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Report: MLB to allow personalized jerseys and more during new “Players Weekend”

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that players will be allowed to express themselves more freely during the new “Players Weekend,” scheduled for August 25-27 this season. The idea was negotiated between the league and the players’ union.

Players will be allowed to personalize the name on the back of their jerseys, though it will need to be approved beforehand. They can wear colored spikes, gloves and wristbands, as long as the colors don’t interfere with an umpire’s ability to make a call and aren’t white. And a player can personalize a patch on his uniform, highlighting “an individual or organization that was instrumental to his development.”

Major League Baseball will then sell the uniforms from the “Players Weekend,” donating the proceeds to the Youth Development Foundation.

If the weekend goes well, Passan suggests the league could be inclined to relax some rules pertaining to uniforms in the future.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.