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9:45 PM ET, December 6, 2018

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Buster Olney / ESPN:
Buster's Buzz: Biggest contender holes after run of major trades  —  Agents and executives have noted a trend — a concerning trend, for the veteran players — that will soon manifest for the middle class of the free-agent market: Teams are filling some of their big needs through trades.
RELATED:
Scott Boeck / Knoxville News-Sentinel:
Six MLB players who could be traded over the winter  —  With Major League Baseball's winter meetings days away and the best free agent starting pitcher already off the market, the offseason is about to take off in earnest.  —  There already has been a burst of activity.
Discussion: USA Today
Houston Chronicle:
Winter Meetings and the AL West: Seattle Mariners  —  Baseball's Hot Stove League is already in action ahead of next week's Winter Meetings.  A look at what's going on with the Astros' rivals in the AL West:  —  Today: Mariners  —  2018 record: 89-73  —  Noteworthy Departures …
Matt Ehalt / Daily Record:
Mets will be aggressive, but are Bryce Harper, Manny Machado in play?
Discussion: NorthJersey.com
ESPN:
MLB players concerned about rebuilding teams, attendance drop
Jesse Rogers / ESPN:
Cubs might have to get creative without budget for a winter meetings splash  —  CHICAGO — What happens when you don't have the money to fix something that's broken?  Sometimes the answer is to find a creative solution instead.  That's seemingly what the Chicago Cubs' front office is facing …
Discussion: Bleacher Nation and Cubs Insider
Gabriel Burns / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
2018 winter meetings: Braves still seek outfield, pitching help  —  The Braves contingent travels to Las Vegas with a shortened shopping list after reeling in catcher Brian McCann and third baseman Josh Donaldson.  Their go-get-it mentality still leaves three primary concerns: Corner outfield, rotation and bullpen.
RELATED:
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:   Alex Anthopoulos Discusses Braves' Remaining Offseason Plans
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Arizona Diamondbacks didn't let emotions stand in way of Paul Goldschmidt trade  —  Discussing the possibility of a Paul Goldschmidt trade earlier this offseason, a rival evaluator mused about what the situation would say about the state of the Diamondbacks under General Manager Mike Hazen.
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Red Sox Re-Sign Nathan Eovaldi  —  4:22pm: The deal has been formally announced.  Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter), Eovaldi's guarantee will actually be an even $68MM over the four-year term.  —  “We're very happy to have Nathan back with us,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in a press release.
RELATED:
Buster Olney / ESPN:
Where will Yankees turn after losing out on Corbin?
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
ESPN:
Patrick Corbin agrees to terms with Nationals
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers hope to cash in Nicholas Castellanos for prospects  —  Taking a look at what the Tigers' starting lineup and pitching rotation could look like to open the 2019 season.  Video by Anthony Fenech and Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press.  —  CONNECT  —  The names have changed, but the vision remains the same.
Discussion: The Crawfish Boxes
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
In midst of rebuild, Rangers won't spend big for 2019.  How far will their payroll drop?  —  Gone from the Texas Rangers' 2018 payroll are the salaries of Adrian Beltre, Cole Hamels, Matt Moore, Martin Perez, Doug Fister, Robinson Chirinos, Jake Diekman and others.
J.P. Hoornstra / Daily News:
What's in a pitch?  A Biola statistician connects a change in the baseball to movement  —  A major league pitcher and a veteran pitching coach affirm what Jason Wilson's research observes: when the aerodynamic properties of MLB balls changed, allowing for more home runs, it also affected the quality of pitches
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Indians Extend Carlos Carrasco  —  The Indians have struck an extension with veteran righty Carlos Carrasco, announcing the deal just after Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported it (Twitter link).  The ACES client will now be under contract in Cleveland through at least the 2022 campaign.
Discussion: Let's Go Tribe and MLB Daily Dish
Manish Mehta / New York Daily News:
Inside look at Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles' eroding relationship  —  Todd Bowles' future with the Jets is a fait accompli, but there is another gigantic piece to the puzzle that must be finalized before this wayward franchise can move forward.  —  What should the powers that be do with general manager Mike Maccagnan?
 
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 More News: 
Jeff Sullivan / FanGraphs Baseball:
Banning the Shift Is a Solution in Search of a Problem
Evan Grant / Dallas Morning News:
How Rangers radio voice Eric Nadel got the idea for the greatest book of poetry ever written about a last-place team
 Earlier Picks: 
Rob Longley / Toronto Sun:
Tulo and other Blue Jays veterans on notice as winter meetings approach
Jon Meoli / The Charlotte Observer:
Catching up to the modern game: Orioles put focus on analytics as they aim to rebuild organization
Discussion: The Athletic and Camden Chat
Mark Fischer / New York Daily News:
Yankees manager's latest comments may be music to Manny Machado's ears
 

 
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