Ryan Zimmerman says Nats’ clubhouse is fine

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Ryan Zimmerman Jerseys said he’s already looking forward to what the Nationals can do in 2016 — lofty expectations or not — especially behind newly-minted National League MVP Bryce Harper Jerseys.


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Zimmerman spoke to MLB Network about a variety of topics, including what it’s like to face the high expectations his club has faced over the last handful of years and what it takes to live up to them.

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“The first four-five years I was here, we were expected to lose 100 games every year,” Zimmerman said. “It’s way more fun when you’re expected to win close to 100 games. That’s the beautiful thing about baseball — the game is not played on paper, and those expectations are made assuming that everyone stays healthy, that people perform to an average season, and that obviously never happens in baseball. That’s why [baseball[ is the best — you play so many games over such a long period of time that you do actually see what team is the best team.” Harper wins 2015 NL MVP Harper wins the 2015 BBWAA NL MVP AwardNationals outfielder Bryce Harper Jerseys is named the unanimous winner of the 2015 BBWAA NL Most Valuable Player Award

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In their quest to become the best next season, the Nationals have an indispensable weapon in Harper, who easily won the NL MVP Award over Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt Jerseys and Cincinnati’s Joey Votto Jerseys.

“To watch him obviously mature as a baseball player, but mentally, and to see him off the field mature as well — I don’t want to say more impressive because what he’s done on the baseball field has been pretty impressive — but for him to be able to go day to day and do what he did this year and stay healthy and learn the little things it takes to become a superstar player, it’s been fun to watch,” Zimmerman said.

The spotlight on Harper has not been without controversy, particularly late in the season as the Nationals’ disappointing slide was magnified. Much was made of the dugout scuffle between Harper and closer Jonathan Papelbon Jerseys, but Zimmerman downplayed the argument.

“I don’t want to say it’s common, but that stuff happens on teams who have good chemistry, it happens a few times a year on teams that have bad chemistry, it happens 10-15 times a year,” Zimmerman said. “It just doesn’t happen in the dugout to the MVP player in front of 100 cameras. Those guys have talked about it, they’ve worked it out.

“The best throwback baseball jerseys way to explain that is like having brothers in the same room for seven months. Something’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of who it happens with and where it happens and you hope to kind of be able to hide it. Obviously you can’t hide that one. I know Pap and Harp have talked and at the end of the day, all of us want to win.” Nats introduce Baker as manager Nationals introduce Dusty Baker as their new managerNationals president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo introduces Dusty Baker as the team’s new manager

Certainly the team will have a slightly different feel with some familiar faces departing for free agency and Dusty Baker taking over as manager. Zimmerman said he hasn’t spoken to Baker, but has heard all good things about the longtime baseball man.

“Everyone I’ve talked to doesn’t have one bad word to say about the guy,” Zimmerman said. “He’s kind of become that guy who manages personalities. Obviously he’s a great baseball manager and he’s done anything and everything you can think of, but I think his big thing is to get that clubhouse together and make it fun, and I can tell you all of us are really looking forward to it.”

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. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

Gold Glove winners announced

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The 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards are being announced now in an hour-long show on ESPN2.


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The Platinum Glove winners for the best overall defensive player in each league will be unveiled on Friday following a fan vote.

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Complete 2015 Awards coverage

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Only MLB managers and coaches can vote, and they can’t vote for their baseball jerseys cheap own players. Additionally, they can vote only for players in their own league.

The winners will be listed below as they are announced.

Catcher NL: Yadier Molina, Cardinals (eighth straight win) AL: Salvador Perez, Royals (third straight) Molina wins eighth Gold Glove Yadier Molina wins eighth straight Gold Glove AwardCardinals catcher Yadier Molina is named the National League Gold Glove Award winner at catcher for the eighth cheap mlb jerseys straight season

Shortstop NL: Brandon Crawford, Giants (first) AL: Alcides Escobar, Royals (first)

First base NL: Paul Goldschmidt Jerseys, D-backs (second) AL: Eric Hosmer, Royals (third straight)

Second base NL: Dee Gordon, Marlins (first) AL: Jose Altuve, Astros (first) Gordon wins first Gold Glove Dee Gordon wins first career Gold GloveMarlins second baseman Dee Gordon is named a Gold Glove winner for the first time in his career

Third base NL: Nolan Arenado Jerseys, Rockies (third straight) AL: Manny Machado Jerseys, Orioles (second) Machado wins second Gold Glove Manny Machado Jerseys wins second Gold GloveOrioles third baseman Manny Machado Jerseys is named a Gold Glove Award winner for the second time in his career

Left field NL: Starling Marte, Pirates (first) AL: Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers (first)

Center field NL: A.J. Pollock Jerseys, D-backs (first) AL: Kevin Kiermaier, Rays (first)

Right field NL: Jason Heyward, Cardinals (second straight, third overall) AL: Kole Calhoun, Angels (first)

Pitcher AL: Dallas Keuchel Jerseys, Astros (second straight) Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

Fan’s death at Braves game raises stadium safety questions

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ATLANTA — The death of a longtime Braves season-ticket holder raises questions about the planned height of guard rails at their new stadium scheduled to open in 2017.


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The Braves say they had safety in mind when making plans for SunTrust Park even before Gregory K. Murrey’s death on Saturday night, though team officials on Monday would not release plans for the heights of the railings at the new stadium.

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The stadium rails at Turner Field meet industry standard height requirements, but the team could exceed those heights at their new facility.

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The International Building Code, the accepted industry standard, has a minimum height requirement of 42 inches for guard cheap mlb jerseys rails that act as protective barriers in open-sided areas such as walkways or smoking platforms. Railings in front of seated areas must be 26 inches.

Braves president John Schuerholz didn’t address specifics on Sunday about guard rails at the new stadium, though he did say that while Murrey’s death was tragic it wouldn’t influence construction plans.

“We’re not going to tie that into how you design a facility,” Schuerholz said. “It was a sad, tragic event. We obviously abide by industry regulations and we’ll continue to do that. That’s what we’ll do.

“We made our plans long before this event occurred. Every facility that’s getting built, there’s a great deal of communication with cheap mlb jerseys architects and engineers and the league in terms of abiding by league standards for the industry. We certainly will do that.”

There is a precedent for a team raising the height of its stadium rails following a fan death.

At the Texas Rangers Jerseys’ facility in Arlington, Texas, higher railings were installed in 2012, one year after Shannon Stone, a firefighter attending a game with his 6-year-old son, fell about 20 feet after reaching out for a foul ball tossed into the stands. The Rangers raised those railings from 33 inches to 42 inches, at a cost of $1.1 million.

Murrey’s death was the third in eight years at Turner Field. In 2013, a fan’s death was ruled a suicide. In 2008, police cited alcohol as a factor after a man died.

Murrey, 60, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital following his fall in the seventh inning of the Braves-Yankees game.

Murrey’s family on Monday asked for privacy as it grieves.

“He dearly loved his family, Atlanta, and the Atlanta Braves Jerseys,” the family said in a statement. Murrey held season tickets for 23 years. “The night Greg passed away, he was doing one of his favorite things — watching the Braves.”

The minimum height standards for guard rails have raised questions on whether they are sufficient, especially for taller fans. A 26-inch rail at the bottom of a section of upper-level seats would not reach the waistline of a fan over 6 feet tall.

It seems highly unlikely similar changes would be considered for Turner Field, which has only one more year as the home of the Braves. But there would be ample time to adjust plans, if necessary, for the new park.

Beth Marshall, Braves senior director of public relations, said Monday team officials would have no further comment “in light of the active investigation” into Murrey’s death.

Schuerholz said Sunday his focus was on Murrey’s family and players’ families and friends who were seated in the lower-level seats where he fell to his death. Schuerholz said the safety of fans is always a priority.

“Obviously that’s not something we’re thinking about now but it’s something we’re always thinking about,” he said. “It’s something every major league team thinks about at all times. … Not to dismiss the importance of all those (stadium) issues, but there will be another time and another moment to focus on this.”

Utahns in baseball: ESPN revisits ex-Ute Wagner’s historic road trip; Cron earning trust from MLB coaches

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David Fleming, of ESPN the Magazine, chronicled the Biloxi Shuckers’ unprecedented 54-game road trip that began as the season started and ended on June 6, with former Utah pitcher Tyler Wagner Jerseys taking the mound.


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While Fleming details many events within the trip, he also revisits the moment the team learned Wagner was headed to majors and the moment he came back after one start with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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It was May 28 when the Shuckers were brought in for a team meeting. In the meeting, the team learned when the new Biloxi, Mississippi, stadium would be ready for its first game. After initial disgust, the team was also informed that Wagner was heading up to the majors for the first time.

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“The room explodes in celebration, and 100 percent of the team mobs Wagner, whose blond beard is soaked in tears,” Fleming writes. “There is no jealousy or envy visible here. The Shuckers have been saying the trip has turned them into a baseball brotherhood. This moment seems to prove it.”

Wagner made one start in Biloxi, which Fleming writes the entire team watched from a Chattanooga clubhouse. However, the former Ute was pulled in the fourth innings after allowing five runs on nine hits. He was sent down after the game.

“Emotional-wise, it was a pretty tough 24 hours to deal with, I’m not gonna lie,” Wagner told Fleming afterward. Eventually the 54-game road trip ended when the team’s stadium finally opened on June 6, which Wagner started.

Wagner, still in Double-A Biloxi, is 10-5 with a 2.21 ERA this season. His 2.21 ERA is tied for the best in the Southern League.

Meanwhile, fellow former Ute C.J. Cron Jerseys hit a big home run for the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

With the Angels and Chicago White Sox Jerseys all knotted up at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Cron hit an opposite field home run that made all the difference in Los Angeles’ 2-1 win over the White Sox.

Cron played in all seven games the Angels played over the week, picking up seven hits, including two home runs. Cron is batting .270 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs in 76 games and beginning to earn the trust of his major league coaches.

“We told him not to worry about home runs because he can hit them out without focusing on that,” Angels hitting coach Don Baylor told Los Angeles Daily News writer Mark Whicker. “He’s a guy who can hit the ball out to right field in any park. There are not a lot of guys who can do that.”

Elsewhere, former BYU pitcher Taylor Cole just missed his second complete game shutout of the season on Sunday. Cole pitched eight shutout innings, striking out six, when he was called on to pitch the ninth. However, he allowed a leadoff hit and then a home run before getting pulled.

The righty won, regardless, as Double-A New Hampshire defeated Binghamton 4-3. He collected his first pro career complete game shutout for New Hampshire on July 4.

Cole is 6-10 with a 4.45 ERA in 25 starts for the Toronto Blue Jays Jerseys affiliate.


C.J. Cron Jerseys (Utah), Los Angeles Angels: Seven hits, three RBIs and four runs scored in 27 at-bats over the week. Cron homered twice over the week, including a go-ahead solo shot in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Los Angeles to a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox Jerseys on Monday. The former Ute is batting .270 with 10 home runs, which is one shy of his rookie total last season, and 29 RBIs in 76 games this season.

Jeremy Guthrie Jerseys (BYU), Kansas City Royals: Allowed seven hits, three walks and three runs in 4 1/3 innings, picking up a no-decision in Kansas City’s 4-3 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday. Guthrie, who also cheap baseball jerseys struck out four batters, failed to collect at least five innings of work for the first time since giving up 11 runs in one inning of work against the Yankees on May 25.

MLB Christmas wish list for all 30 teams

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Here they are, stacks of presents, selected with care, yours to enjoy, mine to share. Something for you, Buck Showalter, sure you made the list. You, too, Bruce Bochy, as future Hall of Famers are our most special guests.


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We’ve shopped for weeks and checked it all twice, and so as I stuff my pockets with cookies, silverware and the keys to someone’s BMW, Merry Christmas to all and sorry there wasn’t more pitching to go around.

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Something for everyone:

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Angels: Tough one here since this new guy, general manager Billy Eppler, has shopped for himself and filled pretty much every need. Sure, one more hitter would be nice, but isn’t that what every team says? There’s just one perfect guy for the Angels: a happy, healthy and productive Albert Pujols in 2016. If that happens, everything else just might fall into place.

Astros: What do you give a team that has talent, youth, energy and confidence? Another Carlos Correa or Dallas Keuchel? No, don’t get greedy. You have yours. How about a repeat of a magical 2015 season with, oh, an extra six outs at the end of a potential deciding ALDS Game 4? New closer Ken Giles is the gift that could keep on giving. Astros introduce Giles Giles introduced to Astros, excited for 2016Newly acquired Astros reliever Ken Giles, manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow discuss how the hard-throwing righty will help the club

Athletics: How about something made of steel and brick with 42,000 seats and a view of the Bay? Hold on a little longer, boys. Santa is working as fast as he can to deliver your new ballpark. Keep the faith.

Blue Jays: Another postseason bat toss by Jose Bautista after a summer of packed ballparks and a reigniting of baseball passion in Toronto would be nice. Merry Christmas, Blue Jays fans. Look around you. Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki. Kevin Pillar and Marcus Stroman. Enjoy.

Braves: Shortstop Dansby Swanson in the 2017 Opening Day lineup in a brand-new soldout ballpark, ushering in another bright and shiny era of Atlanta baseball, is the perfect gift for the Braves.

Brewers: Patience. That’s all new general manager David Stearns needs. He’s bright and curious and innovative. He played a significant hand in the Astros miracle and will do the same thing in this new gig.

Cardinals: What do you give the franchise that has great ownership, a tradition of winning, a tremendous general manager and some of the best fans on the planet? You give them more of the same, a sixth straight trip to the postseason and another run at a 20th National League championship.

Cubs: Do you have to ask? Seventy-one years is long enough to wait for a World Series. All those years, all those false starts. This is what you’ve been waiting for, Cubs fans.

D-backs: What do you get when you put one of the best pitchers on the planet (Zack Greinke) in a clubhouse with one of the best position players (Paul Goldschmidt Jerseys)? You have hardball heaven. That’s the story of the 2016 D-backs. D-backs introduce Greinke Greinke introduced as newest member of the D-backsPitcher Zack Greinke is introduced as the newest member of the D-backs after signing a six-year deal with Arizona

Dodgers: Vin Scully’s 67th season at the microphone is a gift for all of us. If this is his last rodeo, may we savor every last second of it. May he stay forever young.

Giants: An even-numbered year.

Indians: A fast start. No more sluggish April. No more scrambling to get back into contention.

Mariners: Postseason for King Felix. Few players deserve it more than Felix Hernandez, who has performed with brilliance for 11 seasons. All he hasn’t gotten is a playoff run.

Marlins: Good health for Giancarlo Stanton. That’s it. Give him an entire season to show off his greatness. That’s a gift for him, but it’s a special one for all of us as well.

Mets: Status quo. That is, more of Thor and the Dark Night — Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey. More of Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz. And one more encore for Bartolo Colon. These are the good days at Citi Field. Keep it rolling, boys.

Nationals: One season when the hype and the expectation matches the results. This is an enormously talented team that just added Daniel Murphy. There are no glaring weaknesses. Onward.

Orioles: Chris Davis Jerseys, signed, sealed and delivered. His career was resurrected in Baltimore and ought to continue there. Here’s hoping the two sides find some middle ground to keep the unsigned first baseman where he belongs. Chris Davis Jerseys still a free agent Justice on Orioles, Davis yet to reach an agreementMLB.com executive correspondent Richard Justice discusses the impasse between the Orioles and Chris Davis Jerseys on a new contract for 2016

Padres: Andy Green was an early gift. Maybe you haven’t heard of the Padres’ new manager. You will. He’s smart and charismatic and may eventually be as good as any manager in the game, a mixture of Bruce Bochy and Joe Maddon. His team is a nice mix of veterans and kids, and there are questions. One of them, though, has been answered.

Phillies: Let there be dozens of great decisions at the Draft. Let there be huge, smashing breakthrough seasons for Mark Appel and Vincent Velasquez. The Phillies have accumulated enough interesting pieces to speed up the reconstruction project. With Andy MacPhail in charge, the future is bright.

Pirates: Jameson Taillon in the big leagues. He has earned that much. He was the second overall pick of the 2010 Draft, and once upon a time was ranked right there with Gerrit Cole in the Pirates organization. His timetable has been delayed by Tommy John surgery and hernia surgery. He’s healthy now, back to throwing 98 mph and on the fast track to the big leagues. On a team looking for a fourth straight playoff appearance, he might end up being one of the keys.

Rangers: Josh Hamilton back to his normal dominant self. He has missed 185 games the past two seasons and hasn’t been a great player since 2011. The Rangers have no idea what he’s still capable of. He’s also 34 years old. Here’s to one more great run, to smiles all around.

Rays: Sometime in the next few weeks, the Rays hope to be given permission by local politicians to search for a new stadium site around St. Petersburg. For a franchise that has been as well-run as any in the game the last decade, this would be the final piece to the puzzle. They simply can’t consistently contend without it.

Red Sox: A happy, productive final ride for Big Papi. David Ortiz Jerseys has been one of the faces of the game and of New England. Few players have ever represented their franchises better. He says the 2016 season, his 20th, will be his last. Here’s to soaking up every last second of it. Ortiz on retirement decision Ortiz on his decision to retire after 2016 seasonDavid Ortiz Jerseys talks about his decision to retire following the 2016 season and how it was a process and not a sudden realization

Reds: Faith for fans. Trust, too. These reconstruction projects don’t happen overnight, but the Reds are going to put a young, exciting team on the field. Best of all, these young players will have a chance to improve and quickly. This is the path the Cubs and Astros followed back to prominence. It works.

Rockies: Let’s put Jon Gray and Eddie Butler and Tyler Chatwood in the Majors. Let’s hurry along the others, too. Let’s draft more of them, from colleges and high schools. Let’s teach them how to pitch in altitude and to realize that games at Coors Field aren’t like games at other places. Let’s reward all those fans who’ve come out in huge numbers.

Royals: Alex Gordon’s name on a new contract with the Royals. He has been one of the faces of the franchises and one of the reasons Kansas City has won two straight AL championships. He would look out of place anywhere else.

Tigers: Another October ride for Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, for J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez. These guys deserve it, not just for the way they play, but for what they represent mlb jerseys in Detroit and around baseball.

Twins: Byron Buxton being what he was supposed to be. He has long been seen as one of baseball’s next great things. He may be that too if he can just stay healthy and have a chance to succeed and fail and succeed again, all the things young players always do on the way to a long career. This is his time.

White Sox: To appreciate Todd Frazier0 as much as Reds fans did. He’s going to love a clubhouse with Adam LaRoche1 and Chris Sale Jerseys2 and David Robertson Jerseys3. Frazier does more than just make the White Sox better. He makes them more interesting as well and could be the addition that pushes them back into contention. 4Frazier phones in to Hot Stove White Sox third baseman Frazier calls in to Hot StoveNew White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier calls in to Hot Stove to discuss his trade to Chicago and his offseason plans

Yankees: CC Sabathia, 5Carlos Beltran6 and Mark Teixeira7 being healthy and productive. On a team going through a transition of sorts as young players are worked into the mix, these guys could carry the Yankees back to the postseason. They’ve had great careers and been respected men in the game. Here’s to one more October.

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U8. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This 9 9 Email Print + Hide Comments

MLB Winter Meetings Day 2 recap

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Now we’re getting somewhere. The Winter Meetings might have begun with a day more notable for a trade that didn’t happen (Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers) than anything that did happen, but Day 2 finished with the sort of flourish expected in an environment in which so much daily banter is taking place.


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We’re still not at quite the level of craziness that transpired in San Diego last year, but the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Conference Center is abuzz about the D-backs’ acquisition of Shelby Miller Jerseys and the continually flabbergasting acquisition cost — either in dollars or bodies — for high-upside arms this winter.

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And now, thanks to Ben Zobrist, we’ve finally got some movement near the top of the position-player market, too.

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Here’s a rundown of what went down on Day 2 and what could be coming Wednesday:

Done deals

• We went into Tuesday thinking a Miller trade could be in the offing, and, sure enough, the D-backs made it happen with an offer to the Braves that was, in the estimation of many, every bit as aggressive as the gigantic financial commitment they had made to Zack Greinke. The D-backs gave up five years of control of Ender Inciarte Jerseys and Minor Leaguers Aaron Blair and Dansby Swanson (the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s Draft) for three seasons of control of Miller, as well as Minor Leaguer Gabe Speier. D-backs trade for Shelby Miller Jerseys D-backs get Miller from Braves in blockbuster dealMLB.com D-backs reporter Steve Gilbert discusses the club acquiring Shelby Miller Jerseys and Gabe Speier from the Braves

• Sources: Miller traded to D-backs

• The guy who can play multiple positions had multiple choices. Ultimately, Zobrist chose to reunite with Joe Maddon and sign a four-year, $56 million deal with the Cubs. The Mets had been the other finalist in the bidding for Zobrist.

• Zobrist signs with Cubs, rejoins Maddon

• Zobrist’s arrival to the Cubs would not have happened without a complementary transaction — the trade of Starlin Castro Jerseys to the Yankees for Adam Warren and a player to be named later. In the second half of 2015, the Cubs demoted Castro from the starting shortstop spot he had held since ’10, but he kept his head held high and made a satisfactory shift to second base, where the Yanks will now use him full-time. Castro arrives to the Bronx with nearly 1,000 hits to his name, with his 26th birthday coming in March. And Warren beefs up the Chicago bullpen and provides the Cubs with some cost savings. Cubs sign Zobrist, trade Castro Muskat on Cubs inking Zobrist, trading CastroMLB.com’s Tim McMaster and Cubs reporter Carrie Muskat discuss the Cubs signing Ben Zobrist and also trading Starlin Castro Jerseys to the Yankees

• Yankees solidify second base with Cubs’ Castro

• In a surprising twist, the Cardinals added Jedd Gyorko to their infield at a sizable salary, given that they’ve already got Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong in play. While the Cards, who sent Jon Jay to the Padres, were expected to land a utility type, Gyorko arrives having served as the full-time second baseman in San Diego, and he’s due $33 million over the next four years. In shedding the $6.85 million owed to Jay, who was an excess outfield piece for them, and receiving a reported $7.5 million from the Padres, the Cards did offset some of that sum. As for the Friars, they improved their lineup balance and their outfield defensive profile with the left-handed-hitting Jay.

• The Mariners continued to add to their bullpen depth with the acquisition of Evan Scribner from the A’s for Minor League right-hander Trey Cochran-Gill. Scribner had a strong first half of ’15 for the A’s before tearing his lat muscle.

• The Braves are reportedly in agreement with catcher Tyler Flowers on a two-year contract. Flowers had been non-tendered by the White Sox last week. Braves reportedly add Flowers Braves reportedly sign Flowers to two-year dealJim Duquette talks about the Braves reportedly signing catcher Tyler Flowers to a two-year contract

Jose might stay

In light of what the Braves reeled in for Miller, you can’t blame the Marlins for asking a high price – or make that, an otherworldly price for three years of the services of one Jose Fernandez. But you also can’t expect a deal to get done if that asking price is maintained.

For #Dodgers to land Jose Fernandez from #Marlins hearing it would take Urias, Seager, Pederson and two more. #WinterMeetings— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) December 9, 2015

Fernandez is very much valued in this sport, no question. But his big league track record is pretty limited as a result of his 2014 Tommy John surgery, and his 3.78 career road ERA (versus a 1.40 mark at Marlins Park) is worthy of scrutiny.

Anyway, the bottom line is that if the Marlins’ ask for Fernandez remains where it was Tuesday, he’s not going anywhere.

Getting positioned

The Zobrist domino finally fell, but the sense at the Meetings is that the lack baseball jersey of clarity in the Jason Heyward market is still considerably gumming up the works, on the position-player side of things. The Cardinals and Cubs are among the teams very much in the market for Heyward, which adds an interesting wrinkle to their NL Central rivalry, though it’s not clear how much, if at all, the Zobrist addition affects the Cubs’ interest level.

There was some scuttlebutt Tuesday that the Angels could be heavily involved in the discussions for one of the premier corner outfield pieces available — Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon — but they’re not expected to set the market.

One that team that could set the market is the Giants, who made a play for David Price and Greinke before each signed elsewhere. The Giants could apply the cost difference between Price/Greinke and Jeff Samardzija (with whom they’ve agreed to a five-year, $90 million deal) in their bid for a bat. Bochy on Samardzija’s signing Bochy on Giants signing Samardzija, backup catcherBruce Bochy discusses what attracted the Giants to Jeff Samardzija and their plans at the backup catcher position

The price of power

The Orioles continue to try to retain Chris Davis Jerseys, having met with his agent, Scott Boras, on Tuesday. The O’s have never given out a contract larger than the six-year, $86.5 million extension to Adam Jones Jerseys. A Davis deal – wherever he lands — is likely to blow that one out of the water.

It’s still hard to gauge the market for Davis, who is the premier power bat available in free agency. Some teams are looking at the recently non-tendered Pedro Alvarez and Chris Carter as cheaper sources of power production. But we know for certain that the Orioles, including owner Peter Angelos, are very much enamored with Davis as a member of their lineup and their clubhouse.

Place your Brett

Five years ago, Brett Lawrie went from the Brewers to the Blue Jays in exchange for Shaun Marcum. One year ago, Lawrie went from the Blue Jays to the A’s in the deal involving Josh Donaldson.

So where’s Lawrie headed now?

Maybe the White Sox, if a San Francisco Chronicle report has any legs. The Sox and A’s, who worked out a Samardzija deal one year ago, have been in contact about Lawrie, who could help Chicago at third base or second — most likely third. The Sox didn’t have anybody assert themselves at the hot corner last year, and they don’t view Mike Olt as the answer. So Lawrie would bring some pop and energy to the position, though his ability to stay healthy is still very much in question.

The Indians are another American League Central team that has been tied to Lawrie.

Kenta forget about this guy

Kenta Maeda was formally posted by the Hiroshima Carp on Tuesday. The Carp have reportedly set the release fee for Maeda at $20 million, which means that’s how much it will cost to have an audience with the 27-year-old Japanese pitching star (teams that submit a bid but don’t work out a deal with Maeda will get their money back).

Maeda does not have the raw stuff of a Yu Darvish or Masahiro Tanaka, but his fastball-slider-changeup mix is well-regarded enough to make him a potential mid-rotation option, at the least. And in this pitcher-friendly spending environment, it would not be a shock for the total outlay for this arm still in what are considered “prime” years to rival that of, say, Samardzija’s total haul.

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. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

Samardzija gone, White Sox have 3 Top 50 picks

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CHICAGO — Jeff Samardzija Jerseys and the Giants have agreed to a five-year deal, with the deal being worth $90 million per multiple reports. This move means the right-hander’s short tenure with the White Sox officially has come to a close.


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The White Sox made a one-year, $15.8-million qualifying offer to Samardzija, which the free agent rejected. By Samardzija signing with the Giants, the White Sox receive a compensatory pick in the 2016 MLB Draft between the first and second rounds and will now have three picks in the Top 50, with their first-round pick protected at No. 10.
Complete 2016 Draft order

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If general manager Rick Hahn brings in a free agent who also was made a qualifying offer, then the White Sox would lose that compensatory pick for Samardzija. At this point, that sort of move seems unlikely for the White Sox.
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Samardzija, who turns 31 on Jan. 23, came to the White Sox from Oakland via a six-player deal on Dec. 9, 2014, in a move intended to provide 1-2 rotation punch for the South Siders with staff-ace Chris Sale Jerseys. But the plans turned out far from ideal, as Samardzija finished with a 4.96 ERA over 32 starts, along with an 11-13 record and 163 strikeouts in 214 innings. He allowed the most earned runs (118) and hits (228) in all of baseball, and he had an 0-6 record and 8.82 ERA in August, after trade rumors ran rampant involving the right-hander but no move was made with the White Sox in the midst of a seven-game road winning baseball jerseys streak.

That ERA dropped below 5.00 when Samardzija allowed just two runs over 16 innings during his final two starts, including a one-hit, one-baserunner complete-game effort hurled against the Tigers in Detroit. Samardzija talked about finding a mechanical flaw in his delivery by studying video where his hands were getting away from his body, making him get around the ball and miss left and right, as well as up in the zone. He implemented that change over those final starts. Shark completes shutout [email protected]: Shark retires Gose to complete shutout9/21/15: Jeff Samardzija Jerseys gets Anthony Gose Jerseys to fly out to left to end the game, completing a one-hit shutout and earning his 10th win

Many people talked about Samardzija costing himself money going into his walk-away year. Sale believes the Giants made a great addition.

“Whatever team gets him is going to get a steal,” Sale told MLB.com before Samardzija joined the Giants. “Really, he’s relatively young, and he’s got a strong arm with not a lot of innings on it. And he’s a competitor.

“Say what you want about him, he competes as hard as anybody. That’s his mentality, how he’s always been. I think the football comes out in him sometimes. It’s awesome. You need that. If you don’t have that passion, don’t play the game, right? At the end of the day at least you know he [cares].”

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. 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. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments