DUNEDIN, Fla. – Thanks to the Kansas City Royals’ miracle playoff drive to the World Series last season, baseball’s longest active playoff drought now belongs to the Toronto Blue Jays. It has been 22 years since Joe Carter hit his World Series-winning walkoff homer off Mitch Williams and the Blue Jays have not been to the postseason since. It’s actually the longest playoff drought in professional sports, and team brass, fans, and players want to see it end. None more than All-Star slugger Jose Bautista. Bautista is the longest-serving current Blue Jay, about to enter his eighth season with the club. In that time he’s been a part of four winning seasons but the team has never finished higher than third in the tough America League East. He has also become a perennial MVP-candidate during his time in Toronto, having gone to five consecutive All-Star Games and twice leading the majors in home runs. But during his first appearance at Blue Jays spring training on Friday Bautista said he would give it all up for a taste of the postseason. The Blue Jays fancy themselves contenders in the AL East this season, but will in fact need Bautista to have a great year to end the drought, especially with their outfield recently being depleted . Bautista is also in the last year of his five-year deal with the Blue Jays, though there is a team option for 2016. But Bautista, 34, wants to win now and shake the title of best active hitter never to make the playoffs . He has been vocal in the past about Blue Jays brass not doing enough to get them over the hump. [ Baseball is back! Check out Yahoo For Spring Training for great spring training pics. ] The Blue Jays made a big move this offseason when they acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics. Bautista approves, and sees it as a move that could help the Jays take the next step. With Donaldson on board and a healthy Edwin Encarnacion, the Blue Jays have a potent 3-4-5 in the batting order. If it all works out, Bautista may be able to do less of the heavy lifting and get his wish for a postseason berth. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports : Ian Denomme is an editor and writer for Yahoo Sports. Email him at denomme@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on March 1st, 2015
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DUNEDIN, Fla. – Thanks to the Kansas City Royals’ miracle playoff drive to the World Series last season, baseball’s longest active playoff drought now belongs to the Toronto Blue Jays. It has been 22 years since Joe Carter hit his World Series-winning walkoff homer off Mitch Williams and the Blue Jays have not been to the postseason since. It’s actually the longest playoff drought in professional sports, and team brass, fans, and players want to see it end. None more than All-Star slugger Jose Bautista. Bautista is the longest serving current Blue Jay, about to enter his eighth season with the club. In that time he’s been a part of four winning seasons but the team has never finished higher than third in the tough America League East. He has also become a perennial MVP-candidate during his time in Toronto, having gone to five consecutive All-Star Games and twice leading the majors in home runs. But during his first appearance at Blue Jays spring training on Friday Bautista said he would give it all up for a taste of the postseason. The Blue Jays fancy themselves contenders in the AL East this season, but will in fact need Bautista to have a great year to end the drought, especially with their outfield recently being depleted . Bautista is also in the last year of his five-year deal with the Blue Jays, though there is a team option for 2016. But Bautista, 34, wants to win now and shake the title of best active hitter never to make the playoffs . He has been vocal in the past about Blue Jays brass not doing enough to get them over the hump. [ Baseball is back! Check out Yahoo For Spring Training for great spring training pics. ] The Blue Jays made a big move this offseason when they acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics. Bautista approves, and sees it as a move that could help the Jays take the next step. With Donaldson on board and a healthy Edwin Encarnacion, the Blue Jays have a potent 3-4-5 in the batting order. If it all works out, Bautista may be able to do less of the heavy lifting and get his wish for a postseason berth. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports : Ian Denomme is an editor and writer for Yahoo Sports. Email him at denomme@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on March 1st, 2015
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It appears as though 2015 is shaping up to be quite a year for Josh Phegley. Stephen Vogt is listed as the Athletics’ No. 1 catcher, but he is returning to health after foot surgery and likely will be limited for a while. Vogt hits left-handed, Phegley right-handed. ”Things have been going well so far,” Phegley said Saturday.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on February 28th, 2015
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The only way Grant Balfour knows how to leave one season behind and begin preparing for another is by having a short memory. The veteran relief pitcher’s return to the Tampa Bay Rays didn’t go as well as expected in 2014, however he’s confident he can regain the consistency that made him one of the most effective closers in the American League over the previous two seasons. ”Whether it was a good year or bad year I don’t sit and harp on it,” Balfour said. I move on to the next year.” A mainstay in the bullpen that helped the Rays make an improbable run to the World Series in 2008, the 37-year-old right-hander spent three productive seasons with the Oakland Athletics before returning to Tampa Bay on a two-year, $12 million contract last winter.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on February 28th, 2015
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As he works on his potent swing, Brandon Moss is also testing his patience this spring. Acquired in a December trade from Oakland to bring more power to Cleveland’s lineup, the All-Star from last season has been making solid progress as he recovers from hip surgery. Both he and the Indians’ training staff have been encouraged that he’s ahead of schedule. Moss has been at the Indians Player Development Complex rehabbing from the repair of a torn labrum in his right hip, an injury that caused pain every time he swung the bat in 2014.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on February 27th, 2015
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Reliever Dan Otero spoke up, as did many others, with a question on the topic of domestic violence that has been at the forefront of professional sports following the NFL’s recent troubles. The Oakland Athletics started Thursday morning in a makeshift clubhouse classroom, among the first major league clubs to undergo mandatory domestic violence training this spring.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on February 27th, 2015
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Former Athletics third baseman Eric Chavez is joining Oakland’s broadcast crew.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on February 26th, 2015
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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on February 26th, 2015
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MESA, Ariz. (AP) — In the last year, the Oakland Athletics traded away two of their top shortstop prospects, Addison Russell and Daniel Robertson.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on February 25th, 2015
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The fall of the Minnesota Twins over the last four seasons can be traced to several factors, none more influential than the struggles of the starting rotation. So for the second straight winter, the Twins spent millions of dollars to try to fix it. ”We all know that we weren’t very good last year as a whole and that we have to be a lot better,” right-hander Phil Hughes said. In fact, had the Twins not signed him after his departure from the New York Yankees, there’s no telling how ragged the rotation would have been.

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Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on February 25th, 2015
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