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8:05 AM ET, January 20, 2023

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Baseball America:
2023 Top 100 Prospects  —  The 2023 Prospect Handbook is at the printer.  All 30 team Top 10s are published.  Pitchers and catchers are less than a month away from reporting to spring training.  —  All of that can only mean one thing: It's time for the grand finale, the 2023 Top 100 Prospects.
RELATED:
Nathan Ruiz / Baltimore Sun:
Orioles become first team with consecutive Baseball America No. 1 prospects from same draft class  —  The 2019 Major League Baseball draft represented perhaps the most important step the Orioles' rebuild took in Mike Elias' first year as the franchise's executive vice president and general manager.
Antwan Staley / New York Daily News:
Improved Giants defense will be the key against Eagles in NFC Divisional Round matchup  —  In a league full of enormous offense numbers, defense still wins championships.  —  The Giants' defense doesn't appear to be anything close to championship material on paper.
RELATED:
Pat Leonard / New York Daily News:
Hiring Wink Martindale was a home run; keeping him is just as important  —  Wink Martindale wants to be a head coach.  He deserves to be one.  —  And finally, his first interview request of this hiring cycle rolled in from the Indianapolis Colts this week, ahead of Saturday night's Divisional Playoff game …
Ronald Blum / Associated Press:
AP Exclusive: Dodgers taxed $32M, MLB payrolls record $4.5B  —  The Los Angeles Dodgers were hit with a $32 million luxury tax for the second straight season, among six teams paying a penalty as baseball payrolls rebounded after the lockout to a record $4.56 billion.
Ira Winderman / Sun-Sentinel:
Heat show completeness in crushing shorthanded Pelicans 124-98  —  The simplicity was in the seizing, something that has not always been the case this season for the Miami Heat.  —  This time, against a New Orleans Pelicans team lacking Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones …
Discussion: Boston Herald and USA Today
Stefan Bondy / New York Daily News:
Mitchell Robinson hurt as Knicks get hammered on boards by Wizards, lose 116-105 at Garden  —  Near the end of the evening, as Kristaps Porzingis heard the chorus of boos after fouling out, the former Knick responded with a gesture.  —  “I was pointing at the score,” Porzingis said.
Kyle Goon / Orange County Register:
Lakers' late-game struggles continue in loss to Kings  —  LeBron James has 32 points and Russell Westbrook adds 19, but the Lakers get outplayed in the final 70 seconds of a 116-111 defeat, their third tight setback in four games during this homestand  —  LOS ANGELES — It's been rare enough …
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Jeff Passan's 2022-23 MLB free agency takeaways  —  Spring training starts in less than a month.  Every major free agent is signed.  Almost all of the second- and third-tier ones have jobs, too.  It's almost like Major League Baseball free agency doesn't need to bleed into the beginning of a new season.
Discussion: Cubs Insider and Bleacher Nation
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Sources: New York Mets, Tommy Pham agree to 1-year, $6M deal  —  Outfielder Tommy Pham and the New York Mets agreed on a one-year, $6 million contract Wednesday, sources told ESPN, continuing the team's offseason bonanza and pushing the Mets' record payroll past the $450 million mark.
Darragh McDonald / MLB Trade Rumors:
Braves, Kevin Pillar Agree To Minor League Deal  —  The Braves and outfielder Kevin Pillar are in agreement on a minor league deal, reports MLBTR's Steve Adams.  Pillar will make a $3MM salary if he cracks the club's roster.  He's a client of All Bases Covered Sports Management.
Dan Hayes / The Athletic:
With Carlos Correa in tow, Twins look to further upgrade roster via potential trades  —  Carlos Correa's shocking return has prompted the Twins to try to improve their roster, including further exploration of trading American League batting champion Luis Arraez to acquire starting pitching help, multiple team sources say.
 
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 More News: 
Carina Devera / Mercury News:
6 animal-friendly alternatives to eggs
Discussion: San Bernardino Sun
Meghan Montemurro / Chicago Tribune:
Joining the Chicago Cubs is ‘like a new life’ for Eric Hosmer after a challenging 2022 season
Discussion: NBCSports.com
Ben Clemens / FanGraphs Baseball:
The Yankees Should Extend Harrison Bader
Patrick McAvoy / Sports Illustrated:
Red Sox Reportedly Interested In Intriguing Padres Duo; Would Be Solid Trade Candidates
Discussion: The Athletic
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