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12/26/2013 | 'Tis the season to get holiday gifts for AL clubs

Anthony Castrovince takes a brief gander at each of MLB's 30 clubs and offers up a holiday gift to assist their efforts in the coming New Year. The National League was first in line, with the focus now on the American League.


12/26/2013 | O's optimistic for 2014 with key pieces on the mend

The Orioles are eager to flip the calendar as they seek a return to postseason form in the new year. The rehab progress of Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy is among the top issues facing the club in 2014.


12/26/2013 | Phillies counting on veteran core to lead way in '14

After making a few moves this offseason, the Phillies enter the new year with plenty of questions. Can Ryan Howard be the Big Piece again? Can Jimmy Rollins stay motivated and bounce back? Who will be the everyday third baseman? Who is the real Ben Revere?


12/26/2013 | Mets look to big-ticket stars, young arms in 2014

Beat reporter Anthony DiComo looks at New York's 10 biggest questions entering 2014, including whether the Mets' young arms and big-ticket signings will propel them into contention in the NL East.


12/26/2013 | Twins ready to round corner to respectability in '14

With a third straight disappointing season, the Twins are more than ready to turn the page on 2013 and move on to '14. The club has lost at least 96 games in each of the last three years. But it heads into the new year with some optimism because of one of the game's best farm systems and a revamped rotation after signing free agents Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey to multi-year deals.


12/26/2013 | Bucs aiming to build on breakthrough '13 campaign

As skipper Clint Hurdle's Pirates swaggered down the stretch in 2013 on their newly-paved glory road, the oft-heard cautionary note sounded by team officials was this: "Achieving success is hard. But maintaining it is harder." General manager Neal Huntington and Co. are looking to arrange a suitable encore to a 94-win season.


12/26/2013 | Fresh off title, Red Sox set sights on repeating

The challenge of winning a title is topped only by the quest of repeating. Nobody has done it since the Yanks from 1998-2000, and the Red Sox will be on the clock, trying to show that it can be done. However, manager John Farrell is hopeful his team will attack this challenge in incremental steps, rather than trying to do it all at once.


12/26/2013 | 10 questions D-backs face in 2014

Arizona finished with back-to-back 81-81 seasons, and general manager Kevin Towers is determined to find a way over the hump in 2014. He has again made significant changes to the roster, adding a power bat in Mark Trumbo and a top bullpen arm in Addison Reed.


12/26/2013 | Optimistic Renteria leads Cubs into new year

You'll hear a lot about Wrigley Field celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014. There will be retrospectives on the ballpark, replica uniforms, appearances by alumni throughout the season and plenty of fanfare. It's the first year, though, for rookie manager Rick Renteria, named the Cubs' 53rd skipper in November.


12/26/2013 | 10 questions facing Angels in 2014

After many things went wrong for the Angels last season, Mike Scioscia and Co. look to bounce back in 2014. Here are the 10 biggest questions facing the Halos in the coming year.


12/26/2013 | New year brings an enthusiastic outlook for Atlanta

A strong sense of familiarity still surrounds the Braves as they enter 2014. They are anxiously looking forward to building on the success of a new era that was celebrated in September, when the club captured the National League East title. Most of the same players who played a key role in winning the division title will be back to defend it.


12/26/2013 | Toronto needs Morrow, young arms to step up in '14

In search of health and pitching in '14, the Blue Jays get a clean slate as the new year begins. Here are 10 questions that will be pivotal to the Blue Jays' success next season, including whether 2014 is the year that Brandon Morrow breaks out.


12/24/2013 | Baseball's charitable efforts always in season

There are many reasons that baseball has entered a golden age. More than ever, baseball -- that is, its players and owners and executives -- understand they have a responsibility beyond the numbers and the wins and losses.


12/24/2013 | Worry over 'starting the clock' a waste of time

Teams waste too much time worrying about "starting the clock" on a young player's potential free agency, writes columnist Tracy Ringolsby. Instead, rosters should be constructed of the 25 players who give the Major League club the best chance to win.


12/23/2013 | Second helping of Trout turns out even better

One year after turning in one of the most impressive rookie seasons of all-time, all Mike Trout did in his 2013 sophomore season was cement his place as the best all-around player in the game.


12/23/2013 | Resurgence of Stanton will be key for Marlins

It's been a busy month for the Marlins, who signed four free agents in hopes of bringing some life to a stagnant offense. The new additions certainly are a start, but for Miami to make a dramatic turnaround in 2014, the club also will be banking on seeing the Giancarlo Stanton of old.


12/23/2013 | For Draft investment, sky should be the limit

Though the industry spends more than $200 million annually on unproven amateurs in the Draft, it's still far and away the most cost-effective way to build a club. That's why, if I could alter one thing about the Draft, I would abolish any limits and let teams invest as much money as they wanted.


12/23/2013 | Medlen ready for first Christmas with baby boy

MLB.com recently caught up with Braves pitcher Kris Medlen to see what he's doing for the holidays. Medlen and his wife are excited to spend their first Christmas with their 10-month-old son.


12/23/2013 | First Christmas with daughter special for Motte

It has been a life-changing year for Jason Motte. One that opened with the birth of his first child and the signing of his first multiyear contract closed with a Caribbean vacation and wisdom teeth surgery. In between, Motte lost a baseball season due to an elbow injury but gained perspective through new relationships and his cancer outreach efforts.


12/23/2013 | Every day with sister Noely is special for Baez

On Christmas Day, Javier Baez will gather with his family to celebrate, just as others do, but for them, every day is a holiday because of his sister, Noely.


12/23/2013 | Yost family's best gift is being together for holidays

Royals manager Ned Yost spends most of his year directing the fortunes of the Kansas City baseball club. But for as much of the offseason as possible, and certainly during the holidays, his farm in Georgia is the center of his life.


12/23/2013 | After Triple Crown season, Miggy even better in '13

No epic encore was required. Miguel Cabrera had put his greatness on display in 2012, becoming the first hitter in 45 years to win the Triple Crown. No one could have expected him to top it.


12/23/2013 | The Week Ahead: Christmas gifts await clubs

Christmas week isn't just time for joyous celebration with family, egg nog, visions of sugarplums and yuletide carols. In fact, when it comes to The Week Ahead in Major League Baseball, the Hot Stove is more about cooking up winter deals than figgy pudding. That's because there's still a lot left to be resolved this offseason.


12/23/2013 | Pipeline Perspectives: Allow for dealing on Draft day

Pipeline Perspectives: Jonathan Mayo argues that allowing trades at the First-Year Player Draft would help teams fill their needs, all while making the Draft itself a can't-miss event.


12/22/2013 | 'Tis the season to get holiday gifts for NL clubs

Anthony Castrovince takes a brief gander at each of MLB's 30 clubs and offers up a holiday gift to assist their efforts in the coming New Year. The National League is first in line. We'll address the AL on Thursday.




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