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2:15 PM ET, March 17, 2017


 Top News: 
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Profar, relievers among stars of Rangers' spring training  —  SURPRISE, ARIZ.  —  The star of Texas Rangers spring training hasn't been at the Surprise Recreation Campus since late February.  —  Nevertheless, Jurickson Profar is opening eyes with his play in the World Baseball Classic …
Adam McCalvy /
Braun's Spring Training comment draws reaction  —  PHOENIX — The gaggle of reporters thought Ryan Braun was kidding, but the Brewers outfielder made clear he was serious when he uttered the quote that would go on to make the social media rounds Thursday.  —  It was Braun being Braun, at least when it comes to Spring Training.
Rustin Dodd / Kansas City Star:
Jason Hammel impresses, Raul Mondesi homers in 7-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox  —  The most impressive performance of Jason Hammel's spring was spoiled by one pitch to White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada.  Well, nearly spoiled.  —  “Save for the last pitch, it was a pretty good outing …
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Kyle Glaser / Baseball America:
Dominicans Use Defense, Pitching And Power To Push Venezuela To Brink In WBC  —  SAN DIEGO—The Dominican Republic is a team defined by its big bombers, an All-Star-driven juggernaut expected to pummel opponents into submission.  —  On Thursday night, the Dominicans showed they can win …
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue and Yahoo Sports
The full story on LB Derrick Johnson & FB Anthony Sherman's reworked contracts: The Chiefs - who were tight to the salary cap - have agreed to a major pay cut with linebacker Derrick Johnson, per league source.  Johnson, who tore his Achilles last year, was due a base salary $4.75M for 2017 and up to $1M in per game roster bonuses.
Michael Baumann / The Ringer:
The Quest to Determine the Second Best Pitcher in Baseball  —  As long as Clayton Kershaw is still pitching, every other starter in the majors is competing for the silver medal.  Who's no. 2?  According to a bunch of big leaguers, it's Max Scherzer.
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs starters cautious about plans for occasional six-man rotation  —  Cubs' Brett Anderson on his fourth game and his slider on March 14, 2017.  (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Preventive maintenance or an untimely tuneup?  —  That's the fine line Jon Lester …
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
John Manuel / Baseball America:
2017 MLB Mock Draft: The First Ten  —  Predicting the first round of the 2017 draft may prove a fool's errand.  —  Not because the draft is unpredictable and teams have less consensus among the top picks than ever with more looks and more information available, though both of those are true.
David Ovalle / miamiherald:
Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez to blame for fatal boating crash, investigation concludes  —  Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez - drunk, high on cocaine and speeding - was behind the wheel and to blame when his boat plowed into a jetty off South Beach, killing two others, police concluded in a report released Thursday.
Fox Sports:
Surge at the 6-spot could signal end of the glove-first SS  —  CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) As an All-Star shortstop in the 1970s and '80s, Larry Bowa recalls having a clear job description:  —  “Catch the balls and make all the plays.”  —  Bowa typified the traditional sandpaper shortstop …
Eduardo A. Encina / Baltimore Sun:
Orioles release right-hander Logan Ondrusek  —  Anthony Santander is having an elbow scan Thursday, highlighting the Orioles' Rule 5 complications this year.  —  Eduardo A. Encina and Jon Meoli discuss Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman's shoulder and the pitchers that the Orioles are considering …
Discussion: Yahoo Sports and FanRag Sports
Jon Heyman / FanRag Sports:
11 biggest questions remaining in spring training  —  MESA, Ariz. - Yes, there are things going on in spring training.  Real things.  The thrill-an-inning WBC and Mets “prospect” Tim Tebow and his stalker (who's ever heard of a stalker for a minor leaguer?) are getting all the attention.
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