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Monday, November 29, 2021

Sources: Expanded playoffs, draft lottery proposals in CBA negotiations

Major League Baseball’s expanded playoff proposal, as part of a new collective bargaining agreement between owners and players, includes the ability for division winners to pick their wild-card opponent, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The format would call for 14 teams—seven from each league—to make the playoffs, four more than currently play in the postseason. The three division winners in each league would be joined by four wild-card teams to make up the playoff field. Here’s how it would work:

• The team with the best record in each league would get a bye into the best-of-five division series.

• The remaining two division winners would get to pick their wild-card opponent from the bottom three wild-card ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2021 at 06:23 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: draft lottery, expanded playoffs, labor issues

Report: Rangers Agree to 10-Year, $325 Million Deal With SS Corey Seager

The Rangers have reached an agreement to sign two-time All-Star shortstop and 2020 World Series MVP Corey Seager on a 10-year deal worth $325 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The move would cap a remarkably aggressive push from Texas’s front office with the franchise coming off its first 100-loss season since 1973.

Texas made a major splash on Sunday when they reportedly agreed to a seven-year deal with All-Star second baseman Marcus Semien. As it turns out, that wasn’t the last blockbuster addition to the team’s middle infield.

Seager, who turns 28 in April, hit .306/.394/.521 with 16 home runs in 95 games last season. The 2016 National League Rookie of the Year winner has spent his entire career with the Dodgers and has won ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2021 at 04:49 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: corey seager, rangers

Rod Carew, Fergie Jenkins, Mike Schmidt, Ozzie Smith on Hall of Fame committee

Former commissioner Bud Selig, former Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz and retired manager Joe Torre—all three also in the Hall—are also among the voters scheduled to meet Sunday in Orlando, Florida, to consider candidates whose primary contributions were from 1950 to ‘69.

Current executives Al Avila, Bill DeWitt, Ken Kendrick, Kim Ng and Tony Reagins also are on the panel along with media members/historians Adrian Burgos Jr., Steve Hirdt, Jaime Jarrin and Jack O’Connell.

Gil Hodges, Roger Maris and Minnie Miñoso are among 10 men on the ballot along with Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce and Maury Wills plus former Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2021 at 04:43 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Marcell Ozuna receives retroactive suspension

Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. announced Monday that Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna has retroactively received an unpaid suspension of 20 regular-season games for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. The unpaid suspension of Ozuna includes all 20 regular season games served while he was on Administrative Leave between his Sept. 10 placement and the conclusion of the 2021 season.

Commissioner Manfred said: “My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Marcell Ozuna violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Having reviewed the totality of the available evidence, I have concluded that ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2021 at 04:22 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: domestic violence, marcell ozuna

Sources - Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners finalizing $115 million contract

Reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and the Seattle Mariners are finalizing a five-year, $115 million contract with an opt-out after the third season, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Ray joins a Mariners team that surprised many last season by finishing second in the American League West with a 90-72 record.

Ray went from one of the worst starting pitchers in the majors in 2020 to the best in the American League in 2021, winning American League Cy Young honors after going 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA for the Toronto Blue Jays and leading the AL in ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts and WHIP. Ray had been a free agent after the 2020 season, but after leading the majors with 45 walks in 51⅔ innings between the Arizona ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2021 at 03:55 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robbie ray

Rays To Sign Brooks Raley

The Rays have agreed to a deal with free-agent lefty Brooks Raley, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal will be finalized once Raley, a client of Vanguard Sports, passes a physical. It’s a two-year deal with an option, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Raley, 33, was one of the top lefty relievers on the market this winter. Since 2020, he’s posted a 31.8 K% and 7.6 BB% in 69 innings for the Reds and Astros. That strikeout rate ranks 22nd among all relievers during that time among those with at least 60 innings pitched.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2021 at 02:12 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brooks raley, rays

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Mets pushing hard for Max Scherzer with decision expected soon

The Max Scherzer sweepstakes is heating up, and the Mets are in the thick of it.

With the three-time Cy Young Award winner expected to make his free-agent decision by Monday, the Mets were pushing hard for Scherzer as of Sunday night and believed they had a shot at landing him, The Post’s Joel Sherman reported.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 11:16 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, mets

Michael Lorenzen to sign with Los Angeles Angels

Southern California native Michael Lorenzen was a supplemental 1st round pick of the Cincinnati Reds back in 2013, and the Cal-State Fullerton product quickly moved through the minors to make an impact at the big league level.

Sometimes, it was in the rotation. Sometimes, it was as a late-inning reliver. Every now and then, it was with the bat, or even with the glove - while in the outfield. With big biceps and a bevy of all-around talent, it always seemed as if Lorenzen was always a bit of a conundrum for the Reds, as they always had high hopes for him but never really settled on a way to get the most out of his skillset.

Lorenzen hit free agency this winter after spending parts of 7 big league seasons with the Reds, and will now ply ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 10:55 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, michael lorenzen

Rangers reportedly agree to four-year, $56 million deal with Jon Gray

Sunday ended up being a huge day for the Rangers. They landed shortstop Marcus Semien on a seven-year, $175 million late in the afternoon and now the news is they’ve agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal with free agent starting pitcher Jon Gray, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.

The Rangers lost 102 games last season and don’t have a bunch of young talent on the cusp of breaking through at the major-league level. They also had payroll pretty much down as low as it could get heading into the offseason with a new ballpark and an ownership group that has spent lavishly on payroll before.

Do the math and it seems like the front office plan this offseason is to spend their way back into relevance.

Gray will provide desperately needed ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 10:16 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jon gray, rangers

Kevin Gausman finds new home, agrees with Toronto Blue Jays on $110 million contract, sources say

Right-handed starting pitcher Kevin Gausman and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a five-year, $110 million contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Sunday night.

Gausman was a reliable back-end starter early in his career, posting a 4.22 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 3.02 strikeout-to-walk ratio while averaging 146 innings per season for the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds from 2014 to 2019.

But his career truly took off upon joining the San Francisco Giants, who helped him fine-tune his splitter to form a devastating combination with his four-seam fastball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 09:31 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, kevin gausman

Report: Marlins, outfielder Avisail Garcia agree to four-year, $53M deal

The Miami Marlins have added a veteran bat to their outfield by agreeing to a four-year, $53-million contract with Avisail Garcia, according to multiple reports.

Garcia, 30, spent the past two seasons with the Brewers and hit .262/.330/.490 in 2021 and set career highs with 29 home runs and 86 RBIs.

He was named an all-star in 2017 while with the White Sox and has also played for the Tigers and Rays over his 10-year career.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 06:05 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: avisail garcia, marlins

Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers agree to 7-year deal, sources say

Infielder Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a seven-year contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Sunday.

After struggling in the shortened 2020 with the A’s, Semien bet on himself last offseason, accepting a one-year offer from the Blue Jays in an attempt to rebuild his value and re-enter free agency. He bet right. Semien moved to second base with Toronto and responded with one of the best power seasons from a second baseman in major league history, hitting .265/.334/.538 with 45 home runs, breaking Brian Dozier’s record for home runs by a second baseman.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 05:32 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: marcus semien, rangers

Source: Tampa Bay Rays add veteran Corey Kluber to rotation on one-year deal

The Tampa Bay Rays and free-agent right-hander Corey Kluber have agreed to a one-year contract, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The deal is worth $8 million guaranteed and could be worth $13 million if he reaches incentives, the source said, confirming multiple reports.

Kluber, who turns 36 in April, was limited to 80 innings last season with the New York Yankees because of a shoulder strain that kept him out for more than three months. He went 5-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts for the Yankees and pitched a no-hitter in May, striking out nine batters in a 2-0 victory over the Texas Rangers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 05:30 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: corey kluber, rays

Twins, Byron Buxton Agree To Extension

Hombre Brotani Posted: November 28, 2021 at 04:36 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, dollah dollah bills, y'all, minnesota twins

McCaffery: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard passed Hall of Fame eye test

It’s why the Hall of Fame has entrusted qualified baseball writers to do the voting: Their opinions will reflect what they’ve seen, what they’ve heard in and around clubhouses, what they know from at least a decade of dedicated reporting.

If given to the fans, that responsibility would turn into organized trolling.

If trusted to some cockeyed panel of super-genius former players, that responsibility would yield Harold Baines as a Hall of Famer.

If turned over to former Hall of Famers, the elections would deteriorate into something of a fraternity rush.

Managers? Seriously? When is the last time one of them uttered one syllable not meant to advance an agenda?

So writers it must be, for they are relied upon for their eyes, their ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 02:17 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

OT Soccer Thread - Domestic Cups, Congested Fixture Lists and Winter Breaks

Champions League Group Stage End - December 7/8
MLS Cup - December 11
Champions League Knockout Stage Draw - December 13
Women’s Champions League Group Stage End - December 15
One Year to World Cup Final - December 18
Women’s Champions League Knockout Stage Draw - December 20
FA Cup Third Round - January 8
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers Window - January 27-February 2
EFL Cup Final - February 27

Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: November 28, 2021 at 10:39 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, soccer

Blue Jays add to bullpen, agree to two-year, $11M deal with Yimi Garcia

The Toronto Blue Jays and reliever Yimi Garcia are in agreement on an $11-million, two-year deal that includes a club option and is pending a physical, according to an industry source.

Garcia, 31, is the club’s first major addition of the off-season and will bolster the back-end of a bullpen that was a trouble-spot for key stretches of 2021. The deal is expected to be finalized in the next few days.

A right-hander from Moca, Dominican Republic, he split last season between the Miami Marlins, where he converted 15 of 18 save opportunities and pitched to a 3.47 ERA in 39 games, and the Houston Astros, where he had a 5.48 ERA but a 1.078 WHIP and 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings over 23 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2021 at 12:04 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, yimi garcia

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Swallows outlast Buffaloes to win Japan Series title

The Tokyo Yakult Swallows overcame the best pitcher in Japan to become the best team in Japan.

Pinch hitter Shingo Kawabata hit a bloop single to left to bring in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th, and reliever Scott McGough closed out an entertaining Japan Series as the Swallows won the title with a 2-1 victory over the Orix Buffaloes at Hotto Motto Field Kobe on a chilly Saturday night.

Yakult won the series 4-2.

“It was a really difficult season,” Swallows manager Shingo Takatsu said. “It was even more difficult because we sunk to last place last year and the year before that. But I think the joy is even greater.”

Either the Swallows or the Buffaloes were going to cap their worst-to-first story with a Japan Series ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2021 at 05:49 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Super Two Status Set At 2.116 Years Of Service

This year’s Super Two cutoff point has been set at precisely two years and 116 days of service, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes has learned. This marker will affect the financial value for players with between two and three years of service time.

For example, Yordan Alvarez, with two years and 113 days of service time, will just miss the cutoff, meaning the Astros slugger will not be eligible for arbitration until next offseason. On the other hand, Brewers infielder Luis Urias has two years and 120 days of service time, so he qualifies as a Super Two player and will head to arbitration for the first of four trips this winter.

Broadly, Super Two designation is one of the innumerable quirks to the ever-confounding (current) arbitration system.  ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2021 at 05:00 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, super two

Astros net Héctor Neris with a 2-year, $17 million contract

It appears the Astros have found their replacement for Kendall Graveman, who recently signed a three-year deal with the White Sox. Héctor Neris, a longtime late-inning reliever for the Phillies, has landed in Houston on a $17 million deal over 2 years.

The 32-year-old Neris possesses one of the game’s most devastating split-fingers, which has helped him sustain an elite whiff percentage and a high strikeout rate the last several years. He has a career ERA of 3.42 and collected 84 saves during his 7-year tenure in Philly, including 12 in 2021. Although walks and ill-timed home runs have been an issue in recent years, Neris posted the highest ground ball rate in his career in 2021.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2021 at 04:57 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, hector neris

Seattle Mariners acquiring utility player Adam Frazier in trade with San Diego Padres

The Seattle Mariners have acquired second baseman/outfielder Adam Frazier in a trade with the San Diego Padres. Going to San Diego will be hard-throwing left-handed reliever Raymond Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier.

Frazier, who turns 30 in December, was an All-Star last year for Pittsburgh, which dealt him to the Padres. He’s in line to play in a super-utility role, especially if Seattle signs a big-name free-agent infielder.

“Adam is a proven, versatile and well-rounded player,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “His presence makes our lineup longer and our team more complete.”





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