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Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Dodgers Re-Sign Blake Treinen

The Dodgers have re-signed right-handed reliever Blake Treinen to a two-year, $17MM guarantee that includes an $8MM club option or a $1MM buyout for 2023, Bob Nightengale of USA Today was among those to report. Treinen is a client of Apex Baseball.

Treinen was something of a buy-low pickup for the Dodgers last season, though they did have to guarantee the former Athletics standout $10MM. The move paid off handsomely for the World Series-winning Dodgers, who got 25 2/3 innings of 3.86 ERA ball with a 20.6 percent strikeout rate, 7.5 percent walk rate, and a tremendous percent 64 percent groundball rate from Treinen. The 32-year-old continued to average upward of 97 mph on his fastball along the way.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:40 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: blake treinen, dodgers

BA: Start of Minor League Season At Double-A And Class A To Be Delayed [$]

Major League Baseball sent a memo to minor league teams on Monday informing them that the 2021 minor league season at Double-A and the Class A levels will be delayed.

MLB told minor league teams that spring training for Double-A and Class A players will not begin until MLB and Triple-A players have departed from spring training. The delay will allow for more social distancing during a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the world.

Even if MLB spring training begins on time, many minor leaguers would not report to spring training until late March or early April.

Because minor league players usually spend three or four weeks at spring training, the delay would push the start of those leagues to May if MLB spring ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2021 at 06:16 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Tigers agree to two-year, $10 million deal with outfielder Robbie Grossman

It may not be the name fans were hoping for, but with the signing of 31-year-old, switch-hitting outfielder Robbie Grossman, the Tigers got the kind of proficient bat they’ve lacked in recent years.

The Tigers and the former Oakland Athletic Grossman reached an agreement Tuesday on a two-year, $10 million contract, sources confirmed to The Detroit News. The Tigers have yet to announce the signing, presumably waiting for the results of medical examinations.

The stat line might not wow you — .252/.350/.380 with a 101 OPS-plus over eight big-league seasons – but look closer. His career .350 on-base average is impressive enough, certainly. The only Tigers who came close to that on-base proficiency last season were Willi Castro and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2021 at 05:07 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: robbie grossman, tigers

MLB threatens harsh discipline for teams violating facility access protocols before spring training

Major League Baseball sent a detailed memo to its 30 teams Monday restricting access to their facilities and limiting voluntary workouts before the start of spring training, according to a copy of the document obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

While Cleveland and several major league teams planned to open their spring-training facilities this week to their players and staff for voluntary workouts, MLB sent the memo to every team’s front office with strict regulations, threatening harsh disciplinary measures to any team violating the procedures.

“We have been informed that some clubs intend to increase the number of players at their Spring Training facilities in January and February prior to the commencement of spring training,’’ the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2021 at 03:54 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-5-2021

Wheeling Intelligencer, January 5, 1921:

The Continental Baseball League, Incorporated, which its promoters say will put baseball teams into several major league cities, held its first meeting [yesterday] and elected Andrew F. Lawson, of [Boston], as president.

Franchises were assigned by states as follows:
Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and possibly the Province of Ontario, with a team at Toronto.

Mr. Lawson announced that it has been agreed to have no salary limit, and that “in the event of the Red Sox not accepting the offer to sell, a park would be built in Boston.”

The franchise for the Boston team was awarded to Fred Lundy as agent for certain interests. The Indiana franchise was awarded to ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:47 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, January 04, 2021

Here’s the actual situation with the Mets and George Springer

The rumored deal between Springer and the Mets that popped up in several places over the holiday was five years, $125 million. In reality, Springer is expected to sign for much more than that. Two league sources said that he was still asking for well over $150 million. Springer’s representatives at Excel Sports Management did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The Mets might be willing to approach $150 million for Springer, but the sides haven’t found sufficient common ground to even get near a deal.

As SNY reported earlier in the offseason, Springer is a more likely target for the Mets than free agent starter Trevor Bauer. There has been no evidence of a serious pursuit of Bauer to date.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2021 at 06:17 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, george springer, mets

Did Payroll Matter in 2020?

When it came to winning baseball games last year, payroll was not a significant factor. It’s worth noting that if we used BaseRuns standings, the correlation coefficient (r) moves up to .3, which is in line with what it was for actual wins and payroll for most of the last decade. Here’s a year-by-year look at wins and payrolls over the years….

On its face, last year’s correlation is the lowest since before baseball’s strike. As with much of 2020, the lack of a full season tends to distort the numbers and our ability to get value from them. Would the Marlins and Astros have maintained their roughly .500 trajectories, or would they have moved more toward their projected status? Looking at BaseRuns shows a significantly higher ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2021 at 06:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: payroll

Marquee Sports Network hires Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi as play-by-play announcer

Marquee Sports Network had to get this hire right after Len Kasper, the popular Cubs play-by-play TV voice, left for White Sox radio.

With the announcement of the hire of Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi of ESPN as the new Cubs PBP announcer Monday, they hit a home run.

During his time at ESPN, Sciambi has contributed to ESPN Radio’s MLB World Series coverage as an on-site studio host, while providing post-game, on-field interviews for ESPN’s SportsCenter. He also has held play-by-play duties for both the College and Little League World Series. His time at the network dates to 2005, when he began doing play-by-play for select college basketball and MLB games, and he has continued in play-by-play for both sports during his tenure at ESPN.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2021 at 12:04 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon sciambi, marquee network

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-4-2021

Pittsburgh Press, January 4, 1921:

[Babe] Ruth took on some weight during his trip to Cuba. He accumulated quite a girth, in fact, and he wants to remove it though he says he is not worried about the weight he has picked up.

“I don’t believe in being at my lowest weight when the season starts,” said Ruth. “A few extra pounds gives a fellow a reserve that guards against staleness later on in the season.”

You don’t see a lot of “worst shape of his life” stories as Spring Training approaches.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 04, 2021 at 11:31 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Phil Hughes Announces Retirement

Phil Hughes officially announced his retirement from baseball today via Twitter. Hughes last pitched in the Majors in 2018 as a member of the San Diego Padres. While his final 16 appearances came out of the Padres bullpen, the No. 23 overall pick of the 2004 draft spent most of his 12-year career split between the Yankees and Twins.

In his own words, Hughes begins his announcement by saying, “While it’s been fairly apparent to most over these last couple years, I’d like to officially announce my retirement from baseball. Through many ups and downs over 12 years, I look back and am incredibly proud of what I was able to accomplish.”

Hughes took some time finding his way, and he ultimately leaves the game as an underrated hurler. ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2021 at 09:56 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: phil hughes

Friday, January 01, 2021

Boston Red Sox hire Bianca Smith as minor-league coach, making her first Black female coach in pro baseball history

The Red Sox have made a historic hire. According to Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have hired Bianca Smith as a minor-league coach, making her the first Black woman to serve as a coach in the history of professional baseball.

Smith, who is currently an assistant coach and assistant athletic director at Carroll University in Wisconsin, will work with minor-leaguers at Boston’s spring training complex in Fort Myers. She’ll mainly work with position players, according to McWilliams.

Smith played softball at Dartmouth in 2011 and 2012, has interned with the Rangers and Reds and received a dual Master’s degree in sports law and sports management from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. In Aug. 2019, she ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 01, 2021 at 04:11 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: african-americans

Thursday, December 31, 2020

MLB says players will receive COVID-19 vaccine when ‘public health officials deem it appropriate’

Here’s the statement MLB gave Drellich:

“Like the NBA, Major League Baseball and its clubs will work with public health authorities on issues related to the availability and timing of vaccinations for players and other employees,” MLB said in a statement to The Athletic. “Vaccinations will only be made available to players when public health officials deem it appropriate.”

Earlier this month the National Basketball Association advised teams vaccinations will be “consistent with the timing and prioritization set by applicable public health guidelines.” It was recently reported the National Hockey League was planning to privately purchase the vaccine prior to their upcoming season, though that report was shot down soon thereafter.

...Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 10:47 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-31-2020

Ogden Standard-Examiner, December 31, 1920:

Swede Risberg…one of the indicted players on the Chicago White Sox team, sends word from the Pacific coast that he will be back in the American league during the 1921 season.

Narrator: “He wasn’t.”

Risberg spent the next 10-15 years making a living playing in outlaw and semipro leagues.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 10:37 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Eric Thames To Sign With NPB’s Yomiuri Giants

Slugger Eric Thames is in agreement on a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, as first reported by Sports Hochi. Reports out of Japan have pegged the one-year contract’s value in the vicinity of $1.2MM, though the precise number remains unclear. Thames is repped by Apex Baseball.

Thames becomes the second former Brewers first baseman to join the Giants in as many days, as Justin Smoak is also reported to be wrapping up a deal to join the Giants. That could mean that one or both will spend ample time at designated hitter, and Thames of course has plenty of experience playing the outfield corners as well.

The 2020 season was a tough one for Thames, who inked a one-year pact with the Nationals ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2020 at 04:49 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: eric thames, japanese baseball

Baseball Lost A Team Of Legends This Year

In the span of just a few weeks, not just one but two iconic St. Louis Cardinals died: Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. These were defining members of many Cardinals championship teams as players who stayed within the St. Louis family for decades after their careers ended. They were routinely included in opening day festivities at Busch Stadium, wearing their red jackets.

We lost Tom Seaver, the defining Met. Joe Morgan, perhaps the best second baseman to ever play the game, with the Cincinnati Reds and numerous other teams. Whitey Ford, big game pitcher par excellence for the New York Yankees. Al Kaline: Mr. Tiger. And just Saturday, we lost Phil Neikro, the master of the knuckleball.

That’s seven Hall of Fame players. To put it in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2020 at 01:37 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, obituaries

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2020

New York Tribune, December 30, 1920:

Samuel Breadon, president of the St. Louis National League Club, gave New York its prize laugh of the season yesterday afternoon…To an offer of $200,000 and four players for Rogers Hornsby, the heavy hitting infielder of the Cardinals, Breadon flashed [the Giants front office] this laconic wire in reply.

“If you will throw in Frisch for good measure I shall be pleased to call Manager Branch Rickey’s attention to your offer.”

Rogers Hornsby was really, really, really good. Unless you’re dealing with Harry Frazee, you just don’t get players like that without giving up a ton.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 30, 2020 at 11:07 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Forest Gump of baseball? How Clyde Sukeforth played a pivotal role in baseball’s biggest moments

Baseball is full of improbable stories, but there are few as unlikely and lovely as Sukeforth’s. Who could make this up? He was a small catcher (5-foot-10, 155 pounds) from Washington (pop. 800) in Lincoln County, Maine, who found his way to the majors by chance and ended up batting .354 for the Reds in 1929. He overcame a hunting accident that left him with diminished vision in his right eye, and he suffered a personal tragedy that he took with him to his grave.

In 1945, when he was a 43-year-old Dodgers coach and the team was hurting for players because of the war, he strapped on his gear once again ... and hit .294 in 18 games. It was later that very summer when Rickey sent Sukeforth on his top-secret mission.

What else? He could ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:56 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: clyde sukeforth, dodgers

Philadelphia Phillies get Jose Alvarado in 3-team trade with Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired left-handed reliever Jose Alvarado in a three-team trade with the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

In the deal, Tampa Bay sent Alvarado to Philadelphia, the Phillies sent left-hander Garrett Cleavinger to the Los Angeles and the Dodgers sent infielder Dillon Paulson and a player to be named later to Tampa Bay.

Alvarado, 25, has a career ERA of 3.46 in 149 appearances over four seasons with the Rays. He pitched in nine games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and had a 6.00 ERA. His best season was in 2018, when he appeared in a career-high 70 games and had a 2.39 ERA. He is 2-15 in his career with 15 saves.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:16 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, jose alvarado, phillies, rays

Justin Smoak finalizing deal with Japan’s Yomiuri Giants

Veteran first baseman Justin Smoak is finalizing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The deal will guarantee him somewhere in the $6-7 million range, sources said.

Smoak, 34, will join a Giants team that won the Central League but lost in the Japan Series this past season. The Tokyo-based Giants are Japan’s oldest professional team.

Smoak, a longtime major league first baseman/designated hitter, spent last season with the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants, with five home runs and just a .176 average between the two.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, justin smoak

Twins sign former Angels closer Hansel Robles

Hansel Robles, who served as the Angels’ closer in 2019 before a loss of velocity and a flurry of home runs cost him the job in 2020, will attempt to revive his career in the Twins’ bullpen.

Robles became the first major league free agent signing of the offseason for Minnesota, agreeing to a one-year free agent contract worth $2 million on Tuesday.

The Twins have subtracted four righthanded relievers since the 2020 season ended. Robles represents the first step in replenishing their bullpen for 2021, though it likely hinges upon the 30-year-old Dominican recovering some of the fastball velocity he lost during the pandemic-shortened season.

Robles’ fastball averaged 97.3 mph during his stint as Angels closer in 2019, but dipped to 95.7 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2020 at 09:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hansel robles, twins

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

‘I didn’t know why I wasn’t playing’: Gary Sanchez on getting benched in the playoffs

There is some vitriol in social media among Yankees fans and even members of the media that you are a “lazy” player. What do you say to that?

I simply do not understand. I am always working hard. Yankees fans are great, but at the same time, they are very demanding. If you’re hitting well, fans love you, they do whatever it takes for you. But when you are not doing well, then it starts ... and you know. They will yell anything at you. Sometimes it can be difficult not to have a little encouragement. But those are Yankees fans, and the only thing that matters are results. And I would not have it any other way. I love the high expectations. I can be booed one day when I have a bad game, and the next day I am the hero of the game. But I ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2020 at 08:56 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: gary sanchez, yankees

Monday, December 28, 2020

Padres agree to deal for Darvish

The Padres are doubling down in their search for an ace. San Diego agreed to a seven-player deal with the Cubs on Monday, acquiring right-hander Yu Darvish, according to sources.

Neither club has confirmed a deal, which is likely pending physicals.

Along with Darvish, the Padres will acquire catcher Victor Caratini in exchange for right-hander Zach Davies and shortstop Reginald Preciado (San Diego’s 11th-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline), outfielder Owen Caissie (13th), outfielder Ismael Mena (15th) and shortstop Yeison Santana (16th), a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 10:23 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, padres, yu darvish

Padres reach deal with Ha-seong Kim, per report

Kim, 25, was one of the KBO’s most consistent performers and the top player the league posted this offseason. The 5-foot-9, 167-pound infielder has a .294/.373/.493 slash line with 133 homers over seven seasons with the KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes and posted a career-best .306/.397/.523 slash line with 30 homers in 2020.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Padres utilize Kim, who has experience at all four infield positions but has only played shortstop and third base since 2015. He’s certainly not going to see much action at either of those positions with San Diego’s best two players being third baseman Manny Machado and shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. It also seems unlikely that there would be much of an opportunity at second base with ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 02:33 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: ha-seong kim, korean free agents, padres

Jay Jaffe: JAWS and the 2021 Hall of Fame Ballot: Curt Schilling

At a time when the type of right-wing rhetoric Schilling has repeatedly trafficked in has fueled the United States’ inclusion among the most dangerous countries for professional journalists, I don’t blame any journalist for eliminating Schilling from consideration. And at a time when Trump and 126 members of Congress have called for the unprecedented overturning of a fair presidential election on the grounds of unfounded claims of voter fraud, I’m not about to give the benefit of the doubt to a single person, let alone a Hall of Fame candidate with strong stats and an impressive highlight reel, amplifying those claims.

Thus, I’m done telling anybody to hold their nose and vote for Schilling, and while I have included him on nearly ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 12:09 PM | 241 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-28-2020

Washington Times, December 28, 1920:

In this season of Santa Claus celebrations one is perforce brought face to face with many manifestations of the old fellow with the long whiskers and the reindeer, the sound of whose bells has sent shuddering to bed so many kids through all these long past generations. Baseball fans with any memory whatever must recognize in the trim figure of Harry H. Frazee, president of the Boston American League Club, the private Santa Claus for the New York Yankees.
...
First and foremost, of course, stands the deal that sent Babe Ruth to the New York Club.
...
Now for the latest trade, one which has quite broken the camel’s back with Boston fans. Wally Schang, one of the three best catchers in baseball; Waite Hoyt, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 10:28 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

San Diego Padres to acquire 2018 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell from Tampa Bay Rays

Blake Snell’s controversial early removal from Game 6 of the World Series will apparently be the ace’s final appearance with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays agreed to trade Snell to the San Diego Padres on Sunday night for a haul of prospects, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet official. 

Among the players heading to St. Petersburg are pitchers Luis Patiño and Cole Wilcox and catchers Blake Hunt and Francisco Mejia.

Snell, 28, won the 2018 Cy Young Award with a brilliant 21-5 season that saw him post a 1.80 ERA. He is coming off a season where he posted a 3.24 ERA and struck out 63 in 50 innings.

...Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 08:54 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, padres, rays

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro dead at 81

Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro passed away Saturday after a battle with cancer. He was 81 years old.

Niekro rode his knuckleball to 5,404 innings pitched—the most of any pitcher who started his career in the live ball era. But Niekro, who pitched for 21 of his 24 big league seasons with the Braves, was more than simply durable. His 318 wins and 3,342 strikeouts are a testament to a pitcher who was often untouchable.

“Phil Niekro was one of the most distinctive and memorable pitchers of his generation,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred. “In the last century, no pitcher threw more than Phil’s 5,404 innings. His knuckleball led him to five All-Star selections, three 20-win seasons for the Atlanta Braves, the 300-win club, and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2020 at 12:33 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, phil niekro

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The weirdest baseball uniforms ever worn

Dodgers - Satin blue

Sky blue? Check. Satin? You better believe it. As night games came into vogue in the 1940s and ‘50s, a few teams wanted their players to look positively reflective under the stadium lights (makes me think more bicyclists should be wearing satin).

None did it better than the Dodgers. Honestly, Elton John would have looked good in these numbers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 26, 2020 at 12:32 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: uniforms

Rangers To Sign Kohei Arihara

The Rangers are in agreement with right-hander Kohei Arihara, reports Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic (Twitter link). It’s a two-year contract in the $6-7MM range, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (via Twitter).

Arihara, 28, has spent the past six seasons with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball. In 836 career innings at Japan’s highest level, Arihara compiled a 3.74 ERA with 6.7 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9. He has been especially productive over the past two years. Arihara posted a minuscule 2.46 ERA with a career-best 8.8 K/9 in 2019. This past season, he managed a 3.46 mark with 7.2 K/9 across 132.2 innings.

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 26, 2020 at 10:12 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, kohei ahara, rangers

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Josh Bell traded to Nationals

Bell was traded from the Pirates to the Nationals in exchange for Eddy Yean and Wil Crowe on Thursday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.

If the Nationals are getting the 2019 version, Bell will be a big addition, as he hit a career-high 37 homers while slashing .277/.367/.569. His numbers cratered across the board in 2020’s shortened campaign, however, as he hit just eight homers in 57 games and posted a .226/.305/.364 slash line.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 24, 2020 at 02:08 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: josh bell, nationals, pirates

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