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Cashman: Yanks may be 'big-game hunters'

Team prepared to spend money to acquire talent
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- A year ago, Brian Cashman was still elbow deep into conducting an extensive managerial search, which delayed the Yanks' entry into what proved to be a slow-moving offseason market. There is no such distraction now, which is fortunate, because the Yankees general manager says that he has lots to do.

The Yankees are on the hunt for two more starting pitchers, preferably of high-end caliber, and have spoken with both Zach Britton and David Robertson about potential returns to the bullpen. Cashman is also deciding how the Yankees should handle Didi Gregorius' absence, and there has been internal talk about offering extensions to Dellin Betances, Gregorius or Aaron Hicks.

NEW YORK -- A year ago, Brian Cashman was still elbow deep into conducting an extensive managerial search, which delayed the Yanks' entry into what proved to be a slow-moving offseason market. There is no such distraction now, which is fortunate, because the Yankees general manager says that he has lots to do.

The Yankees are on the hunt for two more starting pitchers, preferably of high-end caliber, and have spoken with both Zach Britton and David Robertson about potential returns to the bullpen. Cashman is also deciding how the Yankees should handle Didi Gregorius' absence, and there has been internal talk about offering extensions to Dellin Betances, Gregorius or Aaron Hicks.

In short, Cashman will be busy over the next few weeks. While the loudest buzz has connected the Yankees to free agent infielder Manny Machado, Cashman and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner have repeatedly said that starting pitching is their priority. The team figures to be noise-makers when the baseball world descends upon Las Vegas for next month's Winter Meetings.

"I think we're always open-minded to being big or small players," Cashman said. "I don't think it really matters what we wind up doing, as long as we do well enough that we become the best team in baseball. We're capable of being big-game hunters. We've reset our luxury tax.

"Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family have always been massively supportive of this franchise for the fans. We're capable. We'll see if we execute on that level, if this is the winter that we choose to do that, or if we go a different direction. Everything we try to do is in the best interests of the franchise, present and future."

Cashman, who participated on Thursday in a Sleep Out event to benefit Covenant House, said that there has been no date set to meet with Machado, whose postseason comments about not being a player who hustles were "troubling" in Steinbrenner's view.

Steinbrenner told reporters on Wednesday in Atlanta that he would like to hear an explanation from Machado. It would be in Cashman's realm to ask those types of questions, something that he said he has done before with other potential free-agent fits.

Video: Cashman discusses how to evaluate free agent Machado

"I've definitely met with players in free agency many times over, and had that good, honest dialogue," Cashman said. "It has either brought us more interest in the player, or actually it was beneficial that we walked out of the room saying, 'Wow, there's no way I could bring that particular player to New York.' It's a healthy environment.

"We like to educate people about who we are and where we want to go and get a feel back if there's an alignment there, if that player can fit in our culture and our New York environment or not. There's times I've walked away refreshingly, feeling strongly about, 'I'm glad he was so candid because this is not going to be a good fit.'"

If the Yankees were to handle Gregorius' absence internally, Gleyber Torres would be their likeliest option to slide over to shortstop, leaving Cashman to find a second baseman. Free agent Neil Walker is a possibility to return, while Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade are in house.

Cashman said that it is on the Yankees' radar to discuss long-term extensions with some of their arbitration-eligible players, mentioning Betances, Gregorius and Hicks. Those talks have not yet opened, he said.

"Is it something that's on the list of things to talk to and walk through and get to? Yes," Cashman said. "I wouldn't rule anything out. Have we kicked it around in a very small scale way in the offices? Like, it's now or never? Yeah, we have."

On the starting-pitching front, Cashman said that it is too early to determine if they are more likely to add via free agency or trade. Patrick Corbin, J.A. Happ and Dallas Keuchel are among the free agents whom the Yankees have expressed interest in.

Video: Cashman looking to add arms to Yankees' rotation

The Yankees have reportedly contacted the Indians (Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber) and the Mariners (James Paxton) to check on swaps, and New York would be willing to part with some of its young prospects under the proper circumstances.

"I can't predict. It's interesting; there's a lot of players available on the trade market," Cashman said. "I'm curious how that affects the free-agent market, but there's a lot of quality choices on the free-agent market. Pitching is key."

Cashman added that he has spoken to Robertson, who is opting to represent himself this offseason. Cashman said that the Rhode Island resident has expressed a preference to pitch for a team in the Northeast.

"Does he want to come back? Yeah, but he said the same thing to me that he said to the public -- he's got to do what is in the best interests of his family," Cashman said. "He's looking for the best deal he can get. He must have already went to agent school; that's normally the first thing you hear. There must be a playbook."

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

New York Yankees

Decision time: Which prospects make 40-man?

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

It's decision time for all 30 Major League organizations.

By Tuesday, all teams will have decided who deserves a spot on their 40-man rosters. Those Minor Leaguers who are eligible but not put on the roster will be exposed to be taken by the other 29 teams in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, on Thursday. Dec. 13.

It's decision time for all 30 Major League organizations.

By Tuesday, all teams will have decided who deserves a spot on their 40-man rosters. Those Minor Leaguers who are eligible but not put on the roster will be exposed to be taken by the other 29 teams in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, on Thursday. Dec. 13.

Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.

For this year, that means an international or high school Draft pick signed in 2014 -- assuming he was 18 or younger as of June 5 of that year -- has to be protected. A college player taken in the 2015 Draft is in the same position.

There are just eight players on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list who need to be protected or become exposed to the Rule 5 Draft.

16. Mitch Keller, RHP, PIT
25. Dylan Cease, RHP, CWS
33. Jesus Sanchez, OF, TB
35. Chris Paddack,RHP, SD
39. Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD
64. Adonis Medina, RHP, PHI
67. Franklin Perez, RHP, DET
69. Michael Chavis, 3B, BOS

Last year, there were eight Top 100 players who needed to be protected. In 2016, there were 12, and in '15, there were 11. And every one of those 31 players were added to 40-man rosters.

There are obviously many more Minor Leaguers under consideration. There are 149 prospects on organizational Top 30 lists hoping to get added to a 40-man roster. That's down from last year, when there were 153, 85 of whom (55.6%) were protected. In 2016, there were 144 total, and 58% of them (84) were protected. In 2015, 75 of 156 (48%) Top 30 prospects landed on rosters.

Here's a list of all 30 teams' Top 30 prospects who needed to be protected to avoid being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft, along with non-Top 30 prospects who were given coveted roster spots:

* Indicates that a player has been added to his team's 40-man roster.

Arizona Diamondbacks (5)
7. Marcus Wilson, OF
11. Taylor Clarke, RHP
20. Kevin Cron, 1B
22. Alex Young, LHP
23. Cody Reed, LHP

Atlanta Braves (6)
20. Huascar Ynoa, RHP
21. Patrick Weigel, RHP
22. Travis Demeritte, OF
27. Alex Jackson, C
28. Josh Graham, RHP
29. Jacob Webb, RHP

Baltimore Orioles (2)
6. Dillon Tate, RHP
29. Luis Gonzalez, LHP

Boston Red Sox (7)
1. Michael Chavis, SS
7. Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP
10. Josh Ockimey, 1B
15. Travis Lakins, RHP
21. Jhonathan Diaz, LHP
23. Roldani Baldwin, C
27. Roniel Raudes, RHP

Chicago Cubs (4)
8. Justin Steele, LHP
17. Trevor Clifton, RHP
25. Earling Moreno, RHP
28. Jason Vosler, SS

Chicago White Sox (4)
3. Dylan Cease, RHP
19. Kodi Medeiros, LHP
20. Jordan Stephens, RHP
26. Spencer Adams, RHP

Cincinnati Reds (2)
13. Jimmy Herget, RHP
22. Michael Beltre, OF

Cleveland Indians 4)
7. Bobby Bradley, 1B
8. Sam Hentges, LHP
20. Oscar Gonzales, OF
29. Tyler Krieger, SS

Colorado Rockies (7)
9. Sam Hilliard, OF
10. Ryan Castellani, RHP
17. Justin Lawrence, RHP
19. Breiling Eusebio, LHP
23. Roberto Ramos, 1B
25. Brian Mundell, 1B
27. Dom Nunez, C

Detroit Tigers (4)
3. Franklin Perez, RHP
19. Jose Azocar, OF
24. Tyler Alexander, LHP
29. Derek Hill, CF
More »

Houston Astros (5)
12. Rogelio Armenteros, RHP
15. Garrett Stubbs, C
17. Riley Ferrell, RHP
23. Jonathan Arauz, SS
24. Trent Thornton, RHP

Kansas City Royals (6)
11. Josh Staumont, RHP
20. Scott Blewett, RHP
23. Elvis Luciano, RHP
28. D.J. Burt, SS
29. Foster Griffin, LHP
30. Ofreidy Gomez, RHP

Los Angeles Angels (4)
10. Luis Rengifo, IF
15. Leonardo Rivas, SS
18. Luis Pena, RHP
28. Joe Gatto, RHP

Los Angeles Dodgers (7)
2. Keibert Ruiz, C
10. Yadier Alvarez, RHP
13. Edwin Rios, 1B
19. Drew Jackson, SS
21. Matt Beaty, 1B/3B
24. Cristian Santana, SS
29. Andrew Sopko, RHP

Miami Marlins (6)
2. Monte Harrison, CF
9. Isan Diaz, SS
17. Jordan Yamamoto, RHP
18. Christopher Torres, SS
26. Brayan Hernandez, CF
30. McKenzie Mills, LHP

Milwaukee Brewers (5)
10. Jake Gatewood, 1B
13. Trey Supak, RHP
15. Troy Stokes Jr., CF
17. Cody Ponce, RHP
28. Carlos Herrera, RHP

Minnesota Twins (5)
4. Nick Gordon, SS
13. LaMonte Wade, OF
15. Luis Arraez, 2B
16. Lewin Diaz, RF
22. Tyler Jay, LHP

New York Mets (4)
19. Luis Carpio, SS
21. David Thompson, 3B
25. Ali Sanchez, C
27. Patrick Mazeika, C

New York Yankees (1)
21. Erik Swanson, RHP

Oakland A's (5)
9. James Kaprielian, RHP
12. Richie Martin, SS
15. Grant Holmes, RHP
27. James Naile, RHP
30. Skye Bolt, CF

Philadelphia Phillies (5)
3. Adonis Medina, RHP
12. Daniel Brito, SS
11. Arquimedes Gamboa, SS
16. Jose Gomez, SS
27. Tom Eshelman, RHP

Pittsburgh Pirates (6)
1. Mitch Keller, RHP
5. Cole Tucker, SS
13. Jason Martin, CF
19. Gage Hinsz, RHP
24. Brandon Waddell, LHP
28. Domingo Robles, LHP

San Diego Padres (5)
5. Chris Paddack, RHP
12. Anderson Espinoza, RHP
25. Austin Allen, C
28. Edward Olivares, OF
29. Pedro Avila, RHP
More »

San Francisco Giants (8)
8. Sandro Fabian, OF
11. Logan Webb, RHP
18. Juan De Paula, RHP
19. Melvin Adon, RHP
23. Jordan Johnson, RHP
27. Tyler Webb, RHP
28. C.J. Hinojosa, SS/2B
30. Sam Coonrod, RHP

Seattle Mariners (11)
*5. Braden Bishop, OF
14. Art Warren, RHP
18. Rob Whalen, RHP
20. Ian Miller, OF
23. Anthony Jimenez, OF
24. Luis Liberato, OF
26. Ronald Rosario, OF
27. Chuck Taylor, OF
28. Anthony Misiewicz, LHP
29. Darin Gillies, RHP
30. Joseph Rosa, 2B
More »

St. Louis Cardinals (6)
4. Ryan Helsley, RHP
11. Max Schrock, 2B
13. Genesis Cabrera, LHP
14. Junior Fernandez, RHP
20. Ramon Urias, INF
23. Wadye Ynfante, OF
More »

Tampa Bay Rays (3)
4. Jesus Sanchez
17. Joe McCarthy, OF/1B
29. Ian Gibaut, RHP

Texas Rangers (4)
6. Taylor Hearn, LHP
17. Pedro Gonzalez, OF
22. Scott Heineman, OF
30. Edgar Arredondo, RHP

Toronto Blue Jays (3)
11. Hector Perez, RHP
24. Forrest Wall, OF
27. Jordan Romano, RHP

Washington Nationals (5)
13. Telmito Agustin, OF
17. James Bourque, RHP
24. Tomas Alastre, RHP
25. Jose Marmolejos, 1B/OF
29. Drew Ward, 3B/1B

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

ND unveils pinstripes for Yankee Stadium game

This November, the Notre Dame football team will face off against Syracuse at Yankee Stadium, part of the ongoing Shamrock Series that's taken the Irish everywhere from San Antonio to Fenway Park over the past few years.

But simply playing in the Bronx wasn't enough. Like any courteous guest, Notre Dame felt compelled to pay homage to the place it'll be visiting. And the Fighting Irish are doing so in outrageous, pinstriped fashion.

Cashman takes part in Sleep Out in snowy NY

Yankees GM shows support for homeless youth for 7th straight year
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- As the first snowstorm of the season snarled traffic across New York City's boroughs on Thursday, Brian Cashman packed a sleeping bag and trekked toward midtown. For the seventh consecutive year, the Yankees general manager spent a night on Manhattan's streets in solidarity with homeless youth. It remains a world that he cannot fathom.

"I struggled getting here, walking through all of these nasty elements," Cashman said. "All I kept thinking about was, there are people right now that are living through this, trying to find a way to get covered just for a night. They're doing it night after night after night."

NEW YORK -- As the first snowstorm of the season snarled traffic across New York City's boroughs on Thursday, Brian Cashman packed a sleeping bag and trekked toward midtown. For the seventh consecutive year, the Yankees general manager spent a night on Manhattan's streets in solidarity with homeless youth. It remains a world that he cannot fathom.

"I struggled getting here, walking through all of these nasty elements," Cashman said. "All I kept thinking about was, there are people right now that are living through this, trying to find a way to get covered just for a night. They're doing it night after night after night."

Cashman is a board member of Covenant House, which held its Executive Sleep Out and candlelight vigil for homeless youth in 19 cities on Thursday. Cashman said that he was introduced to the charity by Kevin Ryan, a college classmate who is now the president and CEO of Covenant House International.

"He did a smart thing," Cashman said. "He said, 'Come on down to the shelter and see what we've got going on.' After that, I was hooked. Thankfully, the Steinbrenner family and the Yankees have allowed their brand to hook up with this brand, to share the story of Covenant House to a much broader audience."

Taking part in the event at the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan's West Side, Cashman parked a sleeping bag on the concrete of a loading dock, braving near-freezing temperatures while waiting for sunrise.

Though Cashman dealt with rain and cold in past years, he had yet to experience snow. More than six inches fell in Central Park on Thursday, creating an icy, slushy mess to contend with.

"My first year was like 13 degrees. It was brutal," Cashman said. "For the most part, we've been lucky, but this is something different."

Tweet from @Yankees: Fresh stadium snow ������ pic.twitter.com/PgLJYso59v

More than 1,700 executives and leaders participated in similar events across the United States and Canada on Thursday. The Javits Center event raised more than $1 million for Covenant House New York, which will be utilized to provide youth with stable housing, employment or education assistance.

"Shame on the rest of us, running all over the rest of America while there's people in need," Cashman said. "Thankfully, for those people who step up and support, it will take care of some -- but not all."

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

New York Yankees

30 ROY candidates for 2019 -- 1 for each team

MLB.com

On Monday, Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna Jr. were named Rookie of the Year in the American and National Leagues, respectively. But they were far from the only first-year players to make an impact in the big leagues in 2018.

It would be difficult to find a team in the history of the modern game who went through an entire season without needing to use its farm system. Sometimes, jobs are given to rookies on Opening Day, as was the case with Ohtani and the Angels. Other times, a player has to wait to be called up to make an impact, just like Acuna did with the Braves.

On Monday, Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna Jr. were named Rookie of the Year in the American and National Leagues, respectively. But they were far from the only first-year players to make an impact in the big leagues in 2018.

It would be difficult to find a team in the history of the modern game who went through an entire season without needing to use its farm system. Sometimes, jobs are given to rookies on Opening Day, as was the case with Ohtani and the Angels. Other times, a player has to wait to be called up to make an impact, just like Acuna did with the Braves.

In 2018, both prospects entered the season as Rookie of the Year contenders, if not front-runners, in each league. But sometimes Rookies of the Year come on unexpectedly. With that in mind, here is a potential ROY candidate from each organization.

AL East

Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B
There's a strong case to made that Guerrero, MLB Pipeline's No. 1 overall prospect, should have reached the Majors last season, even with the Blue Jays' struggles. But he didn't and ultimately finished with an absurd .381/.437/.636 line and 20 home runs while reaching Triple-A at age 19. His bat is 100 percent ready for the highest level, and once there, Guerrero is a candidate to run away with top rookie honors in the AL, regardless of when he arrives.

Video: EAST@WEST: Guerrero Jr. doubles, advances on error

Orioles: Yusniel Diaz, OF
The Orioles' key acquisition in the deadline deal that sent Manny Machado to Hollywood, Diaz is yet to tap into his above-average raw power but has a good idea of what he's doing at the plate, as evidenced by his .285/.392/.449 slash line and 11-homer last season in Double-A. Some other internal options may get first crack in either right or left field as the Orioles rebuild, but Diaz should become an everyday guy for them before long.

Rays: Brandon Lowe, 2B
Lowe struggled initially upon reaching the Majors, going 0-for-19 following his debut on Aug. 5. After that, however, he slashed .273/.357/.527 with six homers in 37 games to finish the year with a career-high 28 home runs between Double-A, Triple-A and MLB. He also finished with 129 at-bats, leaving him two ABs short of exhausting his rookie eligibility. Like so many young Rays players, Lowe has the defensive versatility that could make him a near regular for Tampa Bay in 2019.

Red Sox: Michael Chavis, 3B
The defending World Series champions have a depleted farm system and few opportunities at the big league level. One of the better power-hitting prospects in the upper Minors, Chavis could contribute if Rafael Devers struggles again or the need for a right-handed-hitting first baseman arises.

Yankees: Justus Sheffield, LHP
The Yankees' greatest need is starting pitching, and Sheffield should crack the Opening Day rotation. His fastball, slider and changeup all can be three plus pitches, so it won't be a shock if he's New York's second-best starter after Luis Severino.

Video: Mayo gives some 2019 AL Rookie of the Year contenders

AL Central

Indians: Yu Chang, SS
Though he continues to face an uphill battle towards carving out a spot in Cleveland's infield, Chang, a member of the Tribe's 40-man roster, saw increased reps at third base during the regular season and regular time there in the Arizona Fall League, suggesting the hot corner could be his path of least resistance. He has the hitting ability and raw power to profile there, as well as the defensive versatility to handle a utility role.

Royals: Nicky Lopez, SS/2B
Lopez is blocked at the moment by Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi, but he's also sound in all phases of the game and has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. He should open the season in nothing less than a utility role and should claim at least semi-regular at-bats.

Tigers: Christin Stewart, OF
He's hit at least 25 homers in each of his three full seasons of pro ball and hit a pair of homers in 60 big league at-bats this past September. Stewart has improved his overall approach, drawing a lot more walks, while still hitting balls out of the park, something that should continue with a full-time gig in Detroit next season.

Twins: Stephen Gonsalves, RHP
The left-hander didn't fare well during his first taste of the big leagues in 2018, but he had a fantastic year, mostly in Triple-A, finishing second in the system in ERA and fifth in strikeouts, while keeping hitters to a combined .184 BAA. Gonsalves' upside might be limited, but he's ready to be a mid-rotation starter.

White Sox: Eloy Jimenez, OF
If anyone can challenge Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero for the title of best offensive prospect in baseball, it's Jimenez. Ready last summer but kept in the Minors for service-time considerations, he'll be the foundation the White Sox build their lineup around.

Watch: Jimenez crushes 12th homer for Charlotte

AL West

Athletics: Jesus Luzardo, LHP
Luzardo nearly reached the Majors in 2018 in what was his first full pro campaign as well as his first fully healthy, unimpeded season since his Tommy John surgery in mid-2016. Altogether, the left-hander (in his age-20 season) compiled a 2.88 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 129 strikeouts and 30 walks in 109 1/3 innings while ascending from Class A Advanced to Triple-A. The A's will be without many of the starting pitchers that were lost due to injuries last season, so expect Luzardo to receive an earnest look during spring training.

Angels: Griffin Canning, RHP
The UCLA product projected as an advanced college arm and lived up to that advanced billing, racing all the way to Triple-A in his first full season. His four-pitch mix with excellent command allowed him to miss bats all the way up the ladder and is why he is just about ready to hit the Angels' rotation.

Astros: Kyle Tucker, OF
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, Tucker has recorded back-to-back 20-20 seasons in the upper Minors. His Triple-A line (.332/.400/.590) is much more representative of his upside than the numbers from his big league debut (.141/.236/.203).

Watch: Tucker crushes game-tying homer

Mariners: Wyatt Mills, RHP
Viewed by scouts as a potential fast-riser when the Mariners took him in the third round of the 2017 Draft, Mills, 23, was just that in his first full season as he reached Double-A and followed it with an impressive turn in the Arizona Fall League. With right-handed delivery and profile that resembles Steve Cisheck's as well as comparable stuff, Mills has all the ingredients needed to become an impactful bullpen piece in 2019.

Rangers: Yohander Mendez, LHP
Mendez's prospect luster has dimmed a bit over the last two years, yet that won't prevent him from fitting in the middle of the Rangers' rotation. He still has a quality changeup but needs to refine his command and breaking ball.

NL East

Braves: Touki Tousssaint, RHP
The Braves have scores of young pitchers who could contend for Rookie of the Year honors next season. Toussaint gets the nod because of the pure stuff that helped him lead the system in ERA and strikeouts and because of how well his big league debut went, earning him a spot on the postseason roster.

Video: Mayo on potential 2019 NL Rookie of Year candidates

Marlins: Victor Mesa, OF
While there currently are quite a few unknowns with Mesa, whom Miami signed for $5.5 million on Oct. 22, the consensus is that the 22-year-old outfielder shouldn't require all too much seasoning in the Minor Leagues after his success in Cuba's Serie Nacional. His plus defense in center field gives him a high floor in the big leagues, and any offensive contributions that surpass expectations could make him a ROY candidate.

Phillies: Ranger Suarez, LHP
Suarez made four uneven appearances with Philadelphia in 2018, reaching the big leagues before he turned 23, and he's the kind of smart left-hander who will learn and make adjustments. He's moved very quickly since starting the 2017 season in A ball and should fit nicely into the back end of the young Phillies rotation.

Nationals: Victor Robles, OF
Robles has taken second chair to teenage superstar Juan Soto in the Nationals' long-term outfield outlook with good reason. Yet, the future remains incredibly bright for the now 21-year-old center fielder, who hit .288/.348/.525 with three homers and three steals over 21 games with the Nats after a right elbow injury cost him much of the Minor League season. That Robles is the club's projected Opening Day center fielder at the moment makes him a preseason ROY favorite in the NL.

Watch: Robles triples on four-hit night

Mets: Peter Alonso, 1B
New Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has said he isn't opposed to having Alonso start the year in New York, and for good reason. All the first baseman did in 2018 is tie for the Minor League lead in homers, while leading it outright in RBIs. More power was on display in the AFL, and he has nothing left to prove in the Minors.

NL Central

Brewers: Keston Hiura, 2B
The best hitter from the 2017 Draft class raked his way up to Double-A in his first full season, ultimately hitting .293/.357/.464 with 52 extra-base hits including 13 homers, and has been equally impressive in the Arizona Fall League, seemingly leaving him on the cusp of entering the Majors in'19. His knack for squaring up the baseball with authority to all fields is a truly special trait -- one that could make him a key Brewers run producer for a long time.

Cardinals: Dakota Hudson, RHP
Aside from some command issues (18 BB in 27 1/3 IP), Hudson was effective in relief for the big league club in 2018. It's a crowded rotation in St. Louis, so a relief gig might be his best full-time entry for the time being where his extreme ground-ball rate (2.03 GO/AO in his Minor League career) would play well.

Cubs: Duane Underwood, RHP
Underwood still needs some polish but was more aggressive and consistent in 2018 than he had been in years past. With a 92-97 mph fastball and a curveball that shows flashes of becoming a plus pitch, he could contribute in the bullpen and possibly the rotation.

Pirates: Mitch Keller, RHP
The Pirates often are cautious with their young pitching prospects, but look for Keller to push them hard in 2019. After struggling upon first reaching Triple-A at age 22, the right-hander then had a 2.86 ERA in August. Room will have to be made in Pittsburgh's rotation, but Keller will be ready to jump through it once the door is opened.

Watch: Keller records 10th K

Reds: Nick Senzel, INF
A finger injury, not to mention a bout with vertigo, greatly shortened his 2018 season, and that likely kept the No. 2 pick in the 2016 Draft from getting called up this past season. He's played several positions and was working on the outfield at instructs this fall to make sure there's a spot for his advanced bat in the big league lineup in 2019.

NL West

D-backs: Taylor Widener, RHP
Widener has made a very successful transition from reliever to starter and has put his 2015 elbow surgery in his rear-view mirror with two successful, and healthy, seasons in 2017 and 2018. This last year was his first with the D-backs and he led the system in ERA and strikeouts, while holding Southern League hitters to a .197 batting average against.

Dodgers: Alex Verdugo, OF
One of the best pure hitters in the Minors, Verdugo also offers developing power, a strong arm and the ability to play anywhere in the outfield. The only thing holding him back from being a slam-dunk Rookie of the Year candidate is a clear opening in the crowded Dodgers lineup.

Giants: Chris Shaw, OF
The best power hitter in the Giants system, Shaw made his first big league home run a tape-measure shot: 468 feet off a Seunghwan Oh slider. As of now, he looks like the frontrunner to start in left field for San Francisco.

Padres: Luis Urias, 2B/SS
Urias reached the Majors late in August and showed that he can do a little bit of everything before a groin injury prematurely ended his season after just 12 games. Assuming he's on the Padres' Opening Day roster, the 21-year-old could have an early advantage in the ROY based his ability to hit near the top of an order and make everyday contributions on both sides of the ball.

Rockies: Brendan Rodgers, SS
With DJ LeMahieu set to depart as a free agent, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 Draft is ready to replace him at second base. He has more offensive potential than most middle infielders and the versatility to play anywhere in the infield that he's needed.

Watch: Rodger hammers a solo blast

Torre's charity event salutes 1998 Yankees

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- By the time the Red Sox completed their steamroll to the World Series title last month, their relatively easy march toward the championship sparked a controversial question across baseball: Were the 2018 Red Sox, with 119 combined wins between the regular season and postseason, the best team ever?

In truth, it's a question subjective enough to never be answered. And this year's Red Sox are certainly in the conversation. But that's also a conversation that will always begin with the 1998 Yankees, even if any mention of the signature team from New York's late-'90s dynasty irks the Boston faithful. The memories of that 1998 season in the Bronx were brought back into the spotlight Thursday at the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation Gala at the Cipriani on Broadway in Manhattan.

NEW YORK -- By the time the Red Sox completed their steamroll to the World Series title last month, their relatively easy march toward the championship sparked a controversial question across baseball: Were the 2018 Red Sox, with 119 combined wins between the regular season and postseason, the best team ever?

In truth, it's a question subjective enough to never be answered. And this year's Red Sox are certainly in the conversation. But that's also a conversation that will always begin with the 1998 Yankees, even if any mention of the signature team from New York's late-'90s dynasty irks the Boston faithful. The memories of that 1998 season in the Bronx were brought back into the spotlight Thursday at the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation Gala at the Cipriani on Broadway in Manhattan.

The 16th annual holding of the event celebrated the 20th anniversary of the '98 champs and featured appearances from former players up and down their roster. David Cone, Tino Martinez, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams were all scheduled to make cameos, though snowy conditions in New York on Thursday cut into the event's final attendance. Former Mets closer John Franco and Red Sox vice president/special assistant Tony La Russa were on hand to support Safe at Home, which helps children impacted by violence and trauma in their homes, schools and communities, in an effort to get young people on a path to help and healing.

Founded by Torre in 2002, SAH has reached more than 85,000 students through individual and group counseling, school-wide campaigns, peer leadership and educational opportunities. Its signature program is a school-based "safe room" called Margaret's Place -- named in honor of Torre's mother. Each Margaret's Place is staffed by a therapist who provides both individual and group counseling sessions, holds workshops for teachers and parents to build safer school environments and leads anti-violence campaigns to empower students to become advocates against violence. There are currently 16 Margaret's Place programs in four states, and they reach 13,000 students each year.

"It's tough to have an event and not mention the '98 team," said Torre, the manager of that club and now MLB's chief baseball officer. "I can't believe it's been 20 years. It is amazing. It's like standing on a train platform and watching the cars go by."

Video: Joe Torre hosts the 16th Annual Safe at Home Gala

The evening also allowed Torre a forum to weigh in on the debate: Which team was better? The '98 Yankees or '18 Red Sox?

"I looked at that [Red Sox] club and I didn't think they were ever going to lose," Torre said. "I thought they would go past our 114 wins, but it's tough to do."

With the American League East wrapped up, the Red Sox sat a bulk of their regulars down the stretch and finished with 108 regular-season victories. They then went 11-3 in the postseason to finish with 119 total wins, six fewer than New York's 125 in 1998.

"They have a great club, and they're going to have a great club next year, because of their youth," Torre said.

Torre had a similar mix of youth and experience in 1998. With a deep and balanced lineup led by 24-year-old Derek Jeter (.324 average, AL-best 127 runs), and behind a veteran rotation anchored by Cone (20 wins), the Yankees won a then-AL record 114 regular-season games before marching largely unchallenged to their 24th championship. It was their second title in three years and first of what would be three consecutive crowns.

They went 11-2 in the postseason, sweeping the Rangers in the Division Series, topping the Indians in the AL Championship Series and sweeping the Padres in the Fall Classic.

"That's the reason people remember what we did," Torre said. "That postseason was very difficult, just with the pressure that came along with winning that many ballgames. My club felt the pressure, there is no question. But they played well when they were tight."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

New York Yankees

Yankees weighing Machado's off-field comments

Steinbrenner finds star free agent's talk about hustle 'troubling'
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The Yankees' interest in Manny Machado is serious, and as the club continues to gather information and evaluate his potential fit in pinstripes, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said it is "essential" to hear an explanation for the free-agent slugger's October commentary.

When Machado's aggressiveness was questioned during the Dodgers' National League Championship Series against the Brewers, Machado memorably said that he was "not the type of player that's going to be Johnny Hustle." He also drew criticism for a pair of baserunning plays at first base, one of which resulted in a fine, and questionable slides into second base.

NEW YORK -- The Yankees' interest in Manny Machado is serious, and as the club continues to gather information and evaluate his potential fit in pinstripes, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said it is "essential" to hear an explanation for the free-agent slugger's October commentary.

When Machado's aggressiveness was questioned during the Dodgers' National League Championship Series against the Brewers, Machado memorably said that he was "not the type of player that's going to be Johnny Hustle." He also drew criticism for a pair of baserunning plays at first base, one of which resulted in a fine, and questionable slides into second base.

Video: Rosenthal on Steinbrenner's comments about Machado

Speaking to reporters at the Major League Baseball Owners' Meetings on Wednesday in Atlanta, Steinbrenner said that he felt Machado's comments were "troubling." General manager Brian Cashman is believed to be performing due diligence on Machado, including the fallout of the 26-year-old's eventful postseason.

Video: Manny Machado set to test waters of free agency

"If it's a $300 million guy or a $10 million guy, clearly those comments are troubling," Steinbrenner said. "But that's really Cash's job. If we're interested in any player, we sit down with him face to face and ask him, 'Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to [make]? How do you justify it?'

"Because that ain't going to sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen, no matter who it is."

Video: Cashman discusses how to evaluate free agent Machado

The Yankees have interest in Machado, in part because shortstop Didi Gregorius is expected to be sidelined at least until June -- and perhaps until August -- as he recovers from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Machado could potentially play shortstop and shift to third base, though that would dislodge Miguel Andujar, who finished second to the Angels' Shohei Ohtani when the results of the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting were announced Monday night.

Video: Andujar finishes 2nd for the AL Rookie of the Year

"Manny Machado is a terrific baseball player," Cashman said Wednesday on WFAN. "We got a chance to see him on the front lines against us for the Orioles for way too long, since he was drafted in the first round by them. He's been banging away against us offensively and securing outs defensively.

"He's a tremendous player. We've got to assess, does he fit our world and at what cost? We are going to go through that process with him as well as every available free agent and potential trade partner to see what is the best course of action."

Though right-hander Dellin Betances issued a public plea for the Yanks to add Machado, saying on Tuesday that he believed Machado would be a good teammate and "put us over the top," both Steinbrenner and Cashman have said that the team's highest priority is adding starting pitching.

"I've got to get two starters in here, preferably elite, which those lists are smaller," Cashman said. "The better quality No. 1, 2 or 3 type starter, that's what we need. I need multiples of those."

Video: Hoch reports on Yankees' pursuit of Patrick Corbin

Patrick Corbin, J.A. Happ and Dallas Keuchel are among the free-agent targets who have been linked to the Yankees, who moved swiftly to re-sign CC Sabathia earlier this month. The Yanks would also be interested if the Indians were to seriously shop Carlos Carrasco or Corey Kluber or the Mariners made James Paxton available.

Cashman added that the Yankees are considering bringing back relievers Zach Britton and David Robertson, both of whom are free agents.

"I've got to tend to that bullpen, I've got to figure out our middle-infield situation with Didi's Tommy John injury, which obviously brings up the Machado name," Cashman said. "We are going to explore all trade opportunities, both trade and free agent, as well as trying to assess the price tags associated with acquisition as well as the character and culture fit. Hopefully we make a good call."

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

New York Yankees, Manny Machado

Betances hopes Yanks land Machado

Flamethrower, star infielder teamed together during 2017 WBC
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The sting from losing to the Red Sox in the American League Division Series is still fresh for Dellin Betances, but the Yankees' reliever has an idea how his team could claim the upper hand for 2019 -- by signing Manny Machado.

"I think he'll put us over the top," Betances said Tuesday. "We were short last year. Things could have gone our way, but they didn't. Adding a guy like that would help any team. Our lineup is already impactful, so adding a guy like that would be pretty crazy."

NEW YORK -- The sting from losing to the Red Sox in the American League Division Series is still fresh for Dellin Betances, but the Yankees' reliever has an idea how his team could claim the upper hand for 2019 -- by signing Manny Machado.

"I think he'll put us over the top," Betances said Tuesday. "We were short last year. Things could have gone our way, but they didn't. Adding a guy like that would help any team. Our lineup is already impactful, so adding a guy like that would be pretty crazy."

Betances delivered his public plea at the Polo Grounds Community Center in Harlem, where he took part in a Thanksgiving food drive in conjunction with The Rosemark Group, Whole Foods Market and the Police Athletic League.

Having shared a clubhouse with Machado during the 2017 World Baseball Classic -- when they both represented the Dominican Republic -- Betances is convinced that the free-agent slugger would be a perfect fit in pinstripes.

"I played with him in the Classic and got a chance to develop a good relationship with him over the years, playing against him," Betances said. "I'm hoping that we get him. I'm keeping close tabs on it. It's not my decision, but that would be a big piece for the team. We have a good team, but adding a guy like that, that can play at a high level and has played at a high level for quite some time, we would be great."

The 26-year-old Machado batted .297/.367/.538 with 35 doubles, 37 home runs and 107 RBIs in 162 regular season games for the Orioles and Dodgers this past season, joining Los Angeles after a July 18 trade.

Machado had an eventful postseason as the Dodgers advanced to the World Series, including two incidents that drew headlines, one in which he spiked Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, and another where Machado dismissed attention about not running hard out of the batter's box by saying, "I'm not Johnny Hustle."

Video: Manny Machado set to test waters of free agency

"Some people had concerns over some of the stuff they saw, but a lot of stuff is more magnified in the playoffs," Betances said. "Getting a chance to play with him and getting to know him, he's a good person. He wants to win. That's the biggest thing. I think that's what he'd add to a team like this. He knows the playoff feel, playing with the Dodgers. He wants to win and that's what we want to do. Any time you can add a player like that, I think it will be beneficial."

Betances said that he believes the Yankees' winter is off to a good start. The club moved quickly to retain outfielder Brett Gardner and left-hander CC Sabathia, keeping both on one-year contracts.

"It's huge. Those are guys that have been here for a while," Betances said. "It would be weird not seeing them here. They're big contributors to our team and big-time leaders. To have them back with us, it's a huge step in the direction we want to go. I'm sure the front office will be busy in the next few weeks and months."

Video: Yanks cautiously testing waters on Machado

Especially with shortstop Didi Gregorius expected to be sidelined until at least June following Tommy John surgery, Betances believes that landing Machado would be the perfect move to disrupt Boston's ongoing celebration.

"He's a tough out, he's a guy that likes to study the pitchers well, tremendous defensively and on the offensive side, he can hit .300 and hit over 30 [homers]," Betances said of Machado. "Adding him to our team, he could use our ballpark to his advantage; he hits the ball all over the park. I think he's a fun guy as a teammate. He's a guy that loves to learn. I'm hopeful we get him."

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

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances, Manny Machado

Andujar, Torres finish 2nd, 3rd in AL ROY voting

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Miguel Andujar grabbed hold of an early-season opportunity and never looked back, establishing a reputation as one of the Yankees' most reliable performers while becoming the first third baseman in Major League history to tally at least 40 doubles and 25 homers in his rookie season.

While Andujar and fellow infielder Gleyber Torres enjoyed memorable debut campaigns in 2018, they were ultimately overshadowed by the Angels' two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, who was honored on Monday as the American League's Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Ohtani received 25 of 30 first-place votes.

NEW YORK -- Miguel Andujar grabbed hold of an early-season opportunity and never looked back, establishing a reputation as one of the Yankees' most reliable performers while becoming the first third baseman in Major League history to tally at least 40 doubles and 25 homers in his rookie season.

While Andujar and fellow infielder Gleyber Torres enjoyed memorable debut campaigns in 2018, they were ultimately overshadowed by the Angels' two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, who was honored on Monday as the American League's Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Ohtani received 25 of 30 first-place votes.

:: AL Rookie of the Year voting totals ::

Even though the pair of "Baby Bombers" finished short in their respective bids to bring home hardware, manager Aaron Boone said that Andujar and Torres were key in helping the team achieve its highest win total since its World Series championship season of 2009.

"I think there are similarities, because they were so impactful," Boone said. "When you look back on us winning 100 games, you don't do that without some amazing performances. It's hard to find two guys that were more impactful, more consistent for us."

Andujar received five first-place votes, 20 second-place votes and four third-place votes. The 23-year-old was an extra-base-hit machine, raking 47 doubles to shatter Joe DiMaggio's single-season franchise record for rookies (44, in 1936) and equaling Boston's Fred Lynn ('75) for the most ever by an AL rookie.

"Having my name alongside players like Joe DiMaggio, it's incredible, something you never dream of," Andujar said through an interpreter. "I'm very happy to have my name next to those great, great MLB players."

Video: Andujar on his terrific 2018 rookie campaign

Batting .297 with 27 homers and 92 RBIs across 149 games, Andujar led all rookies in hits (170), doubles, RBIs, extra-base hits (76) and multihit games, tying for first in homers and ranking second in runs (83) and batting average. Replacing the injured Brandon Drury at third base, Andujar earned AL Rookie of the Month selections in June and August.

"Andujar came in, just took the job and ran with it," Boone said. "Miguel Andujar, start to finish, was just a hitting machine. A lot of people questioned whether he was ready to play defensively at third. He handled himself capably and I think made strides, and I think showed a lot of people that he is going to be able to play the position on a long-term basis."

Video: Torres finishes 3rd in 2018 AL Rookie of the Year

Torres received three second-place votes and 16 third-place votes. The 21-year-old earned selection as an AL All-Star in 2018, batting .271 with 24 home runs and 77 RBIs in 123 games.

Widely celebrated as one of the league's most promising prospects, Torres returned from Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow to rank second among all rookies in RBIs and fourth in home runs, including seven three-run blasts.

More awards coverage

"First of all, I feel proud for being part of the team," Torres said. "It's my first year, and every day playing with all my teammates, it was pretty fun. I learned every day, I enjoyed every moment. I think for me, this year was really good to gain a lot of experience, and I'll take all that experience for next year. I enjoyed every moment of playing this season, and I will try to prove a little bit more of myself next year, and help my team."

The Yankees went 17-3 in the 20 games that Torres started at second base immediately following his recall, making his debut on April 22 and earning selection as the AL's Rookie of the Month for May. He owns the third-most career homers by a Yankee prior to his 22nd birthday, trailing only Mickey Mantle (57) and DiMaggio (29).

Video: Gleyber Torres on his fantastic rookie season

"He comes in right away and is a difference-maker," Boone said. "The offensive production he brought right away, the defense he played in the middle of the diamond, at one point later in the season when Didi Gregorius went down for a few weeks he was able to slide over and be our shortstop. The game comes very easily for Gleyber Torres, on both sides of the ball. There's just an ease that he plays the game with, and he's only going to continue to grow."

With Andujar and Torres following Gary Sanchez (2016) and Aaron Judge ('17), the Yankees have boasted four Rookie of the Year finalists in the last three seasons. Sanchez finished second to the Tigers' Michael Fulmer, while Judge won in a landslide last year, crowned as the Yanks' first Rookie of the Year since Derek Jeter in 1996.

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

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres

Florial notches steal, run scored in AFL action

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Wednesday:

• Gameday: Salt River 4, Glendale 3 | Mesa 10, Surprise 6 | Scottsdale 10, Peoria 3

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Wednesday:

• Gameday: Salt River 4, Glendale 3 | Mesa 10, Surprise 6 | Scottsdale 10, Peoria 3

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Blue Jays No. 9 prospect Cavan Biggio went 2-for-4 with a double, a single, an RBI and two strikeouts.

Orioles (Glendale)
Orioles No. 12 prospect Ryan McKenna went 1-for-3 with a single, two RBIs, a walk and a run scored. Steve Wilkerson went 0-for-3 with a walk. Tyler Erwin allowed an unearned run on one hit in one inning of relief.

Rays (Peoria)
Brandon Lawson struggled in his start, giving up four runs on six hits, and lasted only one inning. Phoenix Sanders didn't fare much better, as he gave up two runs in two innings. Dalton Moats gave up one run in one inning.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Red Sox No. 10 prospect Josh Ockimey went 0-for-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts. Bobby Dalbec (No. 6) went 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI, a run scored and two walks.

Yankees (Glendale)
Steven Sensley was the only Yankees prospect with a hit in a 1-for-3 afternoon. Yankees No. 2 prospect Estevan Florial went 0-for-3, but he walked, stole a base and scored a run. Thairo Estrada (No. 16) went 0-for-4. Matt Wivinis struck out the only batter he faced to get Glendale out of a jam in the eighth.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Catcher Li-Jen Chu went 1-for-4.

Royals (Surprise)
Meibrys Viloria went 2-for-4 with a single, a triple, a walk and two runs scored. Nick Heath was 1-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee went 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Tigers (Mesa)
Daniel Woodrow went 2-for-4 with two singles, two walks and a run scored. Jake Rogers went 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored.

Twins (Salt River)
Twins No. 18 prospect Travis Blankenhorn raised his Fall League average to .224 with three hits while also walking and scoring a run. Jaylin Davis went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to four games.

White Sox (Glendale)
Tanner Banks rebounded from a shaky outing in his last start with five strong innings, allowing one run on six hits with one strikeout. White Sox No. 4 prospect Luis Robert went 1-for-4 and stole both second and third base after his second-inning single. No. 9 prospect Luis Alexander Basabe and No. 28 prospect Laz Rivera were a combined 0-for-8.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Another look at Robert's 106.7 mph single and two stolen bases. The #WhiteSox OF prospect registered a 28.5 ft/sec sprint speed on the first, 29.5 on the second. Also reached 31.0 ft/sec on a groundout. pic.twitter.com/yKvxqMPlFU

AL West

A's (Mesa)
A's No. 30 prospect Skye Bolt went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

Angels (Mesa)
Angels No. 4 prospect Jahmai Jones went 2-for-6 with a home run, an RBI and two runs scored. Roberto Baldoquin went 1-for-3 with a homer, two RBIs, two walks and two runs scored.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Astros No. 21 prospect Abraham Toro continued his recent hot stretch with a 2-for-5 performance. Toro doubled, drew a walk and scored a trio of runs. Ronnie Dawson also picked up a pair of hits, finishing 2-for-5 with two RBIs. J.B. Bukauskas (No. 8) had a rough start, giving up three runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Trent Thornton (No. 24) fared much better, striking out four and yielding only one hit over 2 1/3 innings.

Mariners (Peoria)
Mariners No. 20 prospect Ian Miller went 1-for-2 and Joe DeCarlo went 0-for-3.

Rangers (Surprise)
Charles Leblanc went 1-for-4 with a single and a walk.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
Ray-Patrick Didder and Izzy Wilson each went 1-for-4. Braxton Davidson finished 0-for-4.

Marlins (Salt River)
Marlins No. 12 prospect Brian Miller had two hits in his second consecutive game, including a two-run single in the eighth inning. The knock scored No. 2 prospect Monte Harrison, who entered as a pinch-runner and stole third. No. 27 prospect Bryson Brigman was 0-for-5. More »

Video: Miller on his big game vs. Glendale in Fall League

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Phillies No. 11 prospect Arquimedes Gamboa and Austin Listi combined to go 3-for-10. Gamboa was 1-for-5, while Listi collected two hits in his five trips to the plate.

Nationals (Salt River)
Nationals No. 15 prospect Tres Barrera had two hits for the first time since Oct. 25, while Jake Noll went 1-for-3 while playing both third base and left field. Jordan Mills earned his first win of the AFL season after he struck out two in a scoreless eighth.

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso broke out of his 5-for-42 slump with a massive night. He hit a three-run homer in the first inning and kept hitting, finishing 4-for-5 with six RBIs, the most by any player in a Fall League game this season. Joe Zanghi and Matt Blackham combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief. Zanghi gave up one hit over two innings, while Blackham struck out one in his lone inning. More »

Video: Peter Alonso discusses his big game against Peoria

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Brewers No. 1 prospect Keston Hiura hit his fifth homer of the AFL season, which brings him into a tie for third place. He later doubled to finish 2-for-4. Trent Grisham (No. 19) hit his first Fall League homer and finished 1-for-4. Miguel Sanchez gave up three runs on six hits in three innings. Jon Olczak finished the game with a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Keston Hiura continues to rake in the @MLBazFallLeague. The #Brewers No. 1 prospect hit his fifth home run, which is tied for third in the AFL. Gameday: https://t.co/tTRyx6FBJa pic.twitter.com/qQugNgwjBY

Cardinals (Surprise)
Tommy Edman went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Andy Young started at designated hitter and went 0-for-5 with an RBI. Evan Kruczynski started for the Saguaros and took the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 5 prospect Trent Giambrone went 1-for-5 with a single in the first inning. D.J. Wilson (No. 16) went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, a run scored and two stolen bases.

Pirates (Surprise)
Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Bryan Reynolds (No. 8) went 1-for-4 with a single, a walk and a run scored.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds No. 2 prospect Taylor Trammell boosted his average to .298 with a three-hit performance. Trammell tripled, drew a walk and scored a trio of runs. Shed Long (No. 8) finished 1-for-4 with an RBI and Mark Kolozsvary went 1-for-2.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
D-backs No. 9 prospect Drew Ellis hit his fourth double of the fall before he was lifted for a pinch-runner in the eighth. Daulton Varsho (No. 5) was intentionally walked as a pinch-hitter following the double and swiped second as part of a double steal. No. 4 prospect Pavin Smith went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, while catcher Dominic Miroglio (No. 30) went 0-for-3. Kevin Ginkel allowed a run, but picked up his first save of the fall, while Tyler Mark pitched an inning and allowed an unearned run.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Nolan Long struck out a pair in a scoreless sixth, while Dodgers No. 26 prospect Jordan Sheffield took his first loss of the fall after giving up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Giants (Scottsdale)
Giants No. 28 prospect C.J. Hinojosa went 1-for-4.

Padres (Peoria)
Padres No. 25 prospect Austin Allen went 2-for-4 and scored a run. Buddy Reed (No. 13) went 0-for-2 and Hudson Potts (No. 23) went 0-for-4.

Rockies (Salt River)
Rockies No. 10 prospect Ryan Castellani struck out seven, tying his most in AFL play, as he pitched five innings and held Glendale to one run on two hits. No. 11 prospect Tyler Nevin hit a game-tying, pinch-hit RBI single, and Mitch Horacek struck out the side in the sixth.

Matsui's star still shines brightly in Japan

'Godzilla' throws first pitch to begin All-Star tour in home country
MLB.com @alysonfooter

TOKYO -- Hideki Matsui was first approached to be a Japan All-Star Series coach for the MLB team by his former Yankees manager, Joe Torre, who now works for the Commissioner's Office.

"As first, I was going to decline the offer," Matsui said, "But he bought me a very good dinner, at a very nice restaurant, and I couldn't turn down the offer."

View Full Game Coverage

TOKYO -- Hideki Matsui was first approached to be a Japan All-Star Series coach for the MLB team by his former Yankees manager, Joe Torre, who now works for the Commissioner's Office.

"As first, I was going to decline the offer," Matsui said, "But he bought me a very good dinner, at a very nice restaurant, and I couldn't turn down the offer."

View Full Game Coverage

Matsui, of course, was kidding. He was honored to be asked to be a part of the Major League staff during the Japan All-Star tour, and he's been enjoying his time back in the spotlight as a marquee attraction of the current three-city, seven-game tour through his native country.

Matsui has been retired from the game for several years -- his last season in the big leagues was 2012 with the Rays, which capped a 10-year career that began with his rookie season with the Yankees in '03. But as long as he continues to appear in baseball venues in Japan, he'll continue to draw considerable attention. This was clear in the first couple of days the Major League team visited the Tokyo Dome.

• Matsui's career stats

Matsui was, after all, nicknamed "Godzilla," and he remains one of the best success stories to emerge from the many Japanese players who have also starred in the big leagues.

Matsui, who will serve during this series as manager Don Mattingly's first-base coach, threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday, officially kicking off the six-game tournament between MLB and Japanese All-Stars.

"It's such a great thing that I'm back in Japan with this Yankees uniform on," Matsui said. "Even though I've never been a first-base coach before, which makes me overanxious, I'll try not to hurt the team. I'll try to contribute."

Video: Mattingly talks about Matsui's contributions

Matsui's mere presence has already elevated the prestige of the MLB All-Star team. Dozens of cameras have followed his every move as he navigates around the Tokyo Dome, the venue that used to be home to him when he starred as an outfielder with the Yomiuri Giants.

Matsui seamlessly glided through the process, shaking hands and posing for photos with myriad well-wishers.

"When Hideki was in New York, the following he had, it always amazed me the number of people who followed him, and reporting on what he was doing, his every move," Mattingly said. "It's great to have him here on our side. It's just an honor for me to be around Hideki. I have so much respect for him and the way he played and the work and the kind of player he was."

Matsui has had a front-row view for several Major League visits to his country. In 1996, as a member of the Yomiuri Giants, he was named MVP of the Japan team by the MLB All-Stars. In 2004, he was the primary attraction when his Yankees played the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a regular season-opening series at the Tokyo Dome.

In his first at-bat during an exhibition game against his former team, Matsui sent the sellout crowd of 55,000 into a frenzy with a solo homer to right-center field.

Video: NYY@TB: Matsui's huge home run rocks the Tokyo Dome

"My participation in this event [goes] back [to] 1996, 22 years ago," Matsui said. "Back then, I was really excited to see those players that I looked up to -- Pedro Martinez and Barry Bonds. Those super, superstars were here. That was a great joy and fun for all the Japanese players. I don't think it's ever changed. I believe the Japanese players are feeling the same way as well."

Matsui, who recorded more than 100 RBIs in four of his 10 Major League seasons, is more of a spectator this time around. But judging from the reaction he still receives when he shows up at the Tokyo Dome, his star hasn't dimmed.

"This time I'm a coach, and I'm trying to support the team as much as possible," he said. "We have a great opportunity, we're having a great experience this time."

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Who will be dealt? Each team's top trade chip

MLB.com @feinsand

Free agency will garner most of the headlines during baseball's Hot Stove season, but this is also a time for MLB's general managers to discuss a plethora of trade options.

Some clubs may be looking to shed salary, while others could be looking ahead at next year's free agents. One thing is certain: Teams are more willing to trade than ever before, meaning we'll see a number of moves in the weeks and months ahead.

Free agency will garner most of the headlines during baseball's Hot Stove season, but this is also a time for MLB's general managers to discuss a plethora of trade options.

Some clubs may be looking to shed salary, while others could be looking ahead at next year's free agents. One thing is certain: Teams are more willing to trade than ever before, meaning we'll see a number of moves in the weeks and months ahead.

The latest MLB free agent and trade rumors for Hot Stove season

Here's a look at one trade candidate from every team:

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Baltimore Orioles: Andrew Cashner
With an $8 million salary in 2019 and a $10 million option for '20, Cashner is a reasonably priced starter who could provide some back-end value for many teams. The Orioles are firmly in rebuilding mode, and they would probably love to shed some of their higher-priced players.

Boston Red Sox: Christian Vazquez
Vazquez signed a team-friendly three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Red Sox that kicks in next season, but his disappointing year at the plate could prompt Boston to try moving him. Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart still remain, though the Sox could try bringing in a better bat behind the plate, as well.

New York Yankees: Miguel Andujar
Sonny Gray was too obvious for this one, as GM Brian Cashman said after the season that he was going to look to trade the disappointing right-hander. Andujar posted a terrific rookie season, but his value may never be higher, questions remain about his defense … and the Yankees might make a play for Manny Machado. If they do, Andujar could be flipped for a controllable pitcher.

Video: NYY@BOS: Andujar's 47th double ties AL rookie record

Tampa Bay Rays: C.J. Cron
Jake Bauers played more innings at first than Cron last season, while No. 2 prospect Brendan McKay is the first baseman of the future. Cron's 30-homer, .816-OPS season in 2018 should make him a valuable asset, and he'll be due a raise from his $2.3 million salary in his second year of arbitration.

Toronto Blue Jays: Brandon Drury
The Blue Jays have an abundance of infielders, and with baseball's top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., zooming toward the Majors, it's only a matter of time before third base becomes his territory. Drury is a versatile, valuable player with three years of arbitration eligibility remaining, so he could bring back a nice return.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox: Jose Abreu
Abreu has been a popular name on the trade-rumor mill for more than a year, and although the White Sox are close to finishing their rebuild, Abreu is arbitration-eligible for the final time this offseason and can become a free agent after next season.

Cleveland Indians: Carlos Carrasco
Corey Kluber could have been the choice here given their ages -- Kluber is entering his age-33 season, while Carrasco will be playing at 32 -- and contract situations (Kluber is owed $13 million in 2019 and has club options for '20 and '21 worth $13.5 million and $14 million, respectively; Carrasco will earn $9 million next year and has a $9.5 million club option for '20). Kluber's track record is stronger, so although he may fetch a better return, the Indians would probably prefer to hang on to their ace and deal Carrasco.

Detroit Tigers: Nicholas Castellanos
The Tigers are in a full-on rebuild, and while they won't be able to move the sizeable contracts of Miguel Cabrera or Jordan Zimmermann, Castellanos is a huge chip for GM Al Avila. Fresh off a 23-homer, .854-OPS season, Castellanos has two years of club control left and should bring back some value.

Kansas City Royals: Danny Duffy
The Royals contemplated trading Duffy last summer, but the left-hander had a rough outing the week before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, then got knocked around twice in August before landing on the DL with a left shoulder injury. Trading him might be difficult because of the late-season injury and his salary (he has three years and $46 million left on his contract), but if the chance to deal him for value presents itself, the Royals could make a move.

Minnesota Twins: Jake Odorizzi
Odorizzi will get a raise from his $6.3 million salary in his final year of arbitration, and while he had a decent season for the Twins in 2018, Minnesota could flip him a year before he becomes a free agent.

AL WEST

Houston Astros: Hector Rondon
With Roberto Osuna, Ryan Pressly, Joe Smith, Collin McHugh and Josh James all returning, Rondon and his $4.5 million salary might prove to be an expendable piece for the Astros.

Los Angeles Angels: Kole Calhoun
Three of the Angels' top six prospects are outfielders, and given that Mike Trout and Justin Upton aren't going anywhere, Calhoun could be on the move if the Halos can get a pitcher in return. He's due $10.5 million in 2019 with a $14 million club option for '20.

Oakland Athletics: Mike Fiers
Fiers earned $6 million last season and has one more year of club control, but given the raises coming to Khris Davis and Oakland's 11 other arbitration-eligible players, Fiers -- who had his best season in three years -- could be moved to free up some payroll.

Seattle Mariners: James Paxton
Mike Zunino is already gone from Seattle, traded to Tampa Bay in a five-player deal that landed center fielder Mallex Smith with the Mariners. GM Jerry Dipoto is trying to reshape the roster this offseason, and with Mitch Haniger, Edwin Diaz and Marco Gonzales reportedly not on the block, no player would bring back a bigger return than Paxton, the hard-throwing lefty who, despite a lengthy injury history, is considered by many to be one of the top southpaws in the league.

Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo
Shin-Soo Choo had a terrific year, but with $42 million due to him over the next two years, his contract will be tough to move. Gallo isn't arbitration-eligible until 2020, and with four years of club control and a powerful bat, he would be valued by many teams and might be moved for a starting pitcher. Texas has Ronald Guzman ready to take over full-time at first base should Gallo be moved.