As the division-rival Nationals have strengthened their bid to win a second straight National League East crown, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has read and heard all about how his team's flurry of significant offseason moves signal that 2015 will be a rebuilding year. "Our goal is still to get in the playoffs," Gonzalez said. "That always will be my goal."
A limited number of autograph-session tickets for the Jan. 31 FanFest at Dodger Stadium will be available for sale online Friday at 10 a.m. PT for $20 via dodgers.com/fanfest.
Yasmany Tomas has only been working out for a few days at the D-backs' Spring Training facility, but already the team likes what it has seen from him at third base.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura, right fielder Avisail Garcia and left-handed reliever Dan Jennings visited with young patients and their families at University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, delivering White Sox gifts to get fans at Comer ready for the 2015 season.
Ryan Vogelsong's return to the Giants appears close as the two sides near an agreement, even though the right-hander has been linked to numerous other clubs and San Francisco already has gathered a full contingent of starting pitchers.
With the Mariners sitting less than a month from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training, expectations continue to climb as the club is being mentioned in many quarters as a strong contender in the American League West.
Even if White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had made only a few offseason moves to somewhat improve the 2015 squad, this weekend's SoxFest still would hold plenty of interest.
Mike Minor would have liked to avoid the salary-arbitration hearing that awaits him. But the Braves left-hander is otherwise pleased with what has transpired during his discomfort-free offseason.
The Tigers have had positive feedback putting star players in regular jobs interacting with customers on their annual Winter Caravan. Magglio Ordonez and Jose Valverde worked the drive-thru at a local McDonald's in 2011. Torii Hunter and Phil Coke handled the breakfast crowd at Dunkin' Donuts a couple years ago. This year, Joe Nathan and Nick Castellanos worked tables.
Depending on the source, the Nationals' signing of Max Scherzer makes them either extreme or prohibitive favorites to win the National League East. Yet count new Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer among those unwilling to crown the Nats just yet.
Trade rumors are something Mookie Betts is already able to keep in perspective. After an offseason of speculation, the young Red Sox outfielder is thrilled to still be in the organization.
The White Sox signed 15 players to Minor League contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training on Thursday, while also handing out non-roster invites to nine Minor Leaguers.
Jesus Montero might not have a definite spot in the Mariners' plans at the moment, but the former top hitting prospect still has a place in the organization and an opportunity to compete for a job starting this spring.
The Rockies added five-time All-Star pitcher Doug Jones to their Minor League staff on Thursday, naming the 16-year Major League veteran as pitching coach for Class A Short-Season Boise of the Northwest League.
Though James Shields remains a free agent and Cole Hamels still hasn't been traded by the Phillies, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington isn't expecting to make a marquee pitching acquisition before Spring Training.
As the industry ponders David Price's future and his potential market, he indicated he's open to discussions on a long-term contract with the Tigers, even as he acknowledged the strong lure of being able to pick his destination and see what his market value is.
Major League Baseball whetted the appetite of fans everywhere on Thursday by formally announcing game times for its master 2015 regular-season schedule, which will start at 8 p.m. ET on April 5 with Cardinals-Cubs at Wrigley Field in ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" opener. The regular season will end with 12 divisional matchups on Sunday, Oct. 4.