Players, staff get up close with fans at Tribe Fest

Team expresses optimism on first day of weekend event

Players, staff get up close with fans at Tribe Fest

CLEVELAND -- Tom Hamilton waited patiently with a smile, signing every autograph and posing for each photo asked of him by the crowd that surrounded him Saturday morning at Tribe Fest. The radio voice of the Indians never once looked for an escape route.

Instead, Hamilton shook hands, accepted hugs and took a moment to appreciate how much the fans in attendance cared for him and the Indians. On the first day of the third annual event at Progressive Field, streams of Tribe diehards poured through the gates, enjoyed the behind-the-scenes festivities and expressed optimism about the season ahead.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swisher free of negative thoughts heading into '15

After pair of knee surgeries, veteran eager to contribute to Tribe's playoff pursuit

Swisher free of negative thoughts heading into '15

CLEVELAND -- Nick Swisher says he has done a lot of soul searching this offseason. After a pair of knee surgeries in August, there was little else for the Indians veteran to do than think about everything that went wrong last year and how he can change things going forward.

Standing in front of his locker on Friday night, Swisher sounded like he was mentally cleansed and ready to prove any doubters wrong in the 2015 season and beyond. First and foremost, though, the switch-hitter needs to prove this spring that he is healthy and at full strength before Cleveland can clear him for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Doby celebration, giveaway highlight promo schedule

Indians also plan Kluber, Santana, Brantley bobblehead days

Doby celebration, giveaway highlight promo schedule

CLEVELAND -- If a Mount Rushmore existed for Indians greats, Larry Doby would undoubtedly have a place on the mountain top. Doby was not only an icon for the franchise, but a trailblazer for black players in the American League.

Doby has long been immortal in terms of baseball history, but the Indians have now finalized plans for immortalizing his image at Progressive Field. On Saturday, Cleveland announced its promotional schedule for the upcoming season, revealing that the much-anticipated statue featuring Doby will be unveiled at the ballpark during an event on July 25.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moss determined to be in Indians' Opening Day lineup

Newcomer continues to rehab from hip surgery

Moss determined to be in Indians' Opening Day lineup

CLEVELAND -- Brandon Moss had the opportunity to meet many of his new Indians teammates on Friday night at Progressive Field. Looking around his new home locker room, Cleveland's highest-profile offseason addition had a clear goal in mind.

Moss wants to be in the heart of the Tribe's order on Opening Day.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Aguilar, Bradley on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

Bucs' Bell leads list, followed by A's Olson, Yanks' Bird

Aguilar, Bradley on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com's 2015 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Friday, Jan. 30, on MLB.com, with the Top 50 revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.

As has become an annual occurrence, the list of top first basemen lacks a bit in the elite prospect department. But there is good news: There are two players on this list on this year's Top 100: Josh Bell of the Pirates and Matt Olson of the A's. That doubles the total from the 2014 preseason list.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber top pro athlete at Greater Cleveland Sports Awards

Kluber top pro athlete at Greater Cleveland Sports Awards

CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber will have to clear some more space in his home for another piece of hardware. On Thurday night, the Indians pitcher was named the Professional Athlete of the Year during the 15th annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards.

The latest accolade for Kluber hardly comes as a surprise, considering he had already taken home the American League Cy Young Award in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, as well as Breakout Pitcher of the Year in the Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards, for his work during the 2014 season with Cleveland.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Full slate of stars on hand for Tribe Fest this weekend

Kluber, Brantley among Indians attending annual fan event

CLEVELAND -- In less than one month, Cleveland's pitchers and catchers will convene on sun-splashed Arizona baseball diamonds, reporting for the start of Spring Training. In the team's snow-covered home city, fans are about to get a sneak peek at the Indians team that is assembled for the upcoming campaign.

The third annual Tribe Fest is set to take place on Saturday and Sunday at Progressive Field, where a long list of events and activities will give attendees the opportunity to interact with players, coaches, alumni and other personnel in anticipation of the 2015 season. The Indians firmly believe that the roster in place is fully capable of a run at the playoffs this year.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians unveil plans for new concessions

Indians unveil plans for new concessions

CLEVELAND -- One of the goals behind the ongoing renovation project at Progressive Field was to find ways to introduce elements of Cleveland neighborhoods within the ballpark. The Indians felt one way to do that was to bring some of the area's popular restaurants into the fold.

On Wednesday, Cleveland unveiled its new concessions plans for the revamped neighborhood-themed Right Field District. Melt Bar and Grilled, Barrio and Sweet Moses -- three well-known and highly-rated area eateries -- will be coming to Progressive Field and offering unique food options for the upcoming season.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Quiet Indians have pieces to make noise in AL Central

Bullpen, roster flexibility and improved defense key to competing in tough division

Quiet Indians have pieces to make noise in AL Central

CLEVELAND -- From the snow-covered steps of the home dugout, Terry Francona could see the progress being made on the Progressive Field reconstruction -- the bar being erected beyond the right-field corner, the new bullpen areas rising behind the center-field wall and the completely overhauled batter's eye. An Indians staffer had to explain what was going where, because for now it was all girder and hard hats and unfinished business.

How all of this is going to come together in the midst of another cold local winter and be completed by April 9 is a question best left for the construction crew. But Francona has already seen how quickly things can evolve in the American League Central, so why should his home park be any different?

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians' plan is to have healthy Swisher, Moss

Indians' plan is to have healthy Swisher, Moss

CLEVELAND -- Making the Opening Day roster is a goal for every player in Spring Training. Indians manager Terry Francona wants to make sure veterans such as Nick Swisher and Brandon Moss understand that the first game of the season is not the most important one on the schedule.

With Swisher and Moss making their way back from surgery, it has been made clear to them that returning to full strength is more important than breaking camp with the Major League club. If one or both of the players require an Opening Day trip to the disabled list, the Indians will find a way to adjust.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kipnis on road to recovery from finger surgery

Kipnis on road to recovery from finger surgery

CLEVELAND -- Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is among the many players who are scheduled to be on hand at Progressive Field this weekend for the team's annual Tribe Fest. On Tuesday morning, Kipnis ran into his manager at the ballpark and had a brief chat.

Manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is doing well in his comeback from surgery on his left ring finger.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Francona aiming to shore up Tribe's defense

Club planning to implement new Spring Training workouts

Francona aiming to shore up Tribe's defense

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona has mentioned multiple times this winter that improving his team's defensive play is a priority for the upcoming season. During a lunch gathering with local reporters on Tuesday, Francona again stressed the importance of using Spring Training to make strides in that area.

"That is one of our main goals in Spring Training," Francona said. "We kind of found ways to make errors all over the map last year. We were pretty consistent in that aspect. And that's a hard way to win. It doesn't mean you can't, but it makes it harder."

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Indians fare with current roster?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian fields questions from Cleveland fans this offseason

Inbox: How will Indians fare with current roster?

I'm optimistic about the Indians because I'm a fan. But, in your opinion, what does this team need to happen in order to make a run at it this year? Are you optimistic?
-- @beersjoshua (via Twitter)

While there are undoubtedly some uncertainties surrounding the rotation and bullpen, I believe that Cleveland's pitching staff is poised to more than do its part in 2015. As we sit here today, I think the onus will be on the offense and defense to take the Tribe back to the postseason.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Player development staff for Indians announced

CLEVELAND -- From top to bottom, the Indians have undergone changes in the leadership structure of their farm system for the upcoming season.

On Tuesday, Cleveland unveiled its staffing plans for the player development department, which includes a new Carolina League affiliate in Class A Advanced, the Lynchburg Hillcats. Mark Budzinski, who managed Class A Lake County last season, has been promoted to the same role with Lynchburg, which was added to the fold after the Indians and Carolina Mudcats parted ways.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians clear arbitration slate with three deals

Club signs Moss, Shaw and Tomlin for 2015

Indians clear arbitration slate with three deals

CLEVELAND -- The Indians broke a long streak of avoiding arbitration last year and went to a hearing with two of their players. Cleveland returned to its usual ways this week, reaching one-year deals with all six of its arbitration candidates prior to Friday's deadline for exchanging salary figures.

On Friday, the Indians signed right fielder Brandon Moss ($6.5 million), setup man Bryan Shaw ($1.55 million) and right-hander Josh Tomlin ($1.5 million) for the 2015 season. Cleveland also reached deals with starter Carlos Carrasco ($2.3 million), lefty Marc Rzepczynski ($2.4 million) and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall ($2.25 million) on Thursday night.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians, Carrasco avoid arbitration with deal

Right-hander slated to compete for No. 2 spot in rotation

Indians, Carrasco avoid arbitration with deal

CLEVELAND -- The Indians kept their faith in Carlos Carrasco over the final two months last season and the results were overwhelming. The right-hander shook off a career defined by inconsistency and provided a dominant string of outings that cemented his place in the rotation.

On Thursday night, Carrasco was rewarded for his work with a $2.3 million contract for 2015, avoiding arbitration with the Indians in his first year of eligibility. With the financial side of things complete, Carrasco can now focus his attention on preparing to serve as the No. 2 starter behind American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rzepczynski, Chisenhall avoid arb with Tribe

Rzepczynski, Chisenhall avoid arb with Tribe

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have a long history of trying to avoid the arbitration process with their players. On Thursday night, the club settled on one-year contracts with three of its eligible players, reaching agreements with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and starter Carlos Carrasco.

Sources confirmed to MLB.com that Rzepczynski is scheduled to earn $2.4 million, Chisenhall will make $2.25 million and Carrasco will take home $2.3 million on one-year contracts for the 2015 campaign.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians sign righty Swarzak to Minor League deal

Indians sign righty Swarzak to Minor League deal

CLEVELAND -- The Indians know that a safety net is important for a bullpen, especially when fielding a cast that set the American League's single-season record for combined appearances last season. As a result, adding depth to the relief corps was a priority this offseason.

On Thursday, the Tribe added another piece to that part of the puzzle, signing reliever Anthony Swarzak to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. The right-hander offers experience as a long reliever and spot starter, and will be in the mix for one of the final spots in Cleveland's bullpen.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians' Spring Training broadcast schedule released

Cactus League opener against Reds will be among games televised

Indians' Spring Training broadcast schedule released

CLEVELAND -- Put down the snow shovel and think warm thoughts. In five weeks, Indians pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training, and Cactus League games will be right around the corner.

On Wednesday, Cleveland released its Spring Training broadcast schedule, which will have a considerable amount of games televised on SportsTime Ohio and broadcast locally on the radio. All of the Tribe's games this spring will have an audio feed available on indians.com as well.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Should Tribe save Allen for pressure situations?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian answers Cleveland fans' questions

Inbox: Should Tribe save Allen for pressure situations?

While the Indians are set in the closer role with Cody Allen, it seems that bringing him into a game with nobody on to pitch the ninth is a waste of his talents. There are a lot of available guys that can do that. He is at his best in high-leverage situations. Wouldn't it make more sense to use him that way?
-- Gary R., Columbus, Ohio

Allen swiftly worked his way up the organizational ladder and it didn't take him long to earn a prominent role in Cleveland's bullpen. Last season, the hard-throwing righty earned the closer job and the Indians have no plans on removing him from a role he worked so hard to obtain over the past few seasons.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O-H-I-O: Swisher celebrates Buckeyes' football title

Tribe first baseman starred for OSU baseball in 2000-02, among most vocal supporters

O-H-I-O: Swisher celebrates Buckeyes' football title

CLEVELAND -- There is a long list of players who attended Ohio State University and later reached the Major Leagues. Indians first baseman Nick Swisher might be the only one to have incorporated spelling out O-H-I-O with his arms into his on-field act.

On Monday night, Swisher watched his Buckeyes claim the first College Football Playoff National Championship with a 42-20 rout over Oregon in Arlington. The energetic and outspoken Swisher stayed quiet on social media during the game, but showed his Ohio State pride in the immediate aftermath of the victory.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians prospect Sheffield posts bond after arrest

Indians prospect Sheffield posts bond after arrest

CLEVELAND -- Indians pitching prospect Justus Sheffield was arrested and released on bond after an incident early Monday morning in his hometown of Tullahoma, Tenn.

"The organization is aware of the report involving Justus Sheffield," the Indians said in a statement. "We have spoken with Justus about the incident and are in the process of gathering additional information. Beyond that, we will not comment further until the legal process is completed."

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians expect Kipnis to return 'with a vengeance'

After signing extension, second baseman endured injury-plagued '14 season

Indians expect Kipnis to return 'with a vengeance'

CLEVELAND -- Last season did not go as planned for Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis. His winter training program then hit a snag last month when he injured the ring finger on his left hand during a workout, necessitating corrective surgery.

Even with the wave of setbacks experienced by Kipnis over the past nine months, Indians manager Terry Francona's confidence in the second baseman has not wavered.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Francona prepared to distribute time at crowded spots

Players returning from injury, addition of Moss give skipper three busy positions

Francona prepared to distribute time at crowded spots

CLEVELAND -- The acquisition of slugger Brandon Moss in December created an equation that could be tough for Indians manager Terry Francona to solve. He now has a surplus of players for right field, first base and designated hitter, but only so many at-bats to go around.

Francona always believes the math will work itself out and he has no issues with heading into Spring Training with the crop currently in the fold. Cleveland could always swing another trade to free up the logjam, but the club also has a handful of players returning from injury. That reality means the extra bodies could offer the Tribe some insurance this spring.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians sign southpaw Roth to Minors deal

Indians sign southpaw Roth to Minors deal

CLEVELAND -- The Indians tried to add left-hander Michael Roth to their farm system four years ago, but the pitcher chose to stay in college for one more season. Cleveland has finally convinced Roth to sign his name on the dotted line.

On Tuesday, the Indians signed Roth to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. After two unsuccessful stints with the Angels as a reliever in the past two seasons, Roth will head to camp with Cleveland as a starting pitcher.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring workout dates announced for all clubs

Spring workout dates announced for all clubs

Spring is officially on the horizon.

Major League Baseball announced the first Spring Training workout dates for all 30 of its clubs on Thursday. Pitchers and catchers for the reigning World Series champion Giants -- along with the Phillies, Pirates and Reds -- will be the first to work out, with a Feb. 19 start date. Thirteen other clubs will work out pitchers and catchers for the first time the following day.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Popular infielder McDonald calls it a career

Listed at 5-foot-9, defensive-minded player enjoyed 16 years in bigs with eight teams

Popular infielder McDonald calls it a career

ANAHEIM -- John McDonald, who willed his way through a 16-year career with eight different teams as a backup infielder, has decided to retire from the game at age 40. News of his decision spread Wednesday, when four teams -- the Indians, Blue Jays, D-backs and Angels -- offered up congratulations through their individual Twitter accounts.

McDonald was that popular.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Perseverant Johnny Mac leaves legacy in retirement

After 16-year MLB career, McDonald remembered fondly by all

Perseverant Johnny Mac leaves legacy in retirement

The inside joke was that John McDonald didn't want to upstage Tuesday's Hall of Fame announcement. And so it was Wednesday afternoon that four Major League clubs simultaneously used their official Twitter accounts to spread the news of McDonald's official retirement from the big leagues.

Think about that. Four clubs -- the Indians, D-backs, Angels and Blue Jays -- felt fond enough about this scrappy little journeyman utility guy that they all wanted some part of his goodbye.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe hires Bere as bullpen coach

Former pitcher had worked in Cleveland's front office for nine years

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have found their new bullpen coach, and he will not have to worry too much about a transition period.

On Tuesday, Cleveland announced that Jason Bere has been hired to fill the coaching role that was vacated when the Rays hired Kevin Cash to be their new manager. Bere has spent the past nine years in the Tribe's front office, working with both Major and Minor League pitchers as a special assistant to the Indians' baseball operations department.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.