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Sat Jan 1821:04Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandalAlex BregmanFree Agent
Nathan EovaldiSPMarlinsFree Agent
Players from two teams at the center of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal faced their fans on Saturday for the first time since the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox ousted their managers amid the fallout from the investigation into Houston’s elaborate scheme.The Astros and Red Sox held their annual fan fests on Saturday, and instead of discussing preparations for the season, players from both teams were left to answer questions about the cheating that resulted in both teams' managers being fired.“It's a tough situation and as a team we have to stay together and go through this as a team like we've been doing, always,” Houston star second baseman José Altuve said. “We have to talk about it at spring training and try not to let things in the past distract us for for next year.”Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the Astros' ... [More]
Sat Jan 1820:14Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandalAlex BregmanFree Agent
J.D. MartinezLF/RFTigersFree Agent
Players from two teams at the center of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal faced their fans on Saturday for the first time since the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox ousted their managers amid the fallout from the investigation into Houston’s elaborate scheme.The Astros and Red Sox held their annual fan fests on Saturday, and instead of discussing preparations for the season, players from both teams were left to answer questions about the sign-stealing that left them without managers.“It's a tough situation and as a team we have to stay together and go through this as a team like we've been doing, always,” Houston star second baseman José Altuve said. “We have to talk about it at spring training and try not to let things in the past distract us for for next year.”Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the Astros' run to the 20... [More]
Sat Jan 1820:04Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandalAlex BregmanFree Agent
George SpringerCF/RFAstrosFree Agent
Players from two teams at the center of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal faced their fans on Saturday for the first time since the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox ousted their managers amid the fallout from the investigation into Houston’s elaborate scheme.The Astros and Red Sox held their annual fan fests on Saturday, and instead of discussing preparations for the season, players from both teams were left to answer questions about the sign-stealing that left them without managers.“It's a tough situation and as a team we have to stay together and go through this as a team like we've been doing, always,” Houston star second baseman José Altuve said. “We have to talk about it at spring training and try not to let things in the past distract us for for next year.”Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the Astros' run to the 20... [More]
Sat Jan 1818:24Bader confident he'll start in center field for CardinalsNolan Arenado3BRockiesFree Agent
Harrison BaderFree Agent
Dylan CarlsonFree Agent
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Harrison Bader is confident he'll be in center field for the St. Louis Cardinals when the season begins.Bader was in St. Louis on Saturday taking part in the annual Cardinals Winter Warm-Up."I'm the starting center fielder," the 25-year-old Bader said. "It's my position. I'm going to take it. There's no sense in talking about it. I'm looking forward to showing up Day One guns blazing and ready to go."While there is no question about his defensive ability and speed in center, it's his bat that gives some pause.Last season, Bader finished with a .205 batting average. He hit 12 home runs, drove in 39 runs and stole 11 bases."Last year, individually it wasn't what I wanted it to be production-wise," Bader said. "The biggest thing I've taken away at this point is how I responded. I've been very fortunate to be with people behind the scenes who've helped me take steps in the right direction to help me produce like I want to and how I know I can."There's no secret to it. Th... [More]
Sat Jan 1817:34Epstein understands fan frustration in Cubs' slow offseasonJosé Abreu1B/DHWhite SoxFree Agent
Kris Bryant3BCubsFree Agent
Willson ContrerasCCubsFree Agent
Josh Donaldson3BAthleticsThe Seals Guys
Yasmani Grandal1B/CPadresFree Agent
Jason HeywardCF/RFBravesFree Agent
Dallas KeuchelSPAstrosFree Agent
Anthony Rizzo1BCubsThe Seals Guys
Luis RobertFree Agent
Kyle SchwarberFree Agent
CHICAGO (AP) — Theo Epstein understands the fans' frustration. He feels it, too, at times.The Chicago Cubs went from 95 wins in 2018 to 84 last year, finished third in the NL Central behind St. Louis and Milwaukee and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014. But when it comes to big moves this offseason, well, they have a new manager. Otherwise, they've been keeping the bat on their shoulder.“I understand the frustration,” said Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operations. “There’s a lot of days I’m frustrated, too, where you look out and there’s a great fit on a player who you know you can recruit and might sign a reasonable deal that he’s worth. And you can’t get that player. And that’s frustrating. But that’s the reality.”So is this:Fans who expected multiple World Series championships from the core group that helped win it all in 2016 and brought home the Cubs' first title since 1908 are restless. The trade rumors involving stars such as thi... [More]
Sat Jan 1810:24Where does Astros cheating rank in scandals? Ask Pete RoseTrevor BauerSPIndiansFree Agent
Cody BellingerFree Agent
Mike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
Alex WoodRP/SPBravesFree Agent
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Pete Rose was taking a break from signing autographs at the MGM Grand hotel when asked a question he’s uniquely qualified to address.What’s worse, betting on baseball or cheating at baseball?“I don’t know,’’ Rose tells The Associated Press. “All I know is I’ve been suspended for 30 years now. I don’t know anybody that’s been suspended for 30 years."It’s a fair point, especially when compared to the punishments handed out so far in the worst scandal to hit baseball since the steroid era. What Rose did was wrong — according to baseball rules — but there’s still a lot of people who believe he should be adding a Hall of Fame designation when he signs memorabilia in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas.Still, 30 years away from the game he was so great at seems like an awful long time, especially when Major League Baseball and other sports leagues have made their peace — and are doing business — with the bookies who post lines on their games.A... [More]
Fri Jan 1721:54Chicago Cubs keeping options open with season on the horizonKris Bryant3BCubsFree Agent
Willson ContrerasCCubsFree Agent
Josh Donaldson3BAthleticsThe Seals Guys
Anthony Rendon2B/3BNationalsFree Agent
Anthony Rizzo1BCubsThe Seals Guys
CHICAGO (AP) — When it comes to Kris Bryant, or any other Chicago Cubs star on the precipice of free agency, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is hoping for the best.He also is working on the alternative.That's about all he can say at the moment.Keeping his cards close to his chest, perhaps more than ever before, Epstein said Friday the team is “more active on the phone this January" than it had been in previous years. He also declared Chicago could bring back largely the same group after failing to make the playoffs last year for the first time since 2014.“Sometimes you're only one phone call away from signing a guy to a long-term contract. Sometimes you're one incoming call away from a deal," Epstein said on the first day of the team's annual fan convention. “What's most likely is status quo.“It's hard to get long-term extensions done. It's hard to get trades done, and we have what we feel is a pretty good club. We're trying to compete this year and we're not in... [More]
Fri Jan 1721:54"Hire 'Tek!": Red Sox fans make pitch for Varitek as managerXander Bogaerts3B/SSRed SoxFree Agent
David OrtizDHRed SoxLas Vegas Giants
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have a list of characteristics they want in their next manager, but they haven't yet landed on a name. Their fans have one in mind.Three days after the Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora for his involvement in a cheating scandal, supporters pleaded for Boston's front office to hire former catcher and team captain Jason Varitek at a town hall event Friday during the team's winter festival.Members of the team's leadership group were hit with “Hire 'Tek!” chants throughout the night, and principal owner John Henry was interrupted several times by fans voicing their support. Henry paused and nodded in acknowledgement, and new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom used the opportunity to appease the crowd.“I think if you poll the audience, they would just get this done right now,” Bloom said to big applause.Varitek, who was not in attendance, spent 15 seasons with the Red Sox from 1997 to 2011 and was part of two World Series title teams. He ... [More]
Fri Jan 1721:24'Hire 'Tek!': Red Sox fans make pitch for Varitek as managerXander Bogaerts3B/SSRed SoxFree Agent
David OrtizDHRed SoxLas Vegas Giants
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have a list of characteristics they want in their next manager, but they haven't yet landed on a name. Their fans have one in mind.Three days after the Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora for his involvement in a cheating scandal, supporters pleaded for Boston's front office to hire former catcher and team captain Jason Varitek at a town hall event Friday during the team's winter festival.Members of the team's leadership group were hit with “Hire 'Tek!” chants throughout the night, and principal owner John Henry was interrupted several times by fans voicing their support. Henry paused and nodded in acknowledgement, and new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom used the opportunity to appease the crowd.“I think if you poll the audience, they would just get this done right now,” Bloom said to big applause.Varitek, who was not in attendance, spent 15 seasons with the Red Sox from 1997 to 2011 and was part of two World Series title teams. He ... [More]
Fri Jan 1716:24Column: MLB whistleblower deserves applause, not criticismMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
Alex WoodRP/SPBravesFree Agent
When future generations are documenting baseball history, Mike Fiers will surely be remembered as one of the game's most significant figures.Not necessarily for what he did on the field, though tossing a pair of no-hitters is certainly a worthy achievement.Let's just hope all his fellow players give him a big tip of the cap when he takes the mound this season.After all, Fiers blew the lid off one of the most nefarious schemes in the history of the national pastime, a scandal that ranks right up there with the Black Sox and the Steroids Era.There will surely be some who view him as a back-stabbing snitch for going public with revelations that Houston cheated its way to a World Series title in 2017 by stealing signs, who will whisper — or even say right out loud — that he violated one of baseball's cardinal rules by revealing the secrets of the clubhouse.We already got a sampling of that line of thought from ESPN analyst and New York Mets adviser Jessica Mendoza, who said Thursday th... [More]
Fri Jan 1716:14Dodgers acquire INF Clayton Daniel from Cubs for RHP SadlerCasey SadlerRPPiratesFree Agent
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired infielder Clayton Daniel from the Chicago Cubs on Friday in exchange for right-hander Casey Sadler.Daniel has been in the Cubs organization for two years, hitting a combined .290 with 72 runs scored and 36 RBIs across four different minor league levels. Last year, the 24-year-old from Alabama split his time between Low-A South Bend and Double-A Tennessee, hitting a combined .305 with 21 RBIs. He was drafted in the 31st round out of Jacksonville State in 2018.Sadler was designated for assignment Wednesday after spending most of last season with the Dodgers. The 29-year-old from Oklahoma was 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 24 appearances, including one start. He was originally acquired on July 3 from Tampa Bay in exchange for right-hander Nathan Witt. Sadler has been in the majors for parts of four seasons, going 5-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 42 games, including two starts.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Jan 1712:54Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball's Analytics Era, and now it's holding the sport prisoner.AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport's rule breakers.What's next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia? Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students' temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner's office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.Should hitters be blocked from reviewing their plate appearances between at-bats? ... [More]
Fri Jan 1712:34Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball's Analytics Era, and now it's holding the sport prisoner.AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport's rule breakers.What's next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia? Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students' temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner's office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.Should hitters be blocked from reviewing their plate appearances between at-bats? ... [More]
Fri Jan 1711:24Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball's Analytics Era, and now it's holding the sport prisoner.AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport's rule breakers.What's next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia? Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students' temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner's office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.Should hitters be blocked from reviewing their plate appearances between at-bats? ... [More]
Fri Jan 1702:44Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technologyMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball's Analytics Era, and now it's holding the sport prisoner.AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport's rule breakers.What's next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia? Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students' temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner's office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.Should hitters be blocked from reviewing their plate appearances between at-bats? ... [More]
Thu Jan 1623:13Astros avoid arbitration with Springer amid scandalGeorge SpringerCF/RFAstrosFree Agent
HOUSTON (AP) — George Springer, the World Series MVP of the tainted 2017 Houston Astros, and the team settled on a $21 million, one-year contract Thursday.Springer had asked for $22.5 million in salary arbitration last week and the Astros offered $17.5 million, making the settlement $1 million over the midpoint. He made $12.15 million last year.The 30-year-old outfielder set career highs last season, hitting 39 home runs with 96 RBIs while batting .292. He was an All-Star for the third straight season.Springer led Houston to its first World Series title in 2017, hitting five homers in the seven-game win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He connected in the final four games of the matchup.This week, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released a report that detailed a cheating scheme by the Astros in the 2017 regular season and postseason to steal catchers' signals using video feeds and relay them to their hitters Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were su... [More]
Thu Jan 1619:13ESPN's Mendoza: Fiers should have gone to MLB, not reporterMike FiersSPBrewersFree Agent
ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza says pitcher Mike Fiers should have gone to Major League Baseball before he told a journalist about his allegation the Houston Astros had been using a camera to steal signs.Mendoza, a New York Mets adviser in addition to her media job, said Thursday on ESPN's “Golic and Wingo” that Fiers should have kept the information confined to teammates and the league. The right-hander spent 2 1/2 seasons with the Astros, including their 2017 championship season. He signed with Detroit in 2018 and was traded to Oakland — Houston's AL West rival — later that season.“Going public, yeah. I get it, if you’re with the Oakland A’s and you’re on another team, heck yeah you better be telling your teammates, ‘Heads up, if you hear some noises while you’re pitching, like, this is what’s going on.’ For sure. But to go public, yeah, it didn’t sit well with me," Mendoza said on the broadcast. “Honestly, it made me sad for the sport that that’s how this... [More]
Thu Jan 1617:03Springer, tainted Astros settle on $21M, 1-year contractGeorge SpringerCF/RFAstrosFree Agent
HOUSTON (AP) — George Springer, the World Series MVP of the tainted 2017 Houston Astros, and the team settled on a $21 million, one-year contract Thursday.Springer had asked for $22.5 million in salary arbitration last week and the Astros offered $17.5 million, making the settlement $1 million over the midpoint. He made $12.15 million last year.The 30-year-old outfielder set career highs last season, hitting 39 home runs with 96 RBIs while batting .292. He was an All-Star for the third straight season.Springer led Houston to its first World Series title in 2017, hitting five homers in the seven-game win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He connected in the final four games of the matchup.This week, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released a report that detailed a cheating scheme by the Astros in the 2017 regular season and postseason to steal catchers' signals using video feeds and relay them to their hitters Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were su... [More]
Thu Jan 1616:53Red Sox: Cora departure won't force a Mookie Betts tradeMookie BettsCFRed SoxFree Agent
Xander Bogaerts3B/SSRed SoxFree Agent
Michael ChavisFree Agent
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox say the turmoil in the manager's office isn't a reason to give up on this season and trade outfielder Mookie Betts. “The goal remains to be competitive always,” Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said this week after Alex Cora was ousted, leaving the Red Sox without a manager with less than a month before spring training. “2020 is important. So are 2021, 2022 and beyond.”The 2018 AL MVP, Betts has been the subject of trade rumors this winter because he is in the last year of team control before he is eligible to become a free agent. The two sides avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $27 million contract for this season.“He's the biggest person for our team, or one of the biggest,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said on Thursday at a Fenway Park availability before the annual Boston Baseball Writers Awards Dinner. “We have a lot of veterans in this clubhouse to make another run. We've been through the good and we've been through the b... [More]
Thu Jan 1616:13Springer, tainted Astros settle on $21M, 1-year contractGeorge SpringerCF/RFAstrosFree Agent
HOUSTON (AP) — George Springer, the World Series MVP of the tainted 2017 Houston Astros, and the team settled on a $21 million, one-year contract Thursday.Springer had asked for $22.5 million in salary arbitration last week and the Astros offered $17.5 million. He made $12,150,000 last year.The 30-year-old outfielder set career highs last season, hitting 39 home runs with 96 RBIs while batting .292. He was an All-Star for the third straight season.Springer led Houston to its first World Series title in 2017, hitting five homers in the seven-game win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He connected in the final four games of the matchup.This week, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released a report that detailed a cheating scheme by the Astros in the 2017 regular season and postseason to steal catchers' signals using video feeds and relay them to their hitters Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended by MLB and then fired by the team.Alex Cora, th... [More]
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