Players value leisure, family time in offseason

Players value leisure, family time in offseason

LAS VEGAS -- Yes, it's a long season in baseball. But for players who can't wait to get back on the field, it's a long offseason, too.

There's time for family, maybe some time for golf, maybe some snow shoveling depending on where you live, and, well, time for major life events, too.

On Wednesday night at the second annual Major League Baseball Players Association Players Trust poker tournament at the MGM Grand Hotel, big leaguers were happy to talk about some of what they've been doing over the ofseason.

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D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler was happy to report that he and his wife had a baby girl, Lauryn, right at the end of the season. Considering Ziegler's last child was born at the end of Spring Training in 2014, the timing was better for him to enjoy his newborn's first few months.

"That was the offseason highlight, for sure," Ziegler said with a proud-papa smile. "It's fun getting to spend some time with her and not being gone a lot."

Rays first baseman James Loney and his wife had their second son over the offseason, and while he might not be getting much rest these days, Angels starter Hector Santiago was happy to report that he finally has been able to give his arm a break.

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"That first workout getting back into it and getting the body ready was the highlight," Santiago said. "It was great after getting rest for the first time in my career."

Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello had a whirlwind offseason of sorts. After helping his team go deep into the postseason, he represented his team across Canada at various events, then flew to Las Vegas for the poker tournament and Thursday's event at nearby Cascata Golf Course.

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"It's been awesome," Colabello said. "Obviously being out here is a really cool thing. I'm ready for it to be over, though. The highlight of my offseason will be my first day of Spring Training."

It was hard to beat the offseason experienced by Kris Bryant, though. The Cubs' third baseman, who's co-hosting these festivities along with fellow Las Vegas native Bryce Harper, pretty much did it all since Chicago's magical 2015 season ended in the National League Championship Series.

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Bryant's highlight?

"I guess I have to say getting engaged," Bryant said. "It was a pretty good moment for me.

"And winning [the NL] Rookie of the Year [Award] was also pretty cool."

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.