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New York Mets expect outfielder Michael Conforto to be out until May

New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is not expected to be ready to return from shoulder surgery until May, general manager Sandy Alderson said Wednesday. Conforto dislocated his left shoulder while swinging at a pitch during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 24. The 24-year-old had surgery in September. Drafted 10th overall by the Mets in 2014, Conforto hit .279 with 27 home runs and 68 RBIs last season — all career highs. He made his first All-Star team. Source link

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Are Chicago Cubs gearing up for a run at Bryce Harper? – Chicago Cubs Blog

CHICAGO — He was there, though only in spirit. Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper was omnipresent at the recently completed Chicago Cubs fan convention simply because there’s growing sentiment that he could be on the team after he hits free agency in November. His name was uttered in formal panel discussions all weekend and then some more in informal interviews with current Cubs, especially his good friend Kris Bryant. “I guess the only thing I can tell you is his dog’s name is Wrigley, so he must like us a…

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Andrew McCutchen of San Francisco Giants eager for challenge of playing right field at AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO — Andrew McCutchen figures San Francisco’s AT&T Park outfield is so big, playing right field will make him feel like a center fielder all over again. Running catches, ricochets off the wall, tricky bounces and all. And if he can save his legs a little bit from the action in center, he might just steal a few more bases. The Giants acquired the popular McCutchen from Pittsburgh on Monday, and he will be their new starting right fielder. Manager Bruce Bochy quickly spoke to incumbent Hunter Pence about…

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Fans may never forgive Pirates for trading Andrew McCutchen – Buster Olney Blog

Within minutes after former MVP Andrew McCutchen received the phone call late Monday afternoon that he was no longer a member of the Pirates, reports emerged that Pittsburgh has a multiyear agreement in place with talented closer Felipe Rivero. The sequence of events had all the look of a stage-managed leak, as if somebody within the Pirates organization was trying to distract fans from the news that McCutchen, a player once viewed as his generation’s Roberto Clemente, was being shipped out of the city. This is like trying to stop…

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Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Curtis Granderson heading to Toronto Blue Jays on one-year deal

Free-agent center fielder Curtis Granderson is heading to the Toronto Blue Jays on a one-year, $5 million deal, according to a report by The Athletic. The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Granderson from the New York Mets in August for their postseason push, during which he hit .067 with zero home runs and zero RBIs. The Dodgers were Granderson’s fourth team as he started with the Detroit Tigers then went to the New York Yankees and the Mets. Granderson, who turns 36 in March, hit .212 with 26 home runs and…

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Can the Giants make one last run?

Did you ever have a year so bad you wish you could just pretend it didn’t happen? The year just completed — 2017 — was kind of like that for the San Francisco Giants. And while it’s not possible for them to have their 98-loss season expunged from the record books, they are behaving as if that disastrous campaign never took place. Let’s call it the Ostrich Method of baseball team-building: No matter what’s going on around you, you can’t see it because you’ve got your head safely buried in…

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Toronto Blue Jays announce plans for extended protective netting at Rogers Centre

TORONTO — The Blue Jays will extend the protective netting at Rogers Centre to the outfield end of each dugout this season and increase the height of netting behind home plate by approximately 10 feet, to 28 feet. The changes announced Monday are being made after several fans at stadiums at big league ballparks were injured by bats and balls last year. MLB issued recommendations for protecting netting or screens in December 2015, encouraging teams to have it in place between the ends of the dugouts closest to home plate….

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Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey dies at 87

VISALIA, Calif. — Doug Harvey was so sure of his calls on the diamond that he ended every game the same way. Following the last out, the umpire took his wad of chewing tobacco and flung it on home plate. “I never did have any doubt in my mind,” he once said. “The only thing in my mind was, ‘Bring it on, suckers!’” One of only 10 umpires in the Hall of Fame and held in such regard by major league players and managers that they called him “God,” Harvey…

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Fantasy MLB — Fantasy reaction to Gerrit Cole’s trade to the Houston Astros

The long-rumored trade of Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros was consummated Saturday night and while it’s nice for the defending champions to secure another solid starter and they didn’t give up anything critical to their immediate future, I can’t help but focus on what Pittsburgh acquired. Right-hander Joe Musgrove could certainly be a potentially fantasy relevant starter. Right-hander Michael Feliz could certainly become a closer. And Colin Moran could start right away at third base and again, he could matter in fantasy. Landing Joe Musgrove and…

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Olney: How do teams value leadership on the free-agent market? Not as much as you’d think – Buster Olney Blog

Jason Heyward knows first-hand that teams are much more likely to pay for defense than they would have been 15 or 20 years ago, having pulled an eight-year, $184 million deal from the Cubs mainly because of how he covers outfield. Teams will pay for on-base percentage, for swing-and-miss stuff in pitchers, for spin rate. When the Astros invested a two-year deal in Charlie Morton last winter after his sluggish performance in 2016, one of his first questions to them was: Why? He gave the answer himself with the closing…

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