Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

The Boston Red Sox acquired starter Andrew Cashner from the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday along with cash considerations in exchange for prospects Noelberth Romero and Elio Prado.

Cashner will report to the Red Sox on Sunday and start for his new team on Tuesday against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

“He is excited to be here and excited to pitch,” president Dave Dombrowski told reporters, according to Ian Browne of MLB.com.

The 32-year-old appeared to be happy in Baltimore, and in May he considered not reporting to a new team if a trade happened. But now it seems Cashner is happy with how everything turned out.

“It’s definitely exciting,” he told MASN’s Roch Kubatko. 

“David Ortiz has been one of my favorite players growing up. … They’re still the champions from last year, so it will be fun to help them get to where they want to go.”

Cashner is in the midst of a solid 2019 season, his 10th in the majors. He owns a 3.83 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 1.19 WHIP, and has struck out 66 batters while walking 29 across 17 starts for Baltimore.

His addition addresses an immediate need for the Red Sox, who lack pitching depth. Cashner will likely become their No. 5 starter immediately, filling the hole left by Nathan Eovaldi, who will move into a relief role after returning from the injured list later this month.

“(Cashner also) helps our bullpen also because we think it will give us more length,” Dombrowski added, according to Chris Mason of the Eagle-Tribune.

Cashner is in the final season of a two-year, $16-million contract and is earning $8 million this year. His deal contains a $10-million option for 2020 that becomes guaranteed if he throws 340 innings in the 2018 and 2019 seasons combined, and if he reaches 360 innings it becomes a player option. He’s thrown 249 1/3 innings over the life of his contract to date.

The Orioles added cash into the trade to escape both the option and multiple performance incentives in Cashner’s contract, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

Baltimore sent approximately $1.8 million in cash to Boston – enough to cover over half of his remaining 2019 salary – and agreed to cover “most” of his bonuses should he reach them, a source told Sean McAdam of Boston Sports Journal.

The Red Sox signed Romero and Prado out of Venezuela last year, according to Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. They are both 17 years old and have yet to play for a Red Sox affiliate in the United States.

Romero, an infielder who primarily plays third base, is slashing .264/.336/.364 with two homers, 13 RBIs, and two steals over 123 plate appearances with DSL Red Sox 2 this year. Prado, an outfielder, owns a .303/.400/.418 line across 147 plate appearances with the same team.

Brodie Van Wagenen’s first season as the general manager of the New York Mets hasn’t gone according to plan.

After entering the campaign with confidence, the Mets entered the second half in fourth place in the National League with a losing record. It’s been a frustrating experience for the rookie executive.

“We are incredibly disappointed with both of those results in the standings,” Van Wagenen said, according to The Associated Press’ Christopher Stock. “This season has not gone the way we wanted. It certainly hasn’t gone the way our players have wanted and most importantly it hasn’t gone the way our fans want.”

Turmoil in Queens hasn’t been limited to the action on the field, either. In addition to manager Mickey Callaway and starter Jason Vargas getting into a serious confrontation with a clubhouse reporter, Van Wagenen apparently threw a chair during a meeting with the coaching staff prior to the All-Star break.

“I let those emotions get to me,” Van Wagenen said. “I am not typically throwing furniture and I’m sure our fans may have thrown a few remote controls at TVs over the course of the season. I think the coaches understood my emotion and we’re ready to go forward.”

Despite the uneven campaign, Van Wagenen remains confident in Callaway’s abilities as skipper. The GM chalks the team’s struggles up to unexpected results from trusted players like closer Edwin Diaz and infielder Robinson Cano, who were acquired in the offseason.

Additionally, star pitchers Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler have all popped up in trade rumors ahead of this month’s trade deadline.

Van Wagenen says he’s pointing the finger inward.

“This team that we built was one that was a unified vision and it hasn’t worked, so I accept my responsibility in that capacity,” Van Wagenen said.

The Mets are now 14 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East after losing to the Miami Marlins on Friday.

If the New York Mets are open for business, plenty of teams will be knocking on their door about Noah Syndergaard.

The flamethrowing right-hander has reportedly drawn interest from the Milwaukee Brewers and sources told Jon Morosi of MLB.com that the San Diego Padres have also inquired about Syndergaard’s services.

San Diego has reportedly been interested in adding an ace since the offseason and has targeted Syndergaard, Corey Kluber, and Marcus Stroman.

The Mets were expected by many to contend for the division crown, as new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen even went as far as to say the team he assembled was the “favorite” in the National League East.

However, New York sits in fourth place in the division with the second-worst record in the NL – 13 1/2 games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves.

Meanwhile, the Padres are slightly ahead of schedule in their rebuild and have maintained a .500 record into the All-Star break. They sit two games back of a wild-card spot.

San Diego boasts the league’s best farm system, according to MLB Pipeline. While rookies Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chris Paddack have made the jump to the big leagues, the Padres still have eight top-100 prospects, headlined by left-hander MacKenzie Gore, infielder Luis Urias, and right-hander Luis Patino.

All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto is interested in a potential extension to stay with the Philadelphia Phillies long term.

“I’m definitely not opposed,” Realmuto said, according to Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Everything I’ve experienced in Philadelphia has been awesome, so I wouldn’t be opposed to spending the rest of my career there.”

Realmuto was acquired via trade with the Miami Marlins during the offseason for catcher Jorge Alfaro as well as prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart.

A two-time All-Star after being selected to this year’s National League squad, the 28-year-old has one more year of control before hitting free agency after the 2020 season.

Despite his interest in remaining with the Phillies, he’s not in a rush to get a new contract.

“The timing doesn’t really matter for me. I just show up and play baseball every day,” Realmuto said. “If an extension comes, it comes, whether it be tomorrow or in the offseason or next July, the timing doesn’t matter too much.”

Through 85 games, Realmuto is batting .273/.328/.438 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred denied Tuesday the notion held by some players that the league is intentionally juicing baseballs.

“Baseball has done nothing, given no direction, for an alteration of the baseball,” Manfred told reporters, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Manfred also said this season’s record spike in home runs is alarming for everybody involved in the game.

“The flaw in logic is that baseball wants more home runs,” Manfred said, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “If you sat in (an) owners meeting and listen to people on how the game is played, that is not a sentiment of owners for whom I work.”

He added: “There’s no desire among ownership to increase homers in the game, to the contrary, they are concerned about how many we have.”

A total of 1,142 homers were hit in June, setting a new single-month record and besting the previous one-month benchmark set in May (1,135).

Asked whether MLB would alter the balls to reduce the number of round-trippers, Manfred acknowledged it’s not out of the question.

“If we were going to do it, we would do it in a way that was transparent to the media and fans before making that change,” he said, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

Manfred was also questioned about comments from Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander after the right-hander slammed the league Monday over the balls used this season. 

“I’m not going to respond specifically. What we need (to) be is transparent,” he said, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report. “I’m more than happy (to) have input, and I’ve had input, from starting pitchers.”

Major League Baseball Players Association head Tony Clark also spoke Tuesday, answering bluntly when asked about the topic.

“I believe the ball suddenly changed and I don’t know why,” he said.

Bud Selig has a new book out, and the former MLB commissioner was no fan of the most famous athlete in the sport during his tenure.

“Summer of 2007 was unpleasant for me, and when I look back, that’s putting it mildly,” Selig recounts in “For The Good of The Game,” according to excerpts acquired by Cody Benjamin of CBS. “It was one of the few times in my life I wasn’t excited about going to ballparks, and if you know me that’s all you need to know.”

In that passage, Selig is referring to Barry Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record in 2007 with the 756th dinger of his decorated career. Bonds ultimately finished with 762 homers, which currently stands as the MLB record.

In the book, Selig states that the San Francisco Giants slugger “simply wasn’t likable” compared to Aaron, and that he encountered “misery” while traveling around to watch Bonds’ pursuit of the record.

“While I felt a responsibility to be on hand for Bonds’ moment, I’ll admit I had a fantasy that I’d be spared when I went to Cooperstown to see (Cal) Ripken and (Tony) Gwynn be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Selig says in the book. “Nobody would have blamed me for being there rather than on the road with Barry. But I received no reprieve, so I trudged on.”

Selig served as MLB commissioner from 1998-2015, which included the height of baseball’s steroid era. He was succeeded by current league commissioner Rob Manfred and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017. Selig currently holds the position of Commissioner Emeritus of Baseball.

Bonds, who also holds the record for single-season home runs, along with the career records for walks and intentional walks, has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame due largely to widespread suspicions of steroid use. The seven-time MVP and 14-time All-Star missed out this past winter while receiving 59.1 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in his seventh year on the ballot. Players require 75 percent of the vote to be inducted.

Queens is burning. Again.

New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen threw a chair during a meeting with the team’s coaching staff following Friday’s loss at Citi Field, sources told Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Van Wagenen berated manager Mickey Callaway and his coaching staff for wasting ace Jacob deGrom‘s solid start against the Philadelphia Phillies, according to Puma. He then picked up a chair during the meeting, threw it across the room, and told Callaway to go to his “f—king press conference.”

“We as a staff often meet with coaches and players throughout the course of the season,” Van Wagenen told Puma when asked for comment about the incident. “I am not going to give the specifics to any of those meetings.”

Callaway wouldn’t comment on what happened in the meeting but insisted that there are no lingering issues between himself and his boss.

“It’s fantastic,” the skipper told reporters when asked about his relationship with Van Wagenen following the Mets’ win Saturday, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. “We’re both passionate guys that want to win.”

Friday’s loss was a particularly rough one for the Mets. DeGrom allowed just two runs and three hits while striking out 10 in seven innings, but embattled closer Edwin Diazallowed four runs in the ninth, leading to a 7-2 Phillies win. Diaz’s job as the closer was called into question after the loss, though Callaway said prior to Saturday’s game that he’ll continue in that role “going into today,” according to DiComo. Diaz went on to earn his 19th save Saturday.

The chair-throwing episode is the latest issue to befall the Mets during their tumultuous 2019 season. Callaway and pitcher Jason Vargas were both fined after a clubhouse altercation with a reporter last month. That incident received even more attention after Callaway needed a second attempt to issue a public apology for what happened, while Vargas failed to take responsibility.

Van Wagenen, a former player agent who’s in his first season as the Mets’ GM, was also reported to have ordered Callaway to remove deGrom from a game earlier this season.