Laura Ricketts' pleas to Obama led to Cubs' White House visit Monday

Sports / Baseball /

WASHINGTON -- It was a bipartisan effort by the Ricketts siblings that led to Monday's White House celebration of the Cubs, who just managed to beat the clock before President Barack Obama's moving day.

So while Pennsylvania Avenue is fenced off in preparation for president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony on Friday, the World Series ...Read more

Cubs go back to 2012 in effort to revive Jason Heyward's swing

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- The Cubs have gone back in time this winter to help Jason Heyward rediscover the power that made him one of the game's most formidable prospects.

Cubs fans remember Heyward's first major-league at-bat -- a home run off Carlos Zambrano in 2010. But a more convincing sample size occurred in 2012, when Heyward hit a career-high 27 home ...Read more

Baseball Hall of Fame might no longer be off limits for MLB steroid-era players

Sports / Baseball /

Roger Clemens could have kept his mouth shut. People would have believed what they were going to believe. But Mr. Clemens went to Washington in 2008, for an extraordinary day of political theater.

Clemens testified under oath that he never had used steroids. Rep. Henry Waxman, the chairman of the congressional committee grilling Clemens, did ...Read more

Cubs fans gush appreciation for World Series title at annual convention

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- The honeymoon remains passionate, especially for the fans who charged through the main ballroom doors of the Sheraton Grand Chicago to honor their heroes Friday night more than two hours before the official start of Cubs Convention.

It was a brief release of congestion for several thousand supporters wanting to express their ...Read more

Cubs hire David Ross as special assistant to baseball operations

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- It comes as little surprise Friday that the Chicago Cubs named recently retired catcher David Ross as a special assistant to baseball operations.

Ross, 39, who recently retired after 15 seasons (including the last two with the Cubs), will now contribute to all elements of the Cubs' baseball operations department, from major league ...Read more

Orioles' Machado, Britton, Tillman, Schoop receive big raises for 2017

Sports / Baseball /

In years past, Friday's annual deadline to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players didn't have a lot of meaning. Most players agreed to terms on their one-year deals by the deadline, but the sides continued to work on cases that weren't resolved, and most times, they avoided arbitration hearings.

But with the Orioles set to ...Read more

Rangers reach agreement with Tyson Ross on one-year deal

Sports / Baseball /

After weeks of very little action toward building their 2017 roster, the Texas Rangers struck Friday afternoon with the signing of free agent right-hander Tyson Ross.

Two sources confirmed that the starting pitcher has agreed to a one-year deal pending a physical that he will take next week. Ross missed all but one start last season, on Opening...Read more

White Sox settle on contracts with Todd Frazier, four others

Sports / Baseball /

The White Sox have agreed to a one-year, $12-million contract to avoid arbitration with third baseman Todd Frazier, the team announced Friday.

Frazier was one of five arbitration-eligible players who came to terms with the Sox this week.

The Sox also agreed to one-year deals with right-handed starter Miguel Gonzalez ($5.9 million), left-handed...Read more

Indians, Trevor Bauer agree to contract for 2017, avoid arbitration

Sports / Baseball /

The Indians and Trevor Bauer have agreed to a one-year deal for the 2017 season, thus avoiding arbitration.

Bauer will be paid $3.55 million this season, as first reported by Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball and FanRag Sports.

Bauer, who turns 26 on Tuesday, opened 2016 in the bullpen but after Cody Anderson struggled and Carlos Carrasco went...Read more

Phillies sign Freddy Galvis to one-year deal, avoid arbitration

Sports / Baseball /

The Phillies avoided arbitration with their longest-tenured player Thursday as they signed Freddy Galvis to a one-year contract.

The contract, as reported by, is worth $4.35 million. It is more than double what Galvis made last season when he hit 20 homers and was one of the National League's best defensive shortstops. Galvis batted ...Read more

Cardinals, first baseman Matt Adams agree to one-year deal

Sports / Baseball /

The Cardinals and first baseman Matt Adams have agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.8 million, the Post-Dispatch confirmed Thursday.

The deal, which was first reported by MLB Network, arrived one day before the deadline that requires unsigned arbitration-eligible players and teams to swap desired salary figures.

Adams, 28, will avoid ...Read more

Politics pushed aside as Cubs chairman awaits visit to White House

Sports / Baseball /

Chairman Tom Ricketts downplayed any suspicions regarding the timing of the Cubs' invitation to the White House on Monday -- four days before President-elect Donald Trump is to take office.

"Once we got invited, it was a scheduling thing for a while," Ricketts said Wednesday, confirming President Barack Obama invited the team shortly after the ...Read more

A's close in on deal to add Santiago Casilla to the bullpen

Sports / Baseball /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The A's have reached an agreement on a two-year deal that would bring longtime Giants reliever Santiago Casilla back into the Oakland bullpen.

Casilla, who rose from setup man in 2010 and 2011 to become the primary closer in San Francisco four of the last five seasons, and the A's are trying to lock down a deal that would ...Read more

Mariners acquire lefty Drew Smyly from Rays for 3 players, including Mallex Smith

Sports / Baseball /

Early in the offseason, the Mariners targeted left-handed starting pitcher Drew Smyly, as a perfect fit for a starting rotation in need of an experienced talent upgrade. But with a farm system limited on prospects, finding the right package of players to send to the Tampa Bay Rays in return made the trade go from difficult to impossible.

"I've ...Read more

Kyle Schwarber wants to catch, but will Cubs let him?

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES -- Confined to a 15-foot circle in the photo studio, Kyle Schwarber repeatedly simulated catching and throwing Monday during a 6 1/2-hour promotional session.

Schwarber laughed after an observer suggested he showed the range of motion and agility he wasn't allowed to display during the World Series.

"Everything is fine," he said. "...Read more

Tigers' Al Avila put aside 'dad' role when signing Alex

Sports / Baseball /

Once again, Al Avila had to take himself out of the equation.

Way back when the Detroit Tigers drafted his son, Alex, in the fifth round of the 2008 MLB draft, Al Avila would leave the room when his front office colleagues discussed the young catcher from Alabama.

But this winter, now as the general manager of the Tigers, Avila could not step ...Read more

Orioles pitcher Chris Lee seeing things differently this year

Sports / Baseball /

Orioles left-hander Chris Lee jokes about it now, but he says when he was a toddler his mother worried about him because he would constantly bump into things. Eventually she found out her son was legally blind in his right eye, a condition that couldn't be corrected by treatment or by surgery.

"I can't even see a big old 'H' on the 1/8eye ...Read more

Cubs to visit White House on Monday

Sports / Baseball /

The Chicago Cubs will continue one of sports' most highly treasured honors for a champion by visiting the White House on Monday.

The Cubs will be honored for their first World Series title since 1908, a source confirmed Tuesday night. The visit holds special significance, since President Obama developed his political roots in Chicago and will ...Read more

The trickle-down effect of signing Edwin Encarnacion on the Indians' roster

Sports / Baseball /

CLEVELAND -- The Indians' signing of Edwin Encarnacion filled the club's biggest need on the roster, gave the lineup a significant upgrade and sent a shock wave through a fan base that had been waiting for that kind of a free-agent haul for quite some time.

The three-year, $60 million deal that includes a club option for a fourth year will send...Read more

Bill Plaschke: Dodgers hero had a ball, sort of

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES -- Charlie Culberson knows there's somebody out there in possession of the most important baseball of his career.

It doesn't have his name on it, but it once had his bat on it, and he knows it's out there. Maybe it's sitting on a fireplace mantle. Maybe buried in a junk drawer. Maybe two oblivious kids are playing catch with it ...Read more