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Sources: Red Sox have 5-year deal with J.D.

Slugger coming off career-best 45 HRs, 104 RBIs in 2017
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The prolonged courtship of slugger J.D. Martinez has paid off for the Red Sox, as MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported via sources that the sides have reached agreement on a five-year, $110 million contract that includes opt-outs after the second and third years of the deal.

The club hasn't announced the signing, which is pending a physical. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman was first to report the Red Sox and Martinez were close to a deal.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The prolonged courtship of slugger J.D. Martinez has paid off for the Red Sox, as MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported via sources that the sides have reached agreement on a five-year, $110 million contract that includes opt-outs after the second and third years of the deal.

The club hasn't announced the signing, which is pending a physical. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman was first to report the Red Sox and Martinez were close to a deal.

Hot Stove Tracker

Martinez gives the Red Sox the big bat they need to supplement a lineup that finished last in the American League with 168 homers last season. Even with the lack of power, Boston still won the AL East with 93 wins for the second straight season.

It took a while, but the Red Sox have now countered the blockbuster move the Yankees made earlier this winter when they acquired Giancarlo Stanton.

An outfielder, Martinez is likely to get a lot of his playing time for the Red Sox at designated hitter. The club has a strong starting outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts.

Hanley Ramirez, who had been slotted in as Boston's starting designated hitter, will now share time at first base with Mitch Moreland. Ramirez can also DH when Martinez plays the outfield.

Boston's lineup on March 29 for Opening Day at Tropicana Field could look something like this:

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Rafael Devers, 3B
6. Hanley Ramirez, 1B
7. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
8. Eduardo Nunez, 2B
9. Christian Vazquez, C
Chris Sale, SP

As far as the Red Sox were concerned, positional alignments were a non-factor in their pursuit of Martinez. They were focused on getting his bat.

Video: MLB Tonight: Where Martinez fits in Red Sox lineup

It's easy to see why. The 30-year-old Martinez had the best season of his career in 2017, mashing 45 homers in just 432 at-bats and leading the Major Leagues with a .690 slugging percentage.

Martinez did much of his damage down the stretch last season after getting traded from the Tigers to the D-backs. Arizona was the other main suitor for Martinez.

Fenway fans will now be treated to Martinez taking aim at the inviting Green Monster with his big, right-handed swing. However, this isn't to say Martinez is a pull hitter. He has an all-field approach with plenty of power to center and right-center.

The Red Sox established Martinez as their primary target for this offseason back in November.

After offering Martinez a five-year deal worth more than $100 million a few weeks back, the sides remained at a stalemate until talks finally surged forward with momentum on Monday.

Video: Must C Classic: Martinez hits four homers, plates six

Baseball's slower-than-normal offseason has started to pick up in recent days, most notably when first baseman Eric Hosmer agreed to terms with the Padres on an eight-year deal on Saturday.

Rather than moving ahead to alternatives when negotiations were stalled with Martinez, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stayed focused on his top target.

It was Dombrowski who took a flyer on Martinez with the Tigers on March 24, 2014, just two days after the outfielder had been released by the Astros.

Martinez swiftly emerged into a threat for Detroit and he was the best slugger on the free-agent market this winter.

The Red Sox will have a lineup led by Martinez, Betts, Benintendi and slugging 21-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers. The club also expects talented shortstop Bogaerts to regain his form after an injury-plagued second half last season. Bradley and Ramirez are two other players who battled through injuries in 2017, and an uptick is certainly possible this season.

Combine that with a pitching staff that includes an elite ace in Chris Sale, a top closer in Craig Kimbrel and a five-time All-Star lefty coming back from an injury in David Price, and the Red Sox feel good about their chances to make a deep run in October after losing in the AL Division Series the last two years.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)

While replicating his astonishing 2017 pace (45 homers, 104 RBIs in 119 games) will be a tall task, Martinez can be counted on to make another run at 40-plus homers and rank among the AL leaders in RBIs as part of a talented Red Sox lineup. The slugger warrants consideration during Round 2 of 2018 drafts, within the vicinity of star sluggers such as Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa and Joey Votto. While manager Alex Cora's immediate plans for Martinez are unclear at this time, this signing could reduce the playing time available for Moreland, Ramirez and Bradley. As a result, all three can now go undrafted in shallow leagues.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, J.D. Martinez

Judge, Stanton add ding, zing to first spring BP

Fans pack Steinbrenner Field as Yankees sluggers put on inaugural show
MLB.com @BryanHoch

TAMPA, Fla. -- Sixty players passed through the runway that leads from the home clubhouse to the dugout at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Monday morning, but all eyes seemed to be locked upon Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

Hacking at batting-practice fastballs for the first time as teammates, the headliners of last summer's Home Run Derby generated much the same sizzle as they did that memorable night in Miami, with each of their swings prompting audible reactions from an estimated crowd of about 2,000.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Sixty players passed through the runway that leads from the home clubhouse to the dugout at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Monday morning, but all eyes seemed to be locked upon Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

Hacking at batting-practice fastballs for the first time as teammates, the headliners of last summer's Home Run Derby generated much the same sizzle as they did that memorable night in Miami, with each of their swings prompting audible reactions from an estimated crowd of about 2,000.

• Judge-Stanton BP debut goes as expected

"The fans, the moment we touched the dirt, they were buzzing and ready for us to get in the cage," Stanton said. "That was really cool. Like nothing I've ever experienced in the spring."

Video: Stanton talks about the fans at batting practice

With the Major League home run leaders from last season batting in a group that also included Gary Sanchez and Jacoby Ellsbury, Stanton won the first pinstriped mini-Home Run Derby of 2018 during Monday's full-squad workout, cracking four blasts to Judge's two.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

More importantly, the showcase provided a sneak preview of the rock-star atmosphere that promises to follow the Yankees during the 2018 season, with Judge and Stanton shining as the team's brightest lights. The Yankees recently opted to open gates three hours early for Spring Training home games so fans won't miss a swing.

"I think they understand the buzz," manager Aaron Boone said. "They understand it's always going to be something that's talked about, certainly at home, but even when we go on the road. Frankly, I think that's a good thing, because it helps promote our sport."

Video: Boone reacts to Judge, Stanton taking first BP

While many of their 30 swings weren't in midseason form, Judge and Stanton each connected for notable drives. Judge cleared a grandstand during his final round, while Stanton clipped the "F" in George M. Steinbrenner Field atop the scoreboard. Judge was impressed by Stanton's drives into the wind, saying, "You can just hear it. It comes off his bat different."

Video: MLB Tonight: Judge on fan excitement in early camp

"From what I've seen so far, he's a guy that's going to go out there and do his job, get the work done," Judge said. "That's what I saw in his cages. He's preparing the right way, I saw him in the weight room going through his normal routine. He's just here to work."

• Yankees' Spring Training information

With the focus on Judge and Stanton, Sanchez's strokes were reduced to a footnote. The slugging backstop crushed several impressive drives, including one that struck a concrete pillar beyond the wall in left-center field.

Tweet from @Yankees: *Kraken bat crack* pic.twitter.com/BeCwJpWQLZ

"Gary rakes. That's what I think," Boone said. "He's special. He gets in that box, and yeah, I do think he gets overlooked. I can't wait to see what he's going to do again this year."

It was the first on-field hitting session of the year for Judge, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in November. Judge said that "nothing is holding me back," and that he never swings at max effort during batting practice.

Video: Outlook: Judge looks to follow up stellar rookie year

"My job is to barrel up the baseball as many times as I can," Judge said. "I've got to stick to my routine. It doesn't matter if there's zero people in the stands or if it's packed. I've just got to work on certain things so I can go in the game and perform."

Stanton said that the fans did not affect his workout in any way, though he joked that he was "playing pepper with the cage a little bit." Stanton said that he typically tries to hit the ball to right field, focusing on back spin and staying inside the ball rather than trying to drop jaws in the crowd.

Video: MLB Tonight: Stanton reacts to fan turnout for BP

"I know they're here for the entertainment, but we've got to get our work in, too," Stanton said. "That's my usual approach in BP. That's what got me to this point. It's not going to change."

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

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton

MLB announces pace of play initiatives for '18

MLB.com @_dadler

Major League Baseball will implement new pace of play rules for the 2018 season, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday, but there will be no pitch clock this season.

After consulting with the MLB Players Association and all 30 clubs, MLB announced its slate of rules changes, among them a limit on mound visits per game.

Major League Baseball will implement new pace of play rules for the 2018 season, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday, but there will be no pitch clock this season.

After consulting with the MLB Players Association and all 30 clubs, MLB announced its slate of rules changes, among them a limit on mound visits per game.

A pitch clock -- giving the pitcher a certain amount of time to deliver the ball -- had been one of the major proposals considered. MLB decided to defer implementation of a pitch clock, as well as a between-batter timer, in order to give players an opportunity to respond to the new rules and positively affect pace of play throughout the 2018 season.

"I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the Players Association to take concrete steps to address pace of play with the cooperation of players," Manfred said in a statement. "My strong preference is to continue to have ongoing dialogue with players on this topic to find mutually acceptable solutions."

New phone lines connecting the video review rooms and the dugout will be installed and monitored, limiting the ability of teams to steal signs, which is viewed as a contributing factor to the increasing number of mound visits. Rules governing when players can and cannot leave the batter's box between pitches, instituted during the 2017 season, remain in effect.

"Players were involved in the pace of game discussion from Day 1, and are committed to playing a crisp and exciting brand of baseball for the fans, but they remain concerned about rule changes that could alter the outcome of games and the fabric of the game itself -- now or in the future," said Tony Clark, the MLBPA executive director.

Here is a breakdown of the new rules:

• Mound visits: Mound visits will be limited to six per team per nine innings. Teams will receive an additional visit for every extra inning played. Any manager, coach or player visit to the mound will count as a mound visit. Visits to the mound to clean cleats in rainy weather, to check on an injury or potential injury or after the announcement of an offensive substitution are excepted. Also, normal communication between player and pitcher that do not require either to vacate their position on the field do not count as a visit. If a team is out of visits, the umpire will have discretion to grant a visit at the catcher's request if he believes there has been a cross-up between the pitcher and catcher.

Video: Hot Stove on mound visits regarding pace of play

• Between-inning breaks: As has been the case since the start of the 2016 season, a timer will count down between innings from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised games, from 2:25 in nationally televised games and from 2:55 for tiebreaker and postseason games. The difference now is that at the 25-second mark, the umpire will signal for the final warmup pitch and the pitcher must throw it before the clock hits 20. The batter will be announced at the 20-second mark and the pitcher must begin his windup to throw the first pitch of the inning as the clock hits zero. Another important change is that a pitcher is no longer guaranteed eight warmup pitches between innings. However, he can take as many as he wants within the countdown parameters noted above. The timer will start on the last out of the inning, unless the pitcher is on base, on deck or at bat, in which case the timer shall begin when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If the final out of the inning is subject to replay, the timer begins when the umpire signals the out.

• Timing of pitcher changes: The timing clock -- as listed above -- also applies to pitching changes, and it will begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track.

Video: Hot Stove on batter's box rule, replay review changes

• Instant replay: All club video review rooms will now receive direct slow-motion camera angles in order to speed up challenges and the resulting review. New phone lines will connect the rooms to the dugout and will be monitored to prevent their use for sign stealing.

Summary of 2018 Rule Changes

I) Mound Visits 
1. Number
A. 2018 Championship Season. Mound visits without a pitching change shall be limited to six (6) per team, per nine innings. For any extra-innings played, each Club shall be entitled to one additional non-pitching change mound visit per inning.  
B. OBR 5.10(l). Official Baseball Rule 5.10(l), which governs mound visits by a manager or coach, remains in effect (i.e., a pitcher must be removed on the second visit by a manager/coach in an inning). 

2. Definition of Mound Visit. A manager or coach trip to the mound to meet with the pitcher shall constitute a visit. A player leaving his position to confer with the pitcher, including a pitcher leaving the mound to confer with another player, shall also constitute a mound visit, regardless of where the visit occurs or the length of the visit, except that the following shall not constitute mound visits:
A. Discussions between pitchers and position player(s) that (i) occur between batters in the normal course of play and do not require either the position player(s) or the pitcher to relocate;
B. Visits by position players to the mound to clean spikes in rainy conditions;
C. Visits to the mound due to an injury or potential injury of the pitcher; and
D. Visits to the mound after the announcement of an offensive substitution.

3. Cross-Up in Signs. In the event a team has exhausted its allotment of mound visits in a game (or extra inning) and the home plate umpire determines that the catcher and pitcher did not have a shared understanding of the location or type of pitch that had been signaled by the catcher (otherwise referred to as a "cross-up"), the home plate umpire may, upon request of the catcher, allow the catcher to make a brief mound visit. Any mound visit resulting from a cross-up prior to a team exhausting its allotted number of visits shall count against a team's total number of allotted mound visits.

II) Inning Breaks and Pitching Changes
1. Time of Break. The timer will count down from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised championship season games, from 2:25 for breaks in nationally televised championship season games, and from 2:55 for tie-breaker and postseason games as follows: 

Time Remaining | Required Action
25 seconds: 
Umpire signals pitcher to complete last warmup pitch.
20 seconds: Batter's announced and must leave on-deck circle, batter walk-up music shall begin, and pitcher shall complete last warmup pitch.
0 seconds: Pitcher must begin motion to deliver first pitch.

A. The pitcher may take as many warm-up pitches as he desires, but regardless of how many warm-up pitches he has thrown, he must deliver his final warm-up pitch at least 20 seconds prior to the end of an inning break or pitching change. OBR 5:07 will be revised to reflect that pitcher is not guaranteed eight warm-up pitches. 
B. The umpire shall signal for the last warm-up pitch at 25 seconds, unless a special circumstance (as described below) applies. 
C. The batter must leave the on-deck circle and proceed directly to the batter's box when the pitcher throws his final warm-up pitch.  
D. The pitcher must begin his motion for the first pitch as soon as the batter steps into the box and is alert to the pitcher; provided, however, the pitcher cannot begin his motion for the first pitch more than five seconds prior to the end of an inning break or pitching change so that television is ensured to be back from commercial break. 

2. Special Circumstances. A Player will be excused from following the time limits set forth above if the umpire determines that any of the following special circumstances are present:  
A. There is a delay in normal warm-up activities during the inning break due to no fault of the Players (e.g., injury or other medical emergency, equipment issues, playing field or grounds crew issues);
B. The umpire believes the pitcher is at a legitimate risk of injury if he does not receive additional time to throw warm-up pitches; 
C. The umpire believes the batter is at a legitimate risk of injury if he does not receive additional time to enter the batter's box; 
D. Any other special circumstances which, in the umpire's judgment, warrant allowing the pitcher to throw after the deadline. 

3. Start of Timer for Inning Breaks
A. Last Out of Inning. The timer shall start on the last out of an inning for an inning break.   
B. Close Plays/Replay Review. The Field Timing Coordinator shall delay the start of the timer if the final out of the inning is a close play that may be reviewed by instant replay. If the final out of the inning is determined in instant replay, the timer shall start as soon as the out is signaled by the umpire.  
C. Pitcher or Catcher On Base/On Deck. If a pitcher ends an inning on base, on deck, or at bat, the timer shall reset when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If a catcher ends the inning on base, on deck, or at bat, the timer will reset when the catcher enters the dugout (and another catcher must begin warming up the pitcher). 
 
4. Start of Timer for Pitching Changes
A. Pitcher Crosses Warning Track. The pitching change timer shall begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens) to enter the game. In the case of a pitching change that occurs during an inning break, the timer shall reset if previously started as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens).  
B. Relief Pitchers Must Promptly Leave Bullpen. Relief pitchers shall leave the bullpen promptly following an appropriate signal by their manager or coach. During the playing of God Bless America, or any other extended inning event previously approved by the Office of the Commissioner, the timer will begin at the conclusion of the song or event. 
 
5. Enforcement. Umpires shall direct players and enforce the inning break and pitching change time limits on the field. Players who consistently or flagrantly violate the time limits will be subject to progressive discipline for just cause by the Office of the Commissioner pursuant to Article XI(C) of the Basic Agreement.

III. Batter's Box Rule
The batter's box rule that was in effect during the 2017 season will remain in effect during the 2018 season.

IV. Video Replay Review
The following adjustments will be made to the video replay technology:
A. Install capability for all Club video review rooms to receive direct slow motion camera angles for the 2018 championship season; 
B. Install new phone lines connecting the video review rooms and the dugout, and monitor the communications over those lines to prevent their use for sign-stealing.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Trout drops everything to watch Ohtani hit

Mike Trout reported to Spring Training leaving a very successful offseason behind him. His favorite team won the Super Bowl, he improved his meteorology knowledge, he exchanged vows with his bride, Jessica, and he got the news his team would acquire two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani. And now that he has arrived in Arizona, he finally witnessed Ohtani at work.

Felix, Yadi lead select group in it for long haul

With Hosmer leaving KC, here's a look at players who have stuck with one club
MLB.com @williamfleitch

Over the weekend, Eric Hosmer agreed to a big honking eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres, a team eager to show it's ready to contend in the near future, for better or for worse. Hosmer is many things, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, a one-time All-Star, a World Series champion, but more than anything else, he has been a Royal.

Hosmer, along with Salvador Perez, is the physical avatar of one of the two most successful eras in Royals history. He started out as the superstar prospect who pointed to a better future, then became the slightly disappointing young player once he reached the Majors, to the leader of a team that won a World Series, to a legitimate top-shelf down-ballot MVP Award candidate, to ultimately the most Royal thing of all: A free agent who left town.

Over the weekend, Eric Hosmer agreed to a big honking eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres, a team eager to show it's ready to contend in the near future, for better or for worse. Hosmer is many things, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, a one-time All-Star, a World Series champion, but more than anything else, he has been a Royal.

Hosmer, along with Salvador Perez, is the physical avatar of one of the two most successful eras in Royals history. He started out as the superstar prospect who pointed to a better future, then became the slightly disappointing young player once he reached the Majors, to the leader of a team that won a World Series, to a legitimate top-shelf down-ballot MVP Award candidate, to ultimately the most Royal thing of all: A free agent who left town.

Hosmer played seven years in Kansas City, and he is among the all-time franchise leaders in several categories, from homers (eighth) to RBIs (eighth) to hits (ninth) to games played (11th). (It is worth noting that he's not in the top 25 in all-time Royals bWAR, even though current and recent Royals like Alex Gordon, eighth, Lorenzo Cain, 13th, and Perez, 21st, all are).

Video: Butera, Duffy and Herrera react to Hosmer departure

Had Hosmer re-signed with the Royals, like many suspected he would, he likely would have moved into the top five, and maybe even the top two (he wasn't catching George Brett in anything) in almost every Royals career category. He would have been Mr. Royal, the representation of this era of Royals baseball in a way similar to the way Brett was in the '80s.

But he didn't, because players of course rarely do anymore. It has become an article of faith that the days of Stan Musial and Carl Yastrzemski and Cal Ripken, Hall of Famers staying with the same franchises their entire careers, are long in the past, though it is worth noting that Chipper Jones, Alan Trammell, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Larkin, Jim Rice, Tony Gwynn and Ripken have all been inducted in the last decade. (And Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter are coming in the next few years.) But certainly finding guys who stay with one team their whole career are few and far between. You'd be surprised how few players have even made it deep into their second contract with one team.

So, today, we look at the longest-tenured active careers with one team, for both pitchers and hitters. It can be a little tricky for pitchers, because, due to injuries, sometimes pitchers can play for one franchise for a decade without actually, you know, pitching all that much. So we'll look at the top 10 in career innings pitched for one team for pitchers (which eliminated some relievers, but not all), and total games played for hitters. Hosmer had a chance to top the latter list someday. But that opportunity ended this weekend. He'll have to buy his own beers in Kansas City from now on. (Thanks to Baseball Reference's Play Index for the research help.)

PITCHERS

10. Dallas Keuchel, Astros, 984 2/3 IP (debuted in 2012)
Keuchel had a 5.21 ERA in his first two seasons over 38 starts before turning it on in 2014 and then winning the Cy Young in '15. It feels like Keuchel just got here, another reason it's so amazing to see him in the top 10 already. (No. 11 on this list is Chris Archer, by the way.)

Video: Keuchel discusses pitching again in Spring Training

9. Julio Teheran, Braves, 1,009 2/3 IP (debuted in 2011)
Teheran first appeared in Atlanta when he was 20, which is why it feels like he's been around forever even though he only turned 27 a couple of weeks ago. For what it's worth, Greg Maddux didn't even get to Atlanta until he was 27.

8. Corey Kluber, Indians, 1,091 IP (debuted in 2011)
Kluber has now thrown more than 203 innings a season for four consecutive seasons, and that's not even counting the postseason. He didn't make his first start for Cleveland until he was Teheran's age. The Indians have him under contract through 2021, when he will be 34.

7. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals, 1,099 2/3 IP (debuted in 2010)
It's a little disconcerting seeing Strasburg on this list, isn't it? It seems like just yesterday that he was the phenom who was going to change the sport. Also: So much of his career has been about reducing his innings. But here he is. The Nationals will be paying him through 2030, by the way.

Video: Strasburg is the No. 5 starting pitcher right now

6. Chris Tillman, Orioles, 1,118 1/3 IP (debuted in 2009)
A free agent this offseason, news broke Monday that Tillman is returning to the O's on a one-year deal, according to multiple sources. Considering he had a 7.84 ERA last season, perhaps he should consider himself fortunate to be pitching in 2018 at all.

5. Homer Bailey, Reds, 1,124 IP (debuted in 2007)
There is a special slot on this list for Bailey, who is here because of the rarely used "they can't get rid of his contract so let's call it 'longevity'" principle. The Reds are hoping Bailey can "lead' their rotation, which might be asking a lot of a guy who hasn't had an ERA under 5.56 since 2014. They owe him $49 million over the next two seasons (counting a $5 million buyout after 2019), so, suffice it to say, Reds fans will still be seeing plenty of the Christian Bale doppleganger for a while.

4. Madison Bumgarner, Giants, 1,508 2/3 IP (debuted in 2009)
Now we're getting somewhere. The final four pitchers on this list are all staples, the faces of their franchises for a decade now. Bumgarner finally had the injury season in 2017 many had feared, but because of a bike crash rather than wear and tear. He is somehow still only 28.

Video: Bumgarner discusses his excitement for 2018 season

3. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals, 1,891 2/3 IP (debuted in 2005)
Wainwright has had the two worst seasons of his career the past two years, and there has been enough worry about him that he felt compelled to have a news conference last week saying he'd no longer be taking retirement questions. The Cardinals still want him to hold a spot in the rotation or, failing that, at least the chance to bow out gracefully. He'll remain beloved no matter what happens: Clinching a World Series your rookie season as a closer and then becoming an ace over the next few years will do that.

2. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, 1,935 IP (debuted in 2008)
He's about 400 innings behind Sandy Koufax, and he's now almost the same age Koufax was when he retired. (He'll turn 30 a month from today.) Whether he passes Koufax depends entirely on whether or not he re-signs with the Dodgers at the end of the year. He may have a few outside suitors.

1. Felix Hernandez, Mariners, 2,502 1/3 IP (debuted in 2005)
It was the worst year of King Felix's career, though his strikeouts crept up a tick, maybe a positive sign moving forward? The Mariners are not asking too much from him anymore; they'd just like him to have a smile on his face again.(Pssst: A playoff appearance might help that.)

HITTERS

10. Brett Gardner, Yankees, 1,218 games (debuted in 2008)
Usually you have to be a Hall of Famer for a Yankee to make this list, but Gardner has proven just handy enough to stick around for a decade now. It probably ends this season: He's a free agent after the World Series. (No. 11 on the list is Freddie Freeman, by the way.)

Video: Outlook: Gardner is productive but may not match 2017

9. Elvis Andrus, Rangers, 1,379 games (debuted in 2009)
How have we gotten so impossibly old that baby-faced Andrus is a grizzled veteran now? We're going to blink and Rougned Odor is going to be 53.

8. Alex Gordon, Royals, 1,412 games (debuted in 2007)
Gordon holds the Bailey spot on this list, a guy who's going to remain here not because of his play, but because of his dreadful contract. It's possible the Royals had Gordon in mind when deciding not to give Hosmer that eighth year.

7. Joey Votto, Reds, 1,430 games (debuted in 2007)
Votto maybe had his best season in 2017 and would have been this scribe's choice for National League MVP. If the Reds haven't traded Votto already, they certainly aren't going to now. His contract could go all the way through 2024, when he'll be 40 and probably still getting on base in half his at-bats.

Video: Votto on gaining weight, creating winning culture

6. Ryan Braun, Brewers, 1,458 (debuted in 2007)
Braun was expected to be trade bait at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last season, but the Brewers ended up in a pennant chase, so they needed him. Braun could have been a Brewers legend if it hadn't been for, well, you know, but even with all the outside unpleasantness, the Brewers have gotten a great deal on his contract, and he's still cheap for the next three years. He may end up retiring a Brewer after all?

5. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox, 1,503 games (debuted in 2006)
A moment to remember players who dropped out of the top 12 last year: Andre Ethier (whom the Dodgers aren't bringing back), Evan Longoria (traded to San Francisco) and Andrew McCutchen (ditto). Laser Show is going to play second base for the Red Sox until he dies, and probably a little while after that.

4. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, 1,552 games (debuted in 2005)
It's funny to think that when Zimmerman was a prospect, we all referred to him as "a player in the Expos' organization." He never wore Montreal garb, sadly, but he did hit a career high in homers last year.

Video: Outlook: Zimmerman may have trouble repeating '17

3. David Wright, Mets, 1,583 games (debuted in 2004)
Included because he's under contact and wants to come back. He hasn't made it into a game since May 27, 2016. The Mets insurers are rooting for him to come back, and so should you.

2. Joe Mauer, Twins, 1,731 games (debuted in 2004)
Mauer's mammoth contract finally expires after this year, and while it might not have been the most efficient spending of cash, the guy is still productive and useful. Paul Molitor thinks he's "going to be a lifelong Twin," but that might be optimistic. Amazing stat: Mauer has played in 14 postseason games and lost 13 of them.

1. Yadier Molina, Cardinals, 1,747 games (debuted in 2004)
It really is remarkable that the top guy on this list is an everyday catcher. Carson Kelly is knocking on his door, but Yadi is signed through 2020 and remains the most beloved Cardinal since Ozzie Smith. He'll be allowed to play as long as he wants in one capacity or another. He's 18th in all-time games caught; if he catches 130 this year (and he's only been under that once in the last decade), he'll pass Lance Parrish for 12th.

Video: Outlook: Molina could continue power surge

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

D-backs sign speedy Dyson to 2-year deal

Moments after news of J.D. signing with Red Sox, Arizona inks outfielder
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Not long after word began coming out that J.D. Martinez had signed a five-year deal with the Red Sox on Monday, so too did the news that the D-backs had agreed to terms with Jarrod Dyson on a two-year contract.

A baseball source has confirmed the deal is worth $7.5 million, and a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that Dyson's deal includes performance bonuses each year: $50,000 at 100 and 125 games played; and $50,000 each at 350, 400 and 450 plate appearances.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Not long after word began coming out that J.D. Martinez had signed a five-year deal with the Red Sox on Monday, so too did the news that the D-backs had agreed to terms with Jarrod Dyson on a two-year contract.

A baseball source has confirmed the deal is worth $7.5 million, and a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that Dyson's deal includes performance bonuses each year: $50,000 at 100 and 125 games played; and $50,000 each at 350, 400 and 450 plate appearances.

In a corresponding move, the D-backs placed pitcher Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery rehab) on the 60-day disabled list.

The timing of the news was somewhat coincidental, but another source indicated that the club had planned on signing Dyson regardless of whether Martinez returned. The source also said the D-backs are continuing to pursue additional outfield help.

Dyson, 33, spent the 2017 season with Seattle, batting .251/.324/.350 with five homers, 30 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in 111 games. Dyson spent the first seven years of his career in Kansas City before being dealt to the Mariners in January 2017.

Video: BAL@SEA: Dyson throws out Machado for double play

A Martinez return to Arizona had been viewed as a long shot given the type of contract the slugger was looking for, combined with the fact that the D-backs already projected to open the season with a record payroll of nearly $130 million.

However, with Martinez unsigned as camps opened along with news that Martinez's agent and D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick had met multiple times during the offseason, there remained a sliver of hope for D-backs fans.

The D-backs were believed to have explored shorter-term contracts with Martinez, who eventually accepted a five-year deal with the Red Sox, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi.

Outfield help has been the one area of need the D-backs had not yet addressed during the offseason.

The prospect of losing Martinez and outfielder Gregor Blanco to free agency left Arizona with A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas as likely starters, with Jeremy Hazelbaker and Socrates Brito being the only other two outfielders on its 40-man roster.

While D-backs GM Mike Hazen was asked throughout the offseason about the possibility of bringing back Martinez, he continued to say that the team was "engaged in the entire outfield market" in search for help.

"They have so many different possibilities that they're looking at, be it trade or free agency," D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall said of Hazen while meeting with reporters on Monday morning before any of the news broke. "He wants to improve this team even more. He's looking at areas where we could improve, and he's focused on outfield at this time, so we'll see what happens."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Jarrod Dyson

Who's on first? Comparing Duda, LoMo

Which slugging first baseman makes for better free-agent pickup?
MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

Logan Morrison and Lucas Duda are, in many ways, cut from the same cloth in this offseason's free-agent market. Both are left-handed-hitting sluggers who play first base. Morrison is listed at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds. Duda is listed at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds. Each hit 30 or more home runs in 2017. They both finished the season with the Tampa Bay Rays. But where will these two end up playing in the upcoming season, and which is the better investment?

There are only a handful of teams in the market for a first baseman or designated hitter, particularly after the Padres agreed to an eight-year contract with Eric Hosmer on Saturday night and the Red Sox reached a five-year deal with J.D. Martinez on Monday. On Saturday, the Rays struck a deal with the Angels to acquire first baseman C.J. Cron.

Logan Morrison and Lucas Duda are, in many ways, cut from the same cloth in this offseason's free-agent market. Both are left-handed-hitting sluggers who play first base. Morrison is listed at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds. Duda is listed at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds. Each hit 30 or more home runs in 2017. They both finished the season with the Tampa Bay Rays. But where will these two end up playing in the upcoming season, and which is the better investment?

There are only a handful of teams in the market for a first baseman or designated hitter, particularly after the Padres agreed to an eight-year contract with Eric Hosmer on Saturday night and the Red Sox reached a five-year deal with J.D. Martinez on Monday. On Saturday, the Rays struck a deal with the Angels to acquire first baseman C.J. Cron.

One possibility for Morrison could be the Royals, who failed to re-sign Hosmer; Morrison is a Kansas City native. The Rockies could also use an upgrade at first base, though they haven't reportedly shown interest in either Morrison or Duda. And the White Sox could be in the market for a DH upgrade.

Here's a breakdown of which player has the edge in five key categories: offense, defense, track record, versatility and upside.

Offense
Among free-agent first basemen this offseason, Duda ranked first in isolated power (.279) in 2017, and right behind him was Morrison (.270). Duda slugged a career-high-tying 30 homers in 423 at-bats, while Morrison belted a career-high 38 in 512 at-bats.

Video: TB@BAL: Duda crushes three-run shot for 30th homer

Per Statcast™, Morrison had a higher expected weighted on-base average last season at .365, compared to Duda's .351. But Duda hit the ball harder on average, and harder more often, than Morrison: Duda's average exit velocity was 90.2 mph to Morrison's 88.5 mph, and Duda's hard-hit rate of 42.8 percent edged Morrison's 42.1. However, Morrison barreled the ball more often than Duda, doing so in 7.8 percent of his plate appearances to Duda's 7.1.

With two hitters so similar in offensive production, it's tough to give one the edge over the other. But in this case, Morrison is a better fit for a team looking for a full-time player, given his .233/.342/.419 slash line against left-handed pitching in 2017. Duda struggled against southpaws, slashing .188/.252/.406. Morrison's .697 career OPS vs. lefties is also 38 points higher than Duda's.

Edge: Morrison

Video: BAL@TB: Morrison mashes a solo homer to right

Defense
Both Morrison and Duda are average defensive first basemen. Morrison's ultimate zone rating per 150 games last season was 2.0, whereas Duda's was -0.1. Morrison finished the 2017 season with one defensive runs saved, whereas Duda's DRS was -1. Though the difference is slight, Morrison was slightly better in the field.

Edge: Morrison

Track record
While Morrison and Duda had similar seasons in 2017, Duda has been more consistent throughout his career. Both players have spent eight seasons in the Majors. Duda has hit 25 or more homers three times, whereas Morrison eclipsed the 25-homer mark for the first time last season. Duda has also produced an OPS+ of 100 or better in five of the past seven seasons, compared to four of the past seven for Morrison. Duda's overall OPS+ over that span is 121, whereas Morrison's is 108.

Edge: Duda

Video: TB@BAL: Duda makes the over-the-shoulder grab

Versatility
Neither Morrison nor Duda has played a defensive position other than first base in several years, but both have outfield experience. Duda has more experience in terms of multiple outfield positions, having appeared in 123 games in right field over his career and 111 in left. Morrison has appeared in 243 games in left, but only 11 in right. Neither has played much outfield since 2013. As far as being a designated hitter, both have limited experience in that role: Morrison has been a DH in 50 games during his career, and Duda in 35 games.

Edge: Duda

Upside
With players as similar as Morrison and Duda, upside often comes down to age and durability. Entering his age-30 season, Morrison is two years younger than Duda and coming off a career year at the plate. Morrison has also been trending in the right direction at the plate over the past three seasons: Per Statcast™, his xwOBA has gone from .332 in 2015, to .340 in '16 and .365 last season. Meanwhile, Duda has trended down in that department, from .377 in 2015, to .362 in '16 and .351 last season.

Edge: Morrison

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Lucas Duda, Logan Morrison

5 under-the-radar breakout hitters for 2018

MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

Breakout hitters can come from anywhere. They can be heralded youngsters like Cody Bellinger or Aaron Judge (each were once ranked among MLB Pipeline's top 50 prospects), or they can be late bloomers like Cardinals outfielder Jose Martinez, who just put up some of the best contact metrics in baseball as a 28-year-old rookie.

The point is that identifying the next hot-shot hitter is an inexact science. Looking specifically at batted-ball samples from their cups of coffee last season, here's a look at five young hitters to get acquainted with before Opening Day.

Breakout hitters can come from anywhere. They can be heralded youngsters like Cody Bellinger or Aaron Judge (each were once ranked among MLB Pipeline's top 50 prospects), or they can be late bloomers like Cardinals outfielder Jose Martinez, who just put up some of the best contact metrics in baseball as a 28-year-old rookie.

The point is that identifying the next hot-shot hitter is an inexact science. Looking specifically at batted-ball samples from their cups of coffee last season, here's a look at five young hitters to get acquainted with before Opening Day.

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Blue Jays
It appears unlikely free agent Jose Bautista will be back in Toronto, and Hernandez figures to have as decent a chance as Ezequiel Carrera, Curtis Granderson and Steve Pearce to see playing time in left field. The Blue Jays acquired Hernandez from the Astros in a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal for Francisco Liriano, and Hernandez proceeded to crush eight home runs and six doubles, and compile a .908 OPS, over 26 games with Toronto. He also hit some majestic homers, including a 108.8-mph blast off Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka last Sept. 22.

Hernandez's contact was as encouraging as his slash line. Check out where he ranked among all MLB hitters in terms of barrels -- or balls hit with the most ideal combinations of exit velocity and launch angle -- per ball in play:

Highest rate of barrels per ball in play, 2017 (min. 50 balls in play)
1. Aaron Judge: 25.4 percent
2. Joey Gallo: 21.7 percent
3. J.D. Martinez: 19.5 percent
4. Giancarlo Stanton: 17.4 percent
5. Khris Davis: 17.2 percent
6. Teoscar Hernandez: 17.0 percent

One can't ignore that Hernandez also struck out 36 times and drew only six walks in his 95 plate appearances, but he could take over a corner spot for Toronto if he maintains even most of that raw power.

Video: HOU@TEX: Robinson skies a solo homer to upper deck

Drew Robinson, OF, Rangers
Robinson grew plenty familiar with the shuttle down I-35 between Arlington and Round Rock, taking three different assignments to Triple-A during his rookie campaign. The 25-year-old had his struggles against right-handed pitching, batting .202, but he also showed a knack for elevating with power.

Robinson barreled up nine of the 65 balls he put in play, for a 13.9 percent rate that sandwiched him between Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz. The Las Vegas native knocked 11 extra-base hits in 107 at-bats while manning left field, second base and third base, and his combination of power and versatility should at least net him a utility role for Texas. There's potential for more if Robinson can improve his contact.

Lane Adams, OF, Braves
Adams wasn't far behind Robinson, barreling nine of his 74 balls in play to give him a rate commensurate with Bellinger and Michael Conforto. He also shuttled back and forth to Triple-A Gwinnett, appearing in both a Minor League and Major League game in the same day last June. Adams clubbed 10 extra-base hits in 109 at-bats, while hitting .275, and his contact was effective, producing a .421 expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA, an advanced Statcast™ metric that examines walks, strikeouts and quality of contact) that put him on par with Paul DeJong, Eric Thames and Marcell Ozuna.

Video: ATL@MIA: Lane Adams hits a three-run jack off Straily

Adams, like Robinson, will need to cut down on his strikeouts. But after eight strong seasons in the Minors, he appears to have the inside track on Atlanta's left-field spot for Opening Day.

Francisco Mejia, C, Indians
Mejia likely tops this list in name recognition as the Indians' No. 1 prospect and the Majors' top catching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Mejia has always been known as a bat-first catcher, but he's hit for a high average at every level, nonetheless. Strikeouts have also never been an issue for Mejia, unlike the other names on this list.

The most exciting part of Mejia's 2017 season was the career-high 14 home runs he hit for Double-A Akron, and that new-found power traveled with him to Cleveland last September. Mejia's pop didn't show up in his slash line (he slugged .154 in 11 big league games), but it was evident in his contact. In fact, out of nearly 700 Major Leaguers who put at least 10 balls in play last season, only two (Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the mighty Judge) averaged a higher exit velocity than Mejia at 94.4 mph.

Video: Top Prospects: Francisco Mejia, C, Indians

We're talking about only 11 batted balls for Mejia, but raw exit velocity doesn't need a large sample size. It's an elite skill, and Mejia could develop into a dangerous all-around plate threat if he combines that power with his inherent bat-to-ball skills. Mejia's work at third base in the Arizona Fall League could give him another avenue onto the Indians' roster, and his bat could break into Terry Francona's lineup sooner than later.

Luke Voit, OF, Cardinals
Voit has plenty of local support as a St. Louis native, but he faces stiff competition at first base in Matt Carpenter and Martinez. If Voit can sustain the type of contact he made in 62 games last summer, however, he could be hard to keep on the bench.

Video: CHC@STL: Voit cranks solo HR to straightaway center

Voit recorded exit velocities of 95 mph or higher -- the Statcast™ baseline for hard contact -- on 43.4 percent of his balls in play, ranking him 25th among more than 450 MLB players who compiled at least 50 batted-ball events in 2017. Ranked just above Voit on that list were marquee names like Rhys Hoskins, Christian Yelich, Bellinger and his new teammate, Ozuna.

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

Lane Adams, Teoscar Hernandez, Francisco Mejia, Drew Robinson, Luke Voit

Lincecum reportedly has MLB offer, not from SF

MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

Tim Lincecum has a guaranteed Major League contract offer, according to SB Nation's Grant Brisbee.

Lincecum, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner who hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2016 with the Angels, reportedly hit 93 mph with his fastball during a showcase for about 20 scouts outside Seattle on Thursday.

Tim Lincecum has a guaranteed Major League contract offer, according to SB Nation's Grant Brisbee.

Lincecum, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner who hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2016 with the Angels, reportedly hit 93 mph with his fastball during a showcase for about 20 scouts outside Seattle on Thursday.

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The 33-year-old right-hander was a four-time NL All-Star in nine seasons with the Giants, whom he helped win three World Series championships in 2010, '12 and '14. His final season with San Francisco was cut short when he underwent hip surgery to repair a torn labrum in '15.

From 2008-11, Lincecum posted a 2.81 ERA with 10.0 K/9 innings with the Giants, becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards in his first two full seasons (2008-09). He gave up one run on three hits over eight innings, striking out 10 Rangers in San Francisco's title-clinching victory in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series, the franchise's first championship since moving from New York in 1958.

The Angels signed Lincecum to a one-year deal in May 2016, and he made nine starts over which he posted a 9.16 ERA. His fastball velocity averaged 88.4 mph, down from a mid-90s fastball he featured when he first arrived in the big leagues.

In Thursday's showcase, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that the diminutive Lincecum had a new physique, looking "ripped," without "an ounce of fat on him."

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Tim Lincecum

Bryce: 'I'm focused on this year,' not free agency

Harper wants to see Nationals fulfill postseason promise in 2018
MLB.com @JamalCollier

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Before he began his first press conference of the spring, Bryce Harper sat down at the table, adjusted his hat and then pulled out his phone. He had prepared a statement to read to the jam-packed room, ready to cut off the questions he knew would be coming.

Harper said he would not be answering any questions about his future beyond the 2018 season, when his highly anticipated free agency is set to begin. He directed all inquiries to his agent, Scott Boras, and threatened to walk out of the room if asked about his impending free agency.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Before he began his first press conference of the spring, Bryce Harper sat down at the table, adjusted his hat and then pulled out his phone. He had prepared a statement to read to the jam-packed room, ready to cut off the questions he knew would be coming.

Harper said he would not be answering any questions about his future beyond the 2018 season, when his highly anticipated free agency is set to begin. He directed all inquiries to his agent, Scott Boras, and threatened to walk out of the room if asked about his impending free agency.

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"I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019, at all," Harper said Monday afternoon. "I'm focused on this year. I'm focused on winning and playing hard, like every single year."

Harper's impending free agency will be one of the biggest storylines throughout all of MLB this season. He will headline perhaps the biggest free-agent class in baseball history, which will include stars such as Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and potentially even Clayton Kershaw. Harper is expected to be the biggest prize considering his rare combination of talent, accomplishments and youth. He will turn just 26 years old this October, but is already a five-time All-Star, former Rookie of the Year and the National League Most Valuable Player Award winner.

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Rarely do players in their prime at that age hit the open market, so some predict Harper could command the largest contract in baseball history as a result -- even topping the 13-year, $325 million pact Giancarlo Stanton signed with Miami in 2014.

However, Harper still has one season left on his contract in Washington, and he intends to stay focused on that.

"I just think every single year I go in, I have my same goals, I have my same plans. And that's to win," Harper said. "That's to be prepared to focus on every single day and do the things I can to help this team win."

Video: Bryce Harper on stacked Nats lineup, rotation

Harper proved again last season that he is one of the sport's most dynamic players when he stays on the field. In 111 games last year, he belted 29 home runs with a 1.008 OPS and was worth 4.8 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs. But a bone bruise and hyperextended left knee caused Harper to miss about a month, only to return just in time for the postseason. Aside from a mammoth home run in Game 2 of the NL Division Series against the Cubs, Harper struggled to find his timing for much of that playoff series.

The knee did not hinder him at all this offseason, however, and Harper showed up to camp appearing to have gained a few more pounds of muscle. Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo has worked out with Harper for years in the offseason and said Harper was "as focused as he's ever seen him" this winter. It's similar to a year ago, when Harper arrived to camp having added a few pounds of muscle and then played like an MVP candidate for the season's first half before his injury.

Video: Bryce Harper talks health, mindset for 2018

"Stay healthy. That's all I want to do," Harper said. "If I stay healthy, I can be one of the best players in the game."

The Nationals are hopeful for more of the same this season.

Along with Harper's contract status, the Nats have a few other prominent players with expiring contracts, meaning 2018 might be Washington's final chance to win the World Series with its current core. Harper has been a key contributor to the Nationals' teams that have won four division titles in six seasons, even as a few members of the rest of the cast have moved on recently.

"I think I've been lucky enough to play for a great team," Harper said. "We've gotten to the playoffs numerous times. You look at a young guy like [Dan Marino] that gets there their first year and never gets back. It's tough. You always want to get there and get there and get there, because you might never get back.

"Every single year you come in here and try to win ballgames and do the things you can to help this team win. We all want to come together and pull on the same rope. We do it every single year. We're expected to win. That's how it is. You always have that pressure, you always have that pressure to win and everything like that. But we've got a great team, and we've been so close."

This could be the final time Harper arrives to the Nationals' complex in West Palm Beach for Spring Training. And if so, his focus remains on this final season, and he does not want to look to anything beyond.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper

Padres prepare to unveil Hosmer on Tues.

Battles for bullpen jobs, backup first baseman role begin
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres are expected to introduce Eric Hosmer, their shiny new first baseman, in a news conference Tuesday morning at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Hosmer, who agreed with the Padres on an eight-year contract that includes an opt-out after five seasons, arrived in Arizona on Monday to take his physical. The club is awaiting those results and has not yet officially confirmed the signing.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres are expected to introduce Eric Hosmer, their shiny new first baseman, in a news conference Tuesday morning at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Hosmer, who agreed with the Padres on an eight-year contract that includes an opt-out after five seasons, arrived in Arizona on Monday to take his physical. The club is awaiting those results and has not yet officially confirmed the signing.

Spring Training information

Hosmer's pending arrival already has the Padres' clubhouse abuzz. Left-hander Matt Strahm, Hosmer's former teammate, is well aware of the impact Hosmer can make on a young team.

"The type of dude he is, he gets along with everyone," Strahm said. "He relates with everyone, which is awesome. He's very approachable. I don't know how to explain it, but what he's got is something I've never seen. I'm excited to have him here and can't wait to get going."

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Hosmer batted .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers last season. He was a fan favorite in Kansas City, having helped lead a once-rebuilding club to consecutive American League pennants and the 2015 World Series title. He's been touted as a leader on a young Royals ballclub, and the Padres are hoping for more of the same in San Diego.

"He works hard and he's a vocal presence in the clubhouse," said right-hander Chris Young, who was also part of that '15 Royals team. "He's both. He's everything a teammate could be. He'll be a great addition."

Team officials have refrained from commenting publicly until the deal is finalized. But the club has already set the wheels in motion for Hosmer's arrival.

Wil Myers, who has agreed to move from first base to clear room for Hosmer, is taking reps in the outfield. Jose Pirela, meanwhile, will see increased playing time at second base, with fewer outfield at-bats to go around.

Bullpen battle begins

Field 1 saw four rounds of live batting practice Monday, featuring four pitchers on the 40-man roster -- none of whom have secured a place in the Padres bullpen.

Kyle McGrath, Phil Maton, Colten Brewer and Jose Castillo all faced live hitters Monday morning. They're due for one more round of live BP before pitching in Cactus League play (probably as early as Sunday).

As it stands, the Padres have four pitchers assured of their place in the bullpen -- Brad Hand, Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates and Kazuhisa Makita. That leaves either three or four places available, with about 10 names set to compete for those spots.

Backup first-base race still open

Hosmer will be the Padres' starting first baseman -- of that there is little question. But it remains to be seen who will serve behind Hosmer at first base.

Myers and Chase Headley have plenty of experience there. Longtime first baseman Allen Craig, who is in camp on a non-roster invite, is another option. For now, however, it's unclear who gets reps behind Hosmer at first.

"We'll have some versatility on the roster with guys who have been at first base before and can bounce back there at any point in time," manager Andy Green said.

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

San Diego Padres, Allen Craig, Chase Headley, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers

Brinson visits Parkland students in hospital

Native of nearby Coral Springs, Fla., Marlins outfielder glad to cheer up kids
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- The day before the Marlins started full-squad workouts, outfielder Lewis Brinson had more than baseball on his mind. The 23-year-old made a trip to a local hospital to visit two students being treated for injuries sustained in last week's shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Brinson made an impromptu visit and spent some time with the students and their families. He had not previously known the students, nor did he reveal their full names or which specific hospital they are being treated.

JUPITER, Fla. -- The day before the Marlins started full-squad workouts, outfielder Lewis Brinson had more than baseball on his mind. The 23-year-old made a trip to a local hospital to visit two students being treated for injuries sustained in last week's shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Brinson made an impromptu visit and spent some time with the students and their families. He had not previously known the students, nor did he reveal their full names or which specific hospital they are being treated.

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"Those kids are warriors," Brinson said. "What they went through, all the wounds they have. They have battle scars for being in high school. That's unheard of. It needs to stop at some point."

A resident of Coral Springs, Fla., Brinson lives close to Stoneman Douglas High, which was his high school's biggest rival. Brinson and the Marlins will pay tribute to Stoneman Douglas on their caps prior to Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Cardinals in Jupiter.

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"It was a hard moment for me last week just to know something could go on in a neighborhood I grew up in," Brinson said. "It was a tough pill for me to swallow. But they'll get through it."

On Monday, it was time for baseball, with the Marlins having their first full-squad workouts at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex. But Brinson pledged that he would make a return visit to see the Douglas students.

"I told them I would be back to check on them," Brinson said. "For all the heartache and pain they're going through, I was glad I was able to put a smile on those kids' faces. Just to say hi to them."

Tweet from @JoeFrisaro: Taking his swings @LewisBrinson @Marlins #SpringTraining pic.twitter.com/YAaUQnQjyo

Ready to turn the page

Before taking the field for the first full-squad workouts, a couple of prominent Marlins from the past few seasons once again addressed Miami's offseason moves.

In a busy offseason, the Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. The revamped roster includes a number of new faces that were acquired in those offseason trades.

Third baseman Martin Prado said the players who were dealt will be missed, but it's time for a new beginning.

"Those guys are super professional," Prado said. "I wish them the best, wherever they are at. Now, I have to handle myself. I have to handle my new teammates. We have to move on."

First baseman Justin Bour noted that even last season, when the team fell far out of the race by the All-Star break, that sweeping changes could be made.

Video: Outlook: Bour poised for elite season if healthy

"I think we had a good possibility this could happen," Bour said. "We talked to each other throughout the season and this offseason. We realized it was something that might take place. It wasn't like some crazy thing just happened out of nowhere.

"Obviously, it's tough to lose those guys. We played with them. They're your friends. But you've got to continue to do your job, be professional and go out there and play every day."

Live BP

With the first Grapefruit League game scheduled for Friday against the Cardinals, the position players don't have much time before they see game action.

So the first day position players were on the field, the hitters faced live pitching.

"It's definitely an advantage for the pitchers," catcher J.T. Realmuto said. "It's tough as a batter the first day of live BP. It looks like everybody is throwing 110 mph. So that's always fun."

Among the pitchers Realmuto faced were hard-throwing Sandy Alcantara, who does throw 100 mph. Realmuto lined one Alcantara fastball to deep center field.

Tweet from @JoeFrisaro: Future @Marlins aces Jorge Guzman (left) and Sandy Alcantara #SpringTraining 🔥 ������ Both regularly top 100 mph @MLB pic.twitter.com/HqqHHL2hjc

"For the pitchers, it's just nice for them to finally get a hitter in the box and kind of working on the stuff they've been working on, and actually competing and trying to get guys out," Realmuto said.

Worth noting

• The roster is at 69 players, but one was unable to report. Outfielder Rafael Ortega had visa issues and has not been able to leave his native Venezuela.

Up next: The Marlins on Tuesday will be taking the field at 9:30 a.m. ET at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex. Workouts are open to the public.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins