican Republic by visa paperwork that was delayed because he was a late sign, only committing to a second tour with the A's -- via a two-year, $11 million deal -- in late January.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.