Cardinals to use spring to find right mix for lineup

Matheny has several options for batting order with addition of Heyward

Cardinals to use spring to find right mix for lineup

ST. LOUIS -- The only conclusion that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he's come to regarding a projected 2015 batting order is that it won't be decided until a little experimentation can be done. And experimentation, of course, is on hold until spring.

What Matheny has made clear in the days since the Cardinals added Jason Heyward's bat into their lineup is that while he'll continue to scribble down potential batting orders, he doesn't intend to set anything in stone until he can see how each looks in motion. Grapefruit League play will serve as the test tube.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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McGwire hoping to reverse trend on HOF ballot

Former A's and Cardinals slugger has seen support wane in recent years

McGwire hoping to reverse trend on HOF ballot

Mark McGwire is a candidate on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the ninth year. The results will be announced exclusively on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com live on Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. ET.

In five years as a coach, Mark McGwire has achieved something he long wanted: he's just a guy doing his best to help his team win. McGwire does his work -- quite successfully the past few seasons -- and stays out of the spotlight.

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Matthew Leach is an editor and reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Kantrovitz leaves Cardinals to be A's assistant GM

St. Louis native had been club's director of amateur scouting since 2012

Dan Kantrovitz has departed his position as the Cardinals' director of amateur scouting to be Oakland's assistant general manager, the A's announced on Monday.

Kantrovitz, a St. Louis native and former Cardinals farmhand, took over as the organization's amateur scouting director after Jeff Luhnow departed to be the general manager of the Astros following the 2011 season.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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After big dip in support, Smith hoping to close out Hall bid

Former career saves leader fell from 50.6 percent to 29.9 percent of vote

After big dip in support, Smith hoping to close out Hall bid

For "Fireman," an ode to closers published in 2010, Mariano Rivera was the cover boy. Providing the foreword for the book was the man who for a long time had been the closing fraternity's poster boy, Lee Smith.

It was entirely fitting for Large Lee to pen the prologue for such an important printed documentary, because in a large sense he had performed the prologue in the 'pen for what has become such a critical role in baseball. Yet, he still waits to write the epilogue to his own career, an acceptance speech to be delivered on a Cooperstown, N.Y., lawn.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Musial exhibit sure to be hit with Cardinals fans

Musial exhibit sure to be hit with Cardinals fans

ST. LOUIS -- Stan Musial's baseball career has been well documented, but now all Cardinals fans can get to know "The Man" off the field.

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum opened its first temporary exhibit, Stan Musial: "The Man" Off the Field. The exhibit focuses on the life and contributions that Musial made outside of baseball. The exhibit will be in place until next November.

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Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Back to school: Berkman hits the books at Rice

Former All-Star on schedule to graduate with kinesiology degree next summer

Back to school: Berkman hits the books at Rice

HOUSTON -- Thirteen years ago, a reporter asked Lance Berkman, "What did you major in at Rice?"

"Eligibility," he answered.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cardinals acquire infielder Kelly in trade with Mariners

Cardinals acquire infielder Kelly in trade with Mariners

The Cardinals acquired infielder Ty Kelly from the Mariners Thursday in exchange for right-handed pitcher Sam Gaviglio. Kelly was added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster, which is now at 37.

Kelly, 26, batted .263 with 15 home runs and a team-high 80 RBIs in 134 games with Triple-A Tacoma this past season. A switch-hitting infielder, he hit 14 of his 15 home runs from the left side and batted .378 with seven home runs with runners in scoring position.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Matheny helping Cardinals work through grief

Familiar with tragedy, manager reached out after Taveras' death, hopes to educate

Matheny helping Cardinals work through grief

ST. LOUIS -- As Mike Matheny stood back and listened to the advice and emotion that poured out of Carlos Martinez, he felt both the pride and the heartbreak of a father. Seeing the way Martinez was turning tragedy into teaching was stirring, but the undertones of Martinez's talk to the teenagers who gathered near him were that he wished he didn't have this experience from which to speak.

There were about 50 kids in attendance, about half of those from a St. Louis-area baseball team that Matheny had accompanied on the visit to the Dominican Republic. It was his second visit to the Caribbean nation within a three-week span, though the only one that had been planned.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Oscar Taveras' family uses his Twitter to thank fans

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Oscar Taveras' family uses his Twitter to thank fans

After Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic last month, fans everywhere sent their thoughts, condolences and prayers to Taveras' family. Some did so on Twitter, others left physical remembrances.

On Thursday evening, Taveras' family took to Oscar's Twitter account to thank those that reached out, and to post items left by fans in memory of Taveras.

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One-time Cards 20-game winner Sadecki dies at 73

Lefty pitched for Cardinals, Mets, Giants, Royals, Braves, Brewers

ST. LOUIS -- Ray Sadecki, a left-handed pitcher who won 20 games for the Cardinals in their 1964 championship season, died Monday due to complications of blood cancer. He was 73.

Born in Kansas City, Kan., Sadecki debuted for the Cardinals in 1960 and went on to enjoy an 18-year Major League playing career. Eight of those seasons came in St. Louis, followed by stints with the Mets, Giants, Royals, Braves and Brewers. He finished with a career record of 135-131 and 3.78 ERA over 563 appearances (328 starts).

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Most of Cardinals' offseason to-do list checked off

After Heyward-Walden trade, only complementary moves expected from now until Spring Training

Most of Cardinals' offseason to-do list checked off

ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals' offseason plans changed course substantially after Oscar Taveras' death in late October, the organization was still able to address its most glaring needs within two weeks of free agency opening.

So what does that leave the Cardinals needing to do in the remaining weeks before Spring Training? Perhaps not much.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

NL Central projects to be most dominant division in 2015

Cubs expected to re-emerge, making group of clubs toughest in Majors top to bottom

NL Central projects to be most dominant division in 2015

As we speak, the most balanced, deepest and quite possibly toughest division in baseball is the National League Central.

You can search for a truly weak link in this group, but the search will be in vain. With the emergence of the Cubs as a force to be reckoned with, the division no longer contains a soft spot, a rest area or the expectation of a walkover anywhere within its borders.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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With crowded outfield, Cardinals release Robinson

St. Louis adds Stanley to 40-man roster, sends Butler to Triple-A

With crowded outfield, Cardinals release Robinson

ST. LOUIS -- With a high concentration of outfielders already projected to be on the Cardinals' Opening Day roster, Shane Robinson has been squeezed out of a roster spot and sent looking for another club to latch onto for 2015.

Choosing not to advance into arbitration with Robinson, the Cardinals have released the 30-year-old outfielder. In other roster tweaks, the team also added catcher Cody Stanley to the 40-man roster by selecting his contract and removed right-hander Keith Butler. Butler cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Memphis.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cards land Heyward in four-player deal with Braves

Club also acquires righty Walden while shipping first-rounders Miller, Jenkins

Cards land Heyward in four-player deal with Braves

ST. LOUIS -- Needing to fill an unexpected hole in right field for 2015, the Cardinals went for a big splash, acquiring outfielder Jason Heyward from the Braves along with right-handed reliever Jordan Walden. The cost was heavy, however, as the Cardinals sent a pair of former first-round Draft picks -- right-handers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins -- to Atlanta to complete the four-player trade on Monday.

The trade comes three weeks after the death of 22-year-old outfielder Oscar Taveras, who, along with Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty, was expected to cover the right-field position in 2015. Uncertain if Grichuk and Piscotty alone could provide the Cardinals with the offensive upgrade they sought, general manager John Mozeliak had to quickly alter his offseason checklist. Finding an established right fielder landed on top of it.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cardinals unveil 2015 Spring Training schedule

Cardinals unveil 2015 Spring Training schedule

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals unveiled their 2015 Grapefruit League schedule on Tuesday. The 28-game slate includes a rare visit from the American League East champion Orioles, as well as home games against 2014 postseason participants Washington and Detroit.

The Cardinals will open Spring Training on Feb. 20, with pitchers and catchers required to report one day earlier. Position players must report by Feb. 24 so the club can hold its first full-squad workout on Feb. 25. Eight days later, the Cardinals will begin their slate of exhibition games as the road team against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Cards-Braves deal full of varying upside, risk

Atlanta gets controllable righty; St. Louis gets OF one year from free agency

Cards-Braves deal full of varying upside, risk

This is a tremendous trade for the St. Louis Cardinals. Not because they got the best of the Atlanta Braves. Truth is, they may not have.

In fact, the Braves know exactly what they're getting, and it's plenty good. The Cardinals can't do this. They're getting a quality player. They're also taking a bigger risk, and isn't this why we love the Hot Stove season?

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Miller's departure opens rotation competition

Martinez, Gonzales in line to vie for fifth-starter role; Garcia, too, if healthy

Miller's departure opens rotation competition

ST. LOUIS -- Because the Cardinals were able to land outfielder Jason Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden by dealing from their starting-pitching depth, they now project to enter Spring Training ready to host another fifth-starter competition.

Shelby Miller's absence opens up a spot in the rotation that had been expected to feature him along with Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Michael Wacha. Now, Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales will factor into those rotation plans, along with Jaime Garcia, if healthy.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Waino trade in 2003 similar to Braves-Cards deal

Waino trade in 2003 similar to Braves-Cards deal

ATLANTA -- When the Braves and Cardinals announced a four-player trade that featured Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller on Monday, there was reason to draw similarities to the famous, or infamous, trade these two teams made 11 years ago.

Only this time, it is the Braves who are hoping to strengthen their future with a deal that allows the Cardinals to satisfy an immediate need with what could prove to be a short-term solution.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cards hire Mueller as assistant hitting coach

Cards hire Mueller as assistant hitting coach

ST. LOUIS -- In hiring their fourth assistant hitting coach in the last four seasons, the Cardinals again went outside the organization to land former batting champ and St. Louis-area native Bill Mueller. General manager John Mozeliak announced the hire at the end of a news conference he held on Monday to address the team's four-player trade with the Braves.

"Bill Mueller, to me, is a guy who is a superstar," manager Mike Matheny said. "This guy just has the people skills. He's got the communication skills. The times that we've gotten to talk with him, just a very similar idea and approach as [hitting coach] John Mabry. I think they're really going to work well together. I know our guys who know Bill are excited about his presence here as well."

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

A team-by-team breakdown of who impressed and how each club's top player fared

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Fall League is known as baseball's finishing school because it has graduated a ton of talent to the Major Leagues since it began play in 1992. The AFL has produced 212 All-Stars, including 35 in this year's Midsummer Classic, 25 Rookies of the Year, 13 MVPs and five Cy Young Award winners.

Based on the quality of the talent in the AFL this year, more big leaguers and stars are on the way. The league wrapped up its 23rd season on Saturday, with the Salt River Rafters outlasting the Peoria Javelinas, 14-7, for their fourth title and first since 2011.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cardinals fans turn out for Japan Series Game 2

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Cardinals fans turn out for Japan Series Game 2

Cardinals fans have infiltrated various parts of American society -- from TV to movies to instructional videos about correctly pronouncing your Country Grammar.

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MLB stars take part in Japanese tea ceremony

Fowler, Choate, Santiago perform formal steps of tradition that dates to 14th century

MLB stars take part in Japanese tea ceremony

TOKYO -- A day after arriving to Tokyo from Osaka via bullet train, Astros outfielder Dexter Fowler, Cardinals reliever Randy Choate and Angels pitcher Hector Santiago participated in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony on Friday, several hours before their game against the Japanese National Team at the Tokyo Dome (6 p.m. JT, 4 a.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.TV).

After strolling through a garden with Buddhist statues and magnificently manicured greenery, the trio of players representing Major League Baseball in the Japan All-Star Series were treated to Matcha, a powdered green tea, and assorted sweets as part of a tradition that dates back to the 14th century.

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David Venn is executive editor of LasMayores.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Waino earns fourth top-three Cy Young Award finish

Cardinals' ace behind Kershaw, Cueto after also placing third in 2009, runner-up in '10, '13

Waino earns fourth top-three Cy Young Award finish

ST. LOUIS -- For the fourth time in his career, Adam Wainwright can boast of being a top-three finisher for the National League Cy Young Award. He continues, however, to await his first win.

In a vote that unanimously selected Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw as the NL Cy Young Award recipient, Wainwright came in third, also behind Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto. Of the 30 ballots cast, seven placed Wainwright second and the other 23 slotted him in third place.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Report: Taveras intoxicated at time of crash

Cardinals rookie's blood-alcohol content above legal limit, AP says

Report: Taveras intoxicated at time of crash

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras had a blood-alcohol content of .287 when he crashed his car into a tree on Oct. 26, according to an Associated Press report citing Tessie Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office in the Dominican Republic. The legal limit in the Dominican Republic is .05.

Taveras, 22, and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Edilia Arvelo, died in the one-car accident.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Mozeliak not afraid of pushing young Cardinals pitchers

Mozeliak not afraid of pushing young Cardinals pitchers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There are a lot of reasons for the rest of the National League Central -- and, really, for all of Major League Baseball -- to envy the Cardinals and their perennial success. However, one of the most impressive aspects of their M.O. is the track record for quickly advancing high-ceiling pitchers.

St. Louis GM John Mozeliak attributed the trend to having the nerve to try it and to having the foresight to Draft the right guys to carry it out.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Robinson eligible early for salary arbitration

Cardinals outfielder qualifies as one of 26 Super Two players

Robinson eligible early for salary arbitration

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals outfielder Shane Robinson is one of 26 players with less than three years of service time in the Majors to qualify for salary arbitration this offseason through the Super Two rule.

With Robinson included, the Cardinals now have six players eligible for arbitration, including three for the first time. Robinson is, however, also considered to be a non-tender candidate, as the Cardinals can choose not to go through the arbitration process with him and instead let him enter free agency.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cardinals sign four to Minor League pacts

Infielder Anna placed on 40-man roster; remaining three get spring invites

Cardinals sign four to Minor League pacts

ST. LOUIS -- On Tuesday, the Cardinals announced the signings of four Minor League free agents, including one, infielder Dean Anna, who has been placed on the team's 40-man roster. With that addition, the Cards have 36 players on their roster.

The other three signees -- right-handed pitcher Marcus Hatley, right-handed pitcher Miguel Socolovich and infielder Scott Moore -- agreed to Minor League contracts with guaranteed invitations to Major League Spring Training. Moore spent 2014 with the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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