Whether he’s out on the town or simply checking messages, general manager Rick Hahn can sense the excitement and optimism surrounding the Chicago White Sox. ”Thank you.” It’s been a big offseason on both sides of the town with the Cubs and White Sox making a series of moves that have their fans believing years of losing are just about over. The White Sox think they’re in position to compete for the AL Central championship after a dizzying offseason in which they made key additions to their lineup, rotation and bullpen. Chicago added some left-handed pop by signing Adam LaRoche and bolstered its rotation by trading for right-hander Jeff Samardzija with one year left on his contract.

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 24th, 2015
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Outfielder Gregor Blanco finalized his $7.5 million, two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, a deal that covers his final two arbitration seasons. Blanco will earn $3.6 million in salary this season and $3.9 million for 2016. With the acquisition of new left fielder Nori Aoki this week, Blanco is likely to fill in at the outfield positions off the bench. The 31-year-old Blanco has played at least 141 games in each of his three seasons with San Francisco.

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 22nd, 2015
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In an interesting development that could alter the future of baseball’s first-year player draft, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons is reporting that officials from MLB and coaches representing the NCAA met on Monday to discuss the possibility of pushing the draft back until after the College World Series, which usually wraps up in mid-June. Gammons adds that the two sides were able reach a “general” agreement that July 1 will be their target date. NCAA Coaches and MLB officials met Monday, general agreement on a July 1 draft and July 15 signing deadline — Peter Gammons (@pgammo) January 21, 2015 That’s only one step, but it could prove to be a big one if both sides stick to their guns. They would also have to gain the approval of the MLBPA and add it to the collective bargaining agreement. That’s a potentially bigger hurdle, but at least they would form a united front should that battle take place. At this point, there’s no indication MLB or the NCAA plan to pursue a change in the near future. There are likely more details both sides would like to iron out before finalizing such an agreement or moving forth with a proposal, but it’s clear that the NCAA coaches are looking to eliminate the ill-timed distraction players face with the early June draft coinciding with regionals and the College World Series. We’re guessing the players wouldn’t mind either, as it would give them another showcase with which to impress scouts and improve their stock. By the same token, MLB teams would have another chance to evaluate top college prospects, but as many have already noted, it would create logistical issues, such as constructing short-season rookie teams that are often filled by new draft picks. It would also seemingly decrease the already small odds of new draft picks reaching the big leagues the same season, which Kansas City Royals reliever Brandon Finnegan proved could be valuable just last season. Again, this is only in the early stages. If some of those lower lying issues are approached and not resolved, this could fade away pretty quickly. But the fact it has been approached and there’s mutual interest in having it moved makes the next development in this story a big one. We’ll be watching. BLS H/N: Eye on Baseball More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 22nd, 2015
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Today we’ll get ready for the 2015 MLB season with a team-by-team bullpen audit.

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 21st, 2015
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Free agent outfielder Nori Aoki has finalized his $4.7 million, one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants. Aoki played last season with Kansas City, which lost the World Series to the Giants in seven games. He receives a $4 million base salary this year, and the Giants have a $5.5 million option for 2016 with a $700,000 buyout. The option would become mutual if Aoki has 550 plate appearances this year, and he would receive the buyout if he exercises the option and the team declines.

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 20th, 2015
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Yovani Gallardo is getting a chance to pitch at home. The Milwaukee Brewers traded Gallardo and $4 million of his $14 million salary to the Texas Rangers for infielder Luis Sardinas and right-handers Corey Knebel and Marcos Diplan on Monday. I grew up here, went to high school here,” said Gallardo, who lives in North Texas. ”I’m very excited for this opportunity and looking forward to it.” While the deal gives the Rangers a needed proven starter in the middle of their rotation behind Yu Darvish and Derek Holland, it could also indicate the Brewers may try to pursue free-agent pitcher James Shields Gallardo, who turns 29 next month, was 8-11 last year with a 3.51 ERA in 32 starts last season.

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 20th, 2015
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Free agent outfielder Nori Aoki has finalized his $4.7 million, one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants. Aoki played last season with Kansas City, which lost the World Series to the Giants in seven games. He receives a $4 million base salary this year, and the Giants have a $5.5 million option for 2016 with a $700,000 buyout.

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 19th, 2015
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Post info: By Royals04 on January 19th, 2015
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Bullpen trios are in again thanks to Kansas City Royals’ ace relievers Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera. If you want to see where they were put on the map though, check out the next edition of MLB Network Presents on Tuesday. Host Bob Costas will be turning back the clock to 1990 to revisit baseball’s most infamous bullpen trio – the Cincinnati Reds’ Nasty Boys, which consisted of Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers. It’s the second installment of MLB Network’s new documentary program and it’s aptly titled “Nasty Boys: The 1990 Cincinnati Reds.” While the broad focus of the program will be on Cincinnati’s last World Series championship squad from 25 years ago, the spotlight will once again shine on the three eccentric relievers who set the tone for manager Lou Piniella and made headlines — good, bad and otherwise — on a daily basis.

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 19th, 2015
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Outfielder Gregor Blanco and the San Francisco Giants reached agreement on a $7.5 million, two-year contract to avoid arbitration, a person with knowledge of the deal said Sunday. The 31-year-old Blanco could share time in left field after the defending World Series champions reached a $4.7 million, one-year contract with Nori Aoki on Friday. Blanco has played at least 141 games in each of his three seasons with San Francisco. Blanco led off Game 2 of the World Series at Kansas City last fall with a home run, and the Giants went on to win their third championship in five years in seven games against the Royals.

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Post info: By Royals04 on January 18th, 2015
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