News for Free Agent Players - 2011 Ezra Stiles Rotisserie Association

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Thu Feb 2017:33Ortiz: Fiers 'looking like a snitch' in Astros cheating Mookie BettsFree Agent
Mike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Retired Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said that Astros pitcher Mike Fiers was “looking like a snitch” for disclosing the team's cheating scandal only after he had left the team.“Oh, after you make your money, after you get your ring, you decide to talk about it?" Ortiz said after arriving at the Red Sox spring training complex on Thursday. "Why didn't you talk about it during the season when it was going on? Why didn't you say, ‘I don't want to be part of it?’ “So you're looking like a snitch,” said Ortiz, who works for the Red Sox under the title special assistant. "Why do you have to talk about it after? That's my problem. Why did nobody say anything while it was going on?”The Astros were found to violate baseball rules by using video to steal opponents signs during their World Series championship season of 2017. After Fiers blew the whistle to The Athletic this offseason, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, manager A.J. Hinch and bench ... [More]
Thu Feb 2017:13Astros must fill hole in rotation after Cole's departureGerrit ColeFree Agent
Brad PeacockSPNationalsFree Agent
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As the Houston Astros put together their rotation for this season, they're faced with a Texas-sized hole after Gerrit Cole left as a free agent to sign with the New York Yankees. New manager Dusty Baker is looking for somebody to step up and help make up for the loss. But more than likely no one player will be able to replace Cole, and Baker will need multiple pitchers or "somebodies" to take a step forward.“It's not easy to replace his quality of work, or his innings pitched,” Baker said. “So, we're looking for somebody to replace him or somebodies as a group.”Justin Verlander and Cole provided a powerful 1-2 atop Houston’s rotation last season to help the Astros win the American League pennant. Cole led the AL with a career-best 2.50 ERA and finished second in the majors to Verlander with 20 wins, also a career-best.Cole was the runner up to Verlander in Cy Young Award voting before leaving Houston to sign a $324 million deal with the Yankees.... [More]
Thu Feb 2012:53Kipnis chasing Cubs' 2nd base job, mentoring HoernerDavid BoteFree Agent
Daniel Descalso2B/3BCardinalsFree Agent
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Jason Kipnis joined the Chicago Cubs this spring for a shot at the second base job. He also realizes the role he plays in helping develop 22-year-old prospect Nico Hoerner.“I think he’s a stud. He’s going to be one. He’s a young guy with a lot of talent and I don’t want to get in the way of him progressing in this game, or getting better,” Kipnis said at spring training this week.The two-time All-Star spent his entire nine-year career in Cleveland, amassing nearly 100 postseason at-bats, including the Indians run to the 2016 World Series when they lost in seven games to the Cubs.Kipnis, who signed a minor league deal Feb. 11 that included an invitation to major league spring training, said he remembers coming up himself as a top prospect just trying to make his way.“I’ve had good mentors, and bad ones. Ones that didn’t help at all and made it even harder. I just know that’s not how it should work,” said Kipnis, from Northbrook, Illinois, a sub... [More]
Wed Feb 1923:59Kipnis chasing Cubs' 2nd base job, mentoring HoernerDavid BoteFree Agent
Daniel Descalso2B/3BCardinalsFree Agent
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Jason Kipnis joined the Chicago Cubs this spring for a shot at the second base job. He also realizes the role he plays in helping develop 22-year-old prospect Nico Hoerner.“I think he’s a stud. He’s going to be one. He’s a young guy with a lot of talent and I don’t want to get in the way of him progressing in this game, or getting better,” Kipnis said at spring training this week.The two-time All-Star spent his entire nine-year career in Cleveland, amassing nearly 100 postseason at-bats, including the Indians run to the 2016 World Series when they lost in seven games to the Cubs.Kipnis, who signed a $1 million minor league deal Feb. 11 as a non-roster invitee to camp, said he remembers coming up himself as a top prospect just trying to make his way.“I’ve had good mentors, and bad ones. Ones that didn’t help at all and made it even harder. I just know that’s not how it should work,” said Kipnis, from Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.Ki... [More]
Wed Feb 1919:59Fiers to make spring debut Sunday in A's split-squad gameMike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
A.J. PukFree Agent
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Mike Fiers is scheduled to start a split-squad game for Oakland on Sunday in his first game action since revealing the Houston Astros' cheating scheme.It had not been determined Wednesday whether Fiers' spring training debut would come in the home game versus San Francisco or against Arizona in Scottsdale.Fiers went 15-4 last season, including the second no-hitter of his career, as the A's earned an AL wild-card spot.In a story published by The Athletic in November, Fiers said the Astros had stolen signs using a camera in center field during their run to the 2017 World Series championship. Fiers played on that team.The ensuing scandal resulted in three managers losing their jobs, a fine and other penalties, and has become the talk of Major League Baseball. Many players have harshly spoken about the Astros, saying they should be stripped of their title.There has been debate among fans and others whether Fiers did the right thing in his role as a whistleblower. Commi... [More]
Wed Feb 1915:20Fiers to make spring debut Sunday in A's split-squad gameMike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
A.J. PukFree Agent
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Mike Fiers is scheduled to start a split-squad game for Oakland on Sunday in his first game action since revealing the Houston Astros' cheating scheme.It had not been determined Wednesday whether Fiers' spring training debut would come in the home game versus San Francisco or against Arizona in Scottsdale.Fiers went 15-4 last season, including the second no-hitter of his career, as the A's earned an AL wild-card spot.In a story published by The Athletic in November, Fiers said the Astros had stolen signs using a camera in center field during their run to the 2017 World Series championship. Fiers played on that team.The ensuing scandal resulted in three managers losing their jobs, a fine and other penalties, and has become the talk of Major League Baseball. Many players have harshly spoken about the Astros, saying they should be stripped of their title.There has been debate among fans and others whether Fiers did the right thing in his role as a whistleblower. Commi... [More]
Wed Feb 1914:49Reds' Luis Castillo aims for Cy Young after breakout seasonShogo AkiyamaFree Agent
Wade MileySPDiamondbacksFree Agent
GOODYEAR, Ariz (AP) — Luis Castillo accomplished two of his goals last year: He was the Reds' opening day starter and made the All-Star team. He's aiming higher in 2020.With an upgraded offense behind him, Cincinnati's best starter thinks he's capable of winning the Cy Young Award.“I try to set goals every year,” Castillo said. “Even though I got those two goals, I want to get three goals. I want to get three goals and add the Cy Young and make the playoff." “I think with this team filled with veterans, it is something we can do together," he said.Castillo, 27, had a breakout season in every way last year. He was 11-4 with a 2.63 ERA in early August before fading down the stretch of his most challenging season. He finished 15-8 with a 3.40 and 226 strikeouts in 190 2/3 innings.The first-time All-Star had career highs in wins, innings and strikeouts, relying on a changeup that former Cubs manager Joe Maddon likened to a “Bugs Bunny change-up” because of the way it compleme... [More]
Wed Feb 1912:49Padres beef up bullpen with Pomeranz, PaganJosh HaderFree Agent
Craig StammenRPNationalsFree Agent
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — The San Diego Padres are not taking their long tradition of bullpen excellence for granted this season.Newcomers Drew Pomeranz and Emilio Pagan were added to join defending major league saves leader Kirby Yates and reigning NL holds leader Craig Stammen after Padres’ relievers had an uncharacteristic hiccup last year.“It’s a culture that was created a long time ago, and it’s now under our watch to keep that going,” said Stammen, who has energized his career with the Padres after a torn flexor muscle forced him to miss 2016.“We take that very seriously. We don’t want to be the weak link in the chain, and I think the way they built the bullpen this year, we’ll keep that tradition going.”Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman (601 saves) passed the baton to Heath Bell, Huston Street and Craig Kimbel in the mid-2010s before Yates had 41 saves in his first full season as closer last year, when the bullpen slipped to a 4.52 ERA, its highest since 2003.“To be ... [More]
Wed Feb 1903:19Hunter Pence thrilled to be back with Giants after year awayTyler BeedeFree Agent
Brandon CrawfordSSGiantsFree Agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Hunter Pence hustled in to take batting practice, exhibiting that familiar energy as fans cheered. He smiled and raised his cap high in the air.This is just the start of spring training, and it's clear Pence is a crowd favorite for San Francisco once more. And the outfielder is in his element again as he approaches his 37th birthday. The Giants opened their gates to fans for the first full-squad workout and Pence was as popular as ever after a year away. "We all noticed that,” new manager Gabe Kapler said of the rousing ovations.“It's great,” Pence said. “It's extremely exciting for me to be back. It's definitely fun with a lot of new faces and a lot of new staff. I'm just thrilled to be back, thrilled to see the fans, every day getting to do something I love to do so much, obviously. Especially with how things went — it's part of the game, the nature of the game — I really appreciate every bit of it, every little thing. It's a joy to be a part of... [More]
Tue Feb 1823:49Manfred apologizes for calling WS trophy a 'piece of metal'Trevor BauerPDiamondbacksFree Agent
Mike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred apologized Tuesday for what he called a disrespectful reference to the World Series trophy as a “piece of metal.”Even before being asked about it, Manfred said he made a mistake with those comments while trying to deliver a rhetorical point in an interview two days earlier.“I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way, and I want to apologize for it,” Manfred said. "There's no excuse for it. ... It was a mistake to say what I said."MLB players, already upset with Manfred's handling of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal and some of his comments in trying to explain it, became further infuriated by his “piece of metal” comment during a lengthy interview with ESPN on Sunday, the same day he spoke in Florida.Even NBA superstar LeBron James joined the anti-Astros chorus, voicing his anger on social media Tuesday.While speaking at the Cactus League media day in the Arizona desert, Manfred also pledged... [More]
Tue Feb 1821:09Manfred apologizes for calling WS trophy a 'piece of metal'Trevor BauerPDiamondbacksFree Agent
Mike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred apologized Tuesday for what he called a disrespectful reference to the World Series trophy as a “piece of metal.”Even before being asked about it, Manfred said he made a mistake with those comments while trying to deliver a rhetorical point in an interview two days earlier.“I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way, and I want to apologize for it,” Manfred said. "There's no excuse for it. ... It was a mistake to say what I said."MLB players, already upset with Manfred's handling of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal and some of his comments in trying to explain it, became further infuriated by his “piece of metal” comment during a lengthy interview with ESPN on Sunday, the same day he spoke in Florida.Even NBA superstar LeBron James joined the anti-Astros chorus, voicing his anger on social media Tuesday.While speaking at the Cactus League media day in the Arizona desert, Manfred also pledged... [More]
Tue Feb 1820:39Manfred apologizes for calling WS trophy a "piece of metal"Trevor BauerPDiamondbacksFree Agent
Mike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred apologized Tuesday for what he called a disrespectful reference to the World Series trophy as a “piece of metal.”Even before being asked about it, Manfred said he made a mistake with those comments while trying to deliver a rhetorical point in an interview two days earlier.“I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way, and I want to apologize for it,” Manfred said. "There's no excuse for it. ... It was a mistake to say what I said."MLB players, already upset with Manfred's handling of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal and some of his comments in trying to explain it, became further infuriated by his “piece of metal” comment during a lengthy interview with ESPN on Sunday, the same day he spoke in Florida.Even NBA superstar LeBron James joined the anti-Astros chorus, voicing his anger on social media Tuesday.While speaking at the Cactus League media day in the Arizona desert, Manfred also pledged ... [More]
Tue Feb 1819:09Manfred apologizes for calling WS trophy a "piece of metal"Mike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
Jon LesterSPRed SoxFree Agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred apologized Tuesday for what he called a disrespectful reference to the World Series trophy as a “piece of metal.”Even before being asked about it, Manfred said he made a mistake with those comments when trying to deliver a rhetorical point in an interview two days earlier.“I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way, and I want to apologize for it,” Manfred said. "There's no excuse for it. ... It was a mistake to say what I said."MLB players, already upset with Manfred's handling of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal and some of his comments in trying to explain it, became further infuriated by his “piece of metal” comment during a lengthy interview with ESPN on Sunday, the same day he spoke in Florida.Even NBA superstar LeBron James joined the anti-Astros chorus, voicing his anger on social media Tuesday.While speaking at the Cactus League media day in the Arizona desert, Manfred also pledged T... [More]
Tue Feb 1809:59San Francisco Giants are putting up zeroes, using Nos. 0, 00Brandon Belt1B/LFGiantsTeam Mike
Brandon CrawfordSSGiantsFree Agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The San Francisco Giants are putting up zeroes.They believe they are doing something rarely seen: using uniform numbers 0 and 00 in the same year.When San Francisco added speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton with a minor league deal earlier this month, equipment manager Brad Grems called Major League Baseball to make sure there's a difference between the two because new first base coach Antoan Richardson already had claimed 00.“He's good with stuff like that,” shortstop Brandon Crawford said Monday of Grems' due diligence.San Francisco has 72 players in camp. Given that the Giants have 11 retired numbers with their long list of Hall of Famers and there are 13 coaches and a pair of bullpen catchers also in uniform under new manager Gabe Kapler, Hamilton's other choices were 96 or 98. He opted for 0.The Giants already have made history by hiring baseball's first female coach on a big league staff — Alyssa Nakken is wearing No. 92. Longtime equipment manager a... [More]
Mon Feb 1721:29San Francisco Giants are putting up zeroes, using Nos. 0, 00Brandon Belt1B/LFGiantsTeam Mike
Brandon CrawfordSSGiantsFree Agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The San Francisco Giants are putting up zeroes.They believe they might be doing something rarely seen: using uniform numbers 0 and 00 in the same year.When San Francisco added speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton with a minor league deal earlier this month, equipment manager Brad Grems called the league to make sure there's a difference between the two — because new first base coach Antoan Richardson aleady had claimed 00.“He's good with stuff like that,” shortstop Brandon Crawford said Monday of Grems' due diligence.Given the Giants have 11 retired numbers with their long list of Hall of Famers and 13 coaches and a pair of bullpen catchers in uniform under new manager Gabe Kapler, Hamilton's other choices were 96 or 98. San Francisco has 72 players in camp.Already having made history with the hiring of baseball's first female coach on a big league staff — Alyssa Nakken is wearing No. 92 — longtime equipment manager and current senior adviser Mike Murph... [More]
Mon Feb 1717:59Sounds of spring won't let Astros forget cheating scandal Alex BregmanFree Agent
Jared HughesRPPiratesFree Agent
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — These are the new sounds of spring for the Houston Astros: a fan banging on a trash can, another calling José Altuve a cheater.That's what greeted the Astros during their first full-squad workout at camp Monday. And with so many around baseball not ready to forgive or forget their sign stealing, this won’t be the last time they hear it.Meanwhile, the two-time AL champions say they are focused on ignoring the noise, and hope the official start of spring training can signal a step forward for their scandal-ridden team. “I understand the severity of the situation, I truly do,” outfielder George Springer said. “But I think ... the best thing for our game to try to do and especially for us is to try to put this behind us, however that’s possible.”The Astros have been bombarded with questions about the sign-stealing scam since arriving in Florida. A news conference last week with owner Jim Crane, Altuve and third baseman Alex Bregman featuring poor... [More]
Mon Feb 1716:49San Francisco Giants are putting up zeroes, using Nos. 0, 00Brandon Belt1B/LFGiantsTeam Mike
Brandon CrawfordSSGiantsFree Agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The San Francisco Giants are putting up zeroes.They believe they might be doing something rarely seen: using uniform numbers 0 and 00 in the same year.When San Francisco added speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton with a minor league deal earlier this month, equipment manager Brad Grems called the league to make sure there's a difference between the two — because new first base coach Antoan Richardson aleady had claimed 00.“He's good with stuff like that,” shortstop Brandon Crawford said Monday of Grems' due diligence.Given the Giants have 11 retired numbers with their long list of Hall of Famers and 13 coaches and a pair of bullpen catchers in uniform under new manager Gabe Kapler, Hamilton's other choices were 96 or 98. San Francisco has 72 players in camp.Already having made history with the hiring of baseball's first female coach on a big league staff — Alyssa Nakken is wearing No. 92 — longtime equipment manager and current senior adviser Mike Murph... [More]
Mon Feb 1701:59A's Liam Hendriks helps fire victims back home in AustraliaMike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
Liam HendriksSPTwinsFree Agent
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — A world away, Liam Hendriks had to do something to help everyone affected by the ravaging fires back home in Australia.The Oakland Athletics reliever campaigned on social media to do his part for the cause, no matter he grew up on the country's West Coast in Perth where the massive bush fires haven't been as devastating. He made a quick visit this offseason.On Instagram, Hendriks encouraged contributions to Red Cross Australia. While he fully supported everyone rescuing koala bears and other animals from the flames, he also wanted to make sure the people affected received necessary support.“Nothing is ever enough but the response was always positive, which is highly unusual for social media regardless of the tack you're taking," Hendriks said before a recent spring training workout. “We got a decent chunk of change that we sent over there. Hopefully it helps make a difference, but at the end of the day there's only so much we can do from over here. The awarenes... [More]
Sat Feb 1517:08Bo Bichette: Tough to hear Astros' response to scandalCody BellingerFree Agent
Mike FiersRPBrewersFree Agent
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Bo Bichette says it's been tough to watch the Houston Astros response to their sign-stealing scandal exposed in Commissioner Rob Manfred's report."I don't know what they're really thinking," the 21-year old Toronto Blue Jays shortstop and son of former player Dante Bichette said Saturday. "I don't know what their true intentions behind the apologies are. From the outside looking in, it doesn't seem to be too apologetic."MLB acknowledged the Astros guilty of using video to steal catchers’ signs in 2017 and 2018. The cheating was publicly revealed when former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, now with Oakland, discussed it with The Athletic in November.Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr, son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, also doesn't like what transpired."I'm not very comfortable with that," Guerrero said through a translator. “It's been a while for them to be doing that, so they should get some kind of punishment. I believe if I know what's coming, I ... [More]
Sat Feb 1516:58Wade Miley brings new direction to the Reds' rotationShogo AkiyamaFree Agent
Wade MileySPDiamondbacksFree Agent
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — The Reds went in a slightly different direction when they signed left-hander Wade Miley in the offseason, departing from their preference for developing or trading to acquire starting pitching.Instead, they chose to spend a considerable amount of money on a free agent.Miley got a $15 million, two-year deal from the Reds, who lacked a left-hander in the rotation. Miley, 33, will get $6 million this year and $8 million in 2021. There's a $10 million club option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout.Miley can earn? ?an additional $500,000? ?annually in performance bonuses based on innings:? ?$50,000? ?each for? ?140,? ?150,? ?160? ?and? ?170,? ?and? ?$100,000? ?apiece for? ?180,? ?190? ?and? ?200.Alex Wood was the only left-handed starter last season, and injuries limited him to seven starts. He left Cincinnati as a free agent after the season.Getting a left-hander for an already solid rotation was a priority this offseason.“We face lineups that left-handers can be ... [More]
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