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8:25 AM ET, February 7, 2019

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Associated Press:
Yanks' Clint Frazier feeling good after concussion cut short 2018 season  —  TAMPA, Fla. — Clint Frazier showed no hesitation chasing down a fly ball on the warning track and hit batting practice drives well over the left-field fence, appearing to have recovered from the concussion that decimated his 2018 season.
RELATED:
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.
Gabe Lacques / USA Today:
MLB rule changes are wise - but be careful what you wish for  —  Evolution is inevitable, and good, and that can even apply to baseball.  —  Change once came in drips, but two decades of innovation on the backfields and batting cages and boardrooms has flooded the diamond.
Discussion: Greenville News
RELATED:
Dave Sheinin / Baltimore Sun:   MLB considering drastic rule changes that could speed up games and create universal DH
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:   MLB, union discussing dramatic rule changes
Jeff PassanESPN / ESPN:
Sources: MLB and players discussing rule changes that could alter game
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: Talking Chop
Rob Longley / Toronto Sun:
‘EVERYBODY LOVES HIM’: New Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo brings passion, personality to rebuilding team  —  TUCSON, Ariz. — You are about to know him as an energetic man with a quick smile and even quicker wit, a baseball lifer committed to mining the best out of those who surround him.
RELATED:
Yahoo Canada / MLB Baseball News, Scores …:
Bryce Harper's fit with Blue Jays isn't a fan fever dream
Discussion: Bluebird Banter
Associated Press:
Junichi Tazawa, Chicago Cubs reach agreement on minor league deal  —  CHICAGO — Reliever Junichi Tazawa has finalized a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs and will report to big league spring training.  —  If added to the 40-man roster, Tazawa would receive a one-year contract paying $800,000 while in the major leagues.
Jacob Fisher / Cincinnati.com:
You can play as a Cincinnati Reds legend in ‘MLB The Show 19’  —  Some familiar faces are coming to the latest installment of Sony's popular video game franchise.  —  Former Reds pitcher Rob Dibble and outfielder Yasiel Puig will be playable characters in “MLB The Show 19,” …
Dan Albano / Orange County Register:
Orange Lutheran's Kyle Ford shows his passion for USC, signs with the Trojans  —  ORANGE - Kyle Ford's commitment to USC faced a few tests on the journey to National Signing Day on Wednesday.  —  First, Trojans' heralded new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury departed to coach …
ESPN:
Reliever Brad Boxberger agrees to deal with Royals  —  Reliever Brad Boxberger has agreed to a one-year deal with the Kansas City Royals, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.  —  The deal is for $2.2 million with $1 million in performance bonuses, a source told ESPN.  MLB Network first reported the agreement.
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:
Former Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. receives Lifetime Achievement Award at Greater Cleveland Sports Awards  —  Former Cleveland Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th Greater Cleveland Sports Awards ceremony.
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
After injury-devastated season, Dustin Pedroia plots his comeback for Red Sox  —  CHANDLER, Ariz. — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, sitting on the weight bench in the gym of his palatial home, is restless, rubbing his hands together, chugging another bottled water …
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) …
RELATED:
Morning Call / Baltimore Sun:
Report: Phillies engaged in trade talks regarding J.T. Realmuto
Discussion: NBCSports.com
 
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 More News: 
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
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
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
Column: Cubs' last hurrah on WGN-TV could be a tearjerker
 Earlier Picks: 
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
It's Truck Day — and the unofficial start of Cardinals spring training
Arizona Republic:
MLB's highest paid players 2019: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Trout lead rankings
Jason Rollison / Bucs Dugout:
Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Nick Franklin to a Minor-League Deal
Andrew Seligman / Associated Press:
Outfielder Brandon Guyer agrees to a minor-league deal with the White Sox
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
There's a clear front-runner to be Rangers' center fielder. Will he benefit from new manager?
Discussion: Dallas Morning News
Associated Press:
Former Cubs closer Lee Smith ‘still in awe’ after touring Baseball Hall of Fame
Discussion: Sporting News
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Borys Kit / Hollywood Reporter:
Taika Waititi to Direct ‘Thor 4’ (Exclusive)

WGN Web Desk / WGN-TV:
Alligator in Humboldt Park Lagoon captured

People.com:
Hayden Panettiere's ‘Life is in Flux’ as 4-Year-Old Daughter Lives in Ukraine with Dad: Source

 
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