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February 2019
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‘MLB’ Articles

MLB suspends three minor leaguers for violation of drug policies



Jan. 25th, 2019


The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced a couple days ago that three Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Cincinnati Reds Minor League pitcher Junior Harding, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Arizona League Reds, has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Methylphenidate, a stimulant in violation of the Program.

Minnesota Twins Minor League pitcher Alex Schick, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Amphetamine, a stimulant in violation of the Program.

Baltimore Orioles Minor League outfielder Trey Whitley, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles, has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Program.


MLB forms 10-year partnership with Nike and Fanatics



(courtesy Nike Inc.)

(courtesy Fanatics Inc.)


Nike becomes official uniform & footwear supplier of MLB starting in 2020 season


Jan. 25th, 2019


Major League Baseball, Nike and Fanatics announced a new 10-year global partnership that makes Nike the Official Uniform and Footwear Supplier of MLB starting in the 2020 season. The new cooperation among the three organizations will provide Major League Baseball players with uniforms developed by Nike’s team of innovative designers and will provide fans with the widest assortment of MLB fan gear ever, manufactured and distributed by Fanatics.

Starting in 2020, Nike will be the exclusive provider of all MLB on-field uniforms, which will feature the Nike Swoosh, along with baselayer, game-day outerwear and all training apparel for the 30 MLB Clubs. Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise, has been granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of the Nike MLB Authentic Collection, as well as Nike and Fanatics fan gear, sold through the retail community, including, MLB clubs and brick & mortar stores.

Enhancing both assortment and speed-to-market of MLB products, Fanatics will utilize its vertical commerce model to create and distribute a wide range of MLB fan apparel sold at retail, including jerseys, Postseason apparel, and hot market gear that captures the latest events happening on the field.

“Nike’s global brand and reputation as a leader in marketing and driving innovation makes them an ideal partner,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “In addition, Fanatics is a valuable partner who has proven to serve our fans with speed, agility and quality service. We’re very excited about the possibilities this unique arrangement provides us over the next decade.”

In addition, Nike will continue as an official MLB sponsor, supporting league initiatives, grassroots marketing and fan events. Nike, as part of the new agreement, will partner with all 30 MLB Clubs and promote its brand and products across MLB media assets including MLB Network,, and MLB Social.

The world’s leading performance brand will utilize its Nike Baseball athletes in official MLB uniforms across its advertising and promotions. Nike currently has endorsement relationships with over 500 MLB and Minor League players including Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, George Springer, José Ramirez, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Javier Báez and Nolan Arenado to name a few.

“We’re thrilled to bring more innovation and creativity to Major League Baseball and the incredible athletes who play the game,” said Tom Peddie, VP/GM of Nike North America. “This is an exciting time for baseball, and we look forward to partnering with MLB to grow the sport both across America as well as around the globe.”

“Given the continued rise in real-time demand by both fans and retailers, this three-way partnership will ensure MLB fans always have access to the products they crave regardless how, where or when they want to shop,” said Michael Rubin, Fanatics Founder and Executive Chairman. “This progressive approach around joining forces between an elite performance brand and the innovative vertical capabilities of Fanatics continues to be the future model for licensed sports merchandise.”

About Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. Major League Baseball is the best-attended sport in North America, and since 2004, MLB has enjoyed its best-attended seasons in the history of the game. Led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB currently features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports. MLB remains committed to making an impact in the communities of the U.S., Canada and throughout the world, perpetuating the sport’s larger role in society and permeating every facet of baseball’s business, marketing and community relations endeavors. With the continued success of MLB Network and MLB digital platforms, MLB continues to find innovative ways for its fans to enjoy America’s National Pastime and a truly global game. For more information on Major League Baseball, visit

About NIKE, Inc.

NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Ore., is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE, Inc. subsidiary brands include Converse, which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Hurley, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, Nike’s earnings releases and other financial information are available at Individuals can also visit and follow @Nike.

About Fanatics

As the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, Fanatics is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel and jerseys through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand culture. Operating multi-channel commerce for the world’s biggest sports brands, Fanatics offers the largest collection of timeless and timely merchandise whether shopping online, on your phone, in stores, in stadiums or on-site at the world’s biggest sporting events.


Reds continue to revamp starting pitching rotation with acquisition of Sonny Gray from the Yankees



Sonny Gray throwing plateward 2017 photo By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA , CC BY-SA 2.0, https

sign All-Star pitcher to 3-year contract extension through 2022


On Monday, Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams announced the acquisitions of RHP Sonny Gray and LHP Reiver Sanmartin (pronounced REEVER san-mar-TEEN) from the New York Yankees in exchange for IF Shed Long and the Reds’ 2019 Competitive Balance A draft pick.

Williams also announced that Gray, who would have been eligible for free agency following the 2019 season, has agreed to terms on a 3-year contract extension through the 2022 season, with a club option for 2023.

Gray, 29, will be reunited with new Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson, who worked on the Vanderbilt University coaching staff when Gray pitched there from 2009-2011. Gray finished his career ranked second all-time at the school in wins (27) and fourth in team history in strikeouts (317). In 2011, he helped lead the Commodores to their first NCAA College World Series berth after finishing 12-4 with a 2.43 ERA.

In 2015, when he went 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA in 31 starts for the Oakland Athletics, Gray was an American League All-Star and finished third in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Cy Young Award voting. He did not pitch in the AL’s 6-3 win in the All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park.

A first-round draft pick of the Athletics in the June 2011 first-year player draft (18th overall), Gray is 59-52 with a 3.66 ERA in 146 career starts and 9 relief appearances and won at least 10 games in 4 of his 5 full Major League seasons. Last season he ranked third on the Yankees’ staff with 11 wins, and he has posted a sterling 2.95 ERA in 4 career Postseason appearances, all starts (21.1ip, 14h, 12bb, 18k, 2hr).

Sanmartin, 22, in July 2015 was signed by the Texas Rangers as a non-drafted free agent. In his minor league career, he is 19-11 with a 2.68 ERA in 33 starts and 12 relief appearances with 177 strikeouts and just 28 walks in 205.0 innings pitched.

Long, 23, was selected by the Reds in the 12th round of the June 2013 first-year player draft. In his 6 minor league seasons he hit .272 in 457 games. In 2018, his first full season above Class A, he hit .261 in 126 appearances at Pensacola in the Southern League.

Read more: Cincinnati Reds



MLB issues heavy suspension to Royals’ Skoglund




Eric Skoglund pitching to plate 2018 photo By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Kansas City Royals pitcher Eric Skoglund has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for the Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators S-22 (Ostarine) and LGD-4033 (Ligandrol), both performance-enhancing substances, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Skoglund’s 80-game suspension will be effective at the beginning of the 2019 regular season.




MLB announces important dates for 2019 Spring Training presented by Camping World



Following are the first workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League Clubs for 2019 Spring Training presented by Camping World. First is a listing for American League and National League Clubs, followed by a listing by Grapefruit League and the Cactus League affiliation.

In addition, below the first workout dates is the schedule of 2019 Spring Training Photo Days for each of the 30 Clubs.

2019 Spring Training First Workout Dates (pitchers and catchers / full squad)

Angels: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Astros: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Athletics: Feb. 11/Feb. 16
Blue Jays: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Indians: Feb. 12/Feb. 18
Mariners: Feb. 12/Feb. 16
Orioles: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rangers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rays: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Red Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Royals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Tigers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Twins: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
White Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Yankees: Feb. 14/Feb. 19

Braves: Feb. 16/Feb. 21
Brewers: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Cardinals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Cubs: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Diamondbacks: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Dodgers: Feb. 13/Feb. 19
Giants: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Marlins: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Mets: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Nationals: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Padres: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Phillies: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Pirates: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Reds: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rockies: Feb. 13/Feb. 18

Grapefruit League Photo Days in Arizona (all times local)

Sunday, February 17th
7:30 a.m. Tampa Bay Rays, Port Charlotte

Tuesday, February 19th
6:00 a.m. Philadelphia Phillies, Clearwater
6:45 a.m. Houston Astros, West Palm Beach
7:00 a.m. Boston Red Sox, Lee County
7:30 a.m. Detroit Tigers, Lakeland

Wednesday, February 20th
6:30 a.m. Pittsburgh Pirates, Bradenton
7:00 a.m. Baltimore Orioles, Sarasota
7:00 a.m. Miami Marlins, Jupiter

Thursday, February 21st
7:00 a.m. New York Mets, Port St. Lucie
7:00 a.m. St. Louis Cardinals, Jupiter
8:30 a.m. New York Yankees, Tampa Friday, February 22nd
6:40 a.m. Washington Nationals, West Palm Beach
7:00 a.m. Atlanta Braves, Disney
7:30 a.m. Minnesota Twins, Lee County
8:00 a.m. Toronto Blue Jays, Dunedin

Cactus League Photo Days in Arizona (all times local)

Monday, February 18th
7:00 a.m. Seattle Mariners, Peoria

Tuesday, February 19th
6:45 a.m. Oakland Athletics, Mesa
7:00 a.m. Cincinnati Reds, Goodyear
7:00 a.m. Los Angeles Angels, Tempe

Wednesday, February 20th
6:30 a.m. Arizona Diamondbacks, Salt River Fields
6:45 a.m. Colorado Rockies, Salt River Fields
6:45 a.m. Texas Rangers, Surprise
7:00 a.m. Chicago Cubs, Mesa
7:00 a.m. Los Angeles Dodgers, Glendale

Thursday, February 21st
6:00 a.m. Chicago White Sox, Glendale
6:00 a.m. San Diego Padres, Peoria
6:45 a.m. San Francisco Giants, Scottsdale
7:00 a.m. Kansas City Royals, Surprise
7:30 a.m. Cleveland Indians, Goodyear

Friday, February 22nd
7:30 a.m. Milwaukee Brewers, Phoenix


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