Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

Buxton looking to defend No. 1 slot with 2015 rankings set to be unveiled

Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

After an offseason filled with transactions and intrigue, Spring Training is fast approaching. That means it's time for the unveiling of the latest MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

The annual preseason ranking of the Top 100 prospects in baseball will be revealed tonight, with the Top 50 being unveiled during a one-hour special on MLB Network and MLB.com beginning at 9 p.m. ET, and the entire list on MLB.com. The show, hosted by Greg Amsinger, will feature analysis from MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, as well as MLB Network analyst Bill Ripken.

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

Biggio up close with history during HOF visit

Recently elected Hall of Famer given behind-the-scenes tour in Cooperstown

Biggio up close with history during HOF visit

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- The chance to hold a baseball bat swung by Babe Ruth was something Craig Biggio was going to enjoy as much as he could, even if it meant picking it up three times while smiling from ear to ear.

That was one of many awe-inspiring moments for Biggio, the longtime Astros second baseman who, along with his wife, Patty, was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday as part of his orientation in advance of his induction on July 26.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Speakers to pay tribute to Banks in memorial service

Former teammates, family, Chicago mayor among those giving remembrances

Speakers to pay tribute to Banks in memorial service

CHICAGO -- After a public visitation Friday at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Hall of Famers Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Lou Brock, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be among the speakers Saturday at the funeral service for Cubs legend Ernie Banks.

Saturday's memorial service at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 East Chestnut Street in downtown Chicago, will begin at 10 a.m. CT and will include remembrances, readings and tributes. The list of speakers also includes Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. A simulcast of MLB Network's coverage will stream live on MLB.com and cubs.com.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans from all walks of life stop by to salute Banks

Mr. Cub brings people together at church viewing

Fans from all walks of life stop by to salute Banks

CHICAGO -- For one day -- a bitterly cold, wind-whipped day on Michigan Avenue -- Fourth Presbyterian Church served as the Friendly Confines. And given that the casket at the altar contained a man who always had a smile for those he met, a man who even total strangers considered a close friend, this goodbye, this visitation service, was a fittingly public one, open to one and all.

And so Cubs fans and, yes, even some non-Cubs fans entered those doors, walked past that closed casket -- draped with a No. 14 flag and flanked by a large photo of Ernie Banks flashing that perfect smile of his -- and paid their respects to "Mr. Cub." There were celebrities and dignitaries here, sure. Team chairman Tom Ricketts, Sen. Dick Durbin, Cubs greats like Andre Dawson, Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins and Jose Cardenal were all on hand in the early portion of the eight-hour viewing.

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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.

Rockies sensed Wilson's winning attitude early on

Football star impressed Colorado with demeanor, skills on diamond after 2010 Draft

Rockies sensed Wilson's winning attitude early on

DENVER -- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's triumphant and tearful television interview with FOX Sports' Erin Andrews had just finished when Colorado Rockies special assistant to the general manager Danny Montgomery picked up the phone and let his own feelings flow.

"[Russell] is giving me chills," Montgomery said. "A true angel. Holy cow."

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller 'stoked' to begin next chapter of career in Atlanta

Right-hander chronicles personal journey during stop on Braves Caravan

Miller 'stoked' to begin next chapter of career in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- As Shelby Miller prepares to embark on his new experience with the Braves, he is ready to distance himself from his days as a headstrong young pitcher who was slow to heed the advice he received from Adam Wainwright and some of his other former Cardinals pitching mates.

"I've had my ups and downs like a lot of players have," Miller said. "I've learned a lot of things the past two years. I feel like I'm more poised and more prepared for this season."

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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.

Red Sox, righty Ogando agree to one-year deal

Red Sox, righty Ogando agree to one-year deal

The Red Sox continued adding to their bullpen on Friday, agreeing with Alexi Ogando on a one-year contract reportedly worth $1.5 million.

Ogando posted a 3.12 ERA across 156 appearances (48 starts) from 2010-13 with the Rangers.

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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.

Which SB team had better first pitches?

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Which SB team had better first pitches?

As we approach Super Bowl XLIX, we remember the moments when a few members of the Patriots and Seahawks osmosed through the cross-sports membrane and found themselves in the world of MLB. Today: the art of the first pitch.

Though the Patriots may win when it comes to number of Super Bowl trophies, the Seahawks have them beat in terms of first pitches. Since Kam Chancellor's toss in 2012, Seattle has been racking up mound appearances.

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Biggio family begins preparations for induction weekend

Biggio family begins preparations for induction weekend

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Craig Biggio's visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday was more than just an opportunity to celebrate the greats of the game. Biggio and his wife, Patty, also had some business to take care of.

After touring the Hall of Fame and meeting with the media, the Biggios spent the second half of the day huddled with Hall staff to discuss the logistics of the July 24-26 induction weekend. Biggio, the longtime Astros second baseman, will be inducted alongside John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What if Ichiro had joined the 1998 Mariners?

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What if Ichiro had joined the 1998 Mariners?

Ichiro Suzuki -- one of (if not the) greatest hitters of the last 15 years -- is officially a Marlin. The outfielder signed a one-year, $2 million deal to join Giancarlo Stanton and the Fish, where he'll likely be the odd man out in an outfield full of talent and youth.

The last 14 seasons have been an absolute treat for fans in Seattle, New York and aross baseball who have looked on in wonder as Ichiro slipped out of the batter's box a bit early and slapped 2,844 hits onto his MLB resume. Perhaps the only thing more interesting about Ichiro's game, though, is the mystery surrounding what might have been.

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Braves finalize one-year deal with Gomes

Braves finalize one-year deal with Gomes

ATLANTA -- The Braves officially announced the completion of their one-year deal with outfielder Jonny Gomes on Friday afternoon.

Gomes agreed to the terms of a one-year, $4 million contract (which also includes a $3 million vesting option for 2016) on Jan. 22. The Braves confirmed the completion of this deal after reviewing Gomes' physical and creating a 40-man roster spot by trading right-hander David Hale to the Rockies.

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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.

Castrovince: Wrigley Field will always be Banks' home

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Castrovince: Wrigley Field will always be Banks' home

On the weekend Chicago bids its official goodbye to Ernie Banks, the Wrigley Field renovations continue.

It's a strange sight, to say the least. The building where Banks worked his magic and frequently reminded us what pure joy the game of baseball can bring to our minds and our hearts has been ripped, in some corners, down to its core. And perhaps you've heard the reports of the scurrying rats that have been forced to look for shelter elsewhere in Wrigleyville.

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Large crowd turns out for Banks' visitation service

Thousands gather at Fourth Presbyterian Church to reflect on Mr. Cub's life, lovable personality

Large crowd turns out for Banks' visitation service

CHICAGO -- Thousands of Cubs fans took their turn standing in front of the altar Friday at Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian Church, paying their respects to the greatest and most beloved Cub of all time.

Ernie Banks -- Hall of Famer, "Mr. Cub" and possessor of a childlike zest for baseball and life until his dying day -- was remembered during a public visitation at the church on 126 East Chestnut St. from noon-8 p.m. CT.

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

Banks' legacy includes Presidential Medal of Freedom

Mr. Cub honored due to baseball prowess, civil rights role and positive outlook

Banks' legacy includes Presidential Medal of Freedom

CHICAGO -- U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley has known Ernie Banks at various stages in his life: as a 10-year-old fan, a county commissioner and now a congressman for Illinois' 5th District, which includes Wrigley Field and the surrounding area. Quigley was also in Washington, D.C., in 2013, when Banks was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"It struck me that when I saw him at the White House, he treated everybody, whether they were a congressman or a 10-year-old fan, the same way -- like they were the most important person, the most important fan at Wrigley Field," Quigley said Friday.

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

Miggy, Goldy sit atop MLB Network's rankings at first

Abreu, Votto and Freeman round out the top five heading into 2015 season

Miggy, Goldy sit atop MLB Network's rankings at first

There are a number of great first basemen across the Major Leagues, which provides some healthy debate when identifying the best player of the group.

Who's the best right now? MLB Network gave that title to Miguel Cabrera as part of its annual rankings of the top 10 players at each position.

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

Orioles, Pearce reach agreement to avoid arbitration

Orioles, Pearce reach agreement to avoid arbitration

The Orioles avoided arbitration with first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce on Friday by agreeing to a one-year deal. The deal, reported to be for $3.7 million, leaves the Orioles with three pending arbitration cases.

Pearce, who will turn 32 in April, gets a raise from $700,000 after a breakout 2014 season in which he batted .293/.373/.556 with 21 home runs and 49 RBIs in 102 games. In 290 games spread over the previous seven seasons, he had produced a .694 OPS and 17 homers for four different clubs.

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

Williams reflects on joyful memories of Banks

Former teammate, close friend was with Mr. Cub for 'greatest moments'

Williams reflects on joyful memories of Banks

CHICAGO -- Billy Williams stood in front of his old friend Friday morning at Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian Church, where thousands of Chicagoans and Cubs fans came to pay tribute to Ernie Banks.

Williams, Banks' teammate of 13 seasons and a dear friend, stood silently at the front of the church where Banks' body lay in a closed casket, covered with a blue pinstriped flag featuring his name and No. 14. It was then, Williams said, he truly realized his close friend was gone.

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

Commissioner Rob Manfred's letter to fans

Commissioner Rob Manfred's letter to fans

Dear Fans:

On the night of August 14, 2014, I left a Baltimore hotel after being elected Commissioner of Baseball. As I began to reply to the overwhelming number of congratulatory messages coming in, it hit me that I'd just been entrusted to protect the integrity of our National Pastime and to set a course that allows this great game to continue to flourish -- now and in the years to come. Needless to say, I was deeply honored by the trust the owners placed in me.

Today is my first day as Commissioner, and I am incredibly excited to get to work. I am grateful to Commissioner Selig for his expertise and friendship. His leadership set a direction that led to historic success.  

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Bucs add Wall, Castillo on Minor League deals

Bucs add Wall, Castillo on Minor League deals

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Josh Wall and catcher Wilkin Castillo were signed to Minor League contracts on Friday by the Pirates, who also added them to the list of non-roster players invited to Spring Training.

Wall, 28, re-signed with the Bucs, who had claimed him on waivers from the Angels last May after he had made a couple of appearances for Los Angeles. A former second-round Draft pick (2005, Dodgers), Wall pitched seven years in the Minors before making his big league debut in '12 with the Angels.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gabe Kapler's favorite player: A.J. Ellis

Gabe Kapler's favorite player: A.J. Ellis

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis is Gabe Kapler's favorite player.

Kapler, who hit .268 during his 12-year career as an outfielder for the Red Sox, Rangers, Rays, Rockies, Tigers and Brewers, is Los Angeles' new director of player development. He called Ellis, who has a .340 OBP in three years as the club's everyday catcher, a "great teammate and exceptional human being."

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

My Favorite Player

My Favorite Player

Baseball players are fans, just like the rest of us. Who do they love to watch? Former Major Leaguers weigh in, with new opinions added all the time.

Gabe Kapler
A.J. Ellis
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Viola cherishes return to coaching after health scare

Mets' Triple-A pitching coach happy to bounce back after open-heart surgery last spring

Viola cherishes return to coaching after health scare

NEW YORK -- It was a Saturday morning last spring, one of the first of camp, when a Mets trainer handed Frank Viola a phone. Where doctors are concerned, good news doesn't typically come on Saturday mornings. So Viola recalls being cautious when he took the receiver, listening as a cardiologist in New York City told him about his enlarged aorta.

At age 53, Viola would need open-heart surgery.

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

John Sterling returns to announce Kitten Bowl

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John Sterling returns to announce Kitten Bowl

As you may have heard, there's a pretty big football game happening on Sunday. Thousands of wings will be ordered, oceans of dip will be consumed, and at least 50 kittens will be adopted. Yes, that's right, the Hallmark Channel's Kitten Bowl is back for a second year, and Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling is back with it. 

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Pablo Sandoval wants to honor the Marathon shoveler

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Pablo Sandoval wants to honor the Marathon shoveler

Pablo Sandoval has been a member of the Boston Red Sox for roughly two months, but he's already helping out his fellow Beantowners.

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Braves land pair of catchers in trade with Rockies

Club sends righties Hale, Schlosser to Colorado for Minor Leaguers Briceno, O'Dowd

Braves land pair of catchers in trade with Rockies

ATLANTA -- Looking to utilize their pitching depth to enhance their catching depth, the Braves traded right-handers David Hale and Gus Schlosser to the Rockies on Friday in exchange for Jose Briceno and Chris O'Dowd.

Briceno and O'Dowd were acquired to add depth to what has been deemed a weak crop of catchers in the Braves' Minor League system. Hale was viewed as expendable once the Braves added to their long list of fifth-starter candidates by signing Eric Stults to a Minor League contract on Thursday.

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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.

Prized Cuban prospect Moncada works out for Rays

Tampa Bay's international signing pool likely prevents acquiring infielder

Prized Cuban prospect Moncada works out for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays held a workout for Cuban free agent Yoan Moncada this week at Tropicana Field, but it's still unlikely they will sign the highly coveted 19-year-old prospect.

Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said last week on MLB Network Radio that his club had looked into Moncada. But the switch-hitting infielder could receive a signing bonus between $30 million and $40 million, a high price for any club but particularly for Tampa Bay.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Don't count out underdog Orioles in AL East

Defending division champions specialize in defying expectations

Don't count out underdog Orioles in AL East

When Orioles manager Buck Showalter accepted the 2014 American League Manager of the Year Award last week, he offered a unique perspective.

"This really is for the manager of the team that wins more games than it's supposed to win," Showalter said.

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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.

White Sox embrace position as contenders

While players aren't making predictions, they know club is in a good spot

White Sox embrace position as contenders

CHICAGO -- There have been no ironclad American League Central title predictions coming from members of the 2015 White Sox, much like Anthony Rizzo did for the Cubs a few weeks back with the NL Central crown.

While the White Sox haven't been as publicly confident as Rizzo -- an admirable quality for any player who believes in his team -- they feel exhilarated by the eight offseason moves made by general manager Rick Hahn. Confident enough that a case could be made for the White Sox jumping from 63 wins in 2013 to 73 wins in '14 to the playoffs this season.

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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.

Which uniforms of yore should be brought back?

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Which uniforms of yore should be brought back?

In case you haven't heard: The Padres are celebrating "Way Back Wednesdays" during the 2015 MLB season by bringing back brown pinstriped uniforms. But why stop there? The Padres' announcement today inspired the folks on MLB Tonight and its viewers to brainstorm a few other retro uniforms they'd like to see make a comeback.

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Veteran scout says Tom Brady had MLB tools

Patriots QB was drafted by the Expos in 1995 but opted to play college football

Veteran scout says Tom Brady had MLB tools

MIAMI -- A victory on Sunday would further cement Tom Brady's place among the National Football League's all-time greats. Already, the New England Patriots superstar stands alone as the only quarterback to guide his team to six Super Bowls, and he is aiming at joining legendary QBs Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only four-time winners.

As Brady continues to build on his football legacy, there are some in the baseball world who wonder what might have happened if the 37-year-old had made a different career choice.

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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.