Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • Astros acquire former All-Star Diaz
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, November 17, 2018

    The Houston Astros have acquired former All-Star Aledmys Diaz from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Astros announced Saturday.

    • In exchange, the Astros are sending Triple-A pitcher Trent Thornton to the Blue Jays.

      Diaz, 28, was an All-Star in 2016, his rookie season, when he hit .300 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs in 111 games for the St. Louis Cardinals.

      Last December, the Cardinals traded him to Toronto, where he batted .263 with 18 homers and 55 RBIs.

      Diaz could be looked at as insurance should utility man Marwin Gonzalez leave in free agency. Carlos Correa (shortstop), Jose Altuve (second base) and Alex Bregman (third base) are entrenched in their spots, and Diaz could back them up.

      Thornton, 25, was 9-8 with a 4.42 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 124 1/3 innings in Triple-A last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Yankees looking to deal Gray
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, November 17, 2018

    Sonny Gray appears to be on his way out of New York as the Yankees weigh offers from multiple teams for the righthander, according to reports.

    • The Cincinnati Reds and Oakland A's, who both need starting pitching, were among as many as 11 teams said to be interested in acquiring Gray.

      Gray, who turned 29 earlier this month, began his career with the A's after they took him 18th overall in the 2011 draft.

      He was a dependable starter in Oakland, posting a 44-36 record with a 3.42 ERA over parts of five seasons before being traded to the Yankees in 2017.

      Gray finished that season with a 4-7 record and 3.72 ERA, but struggled to a 4.90 ERA last season despite posting a winning record (11-9).

      The Yankees also need pitching, but are said to be targeting other options to shore up the rotation.

      --Field Level Media

  • Angels ink Bourjos to minor league deal
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, November 17, 2018

    Outfielder Peter Bourjos will attempt to resume his career back where it began.

    • Bourjos agreed to a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels, according to the Orange County Register.

      Bourjos, 31, was put on waivers by the Atlanta Braves in late April last season to make room for highly touted outfield prospect Ronald Acuna Jr..

      He retyurned to play 18 more games between May 31 and June 27, but didn't play after that. He finished the season with nine hits in 44 at-bats and one home run.

      The Braves had signed Bourjos to a $1 million, one-year contract on March 25 after being cut by the Chicago Cubs toward the end of spring training.

      Bourjos was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round in 2005 and cracked the major league lineup in 2010. He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013.

      --Field Level Media

  • Dodgers' Jansen to have heart surgery Nov. 26
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, November 17, 2018

    Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has twice dealt with an irregular heartbeat, will have surgery on Nov. 26 to correct the problem, several media outlets are reporting.

    • Jansen could need from a few weeks to a few months to recover, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Dodgers are expecting their three-time All-Star to be ready for spring training.

      Jansen learned in August, when his irregular heartbeat developed for the second time in seven season, that he would need the procedure, similar to what he underwent in 2012.

      In both cases, the issue arose while Jansen and the Dodgers were in Colorado.

      Last season, amid experiencing an accelerating heartbeat that he worried would not slow down, Jansen called 911, and doctors used an electrical shock to restore his heart's rhythm.

      The medical issue interrupted what had been a terrific season for Jansen, who has spent his entire nine-year career with the Dodgers. Before he went on the disabled list, he sported an ERA of 2.15 in 51 games.

      After his return, when he was on medications, including blood-thinners, his ERA shot up to 5.71 in 18 games to close out the regular season. He allowed seven home runs in 17 1/3 innings.

      Amid his struggles, he said he gave up some of his medication, saying he had his doctor's approval. Jansen said the therapy sometimes made him feel like he was "sleepwalking" while on the mound.

      --Field Level Media

  • World Series hero Pearce re-signs with Red Sox
    By Field Level Media / Friday, November 16, 2018

    World Series MVP Steve Pearce is returning to the Boston Red Sox after signing a one-year contract, the team announced Friday.

    • The deal is worth $6.25 million, according to multiple reports.

      "We're thrilled to have Steve back with us for another year as we think he's a great fit for our club," Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. "Obviously, we all saw what kind of impact he can have on the field, especially with the postseason that he had. He also provides good depth and balance from the right side for us."

      Pearce batted .284 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs in 215 at-bats with the Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays last season.

      Pearce, who plays first base and the outfield, was acquired by Boston on June 28 and emerged as a big contributor in the postseason. He had four homers and 11 RBIs in 38 at-bats in the playoffs.

      Pearce batted smacked three homers and eight RBIs in the World Series as Boston won the crown in five games over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit one homer in Game 4 and two in the decisive Game 5.

      The 35-year-old Pearce has a .257 career average with 90 homers and 294 RBIs in 737 games over 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2007-11), Baltimore Orioles (2012, 2013-15, 2016), Houston Astros (2012), New York Yankees (2012), Tampa Bay Rays (2016), Toronto (2017-18) and Boston.

      --Field Level Media

  • Orioles choose Astros executive Elias as GM
    By Field Level Media / Friday, November 16, 2018

    The Baltimore Orioles have named 35-year-old Mike Elias as the team's executive vice president and general manager.

    • He will replace Dan Duquette, whose contract was not renewed when it expired last month. Manager Buck Showalter also was fired in October, and finding his replacement will be one of the first duties for Elias.

      The team said Elias will "oversee all baseball operations for the club and have full autonomy to build his staff and make decisions on all baseball matters."

      Elias will be tasked with rebuilding the Orioles, who finished last season with a 47-115 record for their worst mark since moving to Baltimore following the 1953 season. Their attendance dwindled by almost 25 percent from just over 2 million in 2017 to 1.56 million in 2018, good for 26th in the league.

      The Orioles will have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft.

      Elias comes from the Houston Astros, the team he joined in late 2011. He largely drove scouting efforts and is credited with Houston's selection of Carlos Correa wih the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft and the success of subsequent drafts. Houston won the World Series in 2017.

      He was promoted to assistant manager in 2016.

      Before joining the Astros, he spent five years with the St. Louis Cardinals.

      Elias is a native of Northern Virginia. He is a graduate of Yale and pitched on its baseball team for four years.

      --Field Level Media

  • Yelich wins first career NL MVP
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, November 15, 2018

    Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich was selected the National League's Most Valuable Player on Thursday, the first such honor of the outfielder's career.

    • Yelich earned 29 of 30 first-place votes and 415 total points in winning over Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. He became the fourth player in Brewers history to win an MVP.

      "It's unbelievable," Yelich said. "It's really hard to put into words right now. You never dream of winning an award like this."

      The only first-place vote Yelich didn't get went to New York Mets Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.

      In his debut season with the team, Yelich led the Brewers to a 96-win season and a spot in the NL playoffs for the first time since 2011.

      Yelich hit .326 in his first season with the Brewers, becoming the first player in franchise history to win the NL batting title.

      The 26-year-old belted 36 home runs and drove in 110 runs, totals that put him in contention for the Triple Crown. Yelich finished tied for third in home runs and tied for second in RBIs.

      Yelich's .770 slugging percentage after the All-Star break rated as baseball's best in 14 years, according to MLB.com. Yelich also hit .367 with 25 home runs and 67 RBIs in his final 65 games of the regular season.

      Yelich posted career highs in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, on-base-plus-slugging percentage, home runs, runs, RBIs and stolen bases. Further, he hit for the cycle twice late in the season.

      Yelich led the Brewers to the NL Championship Series, where they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

      Rollie Fingers, Robin Yount and Ryan Braun were the first three MVP winners in Brewers history, with Yount winning twice. Fingers and Yount won their MVP awards while the Brewers were in the American League, Braun won his after Milwaukee moved to the NL.

      The Brewers acquired Yelich in a trade with the Miami Marlins in January.

      The only voter who didn't put Yelich first on his ballot placed him second.

      Baez got 19 second-place votes and wound up with 250 voting points. Arenado received three second-place votes and had 203 points. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman came in fourth with 174 points despite getting no second-place votes. DeGrom got seven second-place votes and took fifth place with 141 points.

      Baez, 25, led the league with 111 RBIs and hit .290 with 34 homers.

      Arenado, 27, topped the NL with 38 homers. He batted .297 with 110 RBIs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mookie Betts crowned AL MVP winner
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, November 15, 2018

    Mookie Betts added an American League Most Valuable Player trophy to his World Series championship on Thursday.

    • The Boston Red Sox right fielder was a runaway MVP winner in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, beating runner-up Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and third-place finisher Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians.

      Betts garnered 28 of the 30 first-place votes, with the others going to Trout and to fourth-place finisher J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox.

      Betts, who was listed second on the two ballots in which he wasn't listed first, wound up with 410 points in the voting. Trout, who got 24 second-place votes, had 265 points. Ramirez, who got one second-place vote, 10 third-place votes and 11 third-place votes, had 208 points.

      Betts, 26, led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout's .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, hitting 32 home runs and stealing 30 bases.

      "It means a lot," Betts said on MLB Network of winning his first MVP honor. "Definitely a special award. Something I'll cherish. The most important thing is we won a World Series and got to bring a trophy back to Boston."

      He spoke while holding his 9-day-old daughter, Kinley, who slept through the cheering that went up when Betts' name was announced as the winner. The baby's birth came days after the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to win the World Series.

      "It's been a pretty good 2018," he said. "I'll enjoy these moments while I can. In 2019, hopefully we can make it better."

      Betts is the first Red Sox MVP winner since Dustin Pedroia in 2008. The list of Red Sox MVPs also includes Mo Vaughn (1995), Roger Clemens (1986), Jim Rice (1978), Fred Lynn (1975), Carl Yastrzemski (1967), Jackie Jensen (1958), Ted Williams (1946, '49), Jimmie Foxx (1938) and Tris Speaker (1912).

      Trout, the 2014 and '16 AL MVP, wound up in second place for a record-tying fourth time. The other four-time runners-up were Stan Musial (a three-time MVP), Williams (a two-time MVP) and Albert Pujols (a three-time MVP).

      A right fielder won AL MVP for the 11th time, but for the first time since Vladimir Guerrero was honored in 2004.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB Commissionar Manfred gets 5-year contract extension
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, November 15, 2018

    Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred received a five-year contract extension that will run through the 2024 regular season, the league announced Thursday.

    • Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt, who chairs the league's finance committee, made the announcement at the conclusion of the Owners Meetings in Atlanta. Manfred needed 16 votes from the 30 MLB owners, though they voted to unanimously approve the extension.

      Manfred, 60, was elected commissioner in August 2014, taking over from Bud Selig in January 2015. He had previously served as the league's chief operating officer beginning in 2013.

      Under his tenure as commissioner, MLB adopted a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association through 2021, and also began the league's youth participation program, PLAY BALL, a partnership with USA Baseball and USA Softball.

      Manfred has set several goals for his term, including increased youth participation, international growth, better pace of play, the infusion of technology into the game, increased marketing for young stars and furthering diversity in the game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Snell, deGrom win Cy Young awards
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell and New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom were named the winners of the Cy Young Award in the American and National League, respectively, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced on Wednesday.

    • Snell led the majors with 21 victories, while deGrom lead the majors with a 1.70 ERA despite a 10-9 record.

      The 25-year-old Snell received 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to edge Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (13, 154). Cleveland Indians right-hander Corey Kluber (4, 71) was third and Boston left-hander Chris Sale (2, 59) was fourth.

      "This means a whole lot," Snell said. "It's something I wanted to achieve this year. I had this goal in mind. I put in the work, and it means a whole lot to me."

      He added: "Knowing I won it against two of the greats -- Kluber and Verlander -- it's amazing."

      The 30-year-old deGrom was a landslide winner by receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes and totaling 207 points. Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer (123) received the other first-place vote while finishing second, and Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola (86) was a distant third.

      "This was one of my goals," deGrom said. "The team didn't end up where we wanted to be this past season, but you kind of set personal goals, and I think being able to accomplish something that has been a dream of yours is just something special. To be a Cy Young Award winner, you're in great company, and it truly is an honor."

      DeGrom's win total is the lowest for a Cy Young winner. The Los Angeles Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela (13-7 in strike-shortened 1981) and the Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez (13-12 in 2010) shared the previous low victory total.

      DeGrom's ERA is the sixth-lowest by a Cy Young winner, regardless of league. His selection marks the sixth time a Mets pitcher has won the award, adding to the awards won by Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, 1975), Dwight Gooden (1985) and R.A. Dickey (2012).

      DeGrom struck out 269 (second in the NL) in 217 innings, both career bests.

      Snell led the AL with a 1.89 ERA while going 21-5 with 221 strikeouts in 31 starts. He also held batters to a league-low .178 average and limited opponents to a .088 average (10-for-114) with runners in scoring position -- the latter being the lowest by an AL pitcher since the league began using a designated hitter in 1973.

      Snell joins David Price (2012) as the only Rays to win the Cy Young.

      Verlander, who won the Cy Young in 2011, finished second for the third time and was part of the top five for the seventh time. He went 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA and an AL-leading 290 strikeout in 34 starts.

      Scherzer led the majors with a career-high 300 strikeouts. The three-time Cy Young winner went 18-7 with a 2.53 ERA in 33 starts.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox, Cora agree to contract extension
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    The Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora have agreed to terms on a contract that includes an extension that will run through 2021 with a club option for 2022, the team announced Wednesday.

    • In Cora's first season at the helm, the Red Sox finished the regular season with a franchise-best 108-54 (.667) record and won the World Series, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games.

      "We have consistently been impressed by Alex at every turn," Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said in a team statement. "His knowledge of the game, ability to connect with our players, and his incredible instincts and decisiveness led us to an historic championship season. We know we are in good hands, and could not be more pleased to know he will be with us for the foreseeable future."

      President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski agreed.

      "Alex did a tremendous job for our club all year long and we wanted to reward him for his efforts after an amazing season," Dombrowski said. "We are extremely happy that he will be with us and leading our club on the field."

      Financial terms of the contract were not announced for Cora, who finished second in American League Manger of the Year balloting behind Oakland's Bob Melvin.

      Under the 43-year-old Cora, Boston surpassed the franchise's previous single-season wins mark of 105, which was set in 1912. The Red Sox finished eight games ahead of the Yankees in the American League East on the way to their ninth World Series title, including their fourth since 2004.

      "For me, 2018 was not only historic, but it was special as well, both on and off the field," Cora said. "We have a great appreciation for our accomplishments this past year, but now our focus moves forward to the season ahead and defending our World Series title."

      The Red Sox hired Cora on Oct. 22, 2017, replacing John Farrell.

      Cora was an infielder on the Red Sox's 2007 championship team and joined Jake Stahl (1912) as the only two people in franchise history to win a World Series as both a player and manager.

      According to USA Today, Cora was among the lowest-paid managers in 2018, earning $800,000.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pirates acquire INF Gonzalez from Indians
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired infielder Erik Gonzalez and two minor league pitchers from the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff, both teams announced on Wednesday.

    • Gonzalez batted .265 with one homer and 16 RBIs in 81 games for the Indians last season. The versatile 27-year-old played 30 games as second base, 20 at third and 16 at shortstop.

      "Erik Gonzalez is an athletic middle infielder who plays solid defense and has the potential to be a productive hitter at the major league level," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. "He gives us another quality option to play shortstop or in the middle of our infield this year and into the future."

      Pittsburgh also received right-handers Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza in the deal. The 19-year-old Thomas is a converted infielder, while Mendoza, who turns 20 next month, was a 12th-round pick in the 2017 draft.

      Luplow batted .185 with three homers and seven RBIs in 37 games for Pittsburgh last season. The 25-year-old has a .194 career mark in 170 at-bats over parts of two seasons.

      Moroff, 25, hit .186 with three homers and nine RBIs in 26 games for the Pirates in 2018. He has a .193 career average in 181 at-bats over parts of three campaigns.

      --Field Level Media

  • A's Melvin, Braves' Snitker named top managers
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics and Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves were winners of the Manager of the Year awards in the American League and National League, respectively, announced on Tuesday.

    • Melvin, a three-time winner of the award (2007 with Arizona, 2012 with Oakland), led the A's to the fourth-best record in the major leagues (97-65) and a postseason berth in 2018. With 18 of 30 first-place votes, he beat out Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox (seven) and Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays (five) for this year's honor.

      Since the award's inception in 1983, only eight managers have earned the honor three or more times, including Dusty Baker, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Joe Maddon, Lou Piniella and Buck Showalter.

      Snitker, who led the Braves to the playoffs this season for the first time since 2013, received 17 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, six more than Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell. The Rockies' Bud Black and Cubs' Joe Maddon each received one vote.

      The Braves went 90-72, their first winning record since 2013, and won the NL East in Snitker's second full year at the helm. Snitker, who has been a part of the organization in a variety of roles dating back to 1977, is 221-227 through two-plus seasons as manager after taking over for Fredi Gonzalez midway early in 2016.

      Snitker joins Hall of Famer Cox as the only Braves manager ever to win the award.

      Snitker twice won Manager of the Year awards during 20 years managing for the Braves in the minor leagues.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB investigating discrimination claims against Mariners
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    Major League Baseball announced Tuesday it will investigate claims of racial discrimination against the Seattle Mariners that were made on Monday by a former employee.

    • "MLB is aware of the allegations made by a former employee of the Seattle Mariners regarding the conduct of Club employees," the league said in a statement to The Athletic. "Consistent with our policies, we are investigating the allegations."

      Lorena Martin, the team's former director of high performance, accused the organization of discrimination and derogatory remarks in an Instagram post Monday. She singled out general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and director of player development Andy McKay, saying the trio called Latin American players "LAZY, DUMB, and STUPID, especially the DOMINICANS."

      Martin also accused the team of "firing innocent trainers for trying to do the right thing and because of their color/race."

      The Mariners quickly replied to the post with a statement denying the accusations, revealing Martin was relieved of her duties with the team on Oct. 10. It did not give a reason for her dismissal.

      "While it is our policy to not comment on personnel issues, we do feel it is important to respond to the outrageous, false claims made by [Martin] today on social media," the team's statement reads. "And to note that Martin did not make any of these false allegations until after she was relieved of her duties.

      "The Mariners categorically deny that any member of our management or coaching staff made racist remarks regarding any of our players or staff. Additionally, we have not terminated [or threatened to terminate] any trainers during the off-season."

      Martin responded to the team's statement by saying she "had reported many other discriminatory incidences to HR and other Mariners staff members throughout the season."

      Martin was hired on Oct. 30, 2017. She was responsible for "coordinating all aspects of the Mariners physical and mental training approach of players and staff, including oversight of the entire organization's medical, strength and conditioning, nutrition and mental skills departments."

      Prior to joining the Mariners, Martin was director of sports performance analytics for the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.

      --Field Level Media

  • Phillies manager Kapler loses Malibu home in wildfire
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    After losing his Malibu home in the California wildfires, Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said he wants to raise awareness for those who are less fortunate.

    • "Keep talking about it," Kapler told The Athletic on Monday. "When you're out in your community, talk about it with other people. Use it as a way to come together. I sent this text message back to people: Talk about it. Shine light on it. Raise awareness. Feel it.

      "That's my main point for other people. We're good. Our family is good. There are a lot of other families who are not."

      Kapler, who was in Philadelphia over the weekend, said his ex-wife, Lisa, and two sons safely evacuated before the Woolsey Fire had crossed the 101 Freeway and entered his neighborhood. The home was totally destroyed, with only a charred staircase left behind.

      "It's crazy to me," Kapler said. "All of it."

      Kapler appealed for donations on social media.

      "Many have lost everything in these fires, and even basic needs are going to be hard to meet," he tweeted.

      As of early Tuesday, the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire have killed more than 40 people, scorched more than 200,000 acres and destroyed more than 7,000 structures.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox RHP Wright undergoes knee surgery
    By Field Level Media / Monday, November 12, 2018

    Boston Red Sox right-hander Steven Wright underwent left knee surgery Monday, the team announced.

    • Wright had an arthroscopy and debridement at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He is expected to return to pitching in the 2019 season, though a specific timeframe was not announced.

      Wright, a knuckleballer, underwent an invasive surgery that included a cartilage restoration procedure on the same knee in May 2017. He began the 2018 season on the disabled list and returned for two other stints on the DL later in the year with left knee inflammation, including one during the first round of the postseason that left him sidelined for the remainder of the Red Sox's World Series run.

      The 34-year-old was 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 games (four starts) for Boston last season. He was an All-Star in 2016, going 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Mariners employee accuses team of discrimination
    By Field Level Media / Monday, November 12, 2018

    A former Seattle Mariners employee has leveled accusations of discrimination and derogatory remarks against the team in an Instagram post Monday night.

    • Lorena Martin, the team's former director of high performance, singled out general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and director of player development Andy McKay in her post, saying the trio called Latin American players "LAZY, DUMB, and STUPID, especially the DOMINICANS."

      "The Mariners organization has major issues," Martin began in her post. "The things I've witnessed and heard first hand have left me shocked."

      Martin also accused the team of "firing innocent trainers for trying to do the right thing and because of their color/race."

      The Mariners quickly replied to the post with a statement denying the accusations, revealing Martin was relieved of her duties with the team on Oct. 10.

      "While it is our policy to not comment on personnel issues, we do feel it is important to respond to the outrageous, false claims made by [Martin] today on social media," the team's statement reads. "And to note that Martin did not make any of these false allegations until after she was relieved of her duties.

      "The Mariners categorically deny that any member of our management or coaching staff made racist remarks regarding any of our players or staff. Additionally, we have not terminated (or threatened to terminate) any trainers during the off-season."

      Martin was hired into her role on Oct. 30, 2017. She was responsible for "coordinating all aspects of the Mariners physical and mental training approach of players and staff, including oversight of the entire organization's medical, strength and conditioning, nutrition and mental skills departments."

      Prior to joining the Mariners, Martin was director of sports performance analytics for the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Ohtani, Acuna named ROY winners
    By Field Level Media / Monday, November 12, 2018

    Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and Atlanta Braves phenom outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. were named the runaway winners of the Rookie of the Year in the American and National League, respectively, on Monday.

    • Ohtani received 25 of 30 first-place votes in besting Miguel Andujar (five first-place votes) and Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees for the AL honor. Acuna received 27 first-place votes in beating out the Washington Nationals' Juan Soto (two) and Los Angeles Dodgers' Walker Buehler (one).

      Ohtani, 24, is the third Angels player to win the award, and first since Mike Trout in 2012. He is the fourth Japanese-born player to take home the honor in either league, joining Ichiro Suzuki (2001), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000) and Hideo Nomo (1995).

      Acuna, 20, is the eighth Brave to win the NL award; the last Atlanta player to take home the honor was Craig Kimbrel in 2011. Acuna joins Luis Aparicio in 1956 and Ozzie Guillen in 1985 as the only native Venezuelans to be named Rookie of the Year.

      --Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted the team's one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer, bypassing the opportunity to become a free agent.

      Ryu was the only one of seven players to accept his qualifying offer prior to the 5 p.m. ET deadline. Declining offers were Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, Boston Red Sox right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel and the Arizona Diamondbacks combo of left-hander Patrick Corbin and outfielder A.J. Pollock.

      Ryu is just the sixth player to accept the qualifying offer since the system started in 2012. The others were Brett Anderson, Jeremy Hellickson, Neil Walker, Colby Rasmus and Matt Wieters.

      --An emotional Joe Mauer said his farewells to the Minnesota Twins, making his retirement from his hometown team official.

      "I'm 100 percent behind the decision, and look forward to the next chapter in my life," Mauer said at a news conference at Target Field. "I still feel like I could compete at this level ... but I made the right decision."

      Mauer, 35, was born in St. Paul, Minn., and never had to leave home. The Twins made the catcher the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, and he was called up to the majors for good in the 2005 season. Mauer said he plans to remain in Minnesota and perhaps one day play a role in the organization.

      --Field Level Media

  • Angels' Ohtani, Braves' Acuna named ROY winners
    By Field Level Media / Monday, November 12, 2018

    Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and Atlanta Braves phenom outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. were named the runaway winners of the Rookie of the Year in the American and National League, respectively, on Monday.

    • Ohtani received 25 of 30 first-place votes in besting Miguel Andujar (five first-place votes) and Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees for the AL honor. Acuna received 27 first-place votes in beating out the Washington Nationals' Juan Soto (two) and Los Angeles Dodgers' Walker Buehler (one).

      Ohtani is the third Angels player to win the award, and first since Mike Trout in 2012. He is the fourth Japanese-born player to take home the honor in either league, joining Ichiro Suzuki (2001), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000) and Hideo Nomo (1995).

      Acuna is the eighth Brave to win the NL award. The last Atlanta player to take home the honor was Craig Kimbrel in 2011.

      Acuna joins Luis Aparicio in 1956 and Ozzie Guillen in 1985 as the only native Venezuelans to be named Rookie of the Year.

      Ohtani, 24, signed with the Angels last offseason after five years with the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japan Pacific League. Touted as both a pitcher and hitter, he spent the first half of the season splitting time in both roles before an elbow injury kept him from pitching.

      Despite the ailment, Ohtani kept hitting, slugging 22 home runs and amassing 61 RBIs to go with a .285 average in 104 games. He had a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts before being shutdown.

      Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of the season and will not pitch in 2019 as a result.

      Acuna, 20, signed with the Braves as an international free agent in July 2014. He debuted with Atlanta in late April, hitting .293 with 26 home runs, 64 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 111 games.

      Between both leagues, Acuna was the only player named on every ballot.

      --Field Level Media

  • Dodgers' Ryu accepts one-year, $17.9M qualifying offer
    By Field Level Media / Monday, November 12, 2018

    Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted the team's one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer on Monday, bypassing the opportunity to become a free agent.

    • Ryu's signing further bolsters the rotation of the Dodgers, who recently retained staff ace Clayton Kershaw.

      Catcher Yasmani Grandal also received a $17.9 million qualifying option from the Dodgers but he declined. Grandal will become a free agent and the Dodgers will receive draft pick compensation.

      Ryu and Grandal were two of seven major leaguers who received qualifying others. Ryu was the only one to accept prior to the 5 p.m. ET deadline.

      Also declining offers were Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, Boston Red Sox right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel and the Arizona Diamondbacks combo of left-hander Patrick Corbin and outfielder A.J. Pollock.

      By extending a qualifying offer, a team is in line to receive draft-pick compensation if the player signs with another team.

      Ryu is just the sixth player to accept the qualifying offer since the system started in 2012. The others were Brett Anderson, Jeremy Hellickson, Neil Walker, Colby Rasmus and Matt Wieters.

      Ryu, 31, went 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA in regular-season starts last season. He missed three months with a groin injury.

      Grandal batted .241 with 24 homers and 68 RBIs in 140 games in 2018. He struggled during the postseason and lost playing time to Austin Barnes as the Dodgers lost in the World Series for the second straight season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Emotional Mauer says goodbye to Twins
    By Field Level Media / Monday, November 12, 2018

    An emotional Joe Mauer said his farewells to the Minnesota Twins on Monday, making his retirement from his hometown team official.

    • "I'm 100 percent behind the decision, and look forward to the next chapter in my life," Mauer said at a news conference at Target Field. "I still feel like I could compete at this level ... but I made the right decision."

      Mauer, 35, was born in St. Paul, Minn., and never had to leave home. The Twins made the catcher the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, and he was called up to the majors for good in the 2005 season.

      Among the people in attendance at his farewell news conference were his former managers, Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor, and former teammate Justin Morneau. He thanked a number of people, among them his parents, his wife, his coach at St. Paul's Cretin-Derham Hall High School and former general manager Terry Ryan.

      "Thanks for taking a chance on a kid from St. Paul. That draft was loaded," he said to Ryan.

      Mauer said he plans to remain in Minnesota and perhaps one day play a role in the organization.

      "I definitely want to be connected, but my role is unsure ... hopefully there will be some discussions down the road," he said. "Helping this organization get better ... I'd definitely be open to that."

      He added: "I don't see this as a farewell. I'm going to raise my kids here. I'm not going anywhere."

      Mauer was a six-time All-Star and the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player, but his career was shortened by concussion issues.

      He is the only catcher in major league history to win three batting titles, retiring with a career average of .306 with 143 homers and 923 RBIs. His 2,123 hits rank second in Twins history behind Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, and he is the all-time franchise leader in doubles with 428.

      Mauer's eight-year, $184 million contract expired after the 2018 season. He batted .282 with six homers and 48 RBIs in 127 games during his final season.

      Members of the organization had high praise for the three-time Gold Glove winner.

      "When you draft a guy, especially in the first round, you're looking for talent and character. And he had plenty of both," Ryan said, per the Star Tribune. "Joe carried himself about as well as any player I ever was around. He had respect of everyone in the game -- the opposition, opposing managers, the umpires, teammates, and the total respect of our fan base.

      "We were fortunate enough to have the first pick. Catching is the toughest position to fill, and he just happened to be the best player in the country. And he grew up seven miles from the Metrodome! It's just unbelievable when you think about it."

      Twins president David St. Peter said Mauer's place in baseball history should be cemented one day.

      "It's our view, and admittedly we're biased, that Joe's body of work should someday make him the fourth person from St. Paul to make the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown," he said.

      --Field Level Media

  • Altuve vows to be '120 percent' for spring training
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, November 11, 2018

    All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve said Sunday he expects to be fully recovered from knee surgery when the Houston Astros report to spring training in February.

    • Wearing a brace on his right leg but walking under his own power, Altuve addressed the media for the first time since undergoing surgery Oct. 19 to repair a patella avulsion fracture in his right knee.

      "We have a lot of time before spring training," he told reporters at Minute Maid Park in Houston, where he was attending a private fan event. "We're not doing a lot. The only thing they told me is we're going to be 120 percent for the first day of spring training, and that's what really matters."

      Altuve, 28, was hurt sliding into second base at Colorado in July and struggled with the knee for the rest of the season.

      The six-time All-Star and 2017 American League MVP batted .276 with four homers and 15 RBIs in his final 127 regular season at-bats after coming off the disabled list.

      A three-time batting champion, Altuve finished the season with a .316 average, 13 home runs, 61 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 137 games.

      In the Astros' postseason series against the Cleveland Indians and the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, he batted .265 with one homer and four RBIs in eight games.

      "I don't think a lot of guys were 100 percent, and that's what makes this team so beautiful, because you just try to go out there and overcome adversity and play for each other," Altuve said. "That's what we did."

      --Field Level Media

  • Verlander, Upton reveal birth of daughter
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, November 11, 2018

    Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel wife Kate Upton shared photos Saturday of their first child, Genevieve Upton Verlander.

    • Upton gave birth to their daughter on Wednesday.

      The couple was married in Italy last year, just days after Verlander's World Series triumph with the Astros.

      The 26-year-old Upton shared a photo of the baby on Instagram on Saturday.

      Verlander, 35, also shared an image featuring the caption, "Welcome to the world Genevieve Upton Verlander. You stole my [heart] the first second I met you!!! 11.7.2018"

      --Field Level Media

  • Astros' Correa feeling better after nose surgery
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, November 10, 2018

    Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa revealed Saturday that he had surgery to repair a deviated septum that caused him to experience trouble breathing during the regular season.

    • Correa had the procedure earlier this week. He spoke during a charity event at Minute Maid Park.

      "It's annoying," Correa said to a group of reporters. "I was having trouble breathing. I saw a doctor. He told me I needed surgery on my nose. I was like, 'All right, let's fix it.'"

      The 24-year-old struggled at times last season, although it is unclear how much his respiratory issues had to do with that. Correa hit .239 with 15 homers and 65 RBIs, which marked a steep drop from his output in 2017 (.315, 24 homers, 84 RBIs).

      The Astros advanced to the AL Championship Series despite a down season from their shortstop.

      Correa is hungry for another World Series title after winning one in 2017. He was asked about Marwin Gonzalez, a free agent who has spent his entire seven-year career with the Astros.

      "He's a free agent, but he loves Houston, obviously, he loves playing with this group of guys," Correa said. "But at the end of the day, he's got to do what's best for him and his family. Whatever that is, if it's in Houston, that will be great, we'd love to have him here. If it's somewhere else, that would be great, as well.

      "The guy has worked his whole life to get to this point and be able to make really good money coming from Venezuela. This is his chance."

      --Field Level Media

  • Ruth, Staubach, Page earn presidential honors
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, November 10, 2018

    Three sports legends will be among seven people awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Friday.

    • New York Yankees icon Babe Ruth, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan C. Page are all set to be honored in President Donald Trump's first batch of award recipients.

      Page, a nine-time Pro Bowler and one-time MVP, was a long-time judge on the Minnesota Supreme Court after his Hall of Fame career.

      Ruth and Staubach were also Hall of Famers.

      The award is considered the highest honor bestowed upon civilians in the United States.

      The other winners are Miriam Adelson, wife of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, legendary singer Elvis Presley and Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court Justice.

      --Field Level Media