You'll have to wait to see their final products, but players from the Giants, Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees are designing their own gear that fans will have a chance to purchase online as well as at team stores and sporting-goods retailers this spring.
02/18/2011 4:46 PM ET
Players design jerseys, T-shirts
Members of Giants, Phils, Red Sox, Yanks produce gear
The Signature Series gives players an opportunity to express their unique personalities and attitudes on jerseys and T-shirts. The players produce the products during a two-month design and manufacturing process with the Players Association and one of its apparel licensees, VF/Majestic.
This year's program includes players from the Yankees (Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera), Red Sox (Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis), Phillies (Cliff Lee and Carlos Ruiz) and the Giants, who kicked off their design period on Thursday.
The Giants players participating in the Scottsdale design session were Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Cody Ross and Pablo Sandoval.
When the products are finished later this spring, the players will unveil them during mini "fashion shows" the day the items go on sale.
Youkilis hopes to add a Gold Glove at third base: Kevin Youkilis already has a Gold Glove as a first baseman and now, having moved across the diamond to accommodate Adrian Gonzalez, he wouldn't mind adding one for his play at third base.
"It would be cool if I could play just as well at third base and try to win a Gold Glove," Youkilis told the Boston Herald. "There are a lot of great third basemen out there. But I'm not worried about the accolades and all that. I'm just worried about making the routine plays and trying to make a couple of great plays here and there and get our pitchers out of some jams."
Youkilis actually broke into the Majors as a third baseman but moved to first base in 2006. He won his Gold Glove in 2007, the year the Red Sox last won the World Series. In 2009, he split time between first and third. Youkilis likes the challenge.
"It just comes to you naturally when you play that position," Youkilis said. "You can't sit back. When you're playing first base you kind of get a little bit lazy, whereas at third base you're prepared."
Braden also throws a perfect vacation: Last year after he threw his perfect game, Dallas Braden sent battery mate Landon Powell and his wife on an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii and put the couple up at the Four Seasons.
"I was shocked," Powell told the Oakland Tribune. "I told him he didn't have to do that. He told me he wanted to. It was a classy thing to do."
"I just wanted to make sure he understood how much it meant to me that day," Braden said.
Cabrera faces new challenge at second base: Playing second base will be something new for Orlando Cabrera, who last played regularly there in 1998 as a member of the Montreal Expos.
"It's a great challenge for me," Cabrera told the Akron Beacon Journal. "But I started as a professional at second then moved to shortstop. It's about the same, but it is different turning the double play. If I stay healthy, I don't think it will be a problem."
Hanrahan thrilled to take over as closer: Joel Hanrahan will be the closer for the Pirates.
"Everybody wants to be the closer. All the guys in the bullpen would love to have that role," Hanrahan told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "The last three outs are the most important in a game. You take ownership of it."
"[Being the closer] is fun. Once you get those last three outs, we can go home, high-five everyone. The fans go crazy. It's fun for everyone," he said. "Hopefully, we can get a lot of that this year."
Bautista signs five-year deal with Toronto: Coming off the best year of his career, Jose Batista signed a five-year contract with the Blue Jays with an option for a sixth year.
"I know exactly what I need to do now to be ready for each game, for each individual pitcher that's coming to the mound on that particular day," Bautista told the Toronto Star. "I know what to look for, what to worry about, what to not worry about. Before I put too much stuff in my head, too much weight on my shoulders trying to hit the fastball, the slider, the curveball and the changeup every single pitch of every at-bat every day. I know I can't do that now."
Weeks agrees to four-year deal with Brewers: Rickie Weeks and the Brewers agreed to a four-year contract with a fifth-year vesting option.
Playing in 160 games last season, Weeks hit .269 with 29 home runs, 83 RBIs and 112 runs scored from the leadoff spot.
"First of all, he's a tremendous force on the field, as he demonstrated last year," assistant general manager Gord Ash told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He realized a lot of the potential that made him our first-round choice when we initially got here. We think he still has upside.
"In addition to that, and probably just as important, he's a tremendous professional. He's very dedicated, very driven to excel. He's the kind of player that you would hope all Brewers would be."
Howell scheduled for May return: J.P. Howell says he feels great and is throwing at about 80 percent following surgery he had to repair his left shoulder. He's scheduled to return to action in May.
"He's doing really well," manager Joe Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's just a matter with this particular surgery to see it all the way through time-wise and really let biology work. So in spite of him feeling really good and chomping at the bit, we're still going to be very careful."
Helton ready to let it rip: Todd Helton is tired of holding back in an attempt to keep his back or legs from hurting. This year he won't hold anything back.
"I may have changed my stance in the past because of my back. But not this year, I can promise you that," Helton told the Denver Post. "I am letting it go."
Webb targets return to old form: Brandon Webb , who signed with the Rangers, expects to perform at the level that made him one of the best pitchers in baseball from 2006 through 2009. Webb was the NL Cy Young winner in 2006 after going 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA. He finished second in the voting the following two seasons.
"With the time I've had off and the feedback I've got from the throwing I've done so far, it seems like it's going to be pretty good," Webb told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I'm definitely hoping I can get back there. That's the ultimate goal. It feels fine. It feels totally fine."
Heyward glad to have pain-free swings: Jason Heyward was bothered by a thumb injury for much of his rookie season, but he came to training camp pain-free and he's been driving the ball in batting practice.
"It's good to not have pain," Heyward told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "That's a big thing. When you don't have pain, it's out of your mind, and that's just a good thing.
"I mean, hitting is all feeling and comfort, and when you have your hands feeling good, you can't go wrong. So it just feels good to be able to work and work hard at hitting."
Zito makes changes to simplify things: Barry Zito made some offseason changes that he hopes will lead to more success in 2011.
"I just wanted to simplify my life, you know?" Zito told the San Jose Mercury News. "Not that it was overly complicated, but every year that goes by I try to eliminate more things that don't nourish me on a deep level, whether that's extraneous people in my life that I don't resonate with or activities that don't really feed me.
"So I just made everything I did this offseason more fulfilling: working out, being with my lady, a lot of music, visiting my father in the hospital -- all that stuff. There are things that fill you up and things that empty you out. I just kept doing the things that fill you up."
Arrieta taking focused approach to season: Jake Arrieta got his feet wet in in the Majors in 2010, picking up six wins in 18 starts for the Orioles. Triple-A pitching coach Mike Griffin, who worked with Arrieta for parts of the previous two seasons, and teammate Brian Matusz have described him as focused and mature.
"It's nice to hear that the staff and people around me -- my peers -- are kind of able to see things like that, and notice those types of changes for the better over the course of my career," Arrieta told the Baltimore Sun. "I just think it's a tribute to work ethic, trying to be professional and knowing when you walk through those doors, it's about business and about getting something accomplished."
Podsednik battling for spot in Toronto: The Blue Jays added to the competition for outfield spots this spring by signing Scott Podsednik to a Minor League contract with an invitation to camp. The veteran outfielder hit .297 with 52 RBIs and 35 steals last season for the Royals and the Dodgers.
"His reputation precedes him," general manager Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com. "Everything we've been told is that he is a great teammate, great worker, a player of high character and high integrity and a real model for the young players, just in the way he carries himself and his approach to the game."
-- Red Line Editorial