McCutchen could become latest to be dealt soon after winning the award
By Andrew Simon
Trade rumors swirling around Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen appear to be heating up, with the 2016 Winter Meetings set for next week.
Back in 2013, McCutchen won the National League MVP Award when he led the Pirates to their first postseason appearance since 1992. He followed that up with two more highly productive All-Star seasons, finishing third and fifth in the MVP voting as the Bucs made two more trips to the NL Wild Card Game.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Revisit 10 big Hot Stove splashes since 2000
By Adrian Garro |
Every offseason, the whispers and rumors of Hot Stove season turn into tangible action as key free agents sign new contracts with new teams.
History shows that some new deals (and trades) pan out better than others -- but in the spirit of the Winter Meetings and the hope and promise of a team landing that difference-making free agent, here's a look at some of the most noteworthy free-agent deals of the past few years.
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- Before trying to get the Red Sox back to the postseason, Hanley Ramirez plans on helping the Dominican Republic defend its championship in the World Baseball Classic.
After experiencing the thrill of playing for the DR's title-winning team three years ago, Ramirez confirmed Friday from David Ortiz's charity golf tournament that he plans on suiting up again for his country.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Sources: Springer on US provisional roster for WBC
Astros outfielder also eligible to play for Puerto Rico in Classic
By David Adler
George Springer is on the United States' provisional roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi on Friday, and the Astros' right fielder is reportedly strongly considering playing.
Springer told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart this week that he was unsure whether he would play in the tournament.
ATLANTA -- Though the Braves have not landed the ace they will continue to seek, they fortified their new-look starting rotation by trading for left-hander Jaime García from the Cardinals on Thursday night.
The Braves acquired García in exchange for three prospects -- infielder Luke Dykstra and right-handed pitchers John Gant and Chris Ellis. This deal allowed Atlanta to use a couple of their mid-tier pitching prospects to gain a veteran pitcher with the potential to help the team's attempt to return to a competitive level in 2017.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
New Cardinal Gant boasts weirdest windup
By Matt Monagan |
The Braves traded for Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia on Thursday night -- bolstering a rotation that already featured R.A. Dickey, Julio Teheran and slugger Bartolo Colon. While the Cards did give up a veteran starter in Garcia, they acquired three of Atlanta's top 30 prospects: RHP Chris Ellis (No. 17), 2B Luke Dykstra, son of Lenny, (No. 29) and RHP John Gant (No. 21).
They should all be fun to watch grow and blossom into big leaguers, but we're guessing Gant might be the most fun to watch. Why? This is why.
STAMFORD, Conn. -- Brian Cashman spent part of his Friday morning strapping in for practice rappels down the side of the 22-story Landmark Building, and his annual participation in the city's "Heights and Lights" festival served an apt analogy with the Yankees' general manager preparing to jump ahead with his offseason business in advance of next week's Winter Meetings.
Cashman said that the Yankees have been studying the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, particularly with regard to luxury tax and related penalties, so they can strategize for 2017 and beyond. He said that they expect to hit the ground running on Monday when the Yankee contingent arrives at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Rewriting history with new WS home-field rules
Maz's walk-off HR in '60, Fisk's iconic shot at Fenway in '75 wouldn't have happened
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement comes with its fair share of legalese, the menial mumbo jumbo that makes up many a binding document. And inquiring fans will have to familiarize themselves with the complex new free-agent compensation scenarios, among other changes.
But here's the easiest element of the new CBA to wrap your head around: Game 1 (and Game 7) of the World Series will be hosted by the pennant winner with the better regular-season record.
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Statcast a useful tool to find free agents' strengths
By Andrew Simon
There are many ways for teams to analyze free agents this offseason -- from scouting reports to traditional stats to wins above replacement and beyond. Statcast™ provides yet another angle.
The state-of-the-art system just finished its second season of tracking every play of every game in every big league ballpark, offering an in-depth look at the tools that allow these players to perform.
BOSTON -- The Red Sox announced Friday that they did not tender a 2017 contract to catcher Bryan Holaday, making Holaday a free agent.
Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez (out of Minor League options) and Blake Swihart are vying for two spots behind the plate. That didn't leave room for the 29-year-old Holaday, who was acquired from the Rangers on Aug. 5, 2016.
As Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association negotiated a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it appeared that there could be some bones of contention regarding how teams acquire amateur talent, both through the Draft and internationally.
The agreement was announced Wednesday night, just over an hour before the previous CBA was set to expire. With it came some changes to the rules governing amateur acquisition, but given what was potentially on the table, they seem more like tweaks to the existing system rather than a complete overhaul.
Seems like every couple of days there's another report about teams having interest in acquiring Rays right-hander Chris Archer, an All-Star in 2015 who led the Major Leagues with 19 losses in '16.
It's been going on since July, when the Dodgers, Rangers and Cubs were among the believed suitors for the 28-year-old workhorse who is coming off back-to-back 200-inning seasons. It has continued into the offseason, with the Braves among those being mentioned lately.
CLEVELAND -- The Indians lean heavily on manager Terry Francona when it comes to making roster decisions. During the Winter Meetings next week, team president Chris Antonetti and his front-office team will have to keep Francona looped in via phone calls and texts.
MLB.com confirmed on Thursday night that Francona will miss the Winter Meetings while recovering from right hip surgery, which he underwent shortly after the conclusion of the World Series. After Francona won the American League Manager of the Year Award in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America last month, the manager joked about the procedure in a conference call with reporters.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
After striking an agreement with the Cubs on a one-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday, outfielder Jon Jay fit in his daily workout, then spent some time car shopping. He traded in his sports car for what he called a "dad car," because his wife, Nikki, was pregnant with twins.
Jay just left the dealership when he got the call that Nikki was having contractions. Before noon on Wednesday, they were parents of two baby girls.
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after driving under the influence of alcohol in Seoul, South Korea, early Friday morning.
The accident and arrest reportedly took place at 2:48 a.m. Korea Standard Time. No one was injured in the accident, according to a report by the Korean Yonhap News Agency, and Kang was released from the Gangnam police station after he was charged.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal
New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series
By Richard Justice
IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides.
At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.
The 2015 Winter Meetings saw one No. 1 overall pick traded (Dansby Swanson from the D-backs to the Braves) and the groundwork laid for another to change addresses shortly thereafter (Mark Appel from the Astros to the Phillies). We likely won't see another No. 1 overall choice on the move in Washington, D.C., next week, but is there a scenario where a No. 2 could be used to obtain one of the best pitchers in baseball? Let's take a look in the latest installment of the MLBPipeline Inbox ...
If the Astros were to give up Alex Bregman in a package for Chris Sale, who else would they have to add to make it fair compensation?
-- Peter C., Chicago
As you surely know, the big baseball news of the week is that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agreed upon a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, ensuring that more than two decades of labor peace will continue uninterrupted for at least five more seasons. Most of the largest changes came in tweaks to qualifying offers and the luxury tax, but there's one seemingly quiet change that could have some big repercussions on the field: The 15-day disabled list is reportedly turning into the 10-day disabled list.
How could five days -- and it's important to remember it is indeed days and not games -- matter that much? It's probably a bigger deal than you think, on both sides of the ball.
ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia's injury-plagued tenure with the Cardinals has come to an end, as St. Louis dealt the lefty starter to Atlanta on Thursday for a trio of young players. In return, the Cards landed right-handers John Gant and Chris Ellis and second baseman Luke Dykstra. Only Gant has previous Major League experience.
When the Cardinals exercised Garcia's $12 million club option after the season, it was with the intention of exploring possible trade partners. Instead of letting Garcia walk as a free agent, the Cards hoped to net something in return. What they got were three prospects, all of whom ranked on the Braves' Top 30 list, per MLB Pipeline.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Nats' pursuit of McCutchen intensifies
Pirates outfielder would fill need for right-handed power hitter
By Jamal Collier
WASHINGTON -- Hours after Major League Baseball and the Players Association agreed on new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Nationals began ramping up their aggressiveness.
Talks between the Nationals and the Pirates for a trade that would bring outfielder Andrew McCutchen to Washington intensified Thursday, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, with Washington wanting to complete a deal ahead of Friday's 8 p.m. ET non-tender deadline.
PHOENIX -- It was the night before Thanksgiving and Taijuan Walker was hanging out with friends and family when his agent called to tell him he had just been traded from the Mariners to the D-backs as part of a five-player deal.
"At first I didn't believe him," Walker said. "Then [Mariners general manager Jerry] Dipoto called and we talked. At first it was a shock, coming up with the Mariners, getting drafted by the Mariners, the goal is to try to be with one team. But I'm super excited to be with the Diamondbacks. They have such a young core of players, and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Get pumped for Hot Stove season by listening to the walk-up music used by key free agents
By Adrian Garro |
Baseball's annual Winter Meetings will begin next week in National Harbor, Md. It's there that players, agents, team representatives, media and others on the "inside" convene for what's always a busy time around the league.
Top free agents still on the market are looking to ink deals with new clubs ahead of Spring Training, and with that in mind, we've put together a Spotify playlist of the particular musical accompaniment several of them use when they stride to the plate (or mound).