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MLB News Wire
  • Brewers evaluating wrist injury of INF Urias
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 25, 2020

    The Milwaukee Brewers have brought infielder Luis Urias back to the United States to have his ailing left wrist examined, MLB.com reported Saturday.

    • Urias played this winter for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific Winter League, batting .288. But when his wrist started hurting, he stopped playing.

      "We should have more answers by the middle of next week," Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said, per MLB.com.

      The Brewers acquired Urias and starting pitcher Eric Lauer from the San Diego Padres in November in exchange for starting pitcher Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham.

      Manager Craig Counsell said at the Winter Meetings that Urias would have a shot to beat out returning shortstop Orlando Arcia.

      In 71 games with the Padres in 2019, the 22-year-old Urias hit .223 with four home runs and 24 RBIs. He struck out 56 times in 215 at-bats.

      Brewers position players begin spring workouts on Feb. 18 in Phoenix.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Story, Rockies agree on two-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 25, 2020

    The Colorado Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have agreed to terms on a two-year deal, according to multiple reports.

    • The deal would cover the remaining two years of arbitration eligibility for Story, making him a free agent for the 2022 season.

      According to the reports, the deal would pay the two-time All-Star $27.5 million.

      Story, 27, had sought $11.5 million in arbitration for next season, with the club countering at $10.75 million.

      Drafted out of high school by the Rockies in 2011, Story is coming off his fourth season in the majors.

      Story hit .294 with 35 home runs and 85 RBIs in 145 games with the Rockies in 2019. For his career, he has batted .276 with 123 home runs and 347 RBIs in 544 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Nationals re-signing 1B Zimmerman for 2020
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 25, 2020

    The Washington Nationals are re-signing free agent first baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a one-year, $2 million deal that includes up to $3 million in incentives, multiple outlets reported.

    • The 35-year-old Zimmerman is the longest-tenured player for the reigning World Series champions and is the franchise's all-time leader in hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs.

      Zimmerman, the first player ever drafted by the Nationals in 2005, had said he would retire if he could not work out a deal with Washington for 2020.

      "I think I've made my intentions pretty clear," the two-time All-Star said in December, per ESPN. "It's either play some more here or play more golf."

      Injuries limited Zimmerman to 52 games in 2019, his fewest since 2005. He batted .257 with six homers and 27 RBIs in the regular season, and batted .255 with two homers and seven RBIs in 16 postseason games.

      Through 1,689 games over 15 seasons, he owns a .279 career average with 401 doubles, 270 home runs, 1,015 RBIs and 1,784 hits.

      --Field Level Media

  • Royals C Perez becomes U.S. citizen at FanFest
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 24, 2020

    Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez found the best way to celebrate the team's annual FanFest on Friday -- by becoming a United States citizen.

    • Perez, already a fan favorite and six-time All-Star who was selected World Series MVP when the Royals beat the Mets in five games in 2015, took the oath of citizenship at a jam-packed Bartle Hall in Kansas City during the team's annual event.

      For the Venezuela native, completing the long process to become a U.S. citizen might have been the most difficult -- and rewarding -- challenge of his life.

      "You know what? I would rather be in the World Series, bases loaded, two outs, 3-2 and hitting than do that thing again," Perez told the adoring crowd. "I was shaking. My eyes were super big. I felt like I needed to drink water every second. But it was fun, after."

      Perez, who missed last season after having Tommy John surgery in March, finished the process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen when he stood on the main stage among guests who included Royals teammates, members of the front office and clubhouse staff, and manager Mike Matheny and Royals chairman John Sherman.

      Chief U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips presided over the ceremony. With his citizenship, Perez will be able to help members of his family get green cards and permit his wife to visit her father in Venezuela.

      "It means a lot to him," Royals left fielder Alex Gordon said before the ceremony, via KansasCity.com. "I just saw him a couple minutes ago and just congratulated him on it. It almost looked like he teared up, so it means a lot to him. I'm happy for him and his family. I know this is a special day for him."

      His five-year quest to earn citizenship included intense studying for his citizenship test and learning from tapes while driving his car around his offseason home of Miami.

      "It's just a special day, obviously, for Salvy and his family, but I think for our community and our country, to see someone this excited about becoming a citizen of the United States of America. And it means that much to him that he would go to any length to make that happen," Matheny said, via KansasCity.com. "I think it's pretty humbling to all of us that maybe fall victim to taking that for granted sometimes."

      Perez, 29, expects to be in the Opening Day lineup this season, which would be a happy ending to a rough couple of years. He also was hurt to begin the 2018 season, missing several weeks after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his left knee while slipping with a suitcase on the stairs a day before Opening Day.

      He batted a career-low .235 that season but matched his career highs of 27 homers and 80 RBIs while playing in 129 games. He earned his sixth straight All-Star nod.

      The five-time Gold Glove winner has a .266 career average with 141 homers and 503 RBIs in parts of eight seasons with Kansas City.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Astro Keuchel apologizes for sign-stealing scandal
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 24, 2020

    Former Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel became the first member of the 2017 World Series winning team to publicly apologize for illegal sign stealing on Friday.

    • Keuchel, who played for the Astros from 2012-18, was both apologetic and surprised by the attention received by the scandal.

      "I think first and foremost, apologies should be in order ... for everyone on the team. When the stuff was going on, it was never intended to be what it's made to be right now," said Keuchel, who signed a three-year, $55 million contract with the Chicago White Sox last month.

      The 2017 Astros' team was found guilty of illegally stealing signs from opposing teams using electronic technology. That result led to the season-long suspension and subsequent firing of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow as well as a $5 million fine for the team and loss of upcoming draft picks.

      Keuchel, who played with the Atlanta Braves last season before signing with the White Sox, wasn't shy about talking about the scandal during the latter team's winter fan fest on Friday.

      "When stuff comes out over the course of a big-league ball season, it's always blown up to the point of 'Oh my gosh this has never happened before,'" the 32-year-old Keuchel said. "I'm not going to go into specific details, but during the course of the playoffs in 2017 everyone was using multiple signs. For factual purposes, when there is no one on base, when in the history of baseball has there been multiple signs?

      "There was probably six out of eight teams using multiple signs. It's just what the state of baseball was at that point and time. Was it against the rules? Yes it was and I personally am sorry for what has come about, the whole situation."

      Keuchel owns an 84-71 record with a 3.67 ERA over 211 appearances (202 starts) in eight seasons with the Astros and Braves. He won 20 games in 2015 when he won the American League's Cy Young Award.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Astros to interview Ausmus for manager post
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 24, 2020

    Brad Ausmus, who played 10 seasons for the Houston Astros over two separate stints, will interview for the team's vacant manager position, multiple outlets reported Friday.

    • Ausmus managed the Los Angeles Angels in 2019 but was fired after one season after the team went 72-90 and finished in fourth place in the American League West. The Angels have since hired former Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon to the post.

      Ausmus also has four years of experience as the manager of the Detroit Tigers from 2014-17, going 314-332. The club won the American League Central in his first season.

      The 50-year old was a career .251 hitter with 80 home runs and 607 RBIs. He batted .246 with 41 home runs and 386 RBIs in his 10 seasons with the Astros, winning three Gold Glove Awards with the club.

      The Astros reportedly will narrow their candidate list this weekend and possibly name a successor to A.J. Hinch next week. Hinch was fired, along with general manager Jeff Luhnow, in the fallout of Major League Baseball's investigation into electronic sign stealing during the 2017 season.

      In addition to Ausmus, the Astros' list of manager candidates includes Buck Showalter, Dusty Baker, John Gibbons, Will Venable, Jeff Banister, Eduardo Perez and Joe Espada.

      --Field Level Media

  • It's officlal: Mets tab Rojas as manager
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, January 23, 2020

    The New York Mets named quality control coach Luis Rojas their new manager, the team announced on Thursday.

    • Rojas, 38, is the son of former major league player and manager Felipe Alou and the brother of six-time All-Star Moises Alou.

      Rojas replaces Carlos Beltran, who lost his job last week in the wake of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

      Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters Wednesday the team was finalizing a multiyear deal with Rojas.

      Rojas has been coaching and managing in the Mets organization since 2006. He interviewed for New York's managerial vacancy after the team fired Mickey Callaway in October, but Beltran got the job.

      Before becoming the Mets' quality-control coach for the 2019 season, Rojas managed the Gulf Coast League Mets (2011), the Class-A Savannah Sand Gnats (2012-14), the Class-A St. Lucie Mets (2015-16) and the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies (2017-18).

      Callaway was let go by the Mets after compiling a 163-161 record in two seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mariners GM: Haniger to have core muscle surgery
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, January 23, 2020

    Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger is expected to undergo core muscle surgery that might keep him out through the start of the regular season, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Thursday.

    • Dipoto laid out a timeline that would see Haniger sidelined for six to eight weeks, though the GM conceded that it could be longer. The Mariners' regular season opens March 26, nine weeks from Thursday.

      Haniger got hurt during an offseason workout earlier in the week, with Dipoto noting that the outfielder's latest setback is tied to an injury from last season.

      The team is still gathering information on Haniger's status.

      "It's disappointing," manager Scott Servais said. "I feel bad for Mitch. He was working his tail off. His strength was up, and he was very excited to get back on the field and get it going again. But I know Mitch will do everything he can to get back as soon as he can. We'll know more soon."

      Haniger sat out the final three-plus months of the 2019 season after he was struck by his own foul ball during a game against Houston on June 6. The ball caromed off the ground and hit Haniger in the crotch, rupturing his testicle.

      The 29-year-old California native batted .220 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs in 63 games last year, one season removed from an All-Star campaign in which he hit .285 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Royals to bring back OF Gordon for 14th season
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    The Kansas City Royals declined their 2020 option on Alex Gordon, but it wasn't a goodbye. Instead, the team agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with the veteran outfielder on Wednesday.

    • Gordon, who turns 36 on Feb. 10, seemed destined to return to Kansas City even after his $23 million mutual option for the upcoming season was declined. He will come back for his 14th season, all with the Royals.

      He is a career .258 hitter with 186 home runs and 738 RBIs and will provide a veteran presence for a young Royals roster.

      Gordon is coming off a season in which he hit .266 with 13 home runs and 76 RBIs over 150 games, his most since 2014 when the Royals lost the World Series to the San Francisco Giants. They won it all the following season, topping the New York Mets in the World Series.

      --Field Level Media

  • Twins sign 3B Donaldson to 4-year, $92M deal
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    The Minnesota Twins officially signed third baseman Josh Donaldson to a four-year contract Wednesday worth $92 million guaranteed, with a club option for 2024.

    • Donaldson, 34, will receive $21 million per season from 2020-23, while the $16 million club option for 2024 includes an $8 million buyout.

      Donaldson played 155 games last season with the Atlanta Braves, earning National League Comeback Player of the Year honors after hitting .259 with 33 doubles, 37 home runs, 94 RBIs, 96 runs and 100 walks.

      The 2015 American League Most Valuable Player and three-time All-Star has played in 1,038 games with the Oakland Athletics (2010, 2012-14), Toronto Blue Jays (2015-18), Cleveland Indians (2018) and Braves (2019). He is a career .273 hitter with 219 homers and 645 RBIs.

      Donaldson has played 22 games at Minnesota's Target Field, batting .373 with a .464 on-base percentage, an .819 slugging percentage, 10 homers and 21 RBIs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mets nearing deal to hire Rojas as manager
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    The New York Mets are finalizing a multiyear deal to make quality control coach Luis Rojas their new manager, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters Wednesday.

    • The 38-year-old Rojas replaces Carlos Beltran, who lost his job last week in the wake of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

      Rojas has been coaching and managing in the Mets organization since 2006. He interviewed for New York's managerial vacancy after the team fired Mickey Callaway in October, but Beltran landed the job.

      Before becoming the Mets' quality control coach for the 2019 season, he managed the Gulf Coast League Mets (2011), the Class-A Savannah Sand Gnats (2012-14), the Class-A St. Lucie Mets (2015-16) and the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies (2017-18).

      Rojas is the son of former major league player and manager Felipe Alou and the brother of six-time All-Star Moises Alou.

      Callaway was let go by the Mets after compiling a 163-161 record in two seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Astros, Red Sox to retain World Series titles
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    Major League Baseball doesn't plan to force the Houston Astros or Boston Red Sox to vacate their recent World Series titles, commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday.

    • In an interview with Fox Business Network, Manfred said the sign-stealing scandal that has enveloped the Astros and implicated the Red Sox doesn't change anything.

      "I think the answer from our perspective is to be transparent about what the investigation showed and let our fans make their own decision about what happened," Manfred said.

      He also told the network that MLB will uphold the "long tradition in baseball of not trying to change what happened."

      On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution asking MLB to take away the 2017 (Astros) and 2018 (Red Sox) titles and award them instead to the Dodgers, losers of both series. Manfred said that it is "absolutely unclear that the Dodgers would have been the World Series champion."

      Last week, the Astros were fined $5 million and lost upcoming draft picks after an investigation showed the team used technology to steal opponent's signs in 2017. Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year and subsequently fired.

      The Red Sox, accused of the same thing in the 2018 season, remain under investigation. Manager Alex Cora and the Red Sox also parted ways last week.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB to use 'robot umpires' in spring training
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    The robots are coming -- to spring training.

    • Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced Wednesday that a computerized camera system will be used to call balls and strikes this spring.

      It will be "more accurate than a human being standing there," he said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

      MLB began experimenting with the computerized strike zone last season in the independent Atlantic League and the Arizona Fall League.

      Plate umpires, equipped with earpieces, crouched behind home plate and signaled the ball or strike calls as determined by a camera system.

      Manfred said the so-called "robot umpires" also will be used in some minor leagues this season.

      "We believe over the long haul it's going to be more accurate," Manfred said, per ESPN. "It will reduce controversy in the game and be good for the game."

      Spring training games in the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues get underway in late February.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Hall of Fame adds Jeter, Walker
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

    • Jeter received votes on 396 of the 397 ballots, falling one vote short of matching former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera's unanimous selection in 2019. Jeter, a shortstop, was named on 99.7 percent of the ballots.

      Walker, an outfielder, received 76.6 percent and was elected by six votes over the minimum. The requirement for induction is 75 percent.

      Pitcher Curt Schilling missed election by getting 70 percent of the vote, finishing 20 votes short of election. Pitcher Roger Clemens received 61 percent and outfielder Barry Bonds got 60.7 percent.

      --Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna signed a one-year, $18 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, the team announced.

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Braves will make the two-time All-Star their everyday left fielder. Atlanta had eight players start in left field last season, topped by Austin Riley (58 games) and including regular center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (40 games) and regular right fielder Nick Markakis (nine games).

      Ozuna, 29, spent the past two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals after opening his major league career by playing five seasons for the Miami Marlins. Last year, he hit a career-low .241 with a .328 on-base percentage, a .472 slugging percentage, 29 homers and 89 RBIs in 130 games.

      --The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a resolution that asks commissioner Rob Manfred to strip the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox of their recent World Series titles and instead crown the Dodgers as the champions of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

      The Dodgers lost the 2017 World Series to the Astros, four games to three, and the 2018 series to the Red Sox, four games to one.

      The resolution cited the MLB investigation that showed the Astros used technology to steal signs in 2017 that led to the suspensions -- and subsequent firings -- of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The Astros' bench coach in 2017, Alex Cora, was linked to the scheme in a nine-page report released last week by MLB. Cora was hired to manage the Red Sox and led them to a championship in 2018 before he and the team parted ways last week.

      --Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has taken another step back on his lengthy road to recovery from a knee injury.

      "Dustin has suffered a significant setback while rehabbing his left knee injury. As a result, his status for Spring Training is uncertain," Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg said.

      According to ESPN, Pedroia, 36, is discussing his options with his family, the Red Sox and his representation. He has played just nine games in the past two seasons, sustaining the initial injury in April 2017 against the Baltimore Orioles when Manny Machado slid into him at second base. He played with the injury the remainder of the season and had surgery in October of that year, then returned to play just six games in 2019.

      --Field Level Media

  • LF Ozuna signs with Braves for 1 year, $18M
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna signed a one-year, $18 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, the team announced Tuesday.

    • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Braves will make the two-time All-Star their everyday left fielder. Atlanta had eight players start in left field last season, topped by Austin Riley (58 games) and including regular center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (40 games) and regular right fielder Nick Markakis (nine games).

      Ozuna, 29, spent the past two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals after opening his major league career by playing five seasons for the Miami Marlins.

      Last year, he hit a career-low .241 with a .328 on-base percentage, a .472 slugging percentage, 29 homers and 89 RBIs in 130 games. His best season was 2017, his final year in Miami, when he batted .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs while earning Silver Slugger and Gold Glove honors.

      In 931 career games, Ozuna has a career batting line of .272/.329/.455 with 148 homers and 538 RBIs.

      Ozuna made $12.25 million last season after avoiding arbitration with the Cardinals.

      In addition to Ozuna, Acuna and Markakis, the Braves also have Ender Inciarte, a three-time Gold Glove-award-winning center fielder who missed the final six weeks of the 2019 season due to a hamstring injury.

      --Field Level Media

  • Jeter, Walker elected to Hall of Fame
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

    • Jeter received votes on 396 of the 397 ballots, falling one vote short of joining former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera as a unanimous selection in balloting revealed on MLB Network.

      Jeter, a shortstop, was named on 99.7 percent of the ballots.

      Walker, an outfielder, received 76.6 percent and was elected by six votes over the minimum. The requirement for induction is 75 percent.

      Pitcher Curt Schilling missed election by getting 70 percent of the vote, finishing 20 votes short of election. Pitcher Roger Clemens received 61 percent and outfielder Barry Bonds got 60.7 percent.

      Jeter's 3,465 career hits rank sixth in baseball history. He had a .310 career average and had 260 homers, 1,923 runs, 1,311 RBIs, 544 doubles, 66 triples and 358 steals.

      Walker batted .313 with 383 homers and 1,311 RBIs in 17 seasons with the Montreal Expos (1989-94), Colorado Rockies (1995-2004) and St. Louis Cardinals (2004-05). He won three National League batting titles in a four-season span with the Rockies from 1998-2001.

      Jeter and Walker will be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 26.

      Also to be inducted are former MLB Players Association executive director Marvin Miller and eight-time All-Star catcher Ted Simmons. Those two were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Modern Baseball Era committee last month.

      There wasn't much suspense per whether Jeter would earn induction in his first year of eligibility. However, he said he was nervous when it was time for the call to come from BBWAA secretary/treasurer Jack O'Connell.

      "When you start off your career, you're never thinking about the Hall of Fame," Jeter told MLB Network. "I mean, this is the highest honor that can be given to any individual that plays this game. I was speechless."

      Jeter, the long-time captain of the Yankees, was a 14-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner in a career that ran from 1995-2014. The 1996 American League Rookie of the Year played on five World Series-winning title teams and was named World Series MVP in 2000 when the Yankees beat the crosstown New York Mets in five games.

      Jeter's flair for the dramatic was still evident in his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 25, 2014, when he sent a walk-off, opposite-field single to right field to give the Yankees a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

      Jeter also reflected back to when he began playing minor league baseball in the Yankees' organization in 1992. It didn't go well, and he batted a collective .210 in 58 games at two stops. The next season, he made 56 errors in 126 games.

      "I was homesick, I was completely overmatched," Jeter said. "There were a lot of phone calls back home every night thinking that I made a mistake signing professionally, but just having that support and people I could lean on (helped). ...

      "I was blessed to play a long career and play on some great teams and have a lot of support."

      Jeter is currently the chief executive officer of the Miami Marlins.

      Earlier Tuesday, Walker sent out a tweet expressing he didn't think he was going to get elected.

      "I didn't think it was happening and I truly meant that," Walker said on MLB Network. "I had the numbers in my head, and I was prepared for no call, and then the opposite happens, and that call comes and suddenly you can't breathe."

      Walker is the second Canadian player named to the Hall of Famer. Pitcher Ferguson Jenkins was the first in 1991.

      "Being Canadian, you are born into this world with a stick in your hand and skates on your feet," Walker said. "That's how it was as a kid. You played hockey. ... I literally had to learn everything in the minor leagues. I didn't have high school baseball."

      Walker was a quick learner and developed into a five-time All-Star. Walker won NL MVP honors with Colorado in 1997, when he batted .366 with a career-high 49 homers to go with 130 RBIs and a career-best 33 steals.

      Some people feel Walker's stats are inflated due to playing so long in hitter-friendly Coors Field. He had a .381 batting average in 2,136 at-bats at the Mile High-ballpark.

      Walker said he has heard all the theories, good and bad. And he is OK with the debate but knows it has been put aside for good as of Tuesday.

      "I get the arguments, I've heard them all," Walker said. "Like I say, 76.6 percent of the voters didn't think that way, so I'm as grateful as can be."

      Schilling will be on the ballot for up to two more years and figures to have a strong chance to get in next season.

      There are observers who say Schilling has hurt his candidacy with controversial comments over the past few years, often made from his Twitter account, but his credentials sparkle.

      Schilling was a six-time All-Star who went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA, 3,116 strikeouts, 83 complete games and 20 shutouts in 20 seasons from 1988-2007 with the Baltimore Orioles (1988-90), Houston Astros (1991), Philadelphia Phillies (1992-2000), Arizona Diamondbacks (2000-03) and Boston Red Sox (2004-07). He walked just 711 batters in 3,261 innings.

      He was twice runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award (2001-02) and also finished second for the AL Cy Young Award in 2004. Schilling won more than 20 games in each of those three seasons, including a career-best 23 for the Diamondbacks in 2002.

      Schilling was a big-game pitcher in the postseason, going 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and two shutouts in 19 starts. He was World Series co-MVP with Randy Johnson in 2001 when Arizona defeated the Yankees in seven games.

      The candidacies of both Clemens and Bonds have been controversial due to suspicions they used illegal performance-enhancing drugs during their careers.

      Bonds is the sport's all-time leader with 762 homers and won a record seven NL MVP awards over his 22 seasons (1986-2007). He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-92) and San Francisco Giants (1993-2007).

      Clemens owns a record seven-time Cy Young Awards and went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA, 4,672 strikeouts and 46 shutouts during 24 seasons from 1984-2007. He pitched for the Red Sox (1984-96), Toronto Blue Jays (1997-1998), Yankees (1999-2003, 2007) and Astros (2004-06).

      Shortstop Omar Vizquel received 52.6 percent of the votes on this third year on the ballot. The defensive mastermind won 11 Gold Glove Awards and had 2,877 career hits over 24 big league seasons, 11 of them with the Cleveland Indians.

      Miller was chief of the players association from 1966-82 during a stretch in which there were two strikes (1972 and 1981). He helped usher in the free agency era as baseball's long-standing reserve clause that bound players to one team was struck down and salaries began to soar. He died in November 2012 at age 95.

      Simmons, a switch hitter who played in parts of 21 seasons starting in 1968, finished with a batting average of .285 with 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 homers and 1,389 RBIs. He spent 13 seasons with the Cardinals, five with the Milwaukee Brewers and three with the Atlanta Braves.

      --Field Level Media

  • L.A. council asks MLB to name Dodgers the 2017, '18 champs
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday that asks commissioner Rob Manfred to strip the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox of their recent World Series titles and instead crown the Dodgers as the champions of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

    • The Dodgers lost the 2017 World Series to the Astros, four games to three, and the 2018 series to the Red Sox, four games to one.

      The resolution cited the MLB investigation that showed the Astros used technology to steal signs in 2017 that led to the suspensions -- and subsequent firings -- of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The team also was fined $5 million and lost future draft picks.

      The Astros' bench coach in 2017, Alex Cora, was linked to the scheme in a nine-page report released last week by MLB. He was hired to manage the Red Sox and led them to a world championship in 2018, before he and the team parted ways last week. An investigation into allegations the Red Sox cheated in 2018 is continuing.

      "This isn't being done for publicity," said Councilman Paul Koretz, co-sponsor of the resolution, per the Los Angeles Times. "This is being done in outrage for how our team was cheated."

      He continued: "We have to send a message. If we don't stand up for baseball, then the tradition of the national pastime may become flawed."

      Co-sponsor Gil Cedillo said even if the World Series trophies don't move to Dodger Stadium, both the Astros and Red Sox should be stripped of their championships.

      "This crisis goes beyond the sport and the game," Cedillo said, according to the Times. "It goes to the very core of being American. This could send an important message to little boys and girls that you need to play hard by the rules, or you can learn that cheating is the new normal.

      "We want it to be clear that this city spoke up for its team."

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox 2B Pedroia suffers setback with ailing knee
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has taken another step back on his lengthy road to recovery from a knee injury.

    • "Dustin has suffered a significant setback while rehabbing his left knee injury. As a result, his status for Spring Training is uncertain," Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg said on Tuesday.

      Per ESPN, Pedroia is discussing his options with his family, the Red Sox and his representation.

      Pedroia, 36, has played just nine games in the past two seasons. He sustained the initial injury in April 2017 against the Baltimore Orioles when Manny Machado slid into him at second base. He played with the injury the remainder of the season and had surgery in October of that year.

      A four-time All-Star and 2008 American League MVP, Pedroia last played for Boston on April 17 against the New York Yankees. He said he felt a pop in his knee during that game.

      Pedroia underwent a joint preservation procedure in August but recently began to feel discomfort from a significant amount of inflammation.

      Pedroia, who is a two-time World Series champion, is a .299 career hitter with 394 doubles, 140 home runs and 725 RBIs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Arenado feeling 'disrespected' by Rockies
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 20, 2020

    Colorado Rockies All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado bristled at the team's front office Monday, saying publicly that he feels "disrespected" by the organization.

    • "There's a lot of disrespect from people there that I don't want to be a part of," Arenado said in a text to MLB.com, according to the website.

      Further, Arenado told the Denver Post, "I don't care what's being said. I just know that I feel disrespected over there."

      The comments were Arenado's first since it came out that the Rockies were listening to offers for him. Earlier Monday, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich tried to quell trade rumors surrounding the five-time All-Star.

      "We have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it," Bridich told the Post. "We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected -- with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman. So we can put this to bed and collectively look forward to the upcoming season and work toward that."

      Arenado wouldn't elaborate to either the Post or MLB.com about specifics of why he feels slighted.

      Arenado, 28, is entering the second of an eight-year, $260 million deal that includes a full no-trade clause.

      The Rockies finished last season 71-91 despite another monster year from Arenado, who hit .315 with 41 home runs and 118 RBIs. Over the past five seasons, Arenado has batted .300 with averages of 39.8 homers and 124.2 RBIs.

      Arenado has won a Gold Glove in each of his first seven major league seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • 'King Felix' agrees to minor league deal with Braves
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 20, 2020

    Former Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez has agreed to a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves, multiple outlets reported Monday.

    • Hernandez would receive a one-year, $1 million deal if added to Atlanta's 40-man roster, according to mlb.com. He will receive an invitation to training camp and compete for the fifth spot in the Braves' rotation.

      Hernandez, who turns 34 in April, spent the past 15 seasons with the Seattle Mariners. His seven-year, $175 million contract expired after the 2019 season and Seattle wasn't interested in retaining him after he went 1-8 with a 6.40 ERA in 15 starts last season.

      Hernandez, a six-time All-Star, won the American League Cy Young in 2010. Known as "King Felix," he was one of the best hurlers in the majors from 2009-15 before enduring a major decline.

      The last two seasons were particularly bad. He went 8-14 with a 5.55 ERA in 29 appearances in 2018, briefly being demoted from the rotation for the lone relief appearance of his career before an injury to another Seattle pitcher moved him back into a starting role.

      Last season, Hernandez served up 17 homers in just 71 2/3 innings.

      Overall, Hernandez was 169-136 with a 3.42 ERA, 11 shutouts and 2,524 strikeouts in 419 appearances (418 starts) for Seattle. He pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012.

      --Field Level Media

  • Piniella to return to Cubs as guest analyst
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 19, 2020

    Nearly 10 years after he walked away from his manager position with the Chicago Cubs, Lou Piniella will return as part of a team of analysts for the club's new Marquee Sports Network.

    • The news was met with cheers at the team's annual fan convention this weekend.

      Piniella stepped down as manager in August 2010 saying he needed to be present for his ailing 90-year-old mother. The team was 51-74 at the time and in fifth place. He managed the Cubs for four seasons, going 316-293 and taking them to the playoffs his first two years.

      The 76-year old is expected to join the new network for somewhere around 15-16 games. Also brought aboard as analysts were Mark DeRosa, Rick Sutcliffe, Ryan Dempster, Dan Plesac and Carlos Pena.

      "I always felt bad I had to leave before the season was over," Piniella told the Chicago Tribune. "I can get that off my mind now. It was important that I came home. I spent valuable time with my mom. You hate to end your career not finishing a season, but to me, it was something that had to be done. Family is always important. But I look forward to this, working with my buddies."

      Piniella spent 18 seasons as a player with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. He batted. 291 with 102 home runs and 766 RBIs.

      He also managed 23 seasons for the Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Cubs, compiling a 1,835-1,713 record. His teams made the postseason seven times, with the Reds winning the 1990 World Series.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Cardinals to bring back C Wieters
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 19, 2020

    Catcher Matt Wieters agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract to return to the St. Louis Cardinals, MLB Network reported Sunday.

    • The deal, which includes another $1 million in incentives, is progress after Wieters agreed to a minor-league deal last season and had to make the team out of spring training. The 33-year-old batted .214 with 11 home runs and 27 RBIs in 67 games last season.

      The switch-hitter will once again be a part of one of the more veteran catching staffs in the game, with Wieters expected to back up 37-year-old Yadier Molina.

      Wieters, a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, is a career .250 hitter over 11 seasons. He has 146 home runs with 546 RBIs for the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and Cardinals.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Bregman denies wearing 'stupid' devices to steal signs
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 18, 2020

    In the wake of Major League Baseball's sign-stealing scandal that has cost three managers their jobs and the Houston Astros a hefty fine and bevy of draft picks, third baseman Alex Bregman denied that he or his teammates wore any devices to help them detect which pitches were coming.

    • Speaking at the team's FanFest on Saturday in his first public comments since MLB came down hard on the Astros in a ground-breaking punishment earlier this week, the two-time All-Star Bregman was understated and spoke in general terms in acknowledging the controversy -- although he emphatically denied wearing any buzzer as had been rumored on social media in recent days.

      "The commissioner came out with a report, MLB did their report and the Astros did what they did," Bregman said to reporters, also saying allegations of wearing a pitch-detecting buzzer were "stupid."

      "They made their decision on what they're going to do."

      What commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Monday has been the talk of the sport since.

      The league suspended manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one year, fined the Astros $5 million and took away the team's first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. Astros owner Jim Crane promptly fired Hinch and Luhnow the same day, with the stench and connection back to the original 2017 sign-stealing scheme also costing Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran their managerial jobs with Boston and the New York Mets, respectively.

      Cora was implicated as the ringleader of the scheme, which involved cameras being focused on the opposing catcher's pitch signs, while he was a bench coach in Houston. After the Astros won the World Series in 2017, Cora skippered the Red Sox to the 2018 Series title in his first season as manager there. Boston and Cora agreed to part ways on Tuesday, one day after Manfred's ruling.

      Beltran, who had just been hired to manage the Mets in November, was also named in the MLB ruling as the only specific player mentioned who helped carry out the system of cheating. He and the Mets mutually parted ways before he ever managed a game.

      As rumors picked up on social media about Astros players possibly wearing buzzers beneath their jerseys -- even during the 2019 season and playoffs, All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve released a statement through his agent, Scott Boras, that vehemently denied ever doing so.

      "Jose Altuve called me and said he wants it known that he has never, ever worn an electronic device in a major league game -- ever," Boras told Sports Illustrated. "He never received any form -- of a trigger or any information -- via an electronic product that was on his body or in his uniform. He has never worn any electronic device. Ever."

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Astros to interview Baker on Monday
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 18, 2020

    The Houston Astros plan to interview veteran manager Dusty Baker on Monday, MLB.com reported on Saturday.

    • Baker, 70, last managed the Washington Nationals in 2017.

      The Astros are looking for a manager after firing A.J. Hinch earlier this week in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal.

      Houston has reportedly interviewed former big league managers John Gibbons and Buck Showalter and Chicago Cubs third-base coach Will Venable for the post.

      Baker compiled a 1,863-1,636-1 record in 22 seasons. He guided the San Francisco Giants to the National League pennant in 2002 before they lost to the Anaheim Angels in the World Series.

      Baker has produced 10 90-win campaigns during his tenures with the Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Nationals.

      The Boston Red Sox and New York Mets are also looking for managers due to the scandal. Boston parted ways with Alex Cora and New York did the same with Carlos Beltran.

      --Field Level Media

  • Royals ex-owner Glass dies at 84
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 17, 2020

    Former Kansas City Royals owner David Glass died last week at the age of 84, the team confirmed Friday.

    • Glass, who bought the Royals for $96 million in April 2000, died on Jan. 9 from complications of pneumonia, according to his family.

      In a statement released on Twitter, new owner John Sherman, a local businessman who bought the team from the Glass family in November, said, "Like so many Kansas Citians, I am deeply saddened by the news of David's passing. His voice among other owners was so respected; he served on and led several Major League Baseball committees to better our game. His passion for baseball and love for Kansas City was the driving force in bringing success on the field for this franchise."

      Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in the statement: "Mr. Glass loved this game, this team, and our city with all his heart. He cared deeply for our fans and for the future of baseball. But above all, Mr. Glass placed an emphasis on putting family first which is what he stressed to our entire organization. We are forever grateful for his humble and supportive leadership, and we are beyond blessed that we were a part of his incredible life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his very special family."

      Under the ownership of Glass, who was the president and CEO of Wal-Mart from 1988-2000, the Royals reached the World Series in 2014 and 2015. After losing a seven-game series to the San Francisco Giants in 2014, they became world champions the following year by defeating the New York Mets in five games.

      Before becoming owner of the Royals, Glass served the previous 6 1/2 years as CEO and chairman of the team following the death of founding owner Ewing Kauffman, for whom the Royals' home stadium is still named.

      In November, Glass sold the Royals to Sherman, a former part-owner and chairman of the Cleveland Indians, and his group for close to $1 billion.

      "On behalf of Major League Baseball, I thank David Glass for his successful stewardship of the Royals' franchise dating back to 1993, including 20 years as owner," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement after the sale was approved. " The Glass family's passion for the Royals culminated in Kansas City's 2015 World Championship, demonstrating its strength as a baseball town."

      Glass was affiliated with a number of MLB organizations, including as a member of the MLB Executive Council and the National Baseball Hall of Fame Board of Directors in Cooperstown.

      Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt also issued a statement Friday that read:

      "David was an incredibly kind man with a huge heart for Kansas City sports. He was a supportive partner and a gracious host who welcomed us to Kauffman Stadium many times over the years. I will always remember his poignant and thoughtful invitation to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day the season following my father's passing in 2006. Our family and the entire Kansas City Chiefs organization would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the Glass family and the Kansas City Royals."

      A memorial service will be held on Jan. 27 at Northwest Arkansas Fellowship Bible Church in Rogers, Ark., according to the Glass family.

      --Field Level Media