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Fri Jan 1702:44Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball's Analytics Era, and now it's holding the sport prisoner.AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport's rule breakers.What's next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia? Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students' temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner's office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.Should hitters be blocked from reviewing their plate appearances between at-bats? ... [More]
Thu Jan 1619:13ESPN's Mendoza: Fiers should have gone to MLB, not reporterMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza says pitcher Mike Fiers should have gone to Major League Baseball before he told a journalist about his allegation the Houston Astros had been using a camera to steal signs.Mendoza, a New York Mets adviser in addition to her media job, said Thursday on ESPN's “Golic and Wingo” that Fiers should have kept the information confined to teammates and the league. The right-hander spent 2 1/2 seasons with the Astros, including their 2017 championship season. He signed with Detroit in 2018 and was traded to Oakland — Houston's AL West rival — later that season.“Going public, yeah. I get it, if you’re with the Oakland A’s and you’re on another team, heck yeah you better be telling your teammates, ‘Heads up, if you hear some noises while you’re pitching, like, this is what’s going on.’ For sure. But to go public, yeah, it didn’t sit well with me," Mendoza said on the broadcast. “Honestly, it made me sad for the sport that that’s how this... [More]
Thu Jan 1618:24New Mets manager Beltrán out amid sign-stealing scandalPete AlonsoFree Agent
Mike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Beltrán, called out on a curveball again. So for the second time since they last threw a pitch, the New York Mets are in the market for a new manager.Sign of the times. Beltrán's 2 1/2-month tenure as Mets manager ended Thursday before he spent a single game on the bench, the latest fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball. The Mets announced the decision in a news release, saying Beltrán and the team “agreed to mutually part ways.” The move came two days after Boston cut ties with manager Alex Cora, who was Houston’s bench coach in 2017 when Beltrán played for the Astros. A day before that, manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired by Houston soon after they were suspended for the 2020 season by Commissioner Rob Manfred for their roles in the cheating scheme. Next to fall was Beltrán, the only Astros player mentioned by name Monday when MLB issued its findings from an investigat... [More]
Thu Jan 1615:33New Mets manager Beltrán out amid sign-stealing scandalMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
Adam WainwrightSPCardinalsFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Beltrán is out as manager of the New York Mets before a single game, the latest fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball. The Mets announced the decision Thursday in a news release, saying Beltrán and the team “agreed to mutually part ways.” The move came two days after Boston cut ties with manager Alex Cora, who was Houston’s bench coach in 2017 when Beltrán played for the Astros. A day before that, manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired by Houston soon after they were suspended for the 2020 season by Commissioner Rob Manfred for their roles in the cheating scheme. Next to fall was Beltrán, the only Astros player mentioned by name Monday when MLB issued its findings from an investigation into the club’s conduct. No players were disciplined, but the nine-page report said Beltrán was among the group involved in the team's illicit use of electronics to pilfer signs during Hous... [More]
Thu Jan 1614:53New Mets manager Beltrán out amid sign-stealing scandalMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
Adam WainwrightSPCardinalsFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Beltrán is out as manager of the New York Mets before a single game, the latest fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball. The Mets announced the decision Thursday in a news release, saying Beltrán and the team “agreed to mutually part ways.” The move came two days after Boston cut ties with manager Alex Cora, who was Houston’s bench coach in 2017 when Beltrán played for the Astros. A day before that, manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired by Houston soon after they were suspended for the 2020 season by Commissioner Rob Manfred for their roles in the cheating scheme. Next to fall was Beltrán, the only Astros player mentioned by name Monday when MLB issued its findings from an investigation into the club’s conduct. No players were disciplined, but the nine-page report said Beltrán was among the group involved in the team's illicit use of electronics to pilfer signs during Hous... [More]
Thu Jan 1601:23Alex Wood returns to Dodgers with incentive-laden new dealWalker BuehlerFree Agent
Clayton KershawSPDodgersFree Agent
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Left-hander Alex Wood has agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers.The seven-time defending NL West champions announced the deal Wednesday night with Wood, who spent last season with Cincinnati after the Dodgers traded him away in December 2018.The contract is laden with performance incentives for the 29-year-old veteran. Wood gets a $4 million base salary, but he can earn up to $3.5 million more on a points system.He gets one point for each start, or any relief appearance in which he gets 10 outs or more, and he will receive $250,000 each for earning 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 points. After that, he would get $500,000 apiece for earning 22, 24, 26 and 28 points.He also could earn $2.5 million in innings incentives. He will get $500,000 apiece for pitching 110, 120, 130, 140 and 150 innings.Wood made just seven starts for the Reds last season while struggling to overcome a back injury. He didn't make his season debut until July ... [More]
Wed Jan 1521:13Alex Wood returns to Dodgers with incentive-laden new dealWalker BuehlerFree Agent
Clayton KershawSPDodgersFree Agent
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Left-hander Alex Wood has agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers.The seven-time defending NL West champions announced the deal Wednesday night with Wood, who spent last season with Cincinnati after the Dodgers traded him away in December 2018.The contract is laden with performance incentives for the 29-year-old veteran. Wood gets a $4 million base salary, but he can earn up to $3.5 million more on a points system.He gets one point for a game in which he gets 10 outs or more, and he will receive $250,000 each for earning 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 points. After that, he would get $500,000 apiece for earning 22, 24, 26 and 28 points.He also could earn $2.5 million in innings incentives. He will get $500,000 apiece for pitching 110, 120, 130, 140 and 150 innings.Wood made just seven starts for the Reds last season while struggling to overcome a back injury. He didn't make his season debut until July 28.But Wood was a solid starte... [More]
Wed Jan 1517:53Rangers finalize deals for 3B Frazier, reunion with ChirinosAdrián Béltre3BRangersFree Agent
Todd Frazier3BRedsFree Agent
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have formally reunited with catcher Robinson Chirinos and added third baseman Todd Frazier after completing one-year deals with the free agents.Chirinos and Frazier both got contracts that included club options for 2021. The deals were announced by the team Wednesday. Left-handed pitchers Kyle Bird and Jeffrey Springs were designated for assignment to clear spots on the 40-man roster. The Rangers have seven days to trade, release, or outright the players to the minor leagues. The 35-year-old Chirinos gets a $5.5 million salary this season, and his deal includes a $6.5 million club option for 2021 that includes a $1 million buyout. Frazier will make $3.5 million, and the Rangers have a $5.75 million option on the two-time All-Star for 2021 with a $1.5 million buyout. After Chirinos played 442 games with the Rangers from 2013-18, the team declined a $4.5 million option and he became a free agent. He spent last season on a $5.75 million deal wit... [More]
Wed Jan 1517:43Mets stay silent on new manager Carlos Beltrán's futureCarlos BeltránRFCardinalsFree Agent
Mark Teixeira1BYankeesFree Agent
Adam WainwrightSPCardinalsFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — While the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox took decisive action in jettisoning their managers after Major League Baseball concluded they were involved in nefarious sign stealing, the New York Mets have stayed silent on Carlos Beltrán's future.Houston fired AJ Hinch one hour after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released his findings Monday. Boston's management took 29 1/2 hours to announce Alex Cora's departure on Tuesday.Beltrán remains in limbo, with the Mets refusing to say whether their new manager stays or goes. In Manfred's nine-page statement, Beltrán was the only player identified as a participant in the cheating scheme.“They have to fire Carlos Beltrán,” a former New York Yankees teammate, Mark Teixeira, said Wednesday on ESPN, where he works as an analyst. "There's no way that Carlos Beltrán, especially in the pressure cooker of New York, there's no way he can be the manager of the Mets. ... You cannot have that guy lead your team. The New York p... [More]
Wed Jan 1517:33Mets stay silent on new manager Carlos Beltrán's futureCarlos BeltránRFCardinalsFree Agent
Mark Teixeira1BYankeesFree Agent
Adam WainwrightSPCardinalsFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — While the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox took decisive action in jettisoning their managers after Major League Baseball concluded they were involved in nefarious sign stealing, the New York Mets have stayed silent on Carlos Beltrán's future.Houston fired AJ Hinch one hour after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released his findings Monday. Boston's management took 29 1/2 hours to announce Alex Cora's departure on Tuesday.Beltrán remains in limbo, with the Mets refusing to say whether their new manager stays or goes. In Manfred's nine-page statement, Beltrán was the only player identified as a participant in the cheating scheme.“They have to fire Carlos Beltrán,” a former New York Yankees teammate, Mark Teixeira, said Wednesday on ESPN, where he works as an analyst. "There's no way that Carlos Beltrán, especially in the pressure cooker of New York, there's no way he can be the manager of the Mets. ... You cannot have that guy lead your team. The New York p... [More]
Wed Jan 1516:43Mets stay silent on new manager Carlos Beltrán's future.Carlos BeltránRFCardinalsFree Agent
Mark Teixeira1BYankeesFree Agent
Adam WainwrightSPCardinalsFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — While the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox took decisive action in jettisoning their managers after Major League Baseball concluded they were involved in nefarious sign stealing, the New York Mets have stayed silent on Carlos Beltrán's future.Houston fired AJ Hinch one hour after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released his findings Monday. Boston's management took 29 1/2 hours to announce Alex Cora's departure on Tuesday.Beltrán remains in limbo, with the Mets refusing to say whether their new manager stays or goes. In Manfred's nine-page statement, Beltrán was the only player identified as a participant in the cheating scheme."They have to fire Carlos Beltrán," a former New York Yankees teammate, Mark Teixeira, said Wednesday on ESPN, where he works as an analyst. "There's no way that Carlos Beltrán, especially in the pressure cooker of New York, there's no way he can be the manager of the Mets. ... You cannot have that guy lead your team. The New York paper... [More]
Wed Jan 1514:33Rangers finalize deals for 3B Frazier, reunion with ChirinosAdrián Béltre3BRangersFree Agent
Todd Frazier3BRedsFree Agent
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have formally reunited with catcher Robinson Chirinos and added third baseman Todd Frazier after completing one-year deals with the free agents.Chirinos and Frazier both got contracts that included club options for 2021. The deals were announced by the team Wednesday. Left-handed pitchers Kyle Bird and Jeffrey Springs were designated for assignment to clear spots on the 40-man roster. The Rangers have seven days to trade, release, or outright the players to the minor leagues. The 35-year-old Chirinos gets a $5.5 million salary this season, with a $6.5 million club option for 2021 that includes a $1 million buyout. Frazier will make $3.5 million, and the two-time All-Star's 2021 club option has a $1.5 million buyout. After Chirinos played 442 games with the Rangers from 2013-18, the team declined a $4.5 million option and he became a free agent. He spent last season on a $5.75 million deal with AL West rival Houston, where he caught AL Cy Youn... [More]
Tue Jan 1422:33Red Sox manager Alex Cora fired in sign-stealing scandalMike MinorSPBravesFree Agent
BOSTON (AP) — Alex Cora has already been identified as a ringleader in an illegal system of sign stealing when he was with the Houston Astros.The Red Sox didn't wait to see what punishment Major League Baseball might give him for possibly bringing a similar scheme with him to Boston.Cora was fired by the team he led to the 2018 World Series title on Tuesday night, one day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he was “an active participant” in the Astros' cheating when he was a bench coach in Houston.Manfred mentioned Cora by name 11 times in a nine-page report, saying he "originated and executed" the scheme in which Houston used a center field camera to decode catchers' signals to pitchers, then banged on a trash can to relay the signs to batters so they would know what type of pitch was coming. The Astros fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, making that announcement an hour after Manfred suspended them for the 2020 season for their roles in the cheating... [More]
Tue Jan 1421:13AP source: Twins, 3B Donaldson agree to $92M, 4-year dealHomer BaileySPRedsFree Agent
C.J. CronFree Agent
Nelson CruzRFRangersFree Agent
Josh Donaldson3BAthleticsFree Agent
Rich HillRPRed SoxFree Agent
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins and 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson have agreed to a $92 million, four-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the deal had not been announced. The contract includes a club option for a fifth season that would bring the total value to $100 million.The 34-year-old third baseman returned after an injury-spoiled 2018 split between Toronto and Cleveland to bat .259 with 37 homers, 94 RBIs and a .900 OPS for Atlanta last year. He earned $23 million on a one-year deal with the Braves, his lone season in the NL in a decade-long major league career. Donaldson, a three-time All-Star who broke in with Oakland as a catcher in 2010, averaged 37 home runs and 100 RBIs over his three full seasons with the Blue Jays from 2015-17. They traded him to the Indians for a minor league player in a rental deal at the deadline on Aug. 31, 2018.So after striking out o... [More]
Tue Jan 1421:03AP source: Twins, 3B Donaldson agree to $92M, 4-year dealHomer BaileySPRedsFree Agent
C.J. CronFree Agent
Nelson CruzRFRangersFree Agent
Josh Donaldson3BAthleticsFree Agent
Rich HillRPRed SoxFree Agent
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins and 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson have agreed to a $92 million, four-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the deal had not been announced. The contract includes an $8 million club option for 2024.The 34-year-old third baseman returned after an injury-spoiled 2018 split between Toronto and Cleveland to bat .259 with 37 homers, 94 RBIs and a .900 OPS for Atlanta last year. He earned $23 million on a one-year deal with the Braves, his lone season in the NL in a decade-long major league career. Donaldson, a three-time All-Star who broke in with Oakland as a catcher in 2010, averaged 37 home runs and 100 RBIs over his three full seasons with the Blue Jays from 2015-17. They traded him to the Indians for a minor league player in a rental deal at the deadline on Aug. 31, 2018.So after striking out on the top-tier starting pitchers on the market,... [More]
Tue Jan 1420:03Column: Astros get the punishment, Dodgers pay the priceCody BellingerFree Agent
Clayton KershawSPDodgersFree Agent
AJ Hinch won’t be managing in the big leagues any time soon, if at all. Alex Cora joined him Tuesday in the unemployment line, and it’s hard to believe anyone will ever give him another job that involves being a leader of men.The punishments fit the crime, and for that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred deserves a pat on the back. Give another one to Astros owner Jim Crane, who did his part to clean up an increasingly smelly mess in Houston by immediately firing both his manager and general manager.But that doesn’t bring real justice. It can’t.Not to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are now at 32 years and counting without a World Series title.Not to Clayton Kershaw, whose postseason failings were magnified in Game 5 at Minute Maid Park when the Dodgers ace was raked for six runs and didn’t make it out of the fifth inning.And certainly not to Yu Darvish, whose reputation — and nearly his career — got trashed when he was routed by the Astros in two games of the 2017 World Serie... [More]
Tue Jan 1418:03Nationals finalize $11M, 2-year deal with reliever HudsonMichael BrantleyCFIndiansFree Agent
Stephen StrasburgSPNationalsFree Agent
WASHINGTON (AP) — Daniel Hudson thought the door was closed on returning to the Nationals when they signed fellow reliever Will Harris.But Hudson wanted to be back with Washington, and general manager Mike Rizzo shared the same sentiment. So, Hudson and the team agreed to an $11 million, two-year deal that was finalized Tuesday.Hudson gets $5 million this year and $6 million in 2021. He can earn $1 million annually in performance bonuses for games finished: $200,000 each for 30, 40, 45, 50 and 55.Not long ago, the bullpen was a major weakness. Now, the reigning World Series champions can deal from a position of strength by turning to Hudson, Harris and holdover Sean Doolittle.“Recreating what we had is going to be tough, but I feel like I want to try to be a part of that,” Hudson said on a conference call with reporters. “The window to continue winning in D.C. is definitely still open, and I'd like to be a part of that still.”Hudson is back after a successful half season and ... [More]
Tue Jan 1417:33Nationals finalize $11M, 2-year deal with reliever HudsonMichael BrantleyCFIndiansFree Agent
Starlin CastroSSCubsFree Agent
WASHINGTON (AP) — Daniel Hudson thought the door was closed on returning to the Nationals when they signed fellow reliever Will Harris.But Hudson wanted to be back with Washington, and general manager Mike Rizzo shared the same sentiment. So, Hudson and the team agreed to an $11 million, two-year deal that was finalized Tuesday.Not long ago, the bullpen was a major weakness. Now, the reigning World Series champions can deal from a position of strength by turning to Hudson, Harris and holdover Sean Doolittle.“Recreating what we had is going to be tough, but I feel like I want to try to be a part of that,” Hudson said on a conference call with reporters. “The window to continue winning in D.C. is definitely still open, and I'd like to be a part of that still.”Hudson is back after a successful half season and more that ended with him striking out Houston's Michael Brantley for the final out of the Nationals' Game 7 World Series win. The right-hander went 4 for 4 in save opportun... [More]
Mon Jan 1323:03Hinch, GM fired for Astros sign stealing after MLB bans pairMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal cost manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs, and Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora could be next.Hinch and Luhnow were fired Monday after being suspended by Major League Baseball for the team's illicit use of electronics to steal signs during Houston's run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season.In U.S. sports' largest scandal since the New England Patriots' “Spygate,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face equal or more severe punishment. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros. The Red Sox are under investigation for stealing signs in Cora's first season as manager in 2018, when Boston won the World Series.Houston was fined $5 million, the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, as punishment. The Astros will also forfeit their next two first- an... [More]
Mon Jan 1318:22Hinch, GM fired for Astros sign stealing after MLB bans pairMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
HOUSTON (AP) — Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday after the pair were suspended by Major League Baseball for the team's use of electronics for sign-stealing during Houston's run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season.In U.S. sports' largest scandal since the New England Patriots' “Spygate,” Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face equal or more severe punishment. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros. The Red Sox are under investigation for sign-stealing in Cora's first season as manager in 2018, when Boston won the World Series.Houston was fined $5 million, the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, as punishment. The Astros will forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed fro... [More]
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