February 2017 - Baseball Wiretap

Max Scherzer Modified Fastball Grip Due To Finger Injury

Feb 28, 2017 7:09 AM

Max Scherzer won the National League Cy Young award last season despite pitching the second half with a stress fracture in his right ring finger, but that doesn't mean the injury hasn't changed the way he pitches.

The injury only bothers Scherzer when he throws his fastball, so the right-hander modified his fastball grip to take pressure off the finger. He's throwing a three-finger fastball rather than the traditional two-finger fastball.

Mike Axisa/CBS Sports

Tags: Washington Nationals, Injury, Misc Rumor

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MLB Reportedly Wants To Introduce Sticker Baseballs

Feb 28, 2017 7:03 AM

Major League Baseball is looking into the introduction of sticker baseballs into the game.

MLB has commissioned Rawlings to manufacturer a baseball with natural tact on the leather, according to a report. This would eliminate the need for pitchers to use a foreign substance, like pine tar or sun screen, to improve their grip.

"MLB has commissioned Rawlings, its official manufacturer, to produce a ball with natural tack on the leather in hopes of eliminating the need for pine tar, sunscreen and rosin, or any other foreign substances whose use in recent years has blurred the legal-illegal line, sources familiar with the project told Yahoo Sports," writes Jeff Passan.

"The balls also would not need a pregame polish of Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud, the New Jersey-harvested muck that for decades has taken the sheen off the pearls that come out of the box.

Jeff Passan/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Misc Rumor

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Rangers Meet With Rougned Odor's Agent About Extension

Feb 28, 2017 6:58 AM

Representatives for Rougned Odor met with the Texas Rangers on Monday to discuss a potential contract extension.

There is no word on how the discussions are progressing, but the two sides are clearly engaged in talks.

It was reported last week that both camps had renewed interest in a long-term deal.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Tags: Texas Rangers, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Jay Bruce Taking Ground Balls At First Base With Mets

Feb 28, 2017 6:54 AM

The New York Mets have a logjam in the outfield and Lucas Duda is dealing with hip issues, which has led Jay Bruce to take ground balls at first base.

Terry Collins told reporters that Bruce and Neil Walker will be taking grounders at first in case Duda's back and hip issues linger.

Bruce was mentioned in trade rumors for the better part of the winter.

Mike Axisa/CBS Sports

Tags: New York Mets, Misc Rumor

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Josh Hamilton Undergoes Knee Surgery

Feb 27, 2017 3:39 PM

Josh Hamilton will be sidelined following arthroscopic surgery to repair the cartilage in his left knee, according to the Texas Rangers.

Hamilton won't be able to run for six weeks, putting a potential return to the field further down the road.

There is no damage to Hamilton's ACL, which was surgically repaired last June.

Evan Grant/Dallas News

Tags: Texas Rangers, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Jose Fernandez's Family Wants Daughter To Get Estate

Feb 27, 2017 3:34 PM

Jose Fernandez's family will seek to name his newborn daughter, Penelope, as the sole beneficiary to his estate, according to a family attorney.

The deceased Miami Marlins right-hander's estate is believed to be worth an estimated $2 million to $3 million.

Fernandez's daughter was born on Friday.

Katie Strang/ESPN

Tags: Miami Marlins, Misc Rumor

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Royals Could Wait Until After Season To Negotiate With Eric Hosmer

Feb 27, 2017 10:51 AM

Eric Hosmer will be eligible for free agency after the season and the Kansas City Royals aren't optimistic they'll agree to an extension with him this spring.

Hosmer, 27, is in his prime and the Royals have never given out a $100 million contract.

"We earned an opportunity to weigh our options and do the best for yourself," Hosmer said of himself and other potential K.C. free agents. "We would like to come back, but you don't know what's going to happen. None of us do."

The Royals are expected to wait until next offseason before seriously negotiating with any of their free agents.

Bob Nightengale/USA Today

Tags: Kansas City Royals, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Dodgers Leaning Towards Opening Season With Julio Urias In Rotation

Feb 27, 2017 10:44 AM

The Los Angeles Dodgers want to limit Julio Urias' innings this season.

The club is leaning towards opening the season with Urias in the starting rotation instead of stashing him in extended spring training to limit his innings. He would make shorter starts.

The 20-year-old had a 3.39 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 77 innings last season.

Ken Gurnick/MLB

Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers, Misc Rumor

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Clubs Still Expressing Trade Interest In Jose Quintana

Feb 27, 2017 10:30 AM

Jose Quintana has been mentioned in trade rumors for much of the offseason and clubs remain interested in the Chicago White Sox left-hander.

The Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees remain interested. The White Sox are focused on getting quality prospects in return, not necessarily quantity.

"As we sit here right now, it's more a function of continuing on the conversations we have had," Rick Hahn said earlier in the week. "We will see if we can build off of those."

Bruce Levine/CBS Chicago

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Nationals Have Interest In Angel Pagan

Feb 27, 2017 10:23 AM

The Washington Nationals are among the teams interested in Angel Pagan.

The Nationals and other interested clubs are hoping to land Pagan on a Minor League deal.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Tags: Washington Nationals, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Cubs Could Use Two Pitchers In No. 5 Spot
The Cubs could enter the season with two pitchers occupying the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation, according to Joe Maddon.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Josh Hamilton May Need Knee Surgery
Josh Hamilton will be examined on Monday, and may be facing another knee surgery.

ESPN.com

Union Chief Says 'Page Has Been Turned' In Yankees-Betances Spat
Dellin Betances will be paid $3M this season, rather than the $5M he had requested.

ESPN.com

Sonny Gray Won't Pitch For Team USA
A's pitcher Sonny Gray was denied insurance coverage for the World Baseball Classic since he didn't pitch in more than 10 innings after August.

ESPN.com

Mike Montgomery, Brett Anderson Vie For Cubs' Rotation
Manager Joe Maddon says the two pitchers might both win the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation.

ESPN.com

Girlfriend Of Jose Fernandez Gives Birth To Daughter
Maria Arias delivered a baby girl on Friday night, named Penelope.

ESPN.com

Michael Bourn Breaks Finger Catching Football
Orioles outfielder Michael Bourn will miss four weeks after injuring himself after Friday's spring training workout.

ESPN.com

Cardinals Sign Jose Adolis Garcia To Minor-League Deal
Outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia played in Japan last season.

ESPN.com

Justin Verlander In Favor Of Eliminating DH Entirely
In 47 career plate appearances, Justin Verlander has hit .081/.081/.081.

Dayn Perry/CBS Sports

Several Players Frustrated With Pace-Of-Play Rule Changes
Rob Manfred has made improving pace-of-play a priority as commissioner, including considering a pitch clock and raised strike zone.

Dayn Perry/CBS Sports

Pedro Strop Agrees To New Deal With Cubs Through 2018
Pedro Strop is now signed through 2018 with a club option for 2019.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

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

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Nationals Trying To Trade Derek Norris
The Nationals are looking to trade Derek Norris, according to other clubs.

Jon Heyman/FanRag Sports

Tony Clark: MLB Players Unlikely For 2020 Olympics
Baseball returns to the Olympics after a 12-year absence for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled July 24 to Aug. 9.

Associated Press

Rangers, Rougned Odor Making Push On Extension
The Rangers and Rougned Odor have kicked off renewed efforts to reach an agreement on a long-term deal.

Jon Heyman/FanRag Sports

White Sox To Retire Mark Buehrle's No. 56
There has been no official word, but the decision would appear to indicate that Mark Buehrle is retiring.

Dan Hayes/CSN Chicago

Facebook In Talks To Stream One MLB Game Per Week
It is unclear which games MLB would stream on the social media platform. Representatives for both sides declined to comment.

R.J. Anderson/CBS Sports

Stem Cell Treatment Saved Garrett Richards From Tommy John Surgery
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.

Jeff Passan/Yahoo! Sports

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