Category Archives: MLB

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Chase Headley Signs Four-Year Deal with Yankees, Leaving A-Rod Without a Position

Chase Headley is going back to the Bronx to play third base for the Yankees over the next four seasons, per Ken Rosenthal. No, this isn’t a huge, game-changing, headline-making, move of the Steinbrenner-era Yankees, rather the boring, baseball-driven moves that GM Brian Cashman apparently prefers to make. Headley will reportedly earn around $50+ million during the contract.

Headley hit a combined .243 last season with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs for the San Diego Padres and the New York Yankees.

Headley, who was traded to the Yankees by the San Diego Padres prior to the trade deadline last season, hit a combined .243 last season with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs.

Following the trade to New York, he hit .262 with six home runs and 17 RBIs after hitting just .229 in 77 games with San Diego.

Obviously Headley doesn’t address the team’s fragile starting pitching rotation which currently features Adam Warren and David Phelps as the only two members without massive question marks stitched into their pinstripes. This means the Max Scherzer rumors will continue and continue … and continue until the former Cy Young winner and agent Scott Boras get their $200 million contract.

The Headley signing means that Alex Rodriguez’s contributions to the 2015 Yankees (and beyond) looks like it will be limited mostly to designated hitter, unless he starts platooning at first base with Mark Teixeira at first. Then again, is it too late for A-Rod to learn how to pitch?

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Dodgers Heading in a New Direction, Trade Matt Kemp to the Padres

Matt Kemp nearly won a Most Valuable Player award with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011, but with a crowded outfield and needing help in other areas on the diamond, the team has decided to move on, trading him to the San Diego Padres for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and a prospect.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported the news:

The official spoke only on the condition of anonymity since the trade has yet to be announced. The official announcement has been delayed because the Commissioner’s office must approve the trade, and the players must pass their physicals.

Kemp and catcher Tim Federowicz will be sent to the Padres in a package deal for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and at least one prospect.

The Dodgers will also send about $31 million to San Diego to cover part of Kemp’s remaining $107 million salary, reports say.

The trade helps alleviate a logjam of outfielders in the organization. Andre Either and prospect Joc Pederson will vie for playing time, with Yasiel Puig holding the starting job in right field and Carl Crawford in left. The Dodgers could also use role player Scott Van Slyke in the rotation.

The agreement is the latest in a flurry of moves for the Dodgers, who, in a busy Wednesday, acquired second baseman Howie Kendrick, infielder Enrique Hernandez, reliever Chris Hatcher and minor leaguer Austin Barnes. Los Angeles also Jimmy Rollins and agreed to a 4-year deal with pitcher Brandon McCarthy.

Kemp hit .287 last season with 25 home runs and 89 RBIs. The 30-year-old, who missed 145 games with multiple injuries between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, finished second for the MVP award in 2011 after collecting 39 homers, 126 RBIs and 40 stolen bases.

The fear for Kemp will always be that injury concerns resurface, or that he’ll never quite live up to his MVP-deserving season in 2011, a major issue considering his huge contract. Kemp undoubtedly heads to San Diego with some questions surrounding his future.

[Information via USA Today, Associated Press]

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Jon Lester Signs a Six-Year, $155M Deal with the Chicago Cubs

Jon Lester, arguably the top free agent on this year’s market, has found a new home with the Chicago Cubs.

The deal is for six years and $155 million, a source confirmed to ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers. It includes a signing bonus of at least $20 million and a vesting option for a seventh year that could bring Lester’s total take to $170 million, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Lester took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to react to the signing.

Lester doesn’t have a Cy Young Award like Max Scherzer, but he set career bests in innings pitched (219.2), ERA (2.46) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.58) in 2014, per Baseball Reference. Being left-handed and showing that kind of dominance doesn’t hurt.

Few pitchers offer the combination of durability and dominance that Lester has throughout his career, with seven straight seasons of at least 191.2 innings pitched and six straight years with at least 166 strikeouts. He’s a difference-making starting pitcher capable of carrying a rotation in October, as he did in 2013.

After signing Lester, the Cubs’ odds of winning the World Series jumped to 12-1 from 18-1 at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas.

The Cubs are on a streak of five straight losing seasons. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2008, and their championship drought dates to 1908.

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The Nationals’ Jayson Werth Sentenced To Ten Days In Jail

Back in July, police pulled over Jayson Werth, the Washington Nationals’ starting right fielder, for doing 105 in a 55 mph zone. Pretty above the speed limit, if you ask me or the county of Fairfax, which cited him for misdemeanor reckless driving.

His trial was today. A judge found him guilty and sentenced him to ten days in jail.

Werth said he plans to appeal:

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Six-Year Old Blue Jays Fan in Heartbroken Over Brett Lawrie Trade [Video]

Brett Lawrie was traded to the Oakland Athletics last week after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. In those injury-shortened seasons Lawrie had enough of an impact that he became this little girl’s favorite player. That’s right, there is a 6-year old baseball fan in Canada. Poor kid. Now all she’s left with is some dude named “Josh Donaldson.” Sure, he made an All-Star team last year, but that’s probably only because Lawrie was hurt. 

[via @cartmaniak]

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Pablo Sandoval Signs $100M Contract with the Red Sox [UPDATE: Boston Signs Hanley Ramirez to $88M Contract]

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports Pablo Sandoval has an agreement to join the Boston Red Sox for five years for close to $100 million. ESPN sources confirmed the report.

However, Sandoval’s agent, Gustavo Vasquez, told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Alex Speier of WEEI.com that a deal has not been completed.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com later reported financial details of the Giants’ offer to Sandoval:

Sandoval reportedly chose the Red Sox’s offer over those from the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. All three offers were believed to be for five years and at least $90 million.

Sandoval, 28, hit .279 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs last season. He has hit .294 with 106 homers and 462 RBIs in seven big league seasons, all with the Giants.

He has starred in the postseason, hitting .344 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 39 games, helping the Giants win three championships in five seasons. In Game 1 of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, he became the first player in baseball history to homer in his first three at-bats in a World Series game. He went on to win the World Series MVP award.

Sandoval, who reportedly rejected a three-year, $40 million contract extension offer from the Giants in March, was paid $8.25 million in 2014.

UPDATE: Fenway Park ought to consider temporarily changing its named to Flavortown, USA for the next week or so after the Red Sox braintrust made a pair of bold moves to bolster the Boston lineup following a last-place finish in 2014. Hanley Ramirez, who began his career with the Red Sox, is reportedly back for four years, $88 million.

Ramirez, who will turn 31 on Dec. 23, has primarily played shortstop throughout his 10-year career but has also told teams he would be willing to change positions.

The all-star shortstop rejected the Los Angeles Dodgers’ $15.3 million qualifying offer earlier this month to become a free agent. Ramirez won the 2009 batting title and led the NL with a 1.040 OPS in 2013 (among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances).

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