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10:50 PM ET, January 17, 2017

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 Top News: 
ESPN:
Transparency will make HOF voting a whole new game  —  It's one of the most historic Hall of Fame elections of all time.  And there's an excellent chance that no one has told you why.  —  The funny thing is this history has nothing to do with who gets elected Wednesday …
RELATED:
David Pinto / baseballmusings.com:
ESPN Votes  —  ESPN released all 17 ballots employees submitted for the Hall of Fame vote.
Discussion: ESPN
Ricky Keeler / Fox Sports:
Washington Nationals Legacy: Time For Tim Raines To Make Hall Of Fame
Ben Frederickson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Winter Warm-Up: Grichuk back to speed after offseason knee surgery  —  Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com … Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk need a little more than a month to recover from knee surgery he had at the end of the 2016 season to address soreness and inflammation that followed him throughout the summer.
Discussion: Viva El Birdos
RELATED:
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Cards appear intent on taking Martinez, Wacha to arbitration hearing
Discussion: South Side Sox
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Diamondbacks, Gregor Blanco Agree To Minors Deal  —  Longtime Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco has agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, Blanco's agent, Wil Polidor, tells Manolo Hernandez of BeisbolPorGotas.com (Twitter link).
Discussion: MLB Daily Dish and AZ Snake Pit
RELATED:
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Tigers “In Touch” With Peter Bourjos, Gregor Blanco  —  The Tigers have opened a dialogue with free-agent outfielders Peter Bourjos and Gregor Blanco, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter links).  There's no agreement close with either player, but the two are under consideration …
Discussion: FanRag Sports and Bless You Boys
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Blue Jays To Re-Sign Jose Bautista  —  3:45pm: Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Bautista's 2017 salary will be $18MM, but the buyout on the second-year option will tack another $500K to $1MM onto the overall guarantee (Twitter links).  Bautista will have mutual option for the 2018 season …
RELATED:
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Royals Extend Danny Duffy  —  The Royals have a number of key players hitting the open market next winter, but left-hander Danny Duffy will no longer be among them.  The Royals announced on Monday that they've signed Duffy to a five-year deal that runs through the 2021 season and will reportedly guarantee him $65MM.
Carrie Muskat / MLB.com:
Fans get up-close look at trophy, continue title celebration  —  CHICAGO — The buzz at the Cubs Convention on Friday seemed louder and livelier than in years past, as fans were eager to celebrate the World Series championship, the first for the franchise in 108 years.
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Rays adding to bullpen, close to signing Shawn Tolleson  —  The Rays are making a move to bolster their bullpen as they are close to finalizing a deal with RHP Shawn Tolleson, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.  —  Tolleson, 29 on Thursday, saved 35 games for the Rangers in 2015 but struggled through …
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors and DRaysBay
David Kagan / The Hardball Times:
The Physics of Barreled Balls  —  I guess I wasn't paying attention because back in September 2016 Mike Petriello wrote that Statcast debuted a new metric called “Barreled Balls.”  According to MLB's Statcast Glossary, the barreled ball designation is assigned to balls with specific exit velocities …
Dennis Lin / sandiegouniontribune.com:
Padres sign Wil Myers to six-year, $83 million extension  —  The Padres' Wil Myers signs autographs for fans before the start of the All-Star Game at Petco Park.  (Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune)  —  Wil Myers and the Padres have reached the finish line on the largest contract in franchise history.
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Jake Diekman To Undergo Surgery, Miss Significant Portion Of 2017 Season  —  Rangers reliever Jake Diekman is expected to miss “at least half” of the 2017 season after undergoing surgery to “help alleviate ulcerative colitis,” according to Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter).
Discussion: FanRag Sports and Yahoo Sports
Lindsey Foltin / Fox Sports:
Brother of MLB pitcher Edinson Volquez reportedly stabbed to death  —  The brother of Miami Marlins pitcher Edinson Volquez was stabbed to death in the Dominican Republic, according to a report by Quisqueyanos En Los Deportes.  —  Brandy Volquez died after being stabbed in a Santo Domingo barber shop.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Braves zero in on Sarasota County for spring training  —  The Braves may have finally found their new spring-training site.  —  Officials in Sarasota County, Fla., announced today that the Braves have entered into exclusive negotiations with the county and its partners at the West Villages development …
Discussion: Talking Chop
 
 Latest News Finder: 
2½ hours ago
Jeff Todd / MLB Trade Rumors:
Tigers “In Touch” With Peter Bourjos, Gregor Blanco   Find
2½ hours ago
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Diamondbacks, Gregor Blanco Agree To Minors Deal   Find
3½ hours ago
Dennis Lin / sandiegouniontribune.com:
Padres sign Wil Myers to six-year, $83 million extension   Find
4 hours ago
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Rays adding to bullpen, close to signing Shawn Tolleson   Find
4 hours ago
Lindsey Foltin / Fox Sports:
Brother of MLB pitcher Edinson Volquez reportedly stabbed to death   Find
6 hours ago
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Braves zero in on Sarasota County for spring training   Find
 
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 More News: 
Filip Bondy / New York Times:
Hello, Fans. We're the New Yankees. Sandwich?
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Jim Salisbury / CSN Philly:
Phillies Phodder: Jerad Eickhoff, a new bat, Montgomery and other matters
 Earlier Picks: 
Mark Feinsand / New York Daily News:
Hal Steinbrenner has a 2017 payroll figure in mind for Yankees GM Brian Cashman
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Megan French / Us Weekly:
Robin Thicke, Paula Patton Attend Therapy With Son Julian Amid Custody Battle

Matt Maytum / games radar:
Beauty and the Beast roars onto the cover of Total Film magazine - on sale now!

Ramin Setoodeh / Variety:
Chelsea Handler Blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump's Election

 
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