Baseball owners have locked down their commissioner and their main broadcast partner, too.
Mookie Betts is ready to become an ambassador for baseball, now that he’s won a batting title, World Series and Most Valuable Player award with Boston.
Lorena Martin made shocking allegations of racist and sexist comments against the Mariners, who strongly denied them. No matter how it’s resolved, it’s a damaging blow to an organization that seems to be in constant turmoil.
A report from Maury Brown of Forbes stated that the Mariners have reached an agreement with T-Mobile for the naming rights of their stadium, which had been known as Safeco Field since its construction and opening in 1999.
Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets has easily won the National League Cy Young Award, and Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays has edged out two past winners for the American League prize. DeGrom won just 10 games, the fewest ever by a Cy Young-winning starter. He got 29 of 30 first-place votes, with Washington’s Max Scherzer getting the other. Snell narrowly beat out Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber for his first Cy Young after leading the majors with 21 victories.
Oakland’s Bob Melvin was voted Manager of the Year for the third time, winning the American League honor after leading the Athletics to the playoffs despite the lowest opening-day payroll in the major leagues. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker won the National League award for leading the Braves to a surprising first-place finish.
Major League Baseball is investigating claims made against the Mariners by Seattle’s recently fired training and conditioning director, who said team management had disparaged Latino players. The Mariners denied the allegations following the social media postings from Lorena Martin in which she claimed general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and director of player development Andy McKay had called Latino players “lazy, dumb and stupid, especially the Dominicans.”
The Seattle Mariners are denying claims made by the club’s recently fired training and conditioning director, who said team management had disparaged Latino players.
Two-way star Shohei Ohtani was a singular sensation in voting for A.L. Rookie of the Year and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was a runaway pick for the N.L. honor.
Jerry Dipoto's offseason machinations were set in motion by the trade of Mike Zunino for Ray outfielder Mallex Smith. Whether this is just part of a small plan or the beginning of a rebuild that could resemble a teardown is one of many questions in what figures to be an intriguing winter.
Speedy outfielder and leadoff hitter Mallex Smith has been acquired by the Seattle Mariners from the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher Mike Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia as part of a five-player deal.
Scott Boras, the agent for free agent Bryce Harper and many of baseball’s top players claims rebuilding teams have become a ‘competitive cancer’ that caused this season’s 4 percent attendance drop. Boras pointed out Louisiana State’s baseball team had a higher average home attendance than the Miami Marlins. He said in Minnesota ‘it’s gotten so bad that only one of the Twins shows up.’ And he says Toronto has a ‘blue flu’ caused by not acquiring attractive players.
Multiple Major League Baseball sources said the Mariners are finalizing a deal with their favorite trade partner, the Tampa Bay Rays. Seattle would send catcher Mike Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia to Tampa in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez will have surgery on his left shoulder in the next week, which could slow him during spring training but is not likely to keep him out of the lineup on opening day. New York general manager Brian Cashman made the announcement at the general managers’ meetings, hours after the Yankees finalized an $8 million, one-year contract with CC Sabathia. The 38-year-old left-hander said 2019 will be his final season.
Don Mattingly is looking forward to getting a first-hand look at Japan’s national team while All-Star catcher Yadier Molina hopes to throw out some speedy runners. Mattingly and Molina are in Japan as part of a Major League Baseball All-Star tour that features six games against Japan’s national team.
The Washington Nationals made an offer to Bryce Harper late in the season in an attempt to reach a deal before he became a free agent. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo disclosed the talks with agent Scott Boras at the general managers’ meetings. Harper, who turned 26 last month, is expected to receive the largest contract among the 164 free agents. He is a six-time All-Star with 184 homers, 521 RBIs and a .900 OPS.
Teams and agents aren’t sure whether the free-agent market will revert to its previous pace or whether clubs will try to wait out players like they did last winter. Spring training opened with dozens of players unsigned, and prices plummeted. This year’s free-agent class is a stronger group, which includes outfielder Bryce Harper and infielder Manny Machado.
Andrew Friedman knew he was getting a player who didn’t hustle all the time when he traded for Manny Machado. Still, the Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations was willing to acquire the four-time All-Star infielder because his good points outweighed the bad. Machado is among the top two free agents on the market along with outfielder Bryce Harper after a 3fraction>1/2/fraction>-month stay with the Dodgers.
Houston Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. will miss all of next season following Tommy John surgery. The 25-year-old was 10-6 with a 3.86 ERA in 22 starts and three relief appearances this year, striking out 142 in 128 1/3 innings. He was 10-4 before the All-Star break, then went on the disabled list from Aug. 5 to Sept. 24 because of elbow discomfort.
Late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, former managers Lou Piniella, Davey Johnson and Charlie Manuel, and six players headed by Lee Smith are on the 10-man ballot for the baseball Hall of Fame’s Today’s Game Era committee to consider next month.
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