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The Kansas City Royals made the NRA enemies list somehow

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Because it’s the winter and because the Super Bowl is in a couple of days, there is NO baseball news happening. Really, not even crappy players signing one-year contracts to avoid arbitration. We’re desperate here!

Thank God, then, for the NRA.  A few minutes ago I saw people tweeting about the “enemies list” they apparently keep. In the NRA’s parlance, a list of “National Organizations with Anti-Gun Policies.”  Which, sure, if you’re an advocacy group you understandably want to keep a list of people who oppose your agenda, so fair enough. But the list is pretty hilarious, mostly because it goes way beyond actual opposition groups who work to counter the NRA’s agenda and seems to include just about anyone who has ever had a thought about gun ownership that runs counter to the NRA.

Indeed, it has a list of “celebrities” — and since Louie Anderson is on it, that term is defined EXTREMELY loosely. Heck, it has two “Family Feud” hosts on there and doesn’t even include Richard Dawson or Ray Combs. And don’t give me that “because they’re dead!” baloney. Nora Ephron is on the list and she’s dead. Boyz II Men is on the list and they’ve been dead since the early 90s.

Anyway, if you scroll down the list long enough — and you really should — you get to this one:

Kansas City Royals
David Glass, CEO
P.O. Box 419969
Kansas City, MO 64141
Pro Baseball Team

Which, I don’t even know. The Royals haven’t been a threat to anything and haven’t stood for anything since at least the late 80s. But I guess their pitching staffs for the last 20 years have shown an institutional aversion to high caliber firepower, but that’s stretching it a bit. Really, I’m perplexed.  Worth noting while we’re at it that former MLBer Mike Torrez is on the list too. Guessing lots of bitter fans of the 1978 Red Sox are in the NRA.

But I’m not gonna worry about offending the NRA about this. Because if you scroll down even further you get here:

National Broadcasting Company
NBC Television Network
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Anyway, it’s a fun read, and that’s the case no matter how you feel about gun ownership.  Indeed, if you’re pro gun-ownership this list should make you laugh even more. I mean, if you’re prepared to shoot an intruder in your own home, how threatened are you by Art Garfunkel?

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.

Brandon Belt signs $6.2 million deal, avoiding arbitration with Giants

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In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.

Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.

He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.