Baseball Wiretap

Several Players Frustrated With Pace-Of-Play Rule Changes

Feb 24, 2017 2:45 PM

Rob Manfred has made improving pace-of-play a priority as commissioner, including considering a pitch clock and raised strike zone.

Players are beginning to push back, however, according to a report.

Jonathan Lucroy, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins and Brandon Moss were among the players to speak out in interviews with Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

"I'm just very glad I will not be playing this game in 10 years," Moss said. "It won't be recognizable. It's going in a direction where it's not the same game. Every year they keep trying to think of some stupid new rule. It's getting old. Real old."

MLBPA didn't cooperate with Manfred's suggestions for 2017, but he will have the power to unilaterally implement some of these changes before the 2018 season.

Dayn Perry/CBS Sports

Tags: Misc Rumor

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Pedro Strop Agrees To New Deal With Cubs Through 2018

Feb 24, 2017 2:37 PM

Pedro Strop has agreed to a new contract with the Chicago Cubs that will run through the 2018 season.

"I love this team and feel really part of this and I love the fans and the city of Chicago," Strop said.

Strop is now signed through 2018 with a club option for 2019. He will make $5.85 million in 2018 while his club option is for $6.25 million in 2019 with a $500,000 buyout.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Justin Verlander In Favor Of Eliminating DH Entirely

Feb 24, 2017 2:50 PM

The designated hitter has long been a source of controversy in baseball. The American League adopted the rule in 1973 and there have been questions as to whether the National League should finally add it or it should be removed entirely.

On Thursday, Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays asked on Twitter what rule changes his followers would like to see in Major League Baseball.

Justin Verlander replied to Archer, saying: "I'd like to see the AL and NL have the same rules. Same for everyone. I vote NL rules."

In 47 career plate appearances, Verlander has hit .081/.081/.081.

Dayn Perry/CBS Sports

Tags: Detroit Tigers, Misc Rumor

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Cubs Considering Kyle Schwarber As Leadoff Hitter

Feb 24, 2017 6:53 AM

The Chicago Cubs need a new leadoff man with Dexter Fowler gone and Joe Maddon is considering Kyle Schwarber for the role.

Schwarber doesn't bring speed to the equation, but he gets on base.

In addition to the power-hitting outfielder, Ben Zobrist and Jon Jay are the leading candidates for the No. 1 spot.

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Nationals Trying To Trade Derek Norris

Feb 24, 2017 6:48 AM

The Washington Nationals are looking to trade Derek Norris, according to other clubs.

Washington lost Wilson Ramos in free agency, but signed Matt Wieters recently and he figures to serve as the primary catcher.

Jon Heyman/FanRag Sports

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Tony Clark: MLB Players Unlikely For 2020 Olympics

Feb 24, 2017 6:43 AM

Tony Clark, the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, says it will be difficult for players to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball returns to the Olympics after a 12-year absence for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled July 24 to Aug. 9.

"There are challenges with the schedule, and there are challenges with major leaguers being involved," Clark said.

In 2008, players on Major League 25-man rosters and disabled lists on June 26 were ineligible to play. The United States roster included 17 players from Triple-A, seven from Double-A and college pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

"It doesn't mean that we are not continuing to have dialogue. We have [been] going back. We will [be] going forward. Where we land, I don't know," Clark said. "One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there have been a year ago. We'll have to wait and see. We haven't had that kind of substantive sit-down yet."

Associated Press

Tags: Misc Rumor

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Rangers, Rougned Odor Making Push On Extension

Feb 23, 2017 4:17 PM

The Texas Rangers and Rougned Odor have kicked off renewed efforts to reach an agreement on a long-term deal.

There is "at least a bit of hope" regarding an extension.

Odor, 23, hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs and 135 strikeouts in 632 plate appearances last season.

Jon Heyman/FanRag Sports

Tags: Texas Rangers, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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White Sox To Retire Mark Buehrle's No. 56

Feb 23, 2017 4:07 PM

The Chicago White Sox will retire Mark Buehrle's No. 56 this summer.

There has been no official word, but the decision would appear to indicate that Buehrle is retiring.

Dan Hayes/CSN Chicago

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Misc Rumor

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Facebook In Talks To Stream One MLB Game Per Week

Feb 23, 2017 7:20 AM

Facebook is in advanced talks with Major League Baseball to stream one game per week, according to a report.

It is unclear which games MLB would stream on the social media platform. Representatives for both sides declined to comment.

In 2016, the NFL and MLB broadcast games for free over Twitter.

R.J. Anderson/CBS Sports

Tags: Misc Rumor

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Stem Cell Treatment Saved Garrett Richards From Tommy John Surgery

Feb 23, 2017 7:13 AM

Garrett Richards opted for stem cell treatment before undergoing Tommy John surgery and the right-hander is back to throwing 98-mph fastballs without pain.

Richards had a tear that ran lengthwise along the middle of his UCL, a rare injury as opposed to the standard tear across the ligament.

"I feel as good as I ever have throwing a baseball," Richards said.

While clinical studies have shown great success with those who use orthobiologics, they are not yet a guaranteed remedy for elbow injuries in baseball.

"I truly think this kind of treatment has significant potential," said Dr. Neal ElAttrache. "There's no question biologics are here to stay and biologic manipulation is the frontier of treatment in what we're doing. The problem, as I see it, is that the marketing and clinical use has far exceeded the science behind it."

Jeff Passan/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Injury, Misc Rumor

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No Serious Extension Talks Between Rockies, Carlos Gonzalez
Both sides have expressed interest in a deal, but the Rockies have yet to approach Carlos Gonzalez about a contract extension.

Mark Kiszla/Denver Post

Eric Gagne Mulling Comeback At 41
Eric Gagne is mulling a comeback nearly a decade after his last appearance on a Major League mound.

Ken Gurnick/MLB

Rangers Send Josh Hamilton For Knee Evaluation
Josh Hamilton had his surgically reconstructed left knee examined on Wednesday after he experienced discomfort during the Rangers' first full-squad spring training workout.

Associated Press

White Sox Want Pedro Severino From Nationals In David Robertson Trade
The White Sox would trade David Robertson to the Nationals and maybe even eat some of his salary if they receive Pedro Severino in return, according to a report.

Phil Rogers/MLB

Padres May Experiment With Unique Pitching Rotation
The Padres have 11 pitchers competing for rotation spots in camp and may use a unique strategy to maintain flexibility.

A.J. Cassavell/MLB

Jeff Bridich Expects Rockies To Contend For Playoff Berth
In his third season as general manager, Jeff Bridich expects the Rockies to contend for a playoff berth.

Mark Kiszla/Denver Post

Rob Manfred Blasts Union For 'Lack Of Cooperation' On Rule Changes
Rob Manfred blasted the players' association for a "lack on cooperation" on proposed rule changes to improve Major League Baseball's pace of play.

ESPN

Michael Brantley Hopes 'Bad Days' Are Behind Him
Michael Brantley played in just 11 games last season and is making his way back from right shoulder surgery.

Associated Press

MLB, Union Agree To Intentional Walk Change
Major League Baseball has approved a change to the intentional walk rule, going from the traditional four-pitch walk to a dugout signal, according to sources.

Howard Bryant/ESPN

'Zero' Chance Alex Rodriguez Makes Return
Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees as an advisor on Tuesday and says there is a "zero" percent chance he'll make a return to the field.

Andrew Marchand/ESPN

Matt Wieters Agrees To Two-Year Deal With Nationals
The contract is reportedly worth $21 million.

Eddie Matz/ESPN

MLB, MLBPA Discussing Changes To Batting Practice
Major League Baseball and the players' association are discussing ways to make batting practice more fan-friendly.

Mike Axisa/CBS Sports

Jeremy Hellickson Likely To Start Opener For Phillies
Pete Mackanin has not yet named his Opening Day starter, but Jeremy Hellickson is likely to take the mound for the Phillies.

Matt Gelb/Philadelphia Inquirer

Nick Swisher To Serve As Guest Instructor For Yankees
Nick Swisher worked with outfielders just three days after he announced his retirement as a player.

Associated Press

Michael Bourn, Orioles Agree To Minor League Deal
Michael Bourn will earn $2 million if he makes the Major League roster, according to a source.

ESPN

Rick Ankiel Drank Before Games To Calm Nerves
Rick Ankiel admitted that he drank vodka before his first two starts of the 2001 season, which came after his meltdown in the 2000 playoffs when he became the first Major League pitcher to throw five

ESPN

Extension Talks Between Mets, Neil Walker 'Probably Dead'
Sandy Alderson has recently met with Neil Walker's representatives to work out a contract extension, but talks hit a roadblock.

Mike Puma/New York Post

Royals Discussing Extension With Eric Hosmer
Eric Hosmer will be a free agent after the season if a long-term agreement isn't reached with the Royals.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Jose Bautista Says He Had Choice Between Five Or Six Places
Jose Bautista remained on the free agent market for longer than expected and the slugger says he had his choice between five or six destinations.

Shi Davidi/SportsNet

Lucas Giolito: Trade To White Sox Was Like 'Breath Of Fresh Air'
Lucas Giolito reacted favorably when the Nationals traded him to the White Sox this offseason.

Bob Nightengale/USA Today