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Sat Jan 1821:04Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandalAlex Bregman3B/SSAstrosFree Agent
Carlos CorreaSSAstrosFree Agent
Nathan EovaldiSPRed SoxFree Agent
Mike FiersSPAthleticsFree Agent
Randal GrichukCF/RFBlue JaysFree Agent
J.D. MartinezDH/LF/RFRed SoxFree Agent
George SpringerCF/RFAstrosFree Agent
Justin VerlanderSPAstrosFree Agent
Players from two teams at the center of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal faced their fans on Saturday for the first time since the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox ousted their managers amid the fallout from the investigation into Houston’s elaborate scheme.The Astros and Red Sox held their annual fan fests on Saturday, and instead of discussing preparations for the season, players from both teams were left to answer questions about the cheating that resulted in both teams' managers being fired.“It's a tough situation and as a team we have to stay together and go through this as a team like we've been doing, always,” Houston star second baseman José Altuve said. “We have to talk about it at spring training and try not to let things in the past distract us for for next year.”Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the Astros' ... [More]
Sat Jan 1820:14Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandalAlex Bregman3B/SSAstrosFree Agent
Carlos CorreaSSAstrosFree Agent
Nathan EovaldiSPRed SoxFree Agent
Mike FiersSPAthleticsFree Agent
Randal GrichukCF/RFBlue JaysFree Agent
J.D. MartinezDH/LF/RFRed SoxFree Agent
George SpringerCF/RFAstrosFree Agent
Justin VerlanderSPAstrosFree Agent
Players from two teams at the center of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal faced their fans on Saturday for the first time since the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox ousted their managers amid the fallout from the investigation into Houston’s elaborate scheme.The Astros and Red Sox held their annual fan fests on Saturday, and instead of discussing preparations for the season, players from both teams were left to answer questions about the sign-stealing that left them without managers.“It's a tough situation and as a team we have to stay together and go through this as a team like we've been doing, always,” Houston star second baseman José Altuve said. “We have to talk about it at spring training and try not to let things in the past distract us for for next year.”Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the Astros' run to the 20... [More]
Sat Jan 1820:04Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandalAlex Bregman3B/SSAstrosFree Agent
Carlos CorreaSSAstrosFree Agent
Nathan EovaldiSPRed SoxFree Agent
Mike FiersSPAthleticsFree Agent
Randal GrichukCF/RFBlue JaysFree Agent
J.D. MartinezDH/LF/RFRed SoxFree Agent
George SpringerCF/RFAstrosFree Agent
Justin VerlanderSPAstrosFree Agent
Players from two teams at the center of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal faced their fans on Saturday for the first time since the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox ousted their managers amid the fallout from the investigation into Houston’s elaborate scheme.The Astros and Red Sox held their annual fan fests on Saturday, and instead of discussing preparations for the season, players from both teams were left to answer questions about the sign-stealing that left them without managers.“It's a tough situation and as a team we have to stay together and go through this as a team like we've been doing, always,” Houston star second baseman José Altuve said. “We have to talk about it at spring training and try not to let things in the past distract us for for next year.”Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the Astros' run to the 20... [More]
Sat Jan 1818:24Bader confident he'll start in center field for CardinalsNolan Arenado3BRockiesFree Agent
Harrison BaderCF/PH/RFCardinalsFree Agent
Dylan CarlsonCFCardinalsFree Agent
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Harrison Bader is confident he'll be in center field for the St. Louis Cardinals when the season begins.Bader was in St. Louis on Saturday taking part in the annual Cardinals Winter Warm-Up."I'm the starting center fielder," the 25-year-old Bader said. "It's my position. I'm going to take it. There's no sense in talking about it. I'm looking forward to showing up Day One guns blazing and ready to go."While there is no question about his defensive ability and speed in center, it's his bat that gives some pause.Last season, Bader finished with a .205 batting average. He hit 12 home runs, drove in 39 runs and stole 11 bases."Last year, individually it wasn't what I wanted it to be production-wise," Bader said. "The biggest thing I've taken away at this point is how I responded. I've been very fortunate to be with people behind the scenes who've helped me take steps in the right direction to help me produce like I want to and how I know I can."There's no secret to it. Th... [More]
Sat Jan 1817:34Epstein understands fan frustration in Cubs' slow offseasonJosé Abreu1B/DHWhite SoxFree Agent
Kris Bryant3B/LF/RFCubsFree Agent
Willson ContrerasCCubsFree Agent
Josh Donaldson3BBravesFree Agent
Yasmani Grandal1B/C/PHWhite SoxFree Agent
Jason HeywardCF/RFCubsFree Agent
Dallas KeuchelSPWhite SoxFree Agent
Anthony Rizzo1BCubsFree Agent
Luis RobertCFWhite SoxFree Agent
Kyle SchwarberLFCubsFree Agent
CHICAGO (AP) — Theo Epstein understands the fans' frustration. He feels it, too, at times.The Chicago Cubs went from 95 wins in 2018 to 84 last year, finished third in the NL Central behind St. Louis and Milwaukee and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014. But when it comes to big moves this offseason, well, they have a new manager. Otherwise, they've been keeping the bat on their shoulder.“I understand the frustration,” said Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operations. “There’s a lot of days I’m frustrated, too, where you look out and there’s a great fit on a player who you know you can recruit and might sign a reasonable deal that he’s worth. And you can’t get that player. And that’s frustrating. But that’s the reality.”So is this:Fans who expected multiple World Series championships from the core group that helped win it all in 2016 and brought home the Cubs' first title since 1908 are restless. The trade rumors involving stars such as thi... [More]
Sat Jan 1810:24Where does Astros cheating rank in scandals? Ask Pete RoseTrevor BauerSPRedsFree Agent
Cody Bellinger1B/CF/RFDodgersFree Agent
Mike FiersSPAthleticsFree Agent
Alex WoodSPRedsFree Agent
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Pete Rose was taking a break from signing autographs at the MGM Grand hotel when asked a question he’s uniquely qualified to address.What’s worse, betting on baseball or cheating at baseball?“I don’t know,’’ Rose tells The Associated Press. “All I know is I’ve been suspended for 30 years now. I don’t know anybody that’s been suspended for 30 years."It’s a fair point, especially when compared to the punishments handed out so far in the worst scandal to hit baseball since the steroid era. What Rose did was wrong — according to baseball rules — but there’s still a lot of people who believe he should be adding a Hall of Fame designation when he signs memorabilia in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas.Still, 30 years away from the game he was so great at seems like an awful long time, especially when Major League Baseball and other sports leagues have made their peace — and are doing business — with the bookies who post lines on their games.A... [More]
Fri Jan 1721:54Chicago Cubs keeping options open with season on the horizonKris Bryant3B/LF/RFCubsFree Agent
Willson ContrerasCCubsFree Agent
Josh Donaldson3BBravesFree Agent
Anthony Rendon3BAngelsFree Agent
Anthony Rizzo1BCubsFree Agent
CHICAGO (AP) — When it comes to Kris Bryant, or any other Chicago Cubs star on the precipice of free agency, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is hoping for the best.He also is working on the alternative.That's about all he can say at the moment.Keeping his cards close to his chest, perhaps more than ever before, Epstein said Friday the team is “more active on the phone this January" than it had been in previous years. He also declared Chicago could bring back largely the same group after failing to make the playoffs last year for the first time since 2014.“Sometimes you're only one phone call away from signing a guy to a long-term contract. Sometimes you're one incoming call away from a deal," Epstein said on the first day of the team's annual fan convention. “What's most likely is status quo.“It's hard to get long-term extensions done. It's hard to get trades done, and we have what we feel is a pretty good club. We're trying to compete this year and we're not in... [More]
Fri Jan 1721:54"Hire 'Tek!": Red Sox fans make pitch for Varitek as managerXander BogaertsSSRed SoxFree Agent
David OrtizFree Agent
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have a list of characteristics they want in their next manager, but they haven't yet landed on a name. Their fans have one in mind.Three days after the Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora for his involvement in a cheating scandal, supporters pleaded for Boston's front office to hire former catcher and team captain Jason Varitek at a town hall event Friday during the team's winter festival.Members of the team's leadership group were hit with “Hire 'Tek!” chants throughout the night, and principal owner John Henry was interrupted several times by fans voicing their support. Henry paused and nodded in acknowledgement, and new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom used the opportunity to appease the crowd.“I think if you poll the audience, they would just get this done right now,” Bloom said to big applause.Varitek, who was not in attendance, spent 15 seasons with the Red Sox from 1997 to 2011 and was part of two World Series title teams. He ... [More]
Fri Jan 1721:24'Hire 'Tek!': Red Sox fans make pitch for Varitek as managerXander BogaertsSSRed SoxFree Agent
David OrtizFree Agent
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have a list of characteristics they want in their next manager, but they haven't yet landed on a name. Their fans have one in mind.Three days after the Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora for his involvement in a cheating scandal, supporters pleaded for Boston's front office to hire former catcher and team captain Jason Varitek at a town hall event Friday during the team's winter festival.Members of the team's leadership group were hit with “Hire 'Tek!” chants throughout the night, and principal owner John Henry was interrupted several times by fans voicing their support. Henry paused and nodded in acknowledgement, and new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom used the opportunity to appease the crowd.“I think if you poll the audience, they would just get this done right now,” Bloom said to big applause.Varitek, who was not in attendance, spent 15 seasons with the Red Sox from 1997 to 2011 and was part of two World Series title teams. He ... [More]
Fri Jan 1718:34Drew Smyly can earn up to $6.75 million with GiantsDrew SmylySPPhilliesFree Agent
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Drew Smyly can earn up to $6.75 million if he is a regular part of the San Francisco Giants'' rotation this year.Smyly has a $4 million base salary as part of the one-year contract announced Thursday.He would get a $250,000 bonus if he either is on the opening-day active roster or spends 130 or more days on the active roster.Smyly can earn $2.5 million in bonuses based on starts: $250,000 each for 12, 14, 16 and 18, and $300,000 apiece for 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28.He also can earn $250,000 each for 25 and 35 games finished, and $125,000 apiece for 40, 50, 55 and 60 relief appearances.A left-hander who turns 31 in June, Smyly was 4-7 with a 6.24 ERA in 21 starts and four relief appearances last year for Texas, which released him in June, and Philadelphia, which signed him in July.He is 35-34 with a 4.16 ERA for Detroit (2012-14), Tampa Bay (2014-16), the Rangers and Phillies. He had Tommy John surgery in 2017 and spent most of the 2018 season recovering.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Jan 1718:14Craig Stammen stays with Padres for $9 million, 2-year dealNick MargeviciusSPPadresFree Agent
Craig StammenRPPadresFree Agent
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Reliever Craig Stammen finalized a $9 million, two-year contract Friday to remain with the San Diego Padres, who hold an option for a third season that could make the deal worth $12 million.Stammen, who turns 36 on March 9, had been a free agent. He will earn $4 million each of the next two seasons, and the Padres' option is for $4 million with a $1 million buyout. He can earn $500,000 annually in performance bonuses: $100,000 each for 40, 45, 40, 44 and 60 games pitched.Stammen led the Padres with 76 appearances last season, going 8-7 with four saves and a 3.29 ERA.He allowed four consecutive home runs to the Washington Nationals, his former team, in a 5-2 loss on June 9.In parts of 10 big league seasons, he is 44-37 with five saves and a 3.63 ERA.Stammen spent his first seven seasons with the Nationals. He signed with the Padres prior to the 2017 season.To make room for Stammen on the 40-man roster, left-hander Nick Margevicius was designated for assignment. Margevicius made his big league debut in last year, going 2-6 with a 6.79 ERA in 17 appearances, including 12 starts. ___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Jan 1718:04Rockies pitcher Justin Lawrence gets 80-game drug banJustin LawrenceSPRockiesFree Agent
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies pitcher Justin Lawrence has been suspended for 80 games under the major league drug program following a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.The 25-year-old right-hander tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), the commissioner's office said Friday.Lawrence has been on the Rockies' 40-man roster since November 2018 and spent last season on option to the minor leagues. He has yet to make his big league debut.He began last season 1-1 with an 8.71 ERA in eight relief appearances at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he was promoted from Class A ball, then went on the injured list in late April. Lawrence was assigned to Double-A Hartford when he returned in early June and went 0-4 with a 8.78 ERA in 30 relief appearances.He was the first player suspended this year under the big league drug program.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Jan 1717:24Red Sox send LHP Hall to Tigers for minor league C NuñezMatt HallRPTigersFree Agent
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have acquired left-hander Matt Hall from Detroit for minor league catcher Jhon Nuñez. The 26-year-old Hall made 16 relief appearances for the Tigers last season and five the year before, posting an 0-1 record with a 9.48 ERA in all. A sixth-round draft pick in 2015, he is 33-15 with a 2.97 ERA in 122 appearances in the minors.Nuñez, 25, batted .280 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 64 games in Double-A last year. In seven seasons, he's hit .260 with 10 homers 199 RBIs while throwing out 33.4% baserunners attempting to steal.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Jan 1716:44Red Sox send LHP Hall to Tigers for minor league C NuñezMatt HallRPTigersFree Agent
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have acquired left-hander Matt Hall from Detroit for minor league catcher Jhon Nuñez. The 26-year-old Hall made 16 relief appearances for the Tigers last season and five the year before, posting an 0-1 record with a 9.48 ERA in all. A sixth-round draft pick in 2015, he is 33-15 with a 2.97 ERA in 122 appearances in the minors.Nuñez, 25, batted .280 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 64 games in Double-A last year. In seven seasons, he's hit .260 with 10 homers 199 RBIs while throwing out 33.4% baserunners attempting to steal.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Jan 1716:24Column: MLB whistleblower deserves applause, not criticismMike FiersSPAthleticsFree Agent
Alex WoodSPRedsFree Agent
When future generations are documenting baseball history, Mike Fiers will surely be remembered as one of the game's most significant figures.Not necessarily for what he did on the field, though tossing a pair of no-hitters is certainly a worthy achievement.Let's just hope all his fellow players give him a big tip of the cap when he takes the mound this season.After all, Fiers blew the lid off one of the most nefarious schemes in the history of the national pastime, a scandal that ranks right up there with the Black Sox and the Steroids Era.There will surely be some who view him as a back-stabbing snitch for going public with revelations that Houston cheated its way to a World Series title in 2017 by stealing signs, who will whisper — or even say right out loud — that he violated one of baseball's cardinal rules by revealing the secrets of the clubhouse.We already got a sampling of that line of thought from ESPN analyst and New York Mets adviser Jessica Mendoza, who said Thursday th... [More]
Fri Jan 1716:14Dodgers acquire INF Clayton Daniel from Cubs for RHP SadlerCasey SadlerRPDodgersFree Agent
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired infielder Clayton Daniel from the Chicago Cubs on Friday in exchange for right-hander Casey Sadler.Daniel has been in the Cubs organization for two years, hitting a combined .290 with 72 runs scored and 36 RBIs across four different minor league levels. Last year, the 24-year-old from Alabama split his time between Low-A South Bend and Double-A Tennessee, hitting a combined .305 with 21 RBIs. He was drafted in the 31st round out of Jacksonville State in 2018.Sadler was designated for assignment Wednesday after spending most of last season with the Dodgers. The 29-year-old from Oklahoma was 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 24 appearances, including one start. He was originally acquired on July 3 from Tampa Bay in exchange for right-hander Nathan Witt. Sadler has been in the majors for parts of four seasons, going 5-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 42 games, including two starts.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Jan 1712:54Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPAthleticsFree 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]
Fri Jan 1712:34Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPAthleticsFree 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]
Fri Jan 1711:24Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPAthleticsFree 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]
Fri Jan 1702:44Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPAthleticsFree 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]
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