Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

Adrian Beltre has confirmed that his heart is in Arlington.

While his name has apparently been bandied about in trade rumors thanks to the Texas Rangers‘ fall in the AL West standings, the 39-year-old all but confirmed Saturday that teams interested in acquiring him may only have his services for the balance of this season.

Although Beltre didn’t commit to returning for a 22nd major-league season in 2019, he did tell Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he’s only interested in extending his career in a Rangers uniform.

“If I’m going to play next year, I want it to be here,” Beltre said Saturday. “Right now, that’s a big if. But, if I play, I think I owe it to these fans. And I want to retire as a Ranger.”

Beltre’s remarks come after Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports‘ report from earlier this week that Beltre had already informed Rangers management of a desire to return in 2019.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels didn’t speak to that report or Beltre’s comments Saturday, but he did tell Grant that it “would be an honor” to have Beltre end his career with the team.

Beltre does possess full no-trade protection, so he can block a trade if he ultimately decides that this is the year he’ll retire as a Ranger.

Though he spent his first seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and another five in Seattle, it was in Texas where Beltre’s stock rose from a star to an iconic future Hall of Famer. He’s now played over 1,000 games with the Rangers and has compiled the second-highest batting average and third-most WAR in team history, while also helping them reach the playoffs four times in eight years.

Despite missing some time due to injuries, Beltre is still proving to be productive at the plate with a .311/.374/.442 slash line and 16 extra-base hits across 219 plate appearances this year.

The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly one of the teams interested in acquiring Beltre for the stretch run.

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Jayson Werth has retired from professional baseball.

“I’m done … whatever you want to call it,” Werth told Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports. “No regrets, man.”

Werth, 39, a veteran of 15 MLB seasons, was most recently playing for the Seattle Mariners‘ Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers before a hamstring injury put him on the shelf.

Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, Werth made his major-league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 before a 2004 trade sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He spent four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, where he won a World Series in 2008 and made his lone All-Star appearance in 2009, before spending the final seven years of his career as a fixture for the Washington Nationals.

All told, Werth posted a career line of .267/.360/.455 with 229 home runs, 300 doubles, and 132 stolen bases over 1,583 games.

J.D. Martinez isn’t in favor of fans being responsible for selecting who plays in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. He thinks the players should make the selections instead.

The 30-year-old is off to a spectacular start in his first season with the Boston Red Sox, but he doesn’t believe performance dictates who actually deserves to play at the Midsummer Classic.

“It’s not the frustrating part about not making it, it’s more the frustrating part of not being noticed by certain people,” Martinez explained to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “Because the players know who I am. People who watch baseball know who I am but people outside baseball don’t. That’s where all of that plays into this. It’s more of a popularity contest than it is about performance.”

Martinez sits near the top of MLB’s leaderboards in several categories such as home runs (19), RBIs (50), and OPS (1.023), but because he’s listed as a designated hitter on the ballot (instead of an outfielder) he has to try and compete with two of the league’s most popular players in Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani. The league gives Stanton and Ohtani plenty of the spotlight, which is why Martinez is in favor of the players voting instead of fans whose opinions may be skewed by who MLB pushes most.

“The only year I only made it was when I was voted in by the players, which is who I think should vote. One hundred percent,” Martinez said. “Because that’s how you know who your All-Stars really are. The fans don’t know. The fans like to think they know. But they only know what MLB puts out there and who they post on their Instagram, who they post on their Twitter and who they talk about, stuff like that. They push certain people and it sucks for other guys who have great years and get overlooked. That’s why I always say the players should (pick). I understand the MLB’s side of it. They want to get fans involved.”

Martinez was not selected as an All-Star last season despite a career year, which included 45 home runs, 104 RBIs, and a 1.066 OPS. His slash line before last season’s All-Star break was .299/.381/.610 with 14 home runs and 32 RBIs.

Cobb County, the home of the Atlanta Braves since the beginning of the 2017 season, projects a $30-million deficit for the 2019 fiscal year, according to an email from the Cobb County Board of Commissioners received by Georgia economist J.C. Bradbury.

The Braves moved from Turner Field in downtown Atlanta to SunTrust Park when Cobb County promised more public funds to subsidize a new stadium. The county incurred $400 million of the $1.1-billion price tag for the stadium and adjacent projects.

Ex-Cobb County chairman Tim Lee described the 2013 deal with the Braves as the “biggest economic development deal in our county’s history,” and promised taxpayers “a 60 percent annual return on investment from the SunTrust Park partnership,” according to Meris Lutz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Lee was voted out in July 2016.

The county will seek public input about the budget in June and July.

The board notes that Cobb County’s parks department is the most likely target for cuts. It’s already slashed 36 full-time jobs over the past decade while adding over 1,000 acres of parkland.

The first-round selection of the Boston Red Sox is endearing himself to the Fenway faithful already, as Triston Casas plans on sticking at the hot corner by staying agile, unlike a certain Boston third baseman.

After being selected with the 26th overall pick, Casas didn’t mince words, specifically calling out Pablo Sandoval.

“Obviously watch my weight,” Casas replied when asked what he’d have to do to stay at third base, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. “There was another third baseman in Boston called Sandoval who had some problems. Just stay agile, continue to take a lot of ground balls and keep doing my thing.”

Sandoval signed a five-year, $95-million deal with the Red Sox as a free agent prior to 2015. Ultimately, the infielder affectionately referred to as “Kung Fu Panda” did not play that contract out, as the Red Sox designated him for assignment during the 2017 season.

Casas, 18, whose value at the plate is what made him a first-rounder, has had his defense criticized by some scouts, with his path to the majors perhaps on the other side of the infield at first base.

The ongoing effort to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to Portland has a prominent new booster, as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson announced Friday that he and his wife, Ciara, have joined the Portland Diamond Project as investors.

The extent of the couple’s financial contributions wasn’t disclosed – Wilson and Ciara each invested individually – but the one-time Super Bowl champion said they’re now “part owners” of the Portland Diamond Project, the management group spearheading the drive for a big-league club in the city.

“It is time for MLB in Portland,” Wilson said in a news release obtained by Andrew Greif of The Oregonian.

The management group, formed last July by former Nike president Craig Cheek, has already made preliminary bids for two potential stadium sites in Portland, and a Port of Portland spokeswoman confirmed earlier this week that a third site is being considered as well. Wilson and Ciara will tour the first two sites Saturday.

Wilson was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 draft and spent two seasons in the minors before electing to play professional football instead.

In September, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred identified the West Coast as fertile territory for potential expansion, and specifically listed Portland – the 26th-biggest city in the United States by population – as a candidate.

“Portland would be on the list,” he told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. “I think Portland is a possibility. You can think about the prospects on the West Coast probably as effectively as I can.”

Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will reportedly be suspended for 80 games for using a non-steroid performance-enhancing drug, sources tell The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

The suspension is expected to be officially announced on Thursday.

The White Sox signed Castillo to a two-year, $15-million contract in December, and he took over the starting gig behind the plate after Omar Narvaez and Kevan Smith took the bulk of the reps at the position in 2017. Narvaez has served as Castillo’s backup this season and could slide back into the starting role in his absence.

In 32 games this season, Castillo has hit .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBIs.