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8:20 AM ET, January 9, 2019

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 Top News: 
Phil Thompson / Chicago Tribune:
New White Sox reliever Kelvin Herrera says the team reminds him of the rebuilding Royals who went on to win the 2015 World Series  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Kelvin Herrera played an integral role on the Royals team that won the 2015 World Series, and the White Sox's newest reliever said he sees …
Discussion: Sox Machine
RELATED:
Paul Sullivan / Baltimore Sun:
Failing to land Manny Machado — or Bryce Harper — would be a double doink for the White Sox  —  Photos of Manny Machado, one of the top free agents this season.  —  Chicago Tribune  —  If the idea is to make Manny Machado's comfort zone so big he won't think twice about choosing …
Tim Bannon / Chicago Tribune:
The White Sox keep hiring Manny Machado's friends and relatives.  Weird coincidence?  —  Photos of Manny Machado, one of the top free agents this season.  —  Chicago Tribune  —  The White Sox's links to Manny Machado are either a calculated attempt to lure the free agent to the South Side or just a wacky coincidence.
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Red Sox crave back-to-back World Series championships, but road will be rough  —  David Dombrowski, the architect of the Boston Red Sox team that steamrolled the opposition in 2018, returned from the remote island of Roatan in the Caribbean last week.  He was tanned, relaxed and had discovered …
Associated Press:
MLB payrolls dropped for 1st time since 2010  —  Spending on Major League Baseball payrolls dropped last season for the first time since 2010, an $18 million decrease attributable to drug and domestic violence suspensions and a player retiring at midseason.  —  Still, even a year with flat payrolls is unusual for MLB.
Jeff PassanESPN / ESPN:
White Sox to sign Jon Jay to one-year, $4 million contract
Craig Calcaterra / NBCSports.com:
White Sox sign outfielder Jon Jay
Discussion: MLB Daily Dish and Bleacher Nation
Associated Press:   Baseball notebook: Harper scheduled to meet with Phillies on Saturday
ESPN:
2019's stealth contenders and the next move each should make  —  I think many of us share an idea of who makes up the cream of the MLB crop.  In the American League, it would be a shock not to see the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros return to the playoffs.
RELATED:
Matt Borelli / DodgerBlue.com:
Dodgers News: Dave Roberts ‘Very Happy’ To See Paul Goldschmidt Traded Out Of NL West
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit
David Schoenfield / ESPN:
Rankings and predictions for every top remaining free agent  —  It's time for a free-agency update!  There are still a lot of free agents out there beside Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — including some quality second basemen, one of the best closers of all time, some past-their-prime outfielders …
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Dodgers Acquire Jaime Schultz  —  The Dodgers have struck a deal to acquire right-hander Jaime Schultz from the Rays, per Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter).  Fellow righty Caleb Sampen is headed to Tampa Bay in return.  —  Schultz was bumped from the Tampa Bay 40-man roster recently …
Ken Davidoff / New York Post:
How David Wright's restructured deal opens up millions for Mets  —  In his first move in his new job, David Wright ... saved the Mets money?  —  He did.  An industry source confirmed (while also amending) information displayed in the popular website Cot's Baseball Contracts …
Discussion: SNY
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
CC Sabathia Cleared To Resume Baseball Activities  —  Veteran lefty CC Sabathia gave Yankees fans some cause for concern when he underwent an angioplasty last month, but the team announced today that followup exams of Sabathia went well.  Per the Yankees' release, Sabathia …
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Rick Stroud / Tampa Bay Times:
How Cubs manager Joe Maddon helped recruit Bruce Arians to the Bucs  —  Maddon and Arians grew up about 100 miles apart in Pennsylvania and a dinner at his south Tampa restaurant helped talk the Cardinals coach out of retiremment  —  Bruce Arians needed some convincing.
Discussion: ProFootballTalk
Andrew Baggarly / The Athletic:
Giants have short-term hurdles in rebuilding their roster, but here's how to make the best of 2019  —  It used to be so easy, didn't it?  —  You'd glance at the Giants' roster, focus on the notable hole or three and then scan the names of free agents at those positions.
Discussion: NBCSports.com and Halos Heaven
 
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 More News: 
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Chris Duncan leaves radio role to focus on his battle with brain cancer
Discussion: ESPN, Fox News and FOX2now.com
Matt Ehalt / Daily Record:
Choosing Travis d'Arnaud over Kevin Plawecki could backfire on NY Mets
Pete Caldera / Daily Record:
Yankees sign outfielder Billy Burns to minor-league deal with spring training invite
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
 Earlier Picks: 
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Jerry Buchek dies; ‘South St. Louis kid’ played for Cardinals
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
 

 
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