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8:20 PM ET, March 14, 2019

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Sources: MLB, union agree to 1 trade deadline  —  A single trade deadline and an All-Star Game Election Day will be implemented in 2019 while roster expansion will happen in 2020 as part of a deal Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are set to announce Thursday, sources familiar with the agreement told ESPN.
RELATED:
Andy McCullough / Los Angeles Times:
MLB eliminates multiple trade deadlines, 40-man September rosters  —  After a winter of bickering about the distribution of the sport's wealth, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Assn. announced a series of rule changes to be made over the next two seasons …
Daily Record:
Masahiro Tanaka is headed in the right direction toward Yankees' opening day start  —  TAMPA, Fla. — Above all, Masahiro Tanaka felt that Wednesday's start gave him an indication that things are moving in the right direction.  —  Nearly two weeks away from his scheduled opening day start …
RELATED:
Pete Caldera / USA Today:   Bryce Harper: ‘Never heard’ from Yankees, New York unlikely after Giancarlo Stanton trade
Associated Press:
Harper goes 0-for-2 against Yankees' Tanaka
David Schoenfield / ESPN:
Predicting the next top-100 player for all 30 teams  —  This won't shock you if you have last year's standings memorized, but the premium talent in baseball isn't exactly spread evenly across the sport.  The Yankees had nine players crack the MLB Rank top 100, the Astros had seven …
Discussion: NESN.com
Rob Bradford / WEEI:
Nathan Eovaldi explains why there was little doubt he would land back with Red Sox  —  Nathan Eovaldi has been one of the revelations of Red Sox camp thus far.  And to think some thought it would be a longshot that the pitcher would actually find himself living life in Fort Myers this time of year.
Discussion: MLB Baseball News … and NESN.com
RELATED:
Rob Bradford / WEEI:
How Dave Dombrowski views Red Sox bullpen blueprint
Bob Nightengale / Corpus Christi Caller-Times:
MLB's new rule could force pitching specialists to become extinct  —  MESA, Ariz. — The left-handed relief pitchers, particularly the specialists, fear it will cost them their jobs.  —  The managers believe it will ruin strategy.  —  And baseball traditionalists despise it.
RELATED:
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:   MLB's new rule could force pitching specialists to become extinct
Eddie Matz / ESPN:
Life after Harper?  Juan Soto can be what Bryce was ... and more  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — If you think Juan Soto is feeling pressure, think again.  —  Last May, Soto exploded onto the scene as a 19-year-old outfielder with the Washington Nationals.  Due to injuries in D.C. …
Coley Harvey / ESPN:
Is Estevan Florial ‘a young Bernie Williams’ or a future bust?  —  TAMPA, Fla. — When the prospect rankers began unveiling their annual lists of baseball's best up-and-comers, a common theme emerged regarding one of the New York Yankees' prized players.  —  Estevan Florial …
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Bader to lead off; Fowler bats third in Cards' game vs. Mets  —  JUPITER, Fla.  • The Cardinals, who are averaging under four runs a game this spring, are resting several regulars for Thursday's exhibition with the New York Mets but the top four names in the lineup are familiar ones.
RELATED:
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Hits remain scarce for Cardinals
Discussion: Viva El Birdos
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   JUPITER, Fla.  • For the seventh time in 19 spring games, the Cardinals scored two runs …
Dave Sheinin / Chicago Tribune:
Manny Machado and the Padres already feels like a solid marriage  —  Photos of Manny Machado, one of the top free agents this season.  —  The Washington Post  —  The world at large, the greater baseball community and the members of the 2019 San Diego Padres all found out at roughly the same time …
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
Column: Win now and win later: The Cubs and White Sox are eying different goals as opening day nears  —  Cubs pitcher Jon Lester discusses the struggles he experienced in a spring training game against the Athletics on March 13, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz.  —  Chicago Tribune
Daily Record:
Yankees' Dellin Betances feels he's headed in the right direction  —  Yankees' Dellin Betances gives up a triple in exhibition game vs. Pirates at Tampa, during another rocky spring training outing  —  DUNEDIN, Fla. — Away from the crowds, absent of a scoreboard flashing radar gun readings …
RELATED:
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:   Dellin Betances' pitching arm is ‘normal’ despite his lack of spring training play
Jon Tayler / Sports Illustrated:
The Tao of Yasiel Puig: The Reds' New Star Riffs on Bat Flips, Life and His Rocky End With the Dodgers  — Yasiel Puig isn't entirely bitter about his departure from the Dodgers, but the polarizing Reds outfielder is unafraid of saying that trading him was a mistake and an insult.
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Ben Zobrist bats leadoff and Yu Darvish faces former teammates as the Cubs take on the Rangers  —  Cubs pitcher Jon Lester discusses the struggles he experienced in a spring training game against the Athletics on March 13, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz.  —  Chicago Tribune
Tim Healey / Newsday:
Mets' Todd Frazier, Jed Lowrie likely won't be ready for start of regular season  —  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets haven't publicly acknowledged that Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie won't be ready for the start of the regular season, but it's probably safe for everybody else to.
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
RELATED:
Deesha Thosar / New York Daily News:
This pitcher could be one of the Mets' deadliest bullpen weapons
Discussion: Beyond the Box Score
Associated Press:
Tigers shelve RHP Fulmer to work on mechanics  —  LAKELAND, Fla. — Detroit Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer will not pitch in games in the near future, focusing on lower-body mechanics.  —  “He took a step back to refine his lower-body mechanics,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said after Thursday's 4-4 tie with Boston.
Keith Law / ESPN:
Former top-10 pick Carter Stewart having delivery issues  —  Right-hander Carter Stewart was No. 2 on my draft board last spring and went No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Braves in the 2018 draft, but didn't sign with the team after a disagreement over something that arose in his post-draft physical.
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:
Former Indians OF Coco Crisp signs one-game contract with Lake Erie Crushers  —  Former Cleveland Indians outfielder Coco Crisp will play one game for the Lake Erie Crushers during the 2019 season.  —  CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland Indians outfielder Coco Crisp is set for a return to the baseball diamond, for a limited engagement.
 
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 More News: 
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Watch Hunter Pence and Joey Gallo battle in ‘Game of Thrones’
Associated Press:
Chacin to start Brewers' opener against Cards
Kelly Doyle / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
This Rangers pitcher has over 45,000 Instagram followers and jokes for days
Dave Clark / Cincinnati.com:
Cincinnati Reds' ‘Born to Baseball’ videos feature Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin
Evan Grant / Dallas-Fort Worth Sports News:
Writing college papers in full uniform?  That's just one step in Chris Woodward's path to becoming Rangers manager
Gabe Lacques / USA Today:
MLB 2019: Two weeks from Opening Day, what to watch as spring training hits home stretch
Discussion: NorthJersey.com
 Earlier Picks: 
Susan Slusser / San Francisco Chronicle:
A's finish Cactus League play, head to Japan
Bill Baer / NBCSports.com:
Collin McHugh calls out White Sox for manipulating Eloy Jiménez's service time
Discussion: The Crawfish Boxes
Lynn Worthy / Kansas City Star:
Royals not taking catching for granted as they groom M.J. Melendez, Sebastian Rivero
Don Brennan / Toronto Sun:
Blue Jays name Marcus Stroman opening day starter
Joey Kaufman / Daily News:
Jaylen Hands' big night helps UCLA top Stanford in Pac-12 tourney opener
ESPN:
Angels' Heaney shut down with inflamed elbow
 

 
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