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10:20 AM ET, December 2, 2023

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
MLB winter meetings preview: Trade rumors, Ohtani news, more  —  Finally, after a month of relative inaction, Major League Baseball's offseason is primed to pop off.  Over the next few weeks, executives and agents expect a deluge of free agent signings and big-name trades.
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Jack Harris / Los Angeles Times:
Waiting game: Why the Dodgers' winter plans hinge on Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto  —  About a month into free agency, a de facto waiting game is underway — for both the Dodgers, and many other clubs around Major League Baseball.  —  In what has been a quiet offseason around the league …
Andy Martino / SNY:
Sources: Momentum stalls — for now at least — on Yankees/Padres Juan Soto talks  —  Yanks believe Padres are asking too much for one-year rental player  —  POPULAR IN THE COMMUNITY  —  MORE FROM SNY  —  Meier back in Devils lineup; Hamilton, Nosek out indefinitely
Jon Heyman / New York Post:
Where Yankees stand in push to land both Juan Soto and Yoshinobu Yamamoto  —  The Yankees' currently are focused on two top targets - Juan Soto and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.  —  They have relatively high hopes for both - although there's much more competition for Yamamoto.
Jon Heyman / New York Post:
Blue Jays emerging as surprise entrant in Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes  —  The Jays are an interesting surprise entrant for two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani.  They couldn't confirm he's planning a visit but one Jays person said he heard Ohtani liked previous stops there.
Gus Garcia-Roberts / Washington Post:
Maverick Carter told feds he used illegal bookie to bet thousands on NBA  —  LOS ANGELES — Maverick Carter, the longtime manager and business partner of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, admitted to betting on NBA games through an illegal bookie, according to federal law enforcement records reviewed by The Washington Post.
Charlie Goldsmith / Cincinnati.com:
'Everyone knows we're supposed to be good.' The Reds are embracing new expectations  —  Cincinnati Reds infielder Matt McLain lives in the Phoenix area in the offseason, but he didn't make the drive downtown during October to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series.
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
The Athletic:
The secrecy of Shohei Ohtani's free agency starts with the man and agency behind him  —  The instructions were clear.  The repercussions were not.  But no baseball executives involved in Nez Balelo's highly structured process wanted to risk finding out the price of disobedience.
Andrew Mearns / Pinstripe Alley:
Yankees claim Guardians outfielder Oscar Gonzalez  —  The 2022 Cleveland cult hero is heading to New York.  —  The Yankees have acquired an outfielder from another organization.  No, it isn't the possible Juan Soto trade that everyone is dreaming about.  Instead, it's righty hitter Oscar Gonzalez of the Cleveland Guardians.
Ken Rosenthal / The Athletic:
Rangers face uncertainty in free agency, plus Yankees' payroll, White Sox's options for Cease  —  World Series champions almost always count on a boost in revenue, and often increase their payrolls accordingly.  The Texas Rangers, coming off their first Series title, still figure to follow such a path.
Evan Grant / Dallas Morning News:
Chris Young: Rangers won't spend like they have in recent past, but can still add utility  —  The Rangers have somewhere in the $13-15 million range to spend to stay under the tax.  —  Chris Young said the quiet parts out loud Thursday.  —  Not that he needed to.
Andy Martino / SNY:
Update on Yankees' Juan Soto trade talks: Teams talking players, but not close on agreement  —  New York continues to explore a trade, and see if the sides can find a fit  —  POPULAR IN THE COMMUNITY  —  MORE FROM SNY  —  Knicks advance to Knockout Round of In-Season Tourney as a wild card
 
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 More News: 
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Sonny Gray welcomes leading role in Cardinals' rotation. ‘You want someone with edge.’
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Reds, RHP Nick Martinez agree to $26M deal, sources say
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Alden Gonzalez / ESPN:
Retired Nelson Cruz joins Dodgers as adviser
 

 
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