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5:15 PM ET, January 12, 2018

Ballbug

 Top News: 
John Harper / New York Daily News:
Eduardo Nunez would give the Mets the speed and athleticism they need  —  During many an off-the-record chat at his locker, Alex Rodriguez loved to play fantasy GM and tell me what he'd do if he were in charge.  And the one guy he was always insisting should play more was Eduardo Nunez.
RELATED:
Bill Madden / New York Daily News:   Mets' Jay Bruce signing just latest example of MLB's frozen free-agent market
Matt Ehalt / NorthJersey.com:   Mets have added quality reliever and power bat, but still have open spot for infielder
Dave Clark / Cincinnati.com:   Could Frazier join Bruce with Mets?
ESPN:
Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson reach $23M deal for 2018 season  —  Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday broke the record for the highest salary among players eligible for arbitration, reaching agreement on a one-year deal for $23 million, a source told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, confirming multiple reports.
RELATED:
Peter Botte / New York Daily News:
Yu Darvish refutes report that Yankees offered him long-term contract  —  Yu says it's not true.  —  After revealing earlier in the week that the Yankees were on his list of six teams he's considering in free agency, Yu Darvish took to Twitter again on Friday to refute a report that the Bombers recently made him a long-term offer.
RELATED:
John Harper / New York Daily News:   What Brian Cashman can do to help Yankees' chances of landing Yu Darvish
Anthony Rieber / Newsday:
Yu Darvish a pitcher of interest to Brian Cashman and Yankees
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers agree to deals with relievers Shane Greene, Alex Wilson  —  The Detroit Tigers have agreed to contracts with two of their four remaining arbitration-eligible players this afternoon.  —  According to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, right-handed relievers Shane Greene …
RELATED:
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:   Detroit Tigers claim Johnny Barbato off waivers from Pittsburgh Pirates
ESPN:
Buster Olney's top 10 teams: Are the Astros and Dodgers still baseball's best?  —  Postseason performances have outsize value in Major League Baseball, and this is why David Freese shares emotional space with Bob Gibson in St. Louis, why several generations of New Englanders …
Discussion: Bleacher Nation
New York Daily News:
Mets and Matt Harvey avoid arbitration with one-year, $5.625 million deal: report  —  The Mets and Matt Harvey reportedly avoided arbitration on Friday with an agreement on a one-year, $5.625 contract.  —  After a 2017 season marred by injury, a team-mandated suspension and poor pitching …
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Phil Thompson / Chicago Tribune:
Comics take swings at ‘skinny’ Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant at Anthony Rizzo's benefit  —  Chicago Tribune  —  “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actor and Cubs fan Jeff Garlin was a last-minute scratch as host of Anthony Rizzo's Laugh Off for Cancer on Thursday night at Studio Paris …
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Mary Kay Cabot / Plain Dealer:
Browns hiring Ken Zampese as quarterbacks coach in reunion with Hue Jackson  —  CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Browns will likely draft a quarterback such as Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold No. 1 overall, and now he'll have a new position coach guiding him, a league source told cleveland.com.
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Wainwright heads into final year of contract with renewed fire  —  Back in St. Louis again for another Winter Warm-Up weekend, a staple of his offseason for more than a decade, Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright will sing some tunes for charity, will go way over his scheduled time signing autographs for fans …
RELATED:
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Cardinals sign Grichuk to one-year deal, continue talks with Ozuna, other arb players
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs agree to terms with Kyle Hendricks, Justin Wilson, Tommy La Stella  —  Chicago Tribune  —  The Chicago Cubs agreed to terms Friday with pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Justin Wilson.  —  The agreements were reached hours before teams and arbitration eligible players face a noon deadline …
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Josh Dawsey / Washington Post:
Trump derides protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries  —  President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.
ESPN:
Charlie Blackmon, Rockies avoid arbitration with $14M deal  —  The Colorado Rockies and All-Star center fielder Charlie Blackmon agreed to a one-year deal worth $14 million, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday.  —  Blackmon, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season …
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Brad Biggs / Chicago Tribune:
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio agrees to return to Bears  —  As much as the Bears sought a fresh voice and new approach for the offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky, they were pretty happy with how the defense has come along.  —  They have to feel like they might have the best for both sides …
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Gibson says remarkable 1968 season had its painful moments  —  Fifty years ago — really, has it been that long?  — Cardinals Hall of Fame righthander Bob Gibson sashayed through the National League with a 22-9 record, 13 shutouts, 28 complete games, 268 strikeouts and a mind-numbing 1.12 earned-run average, best in the modern era.
 
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 More News: 
Sam Stejskal / MLSsoccer.com:
New England Revolution's Lee Nguyen requests offseason trade
Jesse RogersESPN / ESPN:
Are the Cubs one pitcher short as they play free-agent waiting game?
Jesse Dougherty / Washington Post:
Capitals' Lars Eller finds his groove midway through the season
Jeff Howe / Boston Herald:
Patriots notebook: The more practice the better for linebacker James Harrison
Discussion: ProFootballTalk and FanRag Sports
Jeff CarlisleSoccer / ESPN:
FC Dallas open to bringing back midfielder Fabian Castillo
 Earlier Picks: 
Ben Axelrod / WKYC-TV:
REPORT | Cleveland Indians had trade in place to send Jason Kipnis to New York Mets
Associated Press:
Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks reach $7.5M, one-year deal, avoid salary arbitration
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit
George Sipple / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers shuffle minor league staff assignments for 2018
Matt Breen / Philly.com:
Phillies prospect Tom Eshelman aims to win a starting role
Associated Press:
Reliever Tommy Kahnle, Yankees agree to one-year deal worth $1.3M
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
These Rangers could be off-season extension targets for Daniels
Discussion: Dallas Morning News
Associated Press:
OF Jake Marisnick agrees to 1-year deal with Astros
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports