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Angels' outfielder Mike Trout voted AL most valuable player for a third time

Sports / Baseball /

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Five years ago, Angels center fielder Mike Trout became the youngest player at the time to be named most valuable player in a unanimous vote. He was 23, already two full seasons into his dominating romp of the major leagues. He had nearly won the American League award the two previous seasons but finished runner-up to Detroit ...Read more

Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi accepts one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer

Sports / Baseball /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jake Odorizzi is banking on the sure thing.

The Twins pitcher accepted the team's one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer at Thursday's deadline rather than risk the waters of free agency.

He turns 30 in March and was projected to get free agent offers in the range of three years and $50 million.

The 29-year-old right-hander ...Read more

Jose Abreu accepts 1-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from White Sox

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu made it clear that he wanted to return to the White Sox.

Abreu said through an interpreter on a couple of occasions during the 2019 season, "If the team doesn't sign me, I'm going to sign myself here."

He got his wish without having to go to those extremes Thursday, accepting a one-year qualifying offer of $17.8 million. ...Read more

Dodgers' slugger Cody Bellinger voted the National League most valuable player

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES -- Cody Bellinger heard the MVP chants from the end of his historic April through the end of the summer. He received them at Dodger Stadium and on the road throughout the country. They were loud and constant, an echoing sound to the season as the Dodgers plowed their way to a franchise-record 106 wins with Bellinger slugging in their...Read more

Braves add lefty reliever Will Smith to their bullpen

Sports / Baseball /

The Braves strengthened their bullpen Thursday by signing lefty Will Smith to a three-year contract.

Smith signed a three-year deal worth $39 million, with a club option for 2023 for another $13 million ($1 million buyout).

A 6-foot-5, 248-pound native of Newnan, Ga., Smith recorded 34 saves last season for the Giants and was chosen for the ...Read more

New Padres pitching coach Larry Rothschild joins club armed with information, experience

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Larry Rothschild was dropped by the Yankees and picked up by the Padres for similar reasons.

Both teams wanted a new set of eyes, a new approach.

"We continue to try to evolve and grow," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday at the general managers meetings here. "That was one of the only reasons -- with the ...Read more

Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu finishes behind Mets' Jacob deGrom for NL Cy Young Award

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES -- Hyun-Jin Ryu's bid to become the ninth Los Angeles Dodger to win the Cy Young Award fell short Wednesday. New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom won the award for the second year in a row, beating out Ryu and Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer. Ryu finished second and Scherzer third in voting by the Baseball Writers ...Read more

Geography won't keep Gerrit Cole from the Phillies, agent Scott Boras says

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Scott Boras arrived last March in Clearwater, Fla., to put the finishing touches for the second-straight year on another free-agent contract. He sat on top of the Phillies dugout as Bryce Harper buttoned his pinstripe jersey. A year earlier, baseball's super agent watched Jake Arrieta tug on a red cap.

The Phillies, as they...Read more

Dodgers are among several teams pursuing free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The general managers meetings, the first of Major League Baseball's two offseason summits, began this week. It will double as the ignition for a rumor mill that, based on the last few years, could extend into spring training. Minor moves will be made. Negotiations for bigger deals will get underway. Most will be drawn out ...Read more

Tony La Russa joins Angels as a special adviser to general manager Billy Eppler

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Angels general manager Billy Eppler hired reinforcements for his front office Tuesday, bringing aboard Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa as a special assistant of baseball operations. He'll assist in all areas, including player evaluations and minor league development.

Above all, La Russa, 75, will serve as a sounding ...Read more

Giants select ousted Phillies manager Gabe Kapler to succeed Bruce Bochy

Sports / Baseball /

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have found Bruce Bochy's successor.

The club agreed to terms with former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who is set to become the team's next manager. The announcement comes one day after the team introduced new general manager Scott Harris at a press conference at Oracle Park.

Kapler emerged from a pool ...Read more

Cardinals' Shildt named NL Manager of the Year

Sports / Baseball /

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, though he received three fewer first-place votes than Milwaukee's Craig Counsell, was named the National League Manager of the Year Tuesday night in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Shildt, the first manager to win such an award without having played professionally,...Read more

The Minnesota Twins are advertising for a new mascot

Sports / Baseball /

MINNEAPOLIS -- So you want to be a mascot?

Well, the Twins posted this on Linked-In the other day: "The Twins mascot T.C. is responsible for entertaining our fans, implementing successful engagement strategies, and promoting the Twins brand throughout Twins Territory. As the mascot, you will be an ambassador for the organization at a majority ...Read more

Twins' Rocco Baldelli named American League manager of the year

Sports / Baseball /

Rocco Baldelli, who led the Twins to their second 100-win season in franchise history, was voted 2019 Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America, the organization announced Tuesday.

Baldelli, at 38 the major leagues' youngest manager, is the third Twins' manager in ten seasons to win the award, following Ron Gardenhire ...Read more

A's pitcher Mike Fiers helps blow the whistle on Astros' alleged sign stealing

Sports / Baseball /

Mike Fiers, whistleblower?

Apparently so. Fiers, the Oakland A's ace last season who recorded a career high 15 wins and threw his second career no-hitter, has come forward to help unmask a systematic attempt on the part of the Houston Astros to steal opponents' signs.

Fiers became aware of the extralegal practice when he pitched for the Astros...Read more

If 2020 is to feature a Royals turnaround, the momentum would begin this winter

Sports / Baseball /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The World Series is more than two weeks in the past.

Major League Baseball's award season is in full swing.

The preliminary administrative contract paperwork has been handled -- options have been accepted and declined, qualifying offers accepted and declined, players officially deemed free agents.

So now, the offseason ...Read more

Padres' Preller gets to work at GM meetings

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A.J. Preller emerged from a white Chevy Malibu in front of the Omni Resort & Spa at Montelucia, with its sprawling grounds and vine-strewn courtyards, late Monday afternoon.

The Padres general manager arrived via Uber and with a purpose.

Even if he isn't projecting it publicly.

His stock speech about the offseason has ...Read more

Mike Scioscia wants to manage again, but the interest hasn't been reciprocated

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES -- On the baseball calendar, winter has dawned. Three months await before spring training, but we already have a winner for the most curious statistic of the offseason.

Zero.

Although the managerial pendulum has swung gently back toward candidates with experience, Mike Scioscia got zero interviews for eight openings.

He appeared ...Read more

Paul Sullivan: Cubs hope to shield players from offseason trade rumors. Will it work?

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Cubs veterans looking for clues about their future in Chicago can stop reading now.

President Theo Epstein said Monday he's not interested in reacting to every rumor that pops up on Twitter, the internet or talk radio.

The Cubs entered the offseason with speculation they're shopping catcher Willson Contreras and that ...Read more

Are free-agent signings in the Cards? Don't hold your breath

Sports / Baseball /

ST. LOUIS -- Unlike pro hockey, pro football and pro basketball, when the clock starts for free agency and you can see a rash of deals completed on the first eligible day as early as 12:01 p.m. or 4:01 p.m. or 6:01 p.m., depending on the sport, baseball assumes more of a sundial approach.

Free agency began five days after the World Series, ...Read more