Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Marlins Sign Neil Walker To 1 Year Deal

In February of 2018, there was belief Neil Walker would end up back with his old team The Mets. But about a month later, the Yankees signed Walker to a one-year, $4 million deal.  If fans recall, the skilled infielder spent more than a season with the Mets, who acquired him from the Pirates for pitcher Jon Niese in late 2015. In 2016, he hit .282 with 23 homers and 55 RBI in 113 games wearing blue and orange. In 2017, he accepted a qualifying offer worth $17.2 million and hit .264 with 10 bombs and 36 RBI in 73 games before the Mets sent him to the Brewers for a player to be named later. Now The Marlins have added Walker to their 2019 roster. reports:
The Marlins added a veteran to their infield mix on Tuesday by signing Neil Walker to a one-year contract. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported the value at $2 million, according to sources.
The 33-year-old first came up with his hometown Pirates in 2009 and since then has spent time with the Mets, Brewers and Yankees over 10 big league seasons. Primarily a second baseman for the bulk of his career, Walker also has recent experience at first base, third base and in the corner outfield, so Miami could use him at multiple spots.
At present, the Marlins' infield options include second baseman Starlin Castro, shortstop JT Riddle and third baseman Martin Prado, plus Peter O'Brien and Miguel Rojas. Breakout rookie Brian Anderson split time between third base and right field last season and could end up back in the outfield in 2019. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told the Miami Herald that he expects Walker's primary role to be a platoon first baseman alongside O'Brien.
Walker will be hoping to rebound following a difficult '18. A free agent a year ago, Walker didn't sign with the Yankees until March 12 and then struggled to get going. The switch-hitter posted a .402 OPS in the opening month and .563 before the All-Star break.
However, Walker did bounce back by batting .247/.346/.442 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 52 second-half games. That was a solid match for his career numbers (.268/.339/.430).
Prior to last year, Walker had been a remarkably consistent offensive performer. He owns a park-adjusted career OPS+ of 111 (100 is considered league average), having posted a mark between 106 and 126 in each of his eight previous full seasons.
To make room for Walker on the 40-man roster, Miami designated pitcher Nick Wittgren for assignment. The 27-year-old righty made 118 relief appearances for the Marlins over the past three seasons, producing a 3.60 ERA.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Blue Jays Sign Freddy Galvis To 1 Year Deal

Matt Kelly of reports:
The Blue Jays signed free-agent infielder Freddy Galvis to a one-year contract with a club option for 2020, the team announced Tuesday. A source told's Mark Feinsand that the deal is worth $4 million with a $1 million buyout for the 2020 option, guaranteeing the veteran $5 million. The deal also includes award bonuses.
Toronto designated right-hander Danny Barnes for assignment to make room for Galvis on the 40-man roster.
 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was previously in line to serve as the primary shortstop, but the addition of the sure-handed Galvis means that it's possible he'll begin the year in the minors.
Galvis, 29, played in all 162 games for the Padres last season, hitting .248/.299/.380 with 13 home runs and 67 RBIs while also playing above-average defense at shortstop. The Venezuelan native is a career .246 hitter over 804 career games with the Phillies and Padres.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Former Giants Owner Peter Magowan Dies At 76 reports:
Peter A. Magowan, who led the drive to keep the Giants in San Francisco, died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer, the team announced. He was 76.
Magowan was surrounded by relatives as he died. Reaction among the Giants' extended family was immediate and emotional.
"The Giants family, the entire Bay Area and the game of baseball lost a man whose passion and loyalty to his favorite team and beloved community made it possible for all of us and future generations to experience the magic of Giants baseball in San Francisco forever," club president and CEO Larry Baer said in a statement. "Peter was my mentor and dear friend, and I will forever be grateful for his guidance, support and love. His legacy will be carried on by all those he inspired, including community leaders, our players, the front office, Junior Giants players and, of course, by his devoted family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Debby, and his children and their families."
The Magowan family issued the following statement: "Our family lost a great man today. We all know how much Peter loved his Giants and San Francisco, and he had that same love and passion for his family. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren, and we will forever cherish the memories we made together."
Legendary Giants outfielder Willie Mays adds:
"Peter Magowan has been a part of my life for a long, long time, first as a fan watching me play in New York, and then, remaining a fan when we moved to San Francisco," Mays said. "Along the way, he became my friend. Peter would call me often to check in. He and Debby cared about me, and it was so easy to care about them in return. It's hard to find the right words just now, but in losing Peter, I've lost a great, great friend. He was like my godfather. No one can replace him."
NBC sports give us more details on Magowan's incredible history with the Giants:
Before the paperwork was even complete on the purchase of the team, Magowan made two moves that would go a long way toward reshaping Giants baseball. He signed free agent outfielder Barry Bonds to a then-tremendous six-year, $43.5 million deal. He also hired Dusty Baker as the team’s new manager. Bonds, the 1992 MVP with the Pirates, won his second straight MVP Award in his first season in San Francisco and Baker led the team to 103 wins, a 31-win improvement over the previous year’s record. The team’s fortunes would ebb and flow for the remainder of the decade, but the success of 1993 and Bonds’ star power sparked newfound enthusiasm for the team.
That enthusiasm would eventually lead to a new home for the team when Magowan put together a plan to build the first privately-funded major league ballpark in decades. Pacific Bell Park, which would later be named SBC Park, AT&T Park and is now known as Oracle Park, opened on San Francisco’s waterfront in 2000. It was and remains one of the most gorgeous ballparks in the game, and has been filled to or near capacity for most Giants games for nearly two decades now. The Giants made the playoffs four times in Magowan’s 16-years as owner, including winning the 2002 National League pennant. He stepped down as chairman in 2008, but the ownership group he formed continues to run the team to this day. The Giants, of course, won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Read more HERE.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Alex Bregman Lands On Cover Of RBI Baseball 2019

Houston Astros star third baseman, Alex Bregman, is one of the best gamers in the sport of Major League Baseball... so he is the perfect choice to be the face of the popular video game.

The reports

Bregman was the first Astros player to receive the honor in 17 years, according to a release.
Bregman hit 31 home runs last year with 103 RBI as he is the fourth straight player under the age of 25 featured on the cover of the video game. Others were Francisco Lindor (2018), Corey Seager (2017) and Mookie Betts (2016).
Bregman, a former Corpus Christi Hook, has seen a meteoric rise with the Astros after his debut in 2016 as he helped win the Astros a World Series in 2017 and was the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 2018.
The game is officially licensed by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player’s Association.

Learn more about RBI Baseball 2019 HERE.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Mets Add Lefty Reliever Justin Wilson

The New York Mets have added another bullpen arm, as the team continues making the push this offseason to add depth to their late innings pitching arsenal.

Anthony Dicomo of reports:
Before embarking on his first offseason as Mets general manager, Brodie Van Wagenen identified bullpen help as one of the most pressing issues he planned to address. Van Wagenen made another addition to that end on Friday, agreeing to terms with left-handed reliever Justin Wilson on a two-year, $10 million deal that also includes performance bonuses, according to multiple sources.
The Mets have not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.
In Wilson, 31, the Mets receive a lefty who posted 3.46 ERA in 71 appearances for the Cubs last season, many of them less than an inning in length. Wilson was particularly effective against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .190 batting average, and thus serves as a replacement for the departed Jerry Blevins on New York's roster. Overall, Wilson struck out 69 batters in 54 2/3 innings, but also walked 33.
Before signing Wilson, the Mets' left-handed options were non-roster invitees Luis Avilan, Ryan O'Rourke and Hector Santiago, as well as rookie Daniel Zamora. The team still may carry one or more of those pitchers in its Opening Day bullpen, in what should be a wide-open competition.
Earlier this week, Van Wagenen mentioned Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman as locks or near-locks to make the Mets' bullpen. Wilson now joins that group, leaving the Mets with two or three open spots they can fill with one (or more) of the aforementioned lefties, plus one or two young right-handers from a group that includes Drew Smith, Tyler Bashlor and Eric Hanhold.
The Mets' hope is that they will feature a much improved relief corps from the one that ranked 28th in the Majors in ERA last season.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Dodgers Sign Outfielder A.J. Pollock To 5 Year Deal

The Dodgers have made perhaps their most important move in the offseason, locking down one of the game's best outfielders.
Arizona Central Sports reports:
Former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock has agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple reports.
Pollock, 31, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Diamondbacks, was a free agent.
He went .281 with 74 home runs and 264 RBIs during his time in Arizona.
His lone All-Star season came in 2015 when he hit .315 with 20 homers and 76 RBIs. He also stole 39 bases.

Pollock's deal, which was first reported by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, was expected to be a five-year contract. 
The Diamondbacks will receive a compensatory draft pick for Pollock after extending him a qualifying offer in November. 
It will either be after the first round or after a competitive balance round, depending on the amount of guaranteed money he receives in Los Angeles.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Yankees Sign Relief Pitcher Adam Ottavino

A crafty move has been made by the Bronx Bombers to strengthen their bullpen, by landing a confident and boastful reliever. reports:

The Yankees announced today that they have signed RHP Adam Ottavino ("ah-tah-VEE-noh") to a three-year contract through the 2021 season.

Ottavino, 33, went 6-4 with six saves and a 2.43 ERA (77.2IP, 41H, 25R/21ER, 36BB, 112K, 5HR) in 75 relief appearances for the Colorado Rockies in 2018. His 112 strikeouts out of the bullpen ranked second in the NL and fourth in the Majors, and set a new Rockies single-season record for strikeouts by a reliever. Among NL relievers, he was fifth with a .158 opponents’ batting average (41-for-260), fifth with a 36.2% strikeout rate (112K/309BF), tied for fifth in appearances and tied for sixth in innings pitched. 

In 366 games (three starts) across parts of eight Major League seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (2010) and the Rockies (2012-18), the New York City-born right-hander is 17-20 with 17 saves and a 3.68 ERA (413.0IP, 169ER). Prior to making his Major League debut, he pitched for Team Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He made his postseason debut in 2018, allowing 2ER in 3.2IP over three appearances with Colorado. 

A native of Park Slope, Brooklyn, Ottavino grew up playing in the 78th Precinct Youth Council Little League before earning all-state honors at the Berkeley Carroll School, and then playing collegiately at Northeastern University. His signing gives the Yankees three relievers born in New York State, as he joins New York City’s Dellin Betances and Latham-born Tommy Kahnle. Only once in the last 53 years (since 1966) have three New York-born pitchers appeared for the Yankees in the same season, when in 1993, John Habyan (36 games), Paul Gibson (20 games) and Neal Heaton (18 games) all pitched for the club. 

Read more coverage on Ottavino HERE

Ottavino will wear No. 0 for the Yankees, becoming the first player in franchise history to sport the uniform number. He also believes that he could have struck out Babe Ruth every single time.

Now while Ottavino is certainly no Mariano Rivera, let alone the greatest player in MLB history we all like to call the Bambino, at least he comes to the Bronx with some swagger and is that really such a bad thing?

Pitcher Drew Pomeranz Signs 1 Year Deal With The Giants

As the offseason continues to heat up with trades and free agent signings, a talented lefty hurler joins one of the more well respected teams in the game, looking to return to his glory days of being a seventeen game winner. reports:
Though another day passed without the Giants acquiring an experienced outfielder, they addressed the enduring issue of starting-rotation depth Wednesday by signing free-agent left-hander Drew Pomeranz to a one-year contract.
Pomeranz was a 2016 National League All-Star with San Diego before being dealt to Boston. He finished 17-6 with the Red Sox in '17 but endured two arm injuries last year, limiting him to 74 innings and a 2-6 record.
The 30-year-old joins a full field of candidates for spots in the season-opening rotation, including Madison Bumgarner, Dereck Rodriguez, Derek Holland, Chris Stratton, Andrew Suarez and Jeff Samardzija.
Giants president Farhan Zaidi pointed out that most clubs employ more than five or six starters during any given season.
"I don't think there's anything particularly nuanced or inventive about it. I think every team wants to have as much pitching depth, particularly starting-pitching depth, as possible," Zaidi said.
The Giants' rotation needs strength in numbers, particularly since they don't know what to expect from Samardzija, the right-hander who made only 10 starts last year due to shoulder problems.
"All indications for us are [Samardzija] is going to be ready for the start of the season, ready for camp, ready to throw in games. As of now, he's very much on schedule," Zaidi said.
But, Zaidi added, "He's not a guy you can afford to write in for 32 to 34 starts."
Zaidi insisted that he remains mindful of replenishing San Francisco's outfield. With the departures of Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco, the most experienced outfielder on the club's 40-man roster is Mac Williamson, who has 1 year and 113 days of big league service time.
San Francisco's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training camp at Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 12. Position players must report Feb. 17. Zaidi sounded confident about obtaining outfield help in due time.
"As long as we feel that there are good options out there, whether it be via trade or free agency, the actual pulling of the trigger becomes a little bit less relevant," Zaidi said. "As long as you feel like you have some good leads, which I think we do, you don't want to get in a situation of urgency or even panic. We're continuing to have those conversations. ... I'm still optimistic about making some additions on that front."
Pomeranz will be a bargain if he overcomes his injuries and regains his relatively recent form. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported that Pomeranz will receive a $1.5 million base salary with incentives that can increase the deal's value to $5 million.
Get more breakdown on Pomeranz HERE.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cuban Shortstop Yolbert Sanchez Cleared To Sign In MLB

The 2019 MLB season is going to be sprinkled with a fresh crop of new players we have not seen on the big stage before. One standout in particular from Cuba has been given the go ahead to begin making his way toward seeing his dream turn into reality.
Jesse Sanchez of reports:
A new Cuban prospect is officially on the market, and the potential landing spots are already starting to take shape.
Shortstop Yolbert Sanchez, who will be 22 in March, was cleared by Major League Baseball on Tuesday and will be eligible to sign starting Feb. 5.
Known for his elite defense, Sanchez's polished glove might be ready for the big leagues now. According to scouts, he can spray the ball from "line to line" and is considered a line-drive hitter. He ultimately projects to hit eight to 10 home runs per season in the Major Leagues. He is also known for his average to slightly above-average arm as well as an average to slightly above-average running ability.
Scouts also like his game instincts and track record.
Sanchez was the starting shortstop for the Havana Industriales and projected to be the starting shortstop for the island's national team before his defection last summer. He was the starting shortstop for Cuba's 23U team in Panama and was a teammate of White Sox prospect Luis Robert on the country's 18U team.
Where Sanchez signs is to be determined. There will be a showcase for him in the coming weeks in the Dominican Republic.
Because of his age and experience, Sanchez will sign under the international signing guidelines. The Orioles, who came up short in their pursuit of Cuban outfielders Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr. and Cuban pitcher Sandy Gaston, still have close to $6 million in bonus pool money to spend on international prospects -- the most money in baseball -- and the Dodgers ($1.4 million) are next. The Phillies have close to $1 million remaining while the Cubs, Rangers and Red Sox follow with bonus pools in the $700,000-$850,000 range.
Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

HALL OF FAME CLASS 2019: Mariano Rivera Is The First Unanimous Selection

Exciting news to report... although, many fans are upset that Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have yet again been left out due to their connection with PED's.
Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post reports:
New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. And Tuesday, Rivera became the first unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame.
Rivera, baseball’s all-time leader in saves and a 13-time all-star, was named on all 425 ballots cast by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
He heads a four-player contingent elected to Cooperstown. Also gaining election were two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, the late ace of the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies; longtime Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez, one of the most feared hitters of the 1990s; and former Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees ace Mike Mussina.
 Mike Oz takes us further down the Rabbit Hole:
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, the three most controversial names on the Hall of Fame ballot, didn’t get stamped into Cooperstown on Tuesday.
That’s not a surprise. Nobody was really expecting they would, not given what we know about their candidacies, their previous results and what was on the 55 percent of ballots that were made public. But they did take a step in the right direction.
Bonds and Clemens saw their vote totals improve again, while Schilling rebounded after taking a big dip in 2017.
• Bonds finished at 59.1 percent after last year’s 56.4 percent.
• Clemens earned 59.5 percent after 57.3 percent last year.
• Schilling rebounded in a big way, jumping from 51.2 percent in 2018 to 60.9 percent in 2019.
This was the seventh year on the ballot for each of them. They’ll have three more years to try to reach the necessary 75 percent to get into Cooperstown.

Pitcher Sonny Gray Joins The Reds

The offseason news in Major League baseball continues to heat up as the Cincinnati Reds add more quality pitching to their 2019 rotation. reports:
The Reds continued the overhaul of their rotation by acquiring right-hander Sonny Gray in a trade with the Yankees on Monday. Gray signed a three-year, $30.5 million contract extension through 2022, with a $12 million club option for '23.
Also going to the Reds is Minor League left-hander Reiver Sanmartin. The Yankees received second-base prospect Shed Long and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round A Draft pick from Cincinnati. New York immediately dealt Long to the Mariners for outfield prospect Josh Stowers.
With Gray already signed to a one-year, $7.5 million contract that avoided arbitration for 2019, he's set to earn $38 million over the next four years. His new deal contains salary escalators and bonuses.
"Conceptually, we always wanted to add three starters if we could do so economically," Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. "We just thought that would really improve our overall depth."
In separate trades made last month, the Reds received right-hander Tanner Roark from the Nationals and left-hander Alex Wood from the Dodgers. Gray, Roark and Wood will join a rotation with holdover Luis Castillo. The fifth spot could be a battle between Anthony DeSclafani, Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle and others.
Once the Reds and Yankees agreed to make their trade, the Reds were given a 72-hour window to negotiate the extension with Gray. Roark and Wood both have one-year contracts and can become free agents after the season.
"Once we acquired the two guys with the one-year deals, we said that we would only acquire Sonny if we were able to extend him," Williams said. "We didn't want to be in a position where all three starters would be becoming free agents next year. That was a condition of pursuing this trade."
Featuring mostly young starters in 2018, the Reds' rotation ranked 14th out of 15 National League clubs with a 5.02 ERA and a league-high 151 home runs allowed. Cincinnati is much more optimistic heading into this season.
"We have a chance to go into this season with the best rotation we've had in five years," Reds general manager Nick Krall said. "It makes you feel better about where you are and looking at your club with guys that have been solid Major League starters. We've got a whole group of them."