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3:15 PM ET, February 7, 2019

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Bill Madden / New York Daily News:
Frank Robinson, MLB's first black manager and civil rights leader, dead at 83  —  Prolific slugger.  Quintessential hard-ass player and manager.  Baseball trailblazer.  —  Frank Robinson, who died in Los Angeles after a battle with bone cancer, was all of those things in a 60-year Hall …
RELATED:
Bobby Nightengale / Cincinnati.com:
2019 Cincinnati Reds questions: Which version of Yasiel Puig will show up this season?  —  Editor's note: With Spring Training approaching, we'll answer an important question about the Cincinnati Reds each day until pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12.  Today's question: Which version of Yasiel Puig will the Reds get?
Jacob Fisher / Cincinnati.com:
You can play as a Cincinnati Reds legend in ‘MLB The Show 19’
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Phillies get All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto in trade with Marlins  —  It took longer than expected, but the Miami Marlins finally traded J.T. Realmuto, sending the All-Star catcher to the Philadelphia Phillies and setting his new team up for a blockbuster winter haul.
RELATED:
Jeff PassanESPN / ESPN:
Phillies acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto from Marlins  —  The Phillies and Marlins agreed to a trade that will send All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia for catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart, and an international bonus slot, league sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.
Discussion: DodgerBlue.com
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Phillies, Marlins Working Out Details Of Prospective J.T. Realmuto Swap  —  Reports emerged this morning that momentum was growing between the Phillies and Marlins on a deal to send star catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia.  Now, it seems, the sides have made yet further strides …
Jesse Dougherty / Chicago Tribune:
Giants join the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, which grow stranger by the day  —  The Washington Post  —  Add another team to the list of those pursuing Bryce Harper — a list that could be as big as 10 franchises, or actually as small as one or two, and now includes the San Francisco Giants …
RELATED:
Jeff PassanESPN / ESPN:
The broken winter: Why baseball must fix free agency ASAP  —  On this, the 97th day of free agency, four days before the first pitchers and catchers report to spring training, less than six weeks ahead of Major League Baseball opening its regular season, the two best free agents in more than a decade remain unemployed.
Randy Miller / Associated Press:
MLB rumors: New suitor for Bryce Harper; Front-runner for Manny Machado?  Phillies in on J.T. Realmuto?
Coley Harvey / ESPN:
'Don't run from the fire.  Run toward it': Inside Clint Frazier's long, rockin' road to recovery  —  MARIETTA, Ga. — Clint Frazier's ears have been ringing a lot lately.  —  In recent months, they've been bombarded with booming bass beats, decibel-deafening melodies and sudden, piercing shrieks from excited music fans.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Yanks' Clint Frazier feeling good after concussion cut short 2018 season
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Goldschmidt, clad in Cardinals red, and Ozuna join early 'Birds already in Jupiter  —  New Cardinal first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has arrived in Jupiter early and was getting started with a workout Thursday morning.  (Photo by Derrick Goold)  —  New Cardinal Paul Goldschmidt has arrived early …
RELATED:
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   It's Truck Day — and the unofficial start of Cardinals spring training
Gabriel Burns / The Charlotte Observer:
Are Braves favorites in competitive NL East?  —  BY GABRIEL BURNS THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION  —  The more I look at it, the more I'm convinced there isn't a more competitive division top-to-bottom than the National League East.  That isn't exactly a hot take, but a week away from spring training …
Discussion: Federal Baseball and Talking Chop
Jacob Bogage / Chicago Tribune:
After 1968's ‘Year of the Pitcher,’ MLB lowered the mound.  Now, the league could do it again.  —  The Washington Post  —  During Bob Gibson's record-setting 1968 season, he hung a sign above his locker that read, “Here comes the judge.”  He felt untouchable, he said.
Arizona Republic:
Arizona Diamondbacks 2019 promotional schedule: Haboob Globe highlights special giveaways  —  Sometimes its hard deciding which baseball games to attend.  —  Each MLB team does have 81 home games in a season.  —  The Arizona Diamondbacks have helped make the task easier for 2019 with the release of their promotional schedule.
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs have struck out with homegrown pitchers in recent years, but they're working to change that  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Dylan Cease didn't advance very far in the Cubs organization before they traded him to the White Sox.  But he hasn't forgotten the special care the Cubs gave …
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
RELATED:
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:   Column: Cubs' last hurrah on WGN-TV could be a tearjerker
Daily Record:
It's ‘Zack’ Britton, not Zach: New York Yankees reliever clarifies name spelling  —  It's Zack Britton, not Zach.  Big difference.  Or is there?  —  In a tweet sent out Thursday, the New York Yankees reliever put to rest one of the burning offseason questions: Is it spelled Zack or Zach?
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
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 …
RELATED:
Gabe Lacques / USA Today:   MLB rule changes are wise - but be careful what you wish for
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
MLB, union discussing dramatic rule changes
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
 
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 More News: 
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Mazara gives health a thumb's up. But another change could help fuel his 2019 for Rangers
Jack Etkin / Forbes:
Coming Off A Superb Season, Kyle Freeland Hopes To Be Even More Effective By Varying Two Pitches
Discussion: Purple Row and Rox Pile
ESPN:
Reliever Brad Boxberger agrees to deal with Royals
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Associated Press:
Junichi Tazawa, Chicago Cubs reach agreement on minor league deal
Rob Longley / Toronto Sun:
‘EVERYBODY LOVES HIM’: New Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo brings passion, personality to rebuilding team
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
 Earlier Picks: 
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:
Former Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. receives Lifetime Achievement Award at Greater Cleveland Sports Awards
Chicago Tribune:
Deep Dish Baseball: Gearing up for spring training and talking to Reds announcer Marty Brennaman
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs invite 27 non-roster players to spring training
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Pirates To Sign Tom Koehler
Discussion: DodgerBlue.com and Bucs Dugout
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
SunTrust Park to host youth baseball Hank Aaron Invitational
 

 
From WeSmirch:

WWD:
Lee Radziwill Dies at 85

Lia Eustachewich / Page Six:
Two Nigerian brothers could be charged in Jussie Smollett attack

TMZ.com:
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Flight to Cabo Makes Emergency Landing

 
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