Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred will keep his current role through the 2024 season.

MLB owners voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a five-year extension for Manfred on a contract that was set to expire following the upcoming 2019 season.

Among other things, this will ensure Manfred oversees the next round of collective bargaining with the MLBPA. The current CBA is set to expire following the 2021 campaign.

As Bud Selig’s successor, Manfred became MLB commissioner prior to the 2015 season. Originally serving as outside counsel during the 1994-95 work stoppage, Manfred officially joined MLB as a full-time employee in 1998, eventually becoming Selig’s chief operating officer in 2013.

Manfred has instituted pace of play rules, including a limit on mound visits, and negotiated a new CBA with the players’ union prior to the 2016 season. He replaced the 15-day disabled list with a 10-day DL, put a cap on spending for international free agents, and added stricter penalties for exceeding the luxury tax.

Among Manfred’s other notable accomplishments, the 60-year-old is responsible for negotiating the league’s first drug testing agreement in 2002 and led the Biogenesis investigation which sought to prove that Anthony Bosch distributed performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Nelson Cruz, among others.

The news comes on the same day MLB finalized a reported $5.1-billion extension with FOX for broadcasting games through 2028, according to Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal.

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The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms on a new contract with manager Alex Cora, including a one-year extension through 2021, with a club option for 2022, according to an announcement from president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

Cora initially agreed to a three-year contract with Boston in October 2017.

Along with tacking on an extra year, Cora’s extension will give him a salary boost, according to MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

“Alex did a tremendous job for our club all year long and we wanted to reward him for his efforts after an amazing season,” Dombrowski explained. “We are extremely happy that he will be with us and leading our club on the field.”

The 43-year-old Cora lead the Red Sox to the best record in baseball and a World Series championship in his first season as their manager.

The prospect of adding Manny Machado is intriguing for the New York Yankees despite their reported “lukewarm” interest earlier this offseason. Still, the All-Star infielder’s polarizing nature appears to be causing some hesitation in the Bronx, despite an obvious on-field fit.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner took notice of Machado’s various controversial antics during the postseason, and was particularly caught off-guard by the 26-year-old’s now-infamous comments that hustling isn’t his “cup of tea.”

If Machado’s going to don pinstripes in 2019 and beyond, Steinbrenner wants to hear from the man himself on exactly why he said that.

“If it’s a $300-million guy or a $10-million guy, clearly those comments are troubling,” Steinbrenner told reporters Wednesday, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. “But that’s really (general manager Brian Cashman’s) job. If we’re interested in any player, sit down with him face to face, and ask him, ‘Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to (make)? How do you justify it?’ Because that ain’t gonna sell where we play baseball.”

When asked if it’s necessary to resolve Machado’s comments, Steinbrenner added: “It’s essential. It’s not (just) important. It’s going to happen.”

Meanwhile, Cashman all but admitted his team’s interest in Machado during a separate interview with WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio” on Wednesday, and confirmed he’d do plenty of due diligence on the infielder before bringing him into the fold.

“We are obviously looking through all of those things,” Cashman replied when asked about Machado’s potential fit with the Yankees’ culture. “Manny Machado’s a terrific baseball player. … And yes, we’ve got to assess obviously, does he fit our world and at what cost? And we are gonna go through that process with him, as well as (with) every available free agent and potential trade partner as well, to see what is the best course of action.”

Machado put up a .905 OPS and slugged 37 homers over 162 games split between the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018, and is expected to score one of the largest free-agent contracts this offseason. The Yankees seem like a perfect fit thanks to their current hole at shortstop, as Didi Gregorius is expected to miss a large portion of 2019 following Tommy John surgery.

At least one report this offseason has suggested the Yankees’ pursuit of Machado could come down to his price tag.

The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly on the verge of landing their new general manager.

Houston Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias will be hired as the new Orioles GM, barring a last-minute change of heart, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.

Brittany Ghiroli

@Britt_Ghiroli

No official title yet but looks like Mike Elias will be the Orioles top front office guy, as @BNightengale reported last night. Elias would then name a No. 2.

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Elias has been with the Astros since January 2012 and helped oversee the club’s farm system. He was one of the minds behind the decision to select shortstop Carlos Correa with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. He’s been an assistant GM since 2016. Prior to his tenure with the Astros, Elias worked in the St. Louis Cardinals organization as a scout.

If Elias does land the Orioles job, it’s expected that he’ll be joined in their front office by another former Astros executive in Sig Mejdal, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported early Wednesday morning. Mejdal, a former NASA engineer, served as a special assistant to Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and was an important analyst in their front office prior to leaving the team in October.

After finishing with a 47-115 record (the worst in baseball) and trading several key players – Manny MachadoZach BrittonBrad BrachJonathan Schoop, and Kevin Gausman – for prospects, Baltimore is entering a rebuild.

The Orioles have been on the hunt for a new GM since parting ways with Dan Duquette in early October. Duquette had served in the role since 2011.

Baltimore remains the only major-league team without a manager in place for the upcoming season after it fired Buck Showalter last month.

The Seattle Mariners are denying accusations from former high-performance director Dr. Lorena Martin that members of team management have directed racist remarks toward the club’s Latino players.

The Mariners terminated Martin’s contract on Oct. 10.

“While it is our policy to not comment on personnel issues, we do feel it is important to respond to the outrageous, false claims made by her today on social media,” the team said in a statement. “And to note that Martin did not make any of these false allegations until after she was relieved of her duties.

“The Mariners categorically deny that any member of our management or coaching staff made racist remarks regarding any of our players or staff. Additionally, we have not terminated (or threatened to terminate) any trainers during the offseason.”

Martin used social media to comment on her firing, accusing members of the team’s front office of making racist remarks and having poor leadership.

“The things I’ve witnessed and heard first hand have left me shocked,” she wrote. “How can GM Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais, and director of player development Andy McKay speak about their players like this … Calling LATINOS LAZY, DUMB, and STUPID, especially the DOMINICANS.”

At the end of the 2018 season, the Mariners had several Dominican players on their roster, including Nelson CruzRobinson CanoJean SeguraJuan Nicasio, and Alex Colome.

Martin added that the team’s leadership under Dipoto is to blame for the Mariners’ lack of postseason appearances and success.

“Leadership is to blame, under Jerry Dipoto’s leadership no team has made it to the playoffs and they will continue to miss the playoffs with him in his position. Poor leadership.

“It’s come to the point where I have to speak out because they are firing innocent trainers for trying to do the right thing and because of their color/race.”

The Mariners are attempting to avoid paying the remainder of the two years left on Martin’s contract, sources told the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish.

“They wanted to negotiate to keep me quiet,” Martin said in a reply to Divish’s tweet.

Martin responded to the Mariners’ statement, disputing the team’s suggestion that she waited until after her firing to mention the indiscretions she witnessed.

“There was a breach of contract on the Mariners behalf,” she wrote. “And I had reported many other discriminatory incidences to HR and other Mariners staff members throughout the season. And yes Leonardo Santiago and Jose Valdez, (Dominican) trainers were let go and not given new contracts.”

The New York Yankees have reportedly re-signed veteran left-hander CC Sabathia to a one-year, $8-million contract, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

Sabathia is coming off of a one-year, $10-million contract with the Yankees signed in December of last year. The 38-year-old authored a 3.65 ERA and 4.16 FIP over 153 innings.

The forthcoming 2019 season will mark the veteran’s 19th season in the big leagues. The six-time All-Star owns a 3.70 ERA over 538 career starts. By career innings pitched, Sabathia ranks 75th in MLB history. Currently sitting at 3470 innings, Sabathia will quickly surpass Hall of Famer John Smoltz and has a shot to rank upwards of 60th by season’s end, surpassing Yankees legend Mike Mussina.

The San Francisco Giants got their man. Farhan Zaidi, the now-former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager, has taken the job as the Giants’ president of baseball operations, the team announced.

Zaidi’s contract is reportedly for five years, a source tells Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic.

The Giants’ interest in Zaidi surfaced in late October.

Zaidi was not in Carlsbad, California where the annual GM meetings are taking place this week. The Dodgers are instead being represented by Andrew Friedman, the team’s president of baseball operations. Earlier on Tuesday, Friedman was asked about Zaidi and the Giants, but declined to comment.

“Obviously, that’s Farhan’s news,” Friedman said, according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. “It’s not appropriate to comment on right now.”

The 41-year-old Zaidi had been the Dodgers GM since late 2014 after previously working in the Oakland Athletics organization as director of baseball operations and assistant general manager.

The Giants are still without a GM as they parted ways with Bobby Evans at the end of September. With Zaidi’s departure, the Dodgers, too, are now in the market for a new executive.