Bill Baer

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets poses for a photograph during spring training media photo day at Tradition Field on February 21, 2013 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Johan Santana is still attempting a comeback

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The last we heard of former major leaguer Johan Santana was back in April when he was attempting a mid-year comeback. That didn’t pan out, but he hasn’t given up yet. According to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo, Santana will pitch in the Venezuelan Winter League in an attempt to get a contract for the 2017 season.

Santana, 37, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 when he compiled a 4.82 ERA and a 111/39 K/BB ratio in 117 innings for the Mets. That includes his 134-pitch no-hitter against the Cardinals, but he was injured and inconsistent after that start (June 1) through the end of the season.

In the event Santana does procure a contract, it will be of the minor league variety with an invitation to spring training.

Twins hire LaTroy Hawkins as a special assistant

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 4:  Pitcher LaTroy Hawkins #32 of the Minnesota Twins prepares to throw the pitch during the American League Division Series against the Oakland A's on October 4, 2002 at the Hubert H Humphrey Dome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
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Former major league reliever LaTroy Hawkins has been hired by the Twins as a special assistant, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.

Hawkins, 44 next month, was selected by the Twins in the seventh round of the 1991 draft. He’d spend nine seasons in the majors with the Twins, from 1995-2003 before moving on. By the time Hawkins retired after the 2015 season, he pitched for 11 different teams, but it’s not shocking he has a special affinity for the Twins.

On Twitter, Hawkins says he is “very excited to get to work building a winner.”

Kris Bryant named 2016 National League Most Valuable Player

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after winning 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has been named the 2016 National League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He is the first member of the Cubs to win the award since Sammy Sosa in 1998.

Bryant, 24, had an outstanding follow up to his 2015 campaign for which he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award. This past season, he hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI while leading the league with 121 runs scored across 699 plate appearances.

Though the balloting for awards was done prior to the start of the postseason, it’s worth noting how productive Bryant was in helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the playoffs, he hit .308/.400/.523 with five doubles, nine walks, three home runs, eight RBI, 11 runs scored in 75 plate appearances.

Bryant received 29 of 30 first-place votes. Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy finished second in balloting — and got the only other first-place vote — followed by Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was fourth and Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was fifth.