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1:55 PM ET, February 6, 2019

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Jeff PassanESPN / ESPN:
Sources: MLB and players discussing rule changes that could alter game  —  Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are discussing potentially drastic changes to the on-field game and economic landscape of the sport in the middle of a collective bargaining agreement …
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Ken Rosenthal / The Athletic:
Three-batter requirement for all pitchers, universal DH part of proposals that could bring big change to baseball  —  The left-on-left specialist — a left-handed reliever who sometimes faces only one left-handed hitter — soon might be an endangered species in Major League Baseball.
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Report: MLB, players considering sweeping rules changes for 2019 season  —  Spring training begins for pitchers and catchers next week and Opening Day is 50 days away, but MLB and the players association are considering jamming in significant rules changes for the regular season.
Discussion: Bleacher Nation
Dave Sheinin / Baltimore Sun:
MLB considering drastic rule changes that could speed up games and create universal DH  —  The Washington Post  —  Major League Baseball and its union have had substantive discussions in recent days over a series of proposals, among the most drastic proposed changes in years …
MLB Trade Rumors:
MLB, Union Discussing Significant Rule Changes  —  Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark have recently been discussing a series of potential rule changes centering around pace of play, roster size and roster construction, writes Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link).
Discussion: Al's Ramblings
Andrew Seligman / Associated Press:
Outfielder Brandon Guyer agrees to a minor-league deal with the White Sox  —  The Clevelands' Brandon Guyer fields a ball during Game 3 of the ALDS against the Astros on Oct. 8, 2018.  (David Dermer / AP)  —  A person familiar with the situation says outfielder Brandon Guyer has agreed …
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Jason Rollison / Bucs Dugout:
Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Nick Franklin to a Minor-League Deal  —  The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed infielder Nick Franklin to a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training  —  The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced a minor league deal (with an invite to ST) with INF Nick Franklin.
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
White Sox, Brandon Guyer Agree To Minor League Deal
Discussion: NBCSports.com and The Sports Daily
Associated Press:   White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech throws for first time since surgery
Randy Miller / Associated Press:
MLB rumors: New suitor for Bryce Harper; Front-runner for Manny Machado?  Phillies in on J.T. Realmuto?  —  RHP Jake Barrett  —  Adrian Beltre, 3B  —  Advance Local  —  Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 5/25/18) …
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Morning Call / Baltimore Sun:   Report: Phillies engaged in trade talks regarding J.T. Realmuto
Rotoworld.com:
Offseason Lowdown: Get Paid
Discussion: Crossing Broad, NESN.com and DRaysBay
Sporting News:
MLB trade rumors: Phillies recently checked on J.T. Realmuto
Wallace Matthews / New York Daily News:
Yankees are content without Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, says Aaron Boone: 'We're a complete team'  —  As any barroom pool shark will tell you, so long as the 8-ball remains on the table the game is not over.  —  In the cases of the free agencies of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado …
RELATED:
Coley Harvey / ESPN:   Yankees' Aaron Judge would welcome fellow right fielder Bryce Harper
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:   MLB's free agency freeze is an embarrassment for baseball
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
It's Truck Day — and the unofficial start of Cardinals spring training  —  Pitchers and catchers officially report to the Cardinals' camp in Jupiter, Fla., next Tuesday.  But the unofficial start of spring training came on Wednesday at Busch Stadium.  It was Truck Day.
Arizona Republic:
MLB's highest paid players 2019: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Trout lead rankings  —  USA TODAY Sports has released its database of MLB player salaries for 2019, giving us a chance to check out how much the top players in the league are set to make in 2019.  —  And the top players make quite a bit.
Yahoo Canada / MLB Baseball News, Scores …:
Bryce Harper's fit with Blue Jays isn't a fan fever dream  —  Complaining about the Toronto Blue Jays' free agent inactivity is a yearly tradition for the team's fanbase, and this year is no exception.  —  Sometimes these complaints aren't rooted in an understanding of where the team …
Discussion: Bluebird Banter
Associated Press:
Former Cubs closer Lee Smith ‘still in awe’ after touring Baseball Hall of Fame  —  Lee Smith had seen the Hall of Fame several times.  This visit was completely different.  —  “I'm still in awe,” Smith said after the tour Tuesday, in preparation for his July induction.
Discussion: Sporting News
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
There's a clear front-runner to be Rangers' center fielder.  Will he benefit from new manager?  —  Everything that Delino DeShields needs to become a big-league regular appears to be in place.  —  He has the speed, the work ethic and the bloodlines.  He has a sharp mind and an openness to learning.
Discussion: Dallas Morning News
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Local leaders want action — not just words — from the Cubs in response to Joe Ricketts' racist and Islamophobic emails  —  Chicago Tribune  —  An apology won't be enough for Muslim leaders in Chicago should they get their wish to meet as soon as next week with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts …
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 More News: 
Joel Sherman / New York Post:
Yankees' glaring roster worry is a serious Mets strength
Associated Press:
Tobias Harris' late basket caps Clippers' comeback win against Hornets
Discussion: Whittier Daily News
Bobby Nightengale / Cincinnati.com:
2019 Cincinnati Reds questions: Who will be the Opening Day starter?
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:
Former Indians SS Omar Vizquel ‘feeling great’ about Hall of Fame candidacy
ESPN:
Astros' Carlos Correa, Rays' Tommy Pham win arbitration cases
Discussion: Houston Chronicle
SNY:
SNY announces 2019 Mets Spring Training coverage
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
 Earlier Picks: 
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
WGN will televise the Cubs' season opener — likely for the last time
Bill Shaikin / Los Angeles Times:
Albert Pujols' campaign against human trafficking inspires $500,000 commitment from MLB and MLBPA
Myron Hosea / Greenville News:
Greenville Drive roster could include Boston's low-rated system's next wave of prospects
Discussion: Over the Monster
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
‘I have more confidence than last year’: A healthy Yu Darvish eyes his return to dominance with the Cubs
Arizona Republic:
MLB farm system rankings: Arizona Diamondbacks make huge leap among MLB teams in 2019
Discussion: Royals Review and Arizona Sports
 

 
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