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Source: Padres, Hosmer agree to 8-year deal

MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After an offseason filled with slow-churning drama, the Padres have landed their top target -- and one of the top targets on the entire market. Free agent Eric Hosmer is headed to San Diego, a source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi Saturday night. Morosi reports that it's an eight-year contract with an opt out after five years.

The club has not confirmed the deal, which was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune. 

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After an offseason filled with slow-churning drama, the Padres have landed their top target -- and one of the top targets on the entire market. Free agent Eric Hosmer is headed to San Diego, a source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi Saturday night. Morosi reports that it's an eight-year contract with an opt out after five years.

The club has not confirmed the deal, which was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune. 

The full terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but it's likely to be the largest free-agent contract ever doled out by the Padres. Hosmer is set to become the franchise's first baseman of the future, with Wil Myers -- who held that tag the past couple years -- headed to the outfield.

Hosmer batted .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers last season for Kansas City. He's a lifetime .284/.342/.439 hitter and played a pivotal role on the 2014-15 Royals teams that captured back-to-back American League pennants and the '15 World Series title. His mad dash home in the ninth inning of Game 5 is the lasting image from that series.

Now, it's the Padres hoping Hosmer can make a few lasting October images of his own in San Diego.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer

Twins land Odorizzi in trade with Rays

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins took a major step toward solidifying their rotation late Saturday night, acquiring right-hander Jake Odorizzi from the Rays for shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios, the club announced.

Minnesota was in the market for starting pitching even after agreeing to terms with right-hander Anibal Sanchez on a one-year, $2.5 million deal on Friday. To make room for Odorizzi, the Twins placed right-hander Michael Pineda on the 60-day disabled list, but they will have to make a move for Sanchez, which could be placing right-hander Trevor May on the 60-day DL.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins took a major step toward solidifying their rotation late Saturday night, acquiring right-hander Jake Odorizzi from the Rays for shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios, the club announced.

Minnesota was in the market for starting pitching even after agreeing to terms with right-hander Anibal Sanchez on a one-year, $2.5 million deal on Friday. To make room for Odorizzi, the Twins placed right-hander Michael Pineda on the 60-day disabled list, but they will have to make a move for Sanchez, which could be placing right-hander Trevor May on the 60-day DL.

The Twins are also not done adding starting pitching, and they could still sign a free agent to add to their rotation, which currently has Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson as locks with Ervin Santana out for the first two to four weeks of the season due to surgery on his right middle finger.

Odorizzi, 27, fills a major need for the Twins and has a career 3.83 ERA in 129 appearances (126 starts) since 2012. He has struck out 643, walked 232 and allowed 101 homers in 705 1/3 innings. The Twins had been linked to Rays right-hander Chris Archer, but opted for Odorizzi, who is under control through '19 and will earn $6.3 million this year after winning his arbitration case against Tampa Bay.

Video: TB@BAL: Odorizzi fans nine in six frames

Odorizzi went 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA and 127 strikeouts, 61 walks and 30 homers allowed in 143 1/3 innings last year, missing time with both a strained left hamstring and a lower back strain. He has solid secondary pitches with his cutter, slider and curveball, but struggled with his fastball last year, as hitters had a .462 slugging percentage against it with 14 homers, per Statcast™.

Odorizzi has never topped 190 innings, but has a 3.71 ERA over the last three seasons with 443 strikeouts in 500 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, slashed .296/.333/.454 with 21 doubles, 10 triples, 13 home runs and 20 steals in 124 games between Class A Cedar Rapids and Class A Advanced Fort Myers last season. The Twins have plenty of shortstop depth in their system with top prospects such as Nick Gordon, Wander Javier and Royce Lewis. Palacios was their 27th-ranked overall prospect, per MLB Pipeline.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Moving from an offensively charged American League East to an AL Central with three retooling clubs, Odorizzi should continue to have standard-league relevancy as long as he manages to lower his 3.8 BB/9 rate and career-worst 1.9 HR/9 rate from last year. The biggest fantasy winner from this trade appears to be Rays No. 1 prospect Brent Honeywell, who should be drafted in shallow leagues given his impressive career Minor League stats (2.88 ERA, 4.9 K/BB ratio) and lofty ceiling for 2018.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Jake Odorizzi

Here's another HR record the Yankees could break

With Judge, Stanton, Sanchez and more, the back-to-back jack mark is in sight
MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

Imaginations across New York -- and the entire baseball landscape -- immediately jumped to the record books when the Yankees introduced Giancarlo Stanton two months ago. The man who had just chased 60 home runs was moving to a smaller ballpark, a bigger market and a lineup that included Aaron Judge.

It remains to be seen whether Stanton's move to Yankee Stadium will boost his homer total; Statcast™ batted ball metrics show there could be no change. But his addition improves a lineup that already paced the Majors in home runs last season, to the level where it could legitimately challenge the single-season record of 264 homers set by the 1997 Mariners.

Imaginations across New York -- and the entire baseball landscape -- immediately jumped to the record books when the Yankees introduced Giancarlo Stanton two months ago. The man who had just chased 60 home runs was moving to a smaller ballpark, a bigger market and a lineup that included Aaron Judge.

It remains to be seen whether Stanton's move to Yankee Stadium will boost his homer total; Statcast™ batted ball metrics show there could be no change. But his addition improves a lineup that already paced the Majors in home runs last season, to the level where it could legitimately challenge the single-season record of 264 homers set by the 1997 Mariners.

But behind the backdrop of that chase is another fun possibility: The 2018 Yankees could rewrite the record books for hitting back-to-back home runs.

The heart of the Bronx Bombers' lineup figures to include, in some order, Judge, Stanton, a potentially resurgent Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius. Those are five players who could all top 20 home runs (if not many more) in 2018, and leadoff man Brett Gardner is also coming off a career-best 21-homer campaign.

Video: Stanton on arriving at camp, working with Judge

New York will boast power up and down first-year manager Aaron Boone's lineup card, and with 81 of the team's games staged in front of Yankee Stadium's short right-field porch, the homer permutations seem endless.

"When an opposing pitcher looks at our lineup and thinks about having to work through it, it's a team that you better make pitches against," Boone said in December. "Otherwise, this is a team that not only can make you pay with a base hit, but it'll make you pay with some damage."

What are the bars the Yankees could be chasing? The Elias Sports Bureau has provided the following list of the highest single-season totals of back-to-back homers hit by one team, dating back to the start of divisional play in 1969 (this is the farthest back one could go with reliable play-by-play data):

Teams that hit the most back-to-back home runs in a single season (since 1969)
1. 19 -- 1996 Mariners
T-2. 18 -- 1977 Red Sox, 2016 Orioles
4. 17 -- 2000 White Sox
T-5. 16 -- 1996 Orioles, 2000 Cardinals, 2001 Rangers, 2001 Rockies

It's not a surprise to see four clubs from the high-octane early 2000s on this list, as well as the Mariners club that directly preceded those 1997 record holders. Last year, the Yankees went back-to-back 12 times (including three consecutive homers against the Blue Jays on June 3) to tie for the Majors' second-highest total, per Elias, and that was without Stanton, the National League Most Valuable Player Award winner.

Video: Chris and Kevin on Stanton, Judge HR predictions

Going back-to-back can be an arbitrary occurrence, of course, but the heart of the Yankees' order figures to be relentless -- starting with Judge potentially in the No. 2 spot. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year Award winner finished third among qualified hitters last year with an average of 4.41 pitches per plate appearance, while also working more full counts than anyone in the game. It's tough enough to get past Judge, but there's added pressure for pitchers now with Stanton (and Bird and Sanchez) waiting on deck.

Video: Yankees look to top home run record in 2018

Nine of the Yankees' 12 back-to-back homers last year came in the cozy confines of Yankee Stadium, and seven of them came against AL East opponents. Judge was involved in half of them, including three times with Sanchez. Now, he'll get a 6-foot-6 bash brother in Stanton, and the sluggers could make some history of their own. Per Elias, here are the pairs that the New York duo will be chasing:

Teammates with most back-to-back home runs, single season (since 1969)
1. 8 -- Andres Galarraga and Larry Walker (1997 Rockies)
2. 7 -- Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds (2001 Giants)
T-3. 6 -- Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira (2009 Yankees), Greg Luzinski and Mike Schmidt (1980 Phillies), Bobby Bonilla and Rafael Palmeiro (1996 Orioles), Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas (2000 White Sox), David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez (2004 Red Sox), Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo (2016 Orioles)

Unlike the Yankees' quest to break the single-season homer record, our back-to-back dream can take a few hits from reality. Judge might regress from his 52-homer rookie season, but even if he hit 40 -- which is his aggregate projection from Steamer and ZiPS -- he could link up enough times with the hitters behind him.

The same goes for Stanton, as any big leaguer would be hard-pressed to knock 59 homers two seasons in a row. The point is, New York's lineup, as currently constructed, looks in many ways deeper and even more dangerous than the one that ranked as baseball's most powerful a season ago. And that's enough to keep opposing pitchers restless as Opening Day approaches.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

New York Yankees

6 reasons Braves are this year's surprise team

MLB.com @castrovince

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Commissioner Rob Manfred was addressing the competitive landscape of baseball here the other day when he made a salient point about the modern game.

"It is harder today," he said, "because of the significance of young players in the game and how quickly they have emerged, to make judgments about how teams are going to play moving forward."

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Commissioner Rob Manfred was addressing the competitive landscape of baseball here the other day when he made a salient point about the modern game.

"It is harder today," he said, "because of the significance of young players in the game and how quickly they have emerged, to make judgments about how teams are going to play moving forward."

This winter's free-agent "market malaise" (as one general manager put it) was an extension of the opportunities teams are increasingly extending to their young talent. And from opportunity has come impact the likes of which the game has never seen from previously inexperienced players.

The blessing and the curse of giving opportunities to unproven players is that there's legitimately no telling what you'll get from them, and this brings us to the topic of the 2018 Atlanta Braves, who might have this season's widest differentiation between potential ceiling and potential floor.

To be clear, the floor is real. The Braves are going to give a ton of opportunity to a ton of unproven players this year, particularly in their rotation, and no one is smart enough to know how that goes.

It's the ceiling, though, that could make Atlanta this year's surprise team in the National League.

The Braves have eight players on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list for 2018, the most of any club. They have the No. 2 overall prospect in the game in outfielder Ronald Acuna, as well as right-handers Kyle Wright (No. 30) and Mike Soroka (No. 31), left-hander Luiz Gohara (No. 49), righty Ian Anderson (No. 51), lefties Kolby Allard (No. 58) and Max Fried (No. 83) and third baseman Austin Riley (No. 97).

Video: Anthopoulos on Braves stacked with top prospects

Seven of those guys (all but Anderson, who spent last season in Class A ball) are in Major League Spring Training camp with the club. Not all of them are going to make a major impact in 2018 (Wright is only in camp via the typical invite given to first-round picks from the previous year), but the bulk of them are no longer the rays of light looming deep in the distance. They are close.

"The 2018 season is really going to tell the tale about our core," general manager Alex Anthopolous said. "The biggest thing for us right now is we need to see who is part of our core going forward. Take a look at the Royals. They gave Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer a lot of rope. They had to keep playing those guys. The flip side is Seattle, which had a lot of young, talented players that didn't develop."

The Braves finished 72-90 last year, and FanGraphs projects them to go 75-87 (third in the National League East) this year. No, the Braves will not be overtaking the Nationals. But the upside that exists in this organization is not to be ignored in the NL Wild Card picture, particularly in a competitive landscape that allowed a team like the Brewers to contend last year (at least) a year ahead of schedule.

Why might the Braves be this year's rousing risers? Let us count the ways.

1. The base

Just a few things to know going in: Braves catchers (Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki) had the highest FanGraphs-calculated WAR of any team at that position last year (5.1). Freddie Freeman's wRC+ of 146 the last five years is second in the NL only to Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt. Ender Inciarte is annually a three-win player because of his center-field glove. Twice in the last four years, starter Julio Teheran has been worth 3.2 WAR (and following that back-and-forth track record, he's "due" for another in 2018).

So there's a legitimate base to work with here.

Video: Peter Gammons goes one on one with Freddie Freeman

2. Acuna in the role of 2008 Evan Longoria

I'm not going to tell you the 2018 Braves will make like the 2008 Rays, who went from 96 losses the previous year to the World Series. But it is worth remembering that the 2008 Rays entered the year with seven guys on Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list, including Longoria at No. 2.

When the Rays promoted Longoria on April 12, 2008, he had just one full Minor League season and only 38 Triple-A games to his name. But he exploded that year with an .874 OPS and 4.8 Wins Above Replacement. He was the young catalyst the Rays needed to pair with Carlos Pena in the middle of the order.

We don't know if the 20-year-old Acuna, who has played only 54 games at Triple-A, is up to a similar task. But we do know he slashed .325/.374/.522 with 21 homers and 44 steals across three Minor League levels last year, then lit up the Arizona Fall League. So an instant impact is hardly inconceivable. If he's Longoria and Freeman is Pena, there's your middle-of-the-order mashing for a team that otherwise is short on power.

Video: Ronald Acuna on his expectations for 2018 season

3. A maturing middle infield

Shortstop Dansby Swanson was a big disappointment last year. The consensus NL Rookie of the Year pick this time a year ago, Swanson instead posted a not-so-nice OPS+ of 69 (or 31 percent worse than league average) and was demoted back to Triple-A briefly in late July.

Hey, you try seeing your hometown team plastering your image on buses, billboards and bobbleheads in your first full season and see how you respond.

But Swanson responded to the brief demotion with a .360 OBP down the stretch. It's not at all uncommon for an elite prospect to have a less-than-linear progression, to be humbled before he hits. Don't rule out a sophomore surge now that Swanson can play a little looser and pressure-free.

As for second baseman Ozzie Albies, we've only seen a 57-game sample from him. But in that small sample, he posted the fifth-highest WAR on the team (1.9). It's exciting to think about what a full season might look like.

Video: Washington discusses the Braves' young infielders

4. The rotation points upward

A year ago, the Braves were relying on key innings from 40-somethings in Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey. Though trade acquisition Brandon McCarthy figures to get meaningful innings, if healthy, this is the year the rotation beyond 27-year-old Teheran and 26-year-old Mike Foltynewicz is turned over to all these burgeoning arms in the system.

Gohara came up late last year and impressed with his presence and the overpowering stuff that resulted in more than 12 strikeouts per nine prior to his promotion. Sean Newcomb, a key acquisition in the Andrelton Simmons trade, should get a longer look this year after showing some flashes (and, yes, quite a few walks) in his 19 starts last year. Fried had an encouraging big league debut (113 ERA+ in nine appearances), then starred in the AFL last fall. And we could see Soroka and/or Allard late in the year.

Again, high ceiling, low floor. That's how it is with young arms. But better to have new tires than to be relying on retreads.

Video: Gohara discusses his comfortability in Majors

5. They can (and should) still add on, now or later

The Braves took on a lot of upfront salary in that megadeal with the Dodgers in exchange for ridding themselves of the 2019 commitment to Matt Kemp. That was a smart move given the Braves' most realistic competitive timetable.

But the Braves still have around $15 million to play with before they hit the general payroll number they've worked with the last couple of years, and they just opened a ballpark that welcomed 2.5 million fans last year.

By this point, it's obvious the Braves are a positional fit for Moustakas and equally obvious that they aren't especially interested in signing him, even at the depressed prices of the current market. But the financial flexibility both now and in the future (the Braves only have $38 million on the books for 2019 and $31 million in 2020 and '21) means this club could still find a fit in this free-agent class or -- and this is the important part -- take on some dollars at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, should they find themselves in the Wild Card mix a la the Brewers last year.

And when it comes to trades, well, there are few organizations in baseball as well-stocked as the Braves to get a deal done. That matters.

6. The division

The Nats are the only club in the NL East projected by FanGraphs and PECOTA to finish with a winning record this year. Division strength can matter greatly in the Wild Card race, because deep divisions can drive down win totals with the way the schedule is weighted. The Braves and Phillies are in similar boats in terms of the wide range of potential outcomes based on youth, and the Mets have a wide range of outcomes based on the health history of their talented rotation.

Best-case scenario for the Braves? Their upside comes to life while padding their win total while the Phillies demonstrate their inexperience, the Mets get hurt and everybody walks all over the Marlins.

Now you tell me if that scenario sounds totally unrealistic. I'm not picking the Braves to win a Wild Card, but I sure as heck ain't ignoring them in today's climate.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcasts and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuna, Max Fried, Luiz Gohara, Sean Newcomb

Ohtani throws BP, adjusts to conditions

Catcher Maldonado says two-way star struggled to control curve due to Arizona weather
MLB.com @mi_guardado

TEMPE, Ariz. -- All eyes were again on Shohei Ohtani on Saturday afternoon, as the Japanese two-way phenom took the mound for his first live batting-practice session, throwing 30 pitches over two simulated innings.

Ohtani faced Minor Leaguers Brennan Morgan, a Class A first baseman, and Hutton Moyer, a Double-A shortstop and the son of former Major League pitcher Jaime Moyer. Ohtani induced five foul balls and one flyout to left field during his workout.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- All eyes were again on Shohei Ohtani on Saturday afternoon, as the Japanese two-way phenom took the mound for his first live batting-practice session, throwing 30 pitches over two simulated innings.

Ohtani faced Minor Leaguers Brennan Morgan, a Class A first baseman, and Hutton Moyer, a Double-A shortstop and the son of former Major League pitcher Jaime Moyer. Ohtani induced five foul balls and one flyout to left field during his workout.

"There were good and bad parts, but I was happy to get through the 30 pitches," Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "There are adjustments that I'll need to make the next time I'm on the mound."

Ohtani struggled to locate his curveball at times, though catcher Martin Maldonado said that was likely because of the dry conditions in Arizona.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"He's going to experience that all of Spring Training because of the weather here," Maldonado said. "You see a lot of guys with really good command of the curveball, and they can't command it here. The same with sinkerballers, because the weather here is so dry. It doesn't break the way it should during the season."

Ohtani did not hit on Saturday, though he is scheduled to bat against live pitching for the first time on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

• Ohtani wows during first bullpen session

Manager Mike Scioscia also said Ohtani will be available off the bench as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner in between his starts on the mound.

Video: Rose and Millar talk about Ohtani's role with Angels

"I've never had a pitcher pinch-run," Scioscia said. "There's more bad than good that can come out of it. But Shohei is not just a pitcher. He's a guy that has the ability to do some of the things coming off the bench, whether it's pinch-hit or pinch-run, and we're definitely going to tap into that if it's necessary, because we feel we're not putting him at risk. It's something he's able to do."

Kinsler happy to be an Angel

Ian Kinsler admits that there were times earlier in his career when he never would have considered joining the Angels.

Kinsler spent the first eight years of his career with the Rangers, establishing himself as a frequent thorn in the Angels' side during their many divisional clashes.

"I think it was just the rivalry in general," Kinsler said. "They didn't like me, I didn't like them."

Video: Outlook: Kinsler may return to 100-run plateau

The Angels were among the teams included on Kinsler's partial no-trade list this offseason, but the veteran second baseman decided to approve a trade to Anaheim to join a contender -- and reunite with his good friend Justin Upton -- instead of enduring another rebuilding year with the Tigers.

• J-Up happy he re-upped with Angels

"To be on the other side right now, it's super exciting," said Kinsler, who reported to camp with Upton on Saturday. "Anytime you're on a team with high expectations, you feel like that's where you want to be as a ballplayer. You work hard in the offseason, you work hard to get yourself in this position and to be on a team that expects a championship. [It's] where you want to be."

Worth noting

Angels position players are scheduled to report on Sunday, with the club's first full-squad workout set for Monday.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani

Gleyber 'full go' in pursuit of Opening Day roster

Yanks' top prospect completely recovered from left elbow surgery
MLB.com @BryanHoch

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gleyber Torres will be a "full go" when Grapefruit League games begin next week, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who plans to utilize the 21-year-old at second base, third base and shortstop while the Yankees evaluate his chances of making the Opening Day roster.

Rated as the Yankees' top prospect and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, Torres will have no restrictions following Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow. He sustained a season-ending injury in June while playing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gleyber Torres will be a "full go" when Grapefruit League games begin next week, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who plans to utilize the 21-year-old at second base, third base and shortstop while the Yankees evaluate his chances of making the Opening Day roster.

Rated as the Yankees' top prospect and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, Torres will have no restrictions following Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow. He sustained a season-ending injury in June while playing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"I feel like a little kid with a new toy," Torres said. "I'm excited to play again and just enjoy it. I don't think about if I'm going to make Opening Day or go to Scranton or go to the Minor Leagues for two weeks. I don't put in too much [thought] right now. I just want to enjoy and play the game."

Torres has been working out regularly at the team's Minor League complex, where he has resumed live batting practice and defensive drills. While conducting a nine-minute group interview in English, Torres said on Saturday that his arm now feels "100 percent," and Boone is looking forward to seeing Torres in game action.

"He's been down here for a while already," Boone said. "He's been doing everything for a while. He's completely over the injury and recovered and strong and in a good place physically."

Video: Yankees duo ready for Spring Training to begin

Though most of his professional experience has come at shortstop, Torres said he has been working on angles and turning double plays at second base, where he played 10 games last season. Torres also said he feels comfortable at third base, where he played 15 games in 2017, even though he said ground balls seem to come much faster at the hot corner.

A more significant adjustment may come on the basepaths. On June 17 at Buffalo, N.Y., while playing in his 23rd game for the RailRiders, Torres dove headfirst into home plate while attempting to score on a single to right field, colliding with catcher Raffy Lopez. Torres said he has been practicing feet-first slides and will try not to slide headfirst anymore.

"I'm going to take care of my arm," Torres said. "I want to feel comfortable."

The Yankees have two vacancies in their infield, with Miguel Andujar, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade also vying for starting roles. Non-roster invitees Danny Espinosa and Jace Peterson could also have legitimate shots of breaking camp with the big league club, but none have been as celebrated in the Yanks' chain as Torres.

A potential stumbling block to seeing Torres in the Opening Day lineup is that the Yankees could delay his free agency until the offseason of 2024-25 if Torres remains in the Minors an extra 16 days. General manager Brian Cashman has said that service time will not be a consideration in evaluating Torres' roster push, and Torres said he is not concerned about the possibility of being sent down.

"The team knows everything," Torres said. "I don't want to put my mentality in that. I just want to help my team. If I get an opportunity to play the first day, of course, I will put in my 100 percent in the game. If not, I'll stay focused, I'll stay humble and we'll see what happens after that."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Follow every game of Andre Dawson Classic

Annual HBCU tournament underway in New Orleans
MLB.com

Six historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), plus the University of Illinois at Chicago and tournament co-host University of New Orleans, are squaring off this weekend in the newly dubbed Andre Dawson Classic.

The eight-team, round-robin tournament is being played at UNO's Maestri Field and the New Orleans Major League Baseball Academy through Sunday. Formerly known as the Urban Invitational, the tournament is in its 11th season.

Six historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), plus the University of Illinois at Chicago and tournament co-host University of New Orleans, are squaring off this weekend in the newly dubbed Andre Dawson Classic.

The eight-team, round-robin tournament is being played at UNO's Maestri Field and the New Orleans Major League Baseball Academy through Sunday. Formerly known as the Urban Invitational, the tournament is in its 11th season.

Fans can follow pitch-by-pitch action of every game on MLB.com's Gameday. 

SCHEDULE

Sunday
1 p.m. ET: Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions vs. Alabama State Hornets, Maestri Stadium. Gameday »
1 p.m. ET: Prairie View A&M Panthers vs. Illinois-Chicago Flames, Wesley Barrow Stadium. Gameday »
4 p.m. ET: Alcorn State Braves vs. Grambling State Tigers, Wesley Barrow Stadium. Gameday »
4 p.m. ET: Southern Jaguars vs. New Orleans Privateers, Maestri Stadium. Gameday »

RESULTS
Friday:
Illinois-Chicago Flames 3, Southern Jaguars 0. Gameday »
Alcorn State Braves 5, Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions 4. Gameday » 
Southern Jaguars 8, Grambling State Tigers 7. Gameday »
New Orleans Privateers 5, Illinois-Chicago Flames 4. Gameday »
Alabama State Hornets 8, Prairie View A&M Panthers 7. Gameday »

Saturday:
Illinois-Chicago Flames 9, Southern Jaguars 5. Gameday »
Alcorn State Braves 8, Prairie View A&M Panthers 4. Gameday »
Alabama State Hornets 6, New Orleans Privateers 3. Gameday »
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions 5, Grambling State Tigers 4. Gameday »

Giants, lefty Watson agree on multiyear deal

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants added a much-needed left-hander to solidify their bullpen by agreeing with free agent Tony Watson on a two-year contract with a player option for a third season.

Multiple sources confirmed the deal Saturday. The length of the contract, which reportedly is valued between $7 million and $9 million guaranteed, enabled the Giants to keep their player payroll under the threshold for the Competitive Balance Tax.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants added a much-needed left-hander to solidify their bullpen by agreeing with free agent Tony Watson on a two-year contract with a player option for a third season.

Multiple sources confirmed the deal Saturday. The length of the contract, which reportedly is valued between $7 million and $9 million guaranteed, enabled the Giants to keep their player payroll under the threshold for the Competitive Balance Tax.

Spring info | Tickets | Schedule

Giants officials refrained from commenting publicly until completion of Watson's mandatory physical exam.

As he silenced himself, however, manager Bruce Bochy said, "We're talking about an outstanding player."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Giants closer Mark Melancon, a teammate of Watson's in Pittsburgh from 2013-16, acknowledged trying to persuade his friend to sign with San Francisco.

"I couldn't be more ecstatic," Melancon said. "The guy is one of the most professional people I've ever been around. I spent three-and-a-half, four years with him. There's not one negative thing that I can ever say about him."

Video: Melancon talks reunion with Watson

The Giants' left-handed bullpen contingent had looked shaky. Steven Okert and Josh Osich have demonstrated talent but remain erratic. Will Smith is in the latter stages of recovery from Tommy John surgery, and he probably won't be ready to perform in the Majors until May. Ty Blach is able-bodied, but he'll likely be needed in the starting rotation.

Watson isn't strictly a left-handed specialist who's summoned primarily to retire left-handed batters, however. For his career, he has limited lefty hitters to a .216 average and .574 OPS, comparable to the .226 average and .661 OPS recorded against him by right-handed batters.

In 14 career appearances at AT&T Park, Watson is 0-1 with two saves. He has allowed 16 hits in 12 1/3 innings but no home runs there.

A National League All-Star in 2014, when he appeared in a league-high 78 games, Watson owns a career record of 33-17 with 30 saves. In 2012, one year after his rookie campaign, he began a six-season streak in which he made at least 67 appearances each year.

"He's very businesslike," Melancon said. "He's here to get the job done. I think that fits this clubhouse and our M.O. here."

Watson, 32, split last season between the Pirates and Dodgers, who acquired him at the non-.waiver Trade Deadline. Watson made 11 postseason relief appearances for the Dodgers, including five in a row in Games 2-6 of the World Series. He yielded two earned runs in seven innings during the entire postseason.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Tony Watson

Machado ponders future in Baltimore, at short

MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

SARASOTA -- Shortly before 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, Manny Machado entered the Orioles' clubhouse at Ed Smith Stadium. All eyes were on him, sporting a new haircut and a huge smile as he went locker to locker, exchanging hugs and pleasantries with teammates new and old.

It has been a whirlwind offseason for Machado, whose named swirled in trade rumors since December's Winter Meetings. The headlines continued at last month's FanFest, when the team -- still listening to potential offers for the All-Star -- announced he would officially move to shortstop, a year away from free agency.

SARASOTA -- Shortly before 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, Manny Machado entered the Orioles' clubhouse at Ed Smith Stadium. All eyes were on him, sporting a new haircut and a huge smile as he went locker to locker, exchanging hugs and pleasantries with teammates new and old.

It has been a whirlwind offseason for Machado, whose named swirled in trade rumors since December's Winter Meetings. The headlines continued at last month's FanFest, when the team -- still listening to potential offers for the All-Star -- announced he would officially move to shortstop, a year away from free agency.

"[Shortstop is] where my heart has always been," Machado said of the move, which will shift Tim Beckham over to third base. "It's my natural position. It's where I think I can [best help the team]. ... I know a lot of the talk has been, 'Oh, is he going to be worth more there? More money.' It's not about the money. It's not about going out there and signing a 20-year deal.

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"This is where my heart has always been, this is what I've wanted to do. This is what I've always wanted to do. This is what I came into this world to do -- to play shortstop at the big league level. Finally, [manager] Buck [Showalter] and the Baltimore organization are giving me the opportunity to go out there and do what I can at that position and show myself. That's been my dream all along. I'm really looking forward to it."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

In his new position, Machado will pair up for a lethal double play combo with close friend, second baseman Jonathan Schoop. The pair aren't totally foreign with that as Machado -- who got 43 starts there in '16 -- has some idea what to expect from filling in for former teammate J.J. Hardy.

"I think the challenges of playing Major League shortstop is up his alley for this year. He needs a new challenge, I think. I think he prospers off of that," Showalter said. "I think he really is engaged, not that he got bored at third base, but I feel good that he had a month or so for us at shortstop to really remind him, and Bobby [Dickerson has been] showing him some of the tape and been talking to him about the total engagement you need to have at shortstop in order to play that position again.

"He was a shortstop we moved to third base because we had one of the best shortstops in the game. Anybody we play at third base is not going to be Manny. Nobody. And I've seen them all. There's some good ones, but he's the best one. Of course, I'm biased. But he has a chance to be that same guy at shortstop. He's capable of making plays that nobody else will be able to make there."

Machado reiterated there was nothing new, as far as he knows, regarding his camp and the Orioles potentially reaching an agreement on a new deal beyond this season. It's been almost a foregone conclusion that Baltimore won't be able to afford the young superstar -- who could command a record deal in free agency, though Machado doesn't want that to be a distraction.

"You know what, it shouldn't be a distraction. I don't work in the front office. I'm not an agent. I play baseball," Machado said. "That's the only thing I know how to do. It's the only thing I really know how to do, to be honest -- just go out there, play baseball and answer the questions I need to answer and go about my business. My job is to go out there and produce -- and if I don't do that, none of the other stuff will come with it."

Video: MLB Tonight: Machado's move to shortstop

There was a time, the 25-year-old admits, when the trade rumors were flying, that the thought of him leaving his teammates crossed his mind.

"At one point, it was kind of a little sad. Thank God, nothing went down -- and I was able to come back and see my guys that I've been with for seven years. It's just going to be a great experience that I went through at that time -- a learning experience this whole offseason -- that I'm putting in the back of my mind going forward [while] getting ready for this year."

To that end, Machado's offseason routine has changed considerably from his days at third base. He said he's added more plyometrics to his routine, less heavy lifting and a lot more resistance and flexibility work. He started making changes after the '16 season while preparing for his stint with Team Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic last spring. Machado -- who ended up playing more third base than shortstop for that team -- still uses that bag, with his spring equipment unloaded from it on Saturday morning.

"This game's about playing 162 games, not just three months or four months out of the year," Machado said. "I did change [my routine] a lot and I'm going to continue doing what I've been doing in the offseason [up] to now."

It's a grind Machado plans on enduring for the foreseeable future. If he does hit the free-agent market as expected, he wants to continue playing shortstop.

"Once I do it this year, it's not something that's just switching off," he said. "I'm making the transition. Hopefully, I want to stay there and continue doing it. This is where my heart has always been. [I'm] finally getting an opportunity to do it for a full season. I'm looking forward to it, and hopefully I can continue playing [short] for a long time."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado

Be a GM with Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball

MLB.com

There truly is no offseason in baseball these days, as MLB general managers have been reshaping their clubs for the 2018 season ever since the Astros recorded the final out of the World Series last November.

And as Opening Day rapidly approaches, it's your turn to build a championship club.

There truly is no offseason in baseball these days, as MLB general managers have been reshaping their clubs for the 2018 season ever since the Astros recorded the final out of the World Series last November.

And as Opening Day rapidly approaches, it's your turn to build a championship club.

Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball, the Official Fantasy Commissioner Game of MLB.com, gives you the chance to manage your own club -- or perhaps even more than one -- and build it into a fantasy powerhouse, all from the comfort of your sofa. Better yet, fantasy owners can now manage their lineups on the go with Yahoo's award-winning Fantasy App, which includes all the same features as the desktop browser.

Join Yahoo Fantasy Baseball today!

Baseball's most celebrated executives like Theo Epstein and Jeff Luhnow don't build winners on their own, of course; it takes a team to build a team. That's why Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball includes a host of features to make your process as easy as possible, from customized player rankings to injury updates.

Fantasy players won't need to let a busy day get in the way of their championship goals, as Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball will now step up to the plate to ensure your active lineup is, well, active. Owners can choose to have active players automatically started with just one tap, either for a specific day or an entire gameweek. That means your team will always be playing at full strength -- even if some of your players are riding the pine.

Video: Arenado, Bryant among top fantasy third basemen

Those ambitious enough to create their own leagues will get an assist: Yahoo is offering commissioners free access to its Fantasy Alarm Draft Book. Designed for both snake drafts and auctions, the Draft Book has an advanced tier structure that ensures you are always getting the best value. Yahoo also handles league dues and distributes winnings at the end of the season, meaning you can get back to building your perfect roster.

We know the 162-game schedule can be grueling for both big league clubs and fantasy owners. For those interested in a more abbreviated experience, Yahoo is here to help. Try Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball's weekly head-to-head scoring setting, which is available in private leagues that you can create or join. After the draft, all you need to do is set your lineup once a week.

The season doesn't end with the draft, of course, and oftentimes a league's winner comes from the most active owners on the trade market. That task is now simpler than ever with Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball's Trade Market tool, which gives players the ability to consistently track transactions made by their counterparts and help them stay ahead of the curve.

Video: Zinkie assesses the top tiers of fantasy outfielders

It's all part of the effort to grab those crucial bragging rights as champion, and Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball has something for everyone. Fantasy rookies can get their feet wet with Yahoo's easy-to-use interface, while seasoned vets will have all the necessary tools at their disposal to dominate. Players can take home an electronic trophy by winning a free game or earn something even bigger by prevailing in one of Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball's pro leagues.

It's all been set up for you. Time to play, and good luck this season.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Rays get Cron from Halos; Odorizzi to Twins

MLB.com @wwchastain

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays completed a busy night of activity by trading Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for Minor League shortstop Jermaine Palacios, Minnesota's No. 27 prospect per MLB Pipeline.

Earlier in the evening, the Rays acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named, and they designated for assignment DH/left fielder Corey Dickerson.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays completed a busy night of activity by trading Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for Minor League shortstop Jermaine Palacios, Minnesota's No. 27 prospect per MLB Pipeline.

Earlier in the evening, the Rays acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named, and they designated for assignment DH/left fielder Corey Dickerson.

Odorizzi defeated the Rays in arbitration this week, the second year in a row the right-hander has done so, earning a $6.35 million contract for 2018. He went 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 28 starts last season. He has a career 3.83 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings in six seasons with Kansas City and Tampa Bay.

"There comes a point in time where you have to make some decisions and move some things forward," Rays GM Erik Neander said. "That's just on a general level. We felt this was the best time to [trade Odorizzi], and we felt like this was the best offer."

Without Odorizzi in the rotation, Chris Archer, Blake Snell, Jake Faria, Matt Andriese and Nathan Eovaldi rank as the top five starters, with a host of prospects led by Brent Honeywell pushing from below.

The Twins signed Palacios, 21, out of Venezuela in 2013. He hit .296 with 13 home runs and 67 RBIs in two Minor League stops last season.

Neander stressed that the Rays value Palacios more than many of the prospect rankings by different publications.

"This is somebody that, by our own work and by our own information, what we see here is a lean, wiry Venezuelan shortstop who has had plenty of offensive success," Neander said. "Carries the position defensively well. Very good arm. Very good hands.

"... He's someone we think has some offensive upside. He can play shortstop, and play it well. All reports on the makeup are very positive. This is someone we think can grow into more physical strength ... might have another gear up from here. You look at what he's accomplished to date on the field, combined with the tool set, along with the makeup, we think that this is a really exciting player to add to our system."

Dickerson is set to make $5.95 million in 2018, and Rays owner Stu Sternberg has mandated a payroll reduction for 2018. Cron will make $2.3 million in 2018.

Neander explained the motivation behind the Cron trade and why they opted to DFA Dickerson.

"A few things were factors in varying degrees," Neander said. "One, we're a bit heavy with left-handed-hitting outfielders right now, and we've been exploring the market, having conversations and trying to figure out what made the most sense for our team.

"One of the things that we have been on the lookout for was a right-handed hitter. When Cron became available at the price he was available for us, we felt like he was a better fit for our club moving forward, to balance us out. Going forward, we're hoping [to have] similar offensive capabilities [from Cron], but from the other side of the plate."

Video: CLE@LAA: Cron smashes a solo jack to left field

Neander sounded like the Rays don't have a deal in place to trade Dickerson, but they felt as though the DFA move might trigger the conclusion of some trade talks they've had with other teams. The Rays have 10 days to trade, release or pass Dickerson through waivers.

"We'll see how it goes," Neander said. "There's a lot of things that we have to balance. And putting our roster together, and where we are, this is something that on some level, conceptually, was a Cron-Dickerson swap. Just with the conversations ongoing with Dickerson, this was the best way to go."

The Rays began Spring Training without a clear favorite to play first base. Brad Miller appeared to be the most likely candidate with highly touted prospect Jake Bauers also a consideration. Miller and Bauers both hit left-handed, while Cron hits right-handed, which might lead to a platoon situation, or Cron could lock down everyday duty.

Cron, 28, appeared in 100 games for the Angels in 2017, all at first base, batting .248 with 16 home runs and 56 RBIs.

Despite a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a left foot contusion and two stints in the Minor Leagues, his 16 home runs tied a career high and his 56 RBIs were the second-most of his career.

In 63 games after the All-Star break, Cron hit .267 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs, which tied for second on the Angels behind Albert Pujols (47).

Dickerson, 28, was elected by the fans as the starting DH for the American League at the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami, his first career All-Star appearance.

In 2017, Dickerson established career highs with 150 games, 84 runs, 166 hits, 64 extra-base hits, 27 home runs, 288 total bases and 51 multi-hit games.

Prior to the All-Star break, Dickerson hit .312 with 17 home runs and 42 RBIs in 85 games, compared to .241 with 10 home runs and 20 RBIs in the second half.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)

A career .262 hitter with the potential to compile 25 long balls and 80 RBIs, Cron could dent standard-league rosters while hitting in the heart of the Rays' lineup on a full-time basis. Dickerson, meanwhile, should not fall off fantasy radars even after being DFA'd given his lifetime .280 average and 27-homer performance from last year.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, C.J. Cron, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi

Santana pushing cars and now Franco

First baseman hoping young slugger can emulate patient hitting approach
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A couple weeks after Carlos Santana signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Phillies in late December, he posted a video of himself pushing a white Mercedes-Benz in the Dominican Republic.

He pushed the car eight times, 120 yards each time.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A couple weeks after Carlos Santana signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Phillies in late December, he posted a video of himself pushing a white Mercedes-Benz in the Dominican Republic.

He pushed the car eight times, 120 yards each time.

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"My personal trainer came up with that," Santana said through an interpreter Saturday afternoon at Spectrum Field. "He thought about it because he thought it would be a good workout for my legs, for my arms. It's a complete workout. You use every single muscle in your body. Those cars are so heavy you really need to push through."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Next, Santana is ready to push Maikel Franco.

It is well documented how Franco and Santana have been joined at the hip since Santana signed with the Phillies. In fact, Santana told the Phillies that he wanted his locker next to Franco's in Spring Training. They could have the same setup at Citizens Bank Park.

"He's shown me that he wants to help me," Franco said.

It also is well documented that this is a big season for Franco, who posted a .690 OPS in 623 plate appearances last season. Franco ranked last out of 18 qualified third basemen in OPS and on-base percentage (.278). He ranked 17th in slugging percentage (.404).

If he improves he could still have a future with the Phillies. If his numbers remain where they are they almost certainly will move on.

Video: Outlook: Franco has power but needs more patience

The hope is Santana, whose patience at the plate is a strength, can teach the Franco, who can be an impatient hacker.

"I'm a young guy and I have to learn about hitting," Franco said. "I'm just trying to get a lot of information from him. I'm trying to get close to him. Carlos selects a lot of good pitches. He's got a good idea [at the plate]. I'm trying to find out everything that I can do. I know he's going to help me a lot."

Phils, Abad agree to Minor League deal

Santana is on board.

"We're going to work together every single day," he said. "We're going to make sure he executes the plan he wants to follow. I know he's a guy that's very talented and he's capable of a lot. So I'm going to be there. I'm committed to helping him. I'm going to be in the cage, hitting as many balls as possible. He already told me today that he wants to follow me everywhere he goes. If I have to go to the cage he's going to go with me to hit some balls. He's committed and I'm committed, too."

Tweet from @Phillies: Ladies and gentlemen, may we present to you...@TheRealSlamtana! pic.twitter.com/2u9Z04X1f8

It is a good thing Santana committed to the Phillies when he did. Numerous big-name free agents remain available, including Jake Arrieta and Eric Hosmer. Believe it or not, Santana's $60 million deal is the fourth-largest contract this offseason.

Only Yu Darvish ($126 million), Justin Upton ($106 million) and Lorenzo Cain ($80 million) received bigger deals.

"It definitely worked out for me," he said. "I know baseball is going through a difficult time right now, with all of the free agents. But it worked out for me. I am happy. I can only speak for myself, and I am happy I did it the way I did it."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Maikel Franco, Carlos Santana

Sources: Rangers' deal with Oh called off

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A potential deal between the Rangers and reliever Seung Hwan Oh has fallen through, sources said Saturday.

The Rangers were reportedly in an agreement with Oh on a contract just before coming to Spring Training. But the deal was pending a physical and never was completed. Sources said the Rangers have ended the negotiations and aren't expected to sign Oh.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A potential deal between the Rangers and reliever Seung Hwan Oh has fallen through, sources said Saturday.

The Rangers were reportedly in an agreement with Oh on a contract just before coming to Spring Training. But the deal was pending a physical and never was completed. Sources said the Rangers have ended the negotiations and aren't expected to sign Oh.

Rangers officials declined to comment but they are still in the market for pitching help. They are still without an identified closer, although Alex Claudio finished last season in that role for the Rangers, as did Mike Minor for the Royals. Matt Bush, Jake Diekman, Keone Kela and non-roster invite Kevin Jepsen are all candidates to varying degrees. Tony Barnette and Chris Martin were both closers in Japan.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Seung Hwan Oh