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9:55 AM ET, February 8, 2019

Ballbug

 Top News: 
ESPN:
J.T. Realmuto deal continues stunningly sad Marlins tradition  —  1. The first J.T. Realmuto trade rumors started to show up in September 2016, like this one: … Doesn't look like much, but for two key facts.  The first is this had come roughly two and a half months after Realmuto got good.
Discussion: FanGraphs Baseball
RELATED:
Associated Press:
J.T. Realmuto, the catcher the Mets wanted, traded from Marlins to Phillies for 3 players  —  MIAMI — In October, J.T. Realmuto's agent predicted the Miami Marlins' All-Star catcher would be with another team by spring training.  —  He was right.  —  After months of speculation over what they'd do …
David Schoenfield / ESPN:   With Realmuto joining Phillies, could Harper or Machado follow?
Jeff PassanESPN / ESPN:
Phillies acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto from Marlins
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:   Phillies get All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto in trade with Marlins
ESPN:
Frank Robinson, MVP, first black manager, dies at 83  —  MLB, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals  —  Frank Robinson, the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win MVP in both leagues, has died at age 83, MLB said Thursday.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Reaction to the death of baseball great Frank Robinson  —  Reaction from the baseball world and beyond to the death of Hall of Famer Frank Robinson on Thursday at 83:  —  ___  —  “Frank was my first big league manager.  I still remember being so nervous to walk into his office and introduce myself.
Joe Erwin / New York Daily News:   Frank Robinson was an amazing ballplayer, but a true trailblazer as the first black manager
Jon Becker / Orange County Register:
Frank Robinson, Baseball Hall of Famer, dies at 83
Tyler Carey / KHOU-TV:
Baseball legend, Beaumont native Frank Robinson dies at 83
Anthony Rieber / Newsday:
Bryce Harper, Manny Machado in pinstripes?  Hal Steinbrenner says never say never  —  The Yankees' managing general partner likes the improvements to his team but is open to adding a big-ticket item.  —  ORLANDO, Fla. — It's unlikely that the Yankees will sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.
RELATED:
Scott Chiusano / New York Daily News:
Hal Steinbrenner wants Yankees fans to know he's 'never done until I'm done' when it comes to Manny Machado and Bryce Harper  —  The Yankees just keep teasing their fans.  —  There was a time when they didn't have to tease, when it was expected they would be not just in the mix for every frontline player, but the top contender.
ESPN:
Hal Steinbrenner says Yankees have made the right moves
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Jeff PassanESPN / ESPN:
Major League Baseball to rename disabled list as ‘injured list’  —  The disabled list is going on the permanent DL.  —  Major League Baseball will rename the disabled list as the “injured list,” a source familiar with the plan told ESPN.  —  The league will make the change out of concern that the term …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
DL shelved: Baseball's disabled list becomes injured list
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Associated Press:
Cleveland Indians agree to minor league deals with Ryan Flaherty, Dioner Navarro  —  CLEVELAND — Infielder Ryan Flaherty has agreed to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians and will report to big league spring training.  —  The 32-year-old would get a one-year contract paying $800,000 …
RELATED:
Joe Noga / Plain Dealer:
Cleveland Indians sign free agent outfielder Matt Joyce to minor-league contract  —  CLEVELAND, Ohio — Free agent outfielder Matt Joyce, who played the last two seasons in Oakland, has signed a minor-league contract with the Cleveland Indians and will be invited to big league camp at spring training.
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
2019 will be an important year for both Joe Maddon and Rick Renteria, Chicago's yin and yang of managers  —  Cubs manager Joe Maddon, left, and White Sox manager Joe Maddon both are focusing on improvement heading into spring training.  (Photos by Chris Sweda and Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)
RELATED:
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs have struck out with homegrown pitchers in recent years, but they're working to change that
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
ESPN:
Rangers sign outfielder Hunter Pence to minor league deal  —  The Texas Rangers have signed outfielder Hunter Pence and infielder Matt Davidson to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training camp, the team announced Thursday.  —  Pence, a three-time All-Star …
RELATED:
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:   Arlington product Pence to attempt to extend MLB career with hometown Rangers
Jimmy Golen / Associated Press:
6 things to watch for as the Red Sox begin spring training workouts  —  BOSTON (AP) — The goal is the same for the Boston Red Sox in 2019: finish the season flopping around on the pitcher's mound, celebrating another World Series title.  —  All that's left is for them to figure out who's at the bottom of the pile.
Discussion: Over the Monster and The Athletic
Ernest Hooper / Tampa Bay Times:
What Rays player are you most curious about seeing this spring, and why?  —  The Yandy man  —  Marc Topkin, Rays beat writer @TBTimes_Rays: There's several players I'm intrigued by, as I'm writing for Sunday's Times, and Yandy Diaz.  There are several reasons: How much the Rays gave …
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Kiner-Falefa caught 35 games last season.  Here's how that number should soar in 2019  —  As 2018 turned into a rebuilding season for the Texas Rangers, officially becoming so after the June draft, Isiah Kiner-Falefa turned into a catcher.  —  He had been one in the minors, albeit briefly while transitioning from the infield.
Cincinnati.com:
Cincinnati Reds question: What to do with top prospect Nick Senzel?  —  Today's question:  —  What to do with Nick Senzel?  —  Ever since the Reds drafted Senzel with the second pick overall in 2016, there's been no question that he'd hit and there's been a big question about where he'd play.
RELATED:
Bobby Nightengale / Cincinnati.com:   2019 Cincinnati Reds questions: Which version of Yasiel Puig will show up this season?
 
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 More News: 
Chandler Rome / Houston Chronicle:
How Astros prospects Forrest Whitley, Corbin Martin topped 110 mph
Ballpark Digest:
Rome Braves Extend State Mutual Stadium Lease
Jeff Bezos:
No thank you, Mr. Pecker  —  Something unusual happened to me yesterday.
John Fay / Cincinnati.com:
Cincinnati Reds question: Can veterans Hughes and Hernandez be as good in '19 as they were in '18?
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Would adding the DH to the National League help the Rangers find a trade for Choo?
John Romano / Tampa Bay Times:
Changes baseball should and shouldn't make
 Earlier Picks: 
Daily Record:
Mets sign catcher Devin Mesoraco to minor-league contract
Discussion: NorthJersey.com
Jesse Dougherty / Chicago Tribune:
Giants join the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, which grow stranger by the day
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Goldschmidt, clad in Cardinals red, and Ozuna join early 'Birds already in Jupiter
Arizona Republic:
Arizona Diamondbacks 2019 promotional schedule: Haboob Globe highlights special giveaways
Jacob Bogage / Chicago Tribune:
After 1968's ‘Year of the Pitcher,’ MLB lowered the mound. Now, the league could do it again.
 

 
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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