Congratulations to the Dominican Republic for capturing its first World Baseball Classic title, gaining a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico in tonight's championship final. The DR finished with a perfect 8-0 record in the competition, led by tournament MVP Robinson Cano and seven saves by closer Fernando Rodney. One downside for the Dominican team (and the Dodgers) is that Hanley Ramirez left in the sixth inning with a jammed thumb and will likely undergo an MRI tomorrow.
Here's the latest from around the majors…
- The Mariners will likely be one of the trade deadline's busiest teams whether they're in contention or not, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes. The M's could look to deal one of their several short-term veterans if they're out of the race, or could augment their Major League roster if they're in the hunt for a playoff spot.
- In past years, the Yankees might have responded to Mark Teixeira's injury by simply acquiring a proven everyday bat like Justin Morneau, but Davld Waldstein of the New York Times uses this hypothetical trade to illustrate how the Yankees' philosophy has changed under Hal Steinbrenner.
- Mets assistant GM John Ricco talks to Alexander Hyacinthe of Metsblog about how the team views the 2013 season and what they expect from their young core players in the coming year.
- The Tigers could keep Rick Porcello due to dissatisfaction with current trade offers and because they may be forced to use Drew Smyly as a long reliever, Lynn Henning of the Detroit Free Press reports. Smyly projects as the Tigers' fifth starter if Porcello is moved.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck looks at some of the Tigers' bench options at the back of their roster. Don Kelly, who signed a minor league deal with the Detroit in January, can opt out of his contract if he doesn't win a roster spot but Beck believes Kelly has won a spot on the team.
- Catcher Brian Jeroloman became a "phantom ballplayer" when he spent over a month on the Blue Jays' roster in 2011 but never actually appeared in a game due to injuries. Now in the Indians' minor league camp, Jeroloman talks to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian about his quest to "officially" become a Major Leaguer.
- We've already heard that the Dodgers may hold onto their surplus of starting pitching, though Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano's trade value may have dropped anyway given their struggles during Spring Training, Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports.