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Nats hire J. Johnson as Minors manager
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The Nationals have hired former infielder Josh Johnson as a manager in the Gulf Coast League, according to a baseball source. The team talked to former first-base coach Tony Tarasco about the position in October, but he decided to go in a different direction.

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Nationals reveal 2016 Minor League staff
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The Nationals named their Minor League managers, coaches and coordinators for the 2016 season on Thursday. Matt LeCroy was the bullpen coach the last two years, and he takes over as the manager for Double-A Harrisburg.

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Mets zeroing in on bullpen help
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The fact that the Mets at least floated the possibility last summer of trading for Aroldis Chapman speaks volumes about their relief strategy going forward. Though the Mets were solid in that area last season, they were not spectacular, and so they are overturning plenty of stones in their quest to improve.

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Flores hit by pitch, fractures left ankle
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Shortstop Wilmer Flores will spend the next few weeks in a boot after fracturing a bone in his left ankle during winter ball, the Mets revealed Tuesday. Team doctors expect him to be ready for the start of Spring Training.

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Marlins sign catcher Nieto to Minors deal
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The Marlins added some catching depth by signing Adrian Nieto to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. A switch-hitter, Nieto appeared in 48 games for the White Sox in 2014.

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Marlins agree to Minors deal with Maxwell
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Amid all the speculation that the Marlins may move Marcell Ozuna, the organization has brought in some outfield depth, as Justin Maxwell has agreed to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training.

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Marlins claim righty Ogando off waivers from Phils
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The Marlins, in the market for bullpen depth, claimed hard-throwing right-hander Nefi Ogando off waivers from the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon. The 26-year-old made his Major League debut and appeared in four big league games in 2015.

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Marlins prospect Llera suspended 60 games
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Robert Llera, a catcher on the Gulf Coast League Marlins, on Wednesday was suspended 60-games without pay for being in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

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Alvarez non-tendered by Marlins, becomes free agent
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Henderson Alvarez, the Marlins’ Opening Day starter who underwent right shoulder surgery in July, is now a free agent after being non-tendered by the club on Wednesday.

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Maddon guarding against sophomore jinx
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The Cubs relied on several rookies in their 97-win season and trip to the postseason in 2015. How do they avoid a sophomore jinx? Manager Joe Maddon is already thinking about that.

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Cubs acquiring assets without giving up prospects
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For the 1,517th consecutive day since he agreed to become the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein remained in the business of accumulating ultra-talented players in their formative years, not using them as collateral to make his team a little better for the short term. That’s discipline.

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Piscotty named Cards' Minor League POY
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The Cardinals on Monday named outfielder Stephen Piscotty their Minor League Player of the Year while selecting both right-hander Alex Reyes and lefty Austin Gomber as their Minor League Pitchers of the Year.

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