Major League Baseball News & Notes

February 18, 2020

The Associated Press
Photo/David J. Phillip

Players who have won a World Series -and those who have come up short — seethed Monday at Commissioner Rob Manfred’s reference to the sport’s championship trophy as merely a “piece of metal,” saying that comment reflected a disconnect between baseball’s boss and those who produce the product on the field.

Arte Moreno confirmed that he killed the widely reported trade that would have brought Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling from the Dodgers to the Angels, although he said there was more to the story.

And he didn’t want to get into that part.

“It wasn’t all impatience,” he said. “There were other things.”

Pressed on those, Moreno said: “I would rather not talk about that. That wasn’t going to happen and it’s not happening.”

The Pirates’ free-agent acquisition of center fielder Jarrod Dyson last week pushed their projected 2020 payroll north of $51 million, according to — $51,148,500, to be exact.

Only the Marlins ($46.3 million) and Orioles ($45.5 million) are lower, while the Rays ($60 million) are projected to spend nearly $9 million more than the Pirates on players.

The Milwaukee Brewers signed yet another player that can man multiple positions around the diamond. Brock Holt will be in a Brewers’ uniform for the 2020 season.

Right-handed pitcher Francis Martes on Monday was suspended 162 games a full season without pay after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance, MLB announced. This is the second PED strike for Martes, who was suspended 80 games last spring after testing positive for another banned substance.

Apparently not content to let Jim Crane draw all the headlines for ownership comments worthy of skepticism, Red Sox principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president/CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday all denied that the trade of Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers was driven by a desire to dip south of the luxury tax barrier.

The Red Sox are close to a deal with veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy, multiple sources confirmed Tuesday. Lucroy will likely receive a minor league deal and join the Red Sox in camp this week. He’ll provide a veteran depth option behind starter Christian Vazquez and backup Kevin Plawecki, who was signed to a one-year deal to replace Sandy Leon earlier in the winter.

Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire addressed his team Monday morning prior to the first full-squad workout of spring and he exuberantly let them know he was in no way accepting the insultingly low bar industry pundits have set for 2020.

“I get irritated when I hear them say we’ll be ‘a little bit’ better,” he said after practice. “That bothers me.”

He reminded the players that he was with the Twins when they finished dead last in 1990 and won the World Series in 1991.

When the San Francisco Giants hold the 10-year reunion for the 2010 World Series champions this year, the leading home run hitter from the team won’t be at Oracle Park on August 16.

Aubrey Huff was told he won’t receive an invitation.

Huff, who has alienated fans with controversial posts on social media, was on the field after the 2019 regular season finale as the Giants honored manager Bruce Bochy.

Shin-Soo Choo flew to Texas on Friday night so that he could watch his oldest son, Alan, play his first high baseball game Saturday.

Choo then hopped on a plane Sunday and made it back for the Texas Rangers’ first full-squad workout of spring training Monday. It could be his last.

Choo is finally in the final year of this seven-year, $130 million contract. A robust $21 million will come of the books next off-season, and, in theory, funnel right into the player-acquisition pool.

With Jordan Hicks recovering from elbow surgery and unavailable until midseason and Carlos Martinez eyeing the rotation, the St. Louis Cardinals are in the market for a closer and intend to hold auditions all spring.

Nick Senzel didn’t try to pay attention to all the times his name was mentioned in trade rumors last winter, but friends and family sent him text messages each time a new rumor started.

Senzel understood why he was involved in more trade talks as the Reds pursued shortstop Francisco Lindor and other top targets. He was one of the top prospects in the sport entering the 2019 season. Many teams remain optimistic about his potential.

The White Sox have actually authorized outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to a minor’s agreement, Hernandez himself informs Daniel Parra of He’ll head straight to minor’s camp it appears.

Hernandez, 32, invested the 2019 period in the Red Sox company however in a small example of 57 Major League plate looks (.143/.218/.243) as well as in a bigger body of job for Triple- APawtucket In 504 journeys to home plate with Boston’s leading minors associate,

Rangers utilityman Danny Santana has changed representation and is now a client of Gene Mato of Mato Sports Management, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.

For the 29-year-old Santana, the agency switch comes on the heels of one of his most productive seasons. He burst on the scene as a member of the Twins in 2014, totaling 3.9 fWAR in his 430-plate appearance rookie campaign, but then struggled in the next four years.

Six seasons have elapsed since Daniel Bard threw his last pitch in a Major League game, but the 34-year-old righty threw in front of scouts recently and is hoping to make a comeback, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (via Twitter).

Bard, for those who don’t recall or have only begun following baseball in recent seasons, at one point looked to be a high-end closer in the making. Selected with the 28th overall pick in 2006,

The Los Angeles Angels signed left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter to a minor league contract and invited him to major league camp this spring, tweets Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic.

Buchter, who turned 33 earlier this week, is making the rounds in California. He’s also spent time with the Athletics and Padres in the past few seasons. The late-blooming southpaw didn’t even make his big-league debut until he was 27 and didn’t pitch a full campaign in the majors until his age-28 season.

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