Tagged in: Baseball

New York Mets acquire Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland Indians

Francisco Lindor is moving to a new city and team that is willing to meet his salary demands.

The four-time All-Star shortstop — and one of baseball’s best all-around players — was traded Thursday by the Cleveland Indians along with pitcher Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets, who have a new owner willing to spend at baseball’s highest levels.

“They did not come cheaply,” Mets president Sandy Alderson stated. “What we’re trying to do is create a new reality rather than deal with perception.”

The cash-strapped Indians sent Lindor and Carrasco to the Mets for infielders Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene — a move Cleveland hopes will keep it competitive and capable of ending baseball’s longest World Series title drought.

Dealing Lindor, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2021 season, was inevitable for the midmarket Indians, who are unable to compete financially with MLB’s big spenders and dropped roughly $30 million in dealing two prominent players and fan favorites.

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“These are people we care about, not just players, and guys that loved the organization and have great memories here,” said Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti, who said he was in tears when he spoke with Lindor and Carrasco. “Trades like this are really tough. But it’s the right thing to do.”

For the Mets, landing Lindor is a home run and another major move by hedge fund owner Steven Cohen, who bought the team on Nov. 6 from the Wilpon and Katz families and has pledged to increase spending.

The 27-year-old Lindor can affect the game with his bat, glove and legs.

A two-time Gold Glove winner, he’s a career .285 hitter and has averaged 29 homers, 86 RBIs and 21 steals in his six major league seasons — all with the Indians, who drafted him in 2011 and developed him.

He has also been the face of the Indians franchise, with an infectious smile and joy for playing that has made him one of Cleveland’s most popular athletes. But he’s gone now, leaving the Indians without their best player and the team’s fans grumbling about owner Paul Dolan.

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Emotional Yu Darvish caught off guard by Chicago Cubs trade, excited about San Diego Padres

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As he was announced by his new team Thursday, Yu Darvish said he was shocked by his trade to the San Diego Padres and grew emotional talking about his time with the Cubs and the bonds he created in Chicago.

“With what’s happening with the coronavirus, and the money the Cubs have, I wasn’t thinking about being traded,” Darvish said Thursday through an interpreter. “And also, they are a winning team and I thought we would be able to compete.”

Darvish, however, is excited about joining a “strong” Padres team that should challenge for the National League pennant.

“I’ve been having my kids watch highlights of the Padres’ lineup on YouTube,” the right-hander said. “They’re a strong team, and I’m really excited to watch batting practice.”

Darvish stated he has pitched better over the past 18 months than at any time in his career. He ended second in Cy Young voting this past season after going 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA, and he credited his improvement to a decision to work slow and “be himself.”

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“The Cubs were telling me to prepare however I wanted to prepare,” Darvish said. “The Cubs let me be myself. That helped me back to form.”

He was traded along with Victor Caratini, his personal catcher, to San Diego for starter Zach Davies and four prospects earlier this week. The move came one day after the Padres acquired lefty Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Darvish’s mom once told him that she thought he would play for the Padres, but he said he didn’t think that would materialize after signing a six-year, $126 million deal with the Cubs.

With Chicago in cost-cutting mode, however, that premonition came true.

Darvish hopes to find the same chemistry with his teammates in San Diego as he did in Chicago.

“A lot of [Cubs] people reached out to me and everyone was pretty shocked and felt bad,” Darvish said. “So this reality is great. I’m excited to play for the Padres.”

The 34-year-old Darvish said he found out about the trade on Twitter, though his representatives knew there was a possibility he could be moved that day.

“My first year with the Padres, going into spring training, I really want to be open and meet everybody,” said Darvish, who already has a relationship with Padres general manager A.J. Preller from their days with the Texas Rangers.

Darvish was asked what his trade might mean for Japanese baseball fans who live in San Diego. “With coronavirus and everyone being a little down with what’s going on in the world, I just hope to build excitement and help build happiness to the Japanese people around me,” Darvish said.

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Free agent Adam Wainwright uncertain of his future with St. Louis Cardinals

Longtime St. Louis Cardinals star and current free agent Adam Wainwright is in wait-and-see mode.

“I know the nature of the business of baseball with salaries, and not sure what the revenues will be like next year,” Wainwright told ESPN this week. “Or the fan situation.

“St. Louis is very dependent on their fan situation to bring in revenues to offset player costs. They said that, and I really believe them. They don’t have the billion, billion, billion dollar TV deals that some other teams do.”

Between 2013 and 2019, the Cardinals ranked second in the National League in attendance, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers, despite playing in the 23rd-largest market in the country.

Like many teams, St. Louis is trying to thread the needle of putting a winning product on the field while being cognizant of revenue uncertainty, meaning the futures of both Wainwright and fellow longtime Cardinal Yadier Molina are up in the air.

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“They’re going to put a winning team on the field,” Wainwright stated. “It’s going to be interesting to see what they do, though. Yadier is a free agent too. We just don’t know what they’re going to be offering — or if they will offer.”

It’s the existing situation many free agents find themselves in, and they’re bound to have some company come Dec. 2, the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to be offered contracts for 2021.

Those who are non-tendered on or before Dec. 2 become free agents, meaning the market could be flooded with players who are in their peak years along with the older free agents like Wainwright. The expectation is teams will lighten their payroll obligations this offseason by letting go more players than ever.

“That’s what I’m expecting, yes,” Wainwright said. “There’s so much uncertainty among teams and players, it’s just going to be a wild ride. This is whole situation is different than anything we’ve ever faced.”

Wainwright broke in with the Cardinals in 2005, spending the entirety of his 15-year career with them. But that relationship is in jeopardy for the 39-year-old right-hander, who pitched well in 2020 despite all the difficulties, including a COVID-19 outbreak on his team.

“Every player has an expiration date,” Wainwright stated. “It’s just the nature of the game. You will never hear me say a bad word about the city of St. Louis or the Cardinals organization. They’ve done so much for me. They’re amazing people from top to bottom. I’ve been so blessed.”

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Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu wins AL MVP award

Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu won the American League MVP award Thursday after helping power the team to its first playoff berth in 12 years.

The 33-year-old slugger got 21 of 30 first-place votes and 374 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez was second with eight first-place votes and 303 points, and New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who won the AL batting crown (.364), followed with one first-place vote and 230 points.

Voting by the BBWAA was completed by the start of the playoffs. It has voted for the award since 1931.

Abreu led the majors with 60 RBIs and 148 total bases, and topped the AL with 76 hits and a .617 slugging percentage. He played in all 60 matches during the virus-shortened season as Chicago claimed a wild-card spot. Surrounded by family members, Abreu put his head down for a minute after hearing he’d won and teared up.

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“That was a very special moment,” he said through an interpreter.

Abreu batted .317 with 19 home runs, connecting six times in a three-game series versus the Cubs in late August. That barrage of long balls at Wrigley Field was part of his 22-game hitting streak, the longest in the majors this year.

Abreu gave credit to manager Rick Renteria, who left the team after the season in what was labeled as a mutual decision. Recently hired Hall of Fame skipper Tony La Russa is now facing charges in a drunken driving arrest; Abreu said he was eager to play for La Russa.

“Keep pushing forward, keep moving forward,” Abreu said.

Abreu was the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year and is a three-time All-Star.

He became the fourth White Sox player to collect the AL MVP, joining Frank Thomas (1993-94), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959).

Abreu was the third Cuban-born player to be an MVP, along with Jose Canseco and Zoilo Versalles.

Smooth around the bag, Abreu ended an MVP drought for AL first basemen. None had won the award since Justin Morneau for Minnesota in 2006; Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto won the National League MVP in 2010.

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman’s receipt of the NL MVP prize also makes this the first time since Ryan Howard and Morneau that a pair of first basemen won the MVPs.

Freeman got a $185,185 bonus and Abreu received $37,037 for winning in contract bonuses prorated because of the shortened season.

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Yankees end 5-game skid, top Blue Jays

Deivi Garcia earned his first major league victory, Gleyber Torres drove in four runs and the New York Yankees snapped a five-game losing streak, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Wednesday night.

The Yankees had lost 15 of 20 and fallen to the edge of the expanded playoff field. General manager Brian Cashman had made a rare road trip to talk to the team before Tuesday night’s loss.

Torres and DJ LeMahieu homered to back Garcia (1-1). In his third career start, the 21-year-old righty gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked two.

Zack Britton worked the eighth and Aroldis Chapman struck out all three batters in the ninth. Derek Fisher hit a two-run homer in the second inning for Toronto, which had its three-game winning streak halted. Ross Stripling (3-3) took the loss.

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Luke Voit hit an RBI single that put the Yankees ahead 3-2 in the fifth and Torres added a two-run double. That gave New York multiple hits with a runner in scoring position; a welcome aid after the Yankees had gone 2 for 32 in that situation during their five-game skid.

Torres led off the second inning with his fourth homer and LeMahieu led off the third with his fifth. Clint Frazier added an RBI single in the ninth.

Toronto starter Tanner Roark permitted two hits and three walks in four innings.

The Blue Jays ended a stretch in which they played 28 times in 27 days, with the only day without a game being Aug. 27, when many games in MLB were postponed because of social protests.

Toronto went 18-10 during that stretch, impressing manager Charlie Montoyo.

“Other teams would just take a day or night off. It’s just too much, too many games,” Montoyo stated. “This team hasn’t taken a day off. They go hard every game. I’m impressed by it, and I’m proud of the way they play every day. They don’t give up.”

The Yankees have four matches left in their own gauntlet, in which they will have played 20 games in 17 days before an off day on Sept. 14.

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Miguel Sano cleared to join Twins after Covid-19

When the Twins got good news about Byron Buxton on Tuesday, it didn’t take long before the subject turned to Miguel Sano, ostensibly the Twins’ starting first baseman but without any practice since camp re-started because he rang positive for COVID-19 during intake testing.

They received good news on Sano on Wednesday when he was cleared to join teammates after two weeks of COVID-19 quarantine. He will work out for the first time since summer camp started July 3 this afternoon at Target Field.

Buxton, the elite center fielder whose Achilles’ heel has been his health, doesn’t seem at risk for missing too much time because of a left foot sprain suffered Monday. He’s been playing and has looked sharp at the plate and in the field.

Now the Twins must see if Sano, moving from third to first base because the Twins signed all-star Josh Donaldson last winter, can use the next week to get ready for the team’s July 24 season opener versus the White Sox in Chicago.

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He has played first base in major league games, but only as a fill-in, and hasn’t worked with teammates since spring training was canceled in mid-March.

“I think it’s more of a question if Miguel is ready physically to play, more than anything else, more than the question about playing a new position or anything in particular,” manager Rocco Baldelli stated after Tuesday’s intrasquad game.

During intake testing, Sano and utility man Willians Astudillo were the only Twins major leaguers to test positive for the coronavirus that has killed more than 134,000 Americans, and has been spreading in the U.S. at a record-setting pace the past few weeks.

Because Sano has registered consecutive negative test results, he was cleared to play on Wednesday. Like Buxton, another first-round draft pick who has shown bursts of greatness, Sano has had trouble staying on the field. A 7.8-WAR player and an all-star in 2017, Sano has played more than 100 matches twice in five seasons, and never as many as 120.

In 2018, he was sent to Fort Myers, Fla., in midseason to get into better shape.

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Latest hearing on when could MLB actually start

Over the past two weeks, as states have started to plan their reopenings, nearly everyone along the decision-making continuum — league officials, players, union leaders, owners, doctors, politicians, TV power brokers, team executives — has grown increasingly optimistic that there will be baseball this year, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The season could still take many forms with games starting in front of empty stadiums still very likely when play does reopen.

Major League Baseball and its players are increasingly focused on a plan that could allow them to start the season as early as May and has the support of high-ranking federal public health officials who believe the league can safely operate amid the coronavirus pandemic, sources told ESPN.

The plan, sources said, would dictate that all 30 teams play games at stadiums with no fans in the Phoenix area, including the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field, 10 spring training facilities and perhaps other nearby fields.

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Players, coaching staff and other essential personnel would be sequestered at local hotels, where they would live in relative isolation and travel only to and from the stadium, sources said. Federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Institutes of Health have been supportive of a plan that would adhere to strict isolation, promote social distancing and allow MLB to become the first professional sport to return.

Rob Manfred said after a conference call with all 30 teams that Major League Baseball will push back Opening Day until mid-May at the earliest after the federal government recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

There are folks at the team level who think that a return in June might be possible but, in the end, may be an optimistic projection.

The realities of the federal and state main directions and the calendar of baseball preparation supports that: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just recommended having no crowds of greater than 50 for the next eight weeks — and assuming that MLB and the players’ association would respect that direction (and there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t), that would mean that spring training wouldn’t resume until mid-May, at the earliest.

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Learn to bet on Baseball | How to Bet on Sports

How to Bet on Sports: BaseballCheck WagerWeb and find the best betting site!!!!

During the summer months baseball takes center stage, offering sports bettors a variety of unique wagering opportunities. And baseball lines are available daily, allowing both novice and hardcore sports betting fans to get in on the action with moneylines, totals, runlines, and futures

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Moneylines

Moneyline means you are betting who will win the baseball game Straight Up (SU) without a point spread. The team that wins the game wins the wager. The team with the negative sign (i.e. Philadelphia -115) is usually the favorite.

New York Yankees -150

Boston Red Sox +140

Totals

Total The Total betting line is also referred to the Over/Under Total and in this example it is 8½ O -120. For you to win your wager the Total runs from both teams would have to be 9 runs or more. The payout odds of -120 odds means that for every $120 bet pays out $100.

New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox Over 9.5 (-110)
New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox Under 9.5 (-110)

 

Runlines

Run Line (RL) The Run Line in baseball is equivalent to the point spread in football and is always set at -1.5 or +1.5. You win the wager by covering the spread – or + the spread.

Team Moneyline Runline
New York Yankees -150 -1.5 (-110)
Boston Red Sox +140 +1.5 (+100)

 

Futures 

Baseball Future Odds Baseball and MLB Future odds are odds on a future event and not a specific game.

 

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Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

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Texas Rangers (70-62) at Los Angeles Angels (67-66)

MLB Baseball: Friday, September 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm (Angel Stadium)

M Perez (2-3) (5.15) vs. G Richards (12-10) (3.80)

The Line: Los Angeles Angels -140 / Texas Rangers +130

Over/Under: 8

Garrett Richards (12-10, 3.80 ERA) and Martin Perez (2-3, 5.15 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the Los Angeles Angels (67-66) and the Texas Rangers (70-62) at Angel Stadium. Action begins at 10:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 4.

Richards pitched 7.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs and striking out nine in an 8-3 defeat to the Indians. Mike Trout (.297, 84 Rs, 33 HRs, 74 RBIs, 10 SBs) continued his strong play Wednesday, going 2 for 5 with one run. Perez went 6.1 innings, surrendering three runs and striking out four in a 4-3 win over the Orioles in his last outing. Rougned Odor (.278, 39 Rs, 11 HRs, 43 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 5 Wednesday.

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The Texas Rangers are second in the American League West but are playing well and have first in their sights. The Rangers have won six of seven following    a 4-3 decision at San Diego on Wednesday. Cole Hamels gave up all three runs on eight hits and whiffed eight through seven frames in a no decision effort. Texas totaled nine hits and walked six times with Chis Gimenez going solo while Adrian Beltre doubled in Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder. Martin Perez draws the game one start against Los Angeles on Friday night.  Perez is coming off of a 4-3 victory versus visiting Baltimore where he gave up all three runs on seven hits over 6.1 frames.
The Los Angeles Angels are in need of a prolonged hot streak if they expect to pass Texas for second in the American League West. The Angels have won consecutive contests after knocking off Oakland 9-4 on the road Wednesday. Starter Andrew Heaney improved to 6-2 with three runs allowed on seven hits over seven innings which was easily enough for the offense that launched a 13 hit attack. Albert Pujols went 2-5 with a homer, three RBI’s and two runs while CJ Cron and David Freese knocked in two runs apiece. Garrett Richards toes the rubber against the Rangers for the third time this season. Richards threw the ball well in an 8-3 loss (ND) to Cleveland with three runs scored on seven hits in seven innings.

The under is 6-1-1 in Texas last 8 Friday games and is 11-4-2 in their last 17 overall while going  11-4-2 in their last 17 on grass. Los Angeles are 4-9 in their last 13 games following a win and  are 4-9 in their last 13 overall while going  4-9 in their last 13 games on grass. The Rangers are 7-21 in the last 21 meetings.

The Angels lead the season series, 8-4. The Angels have a 19-16 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they’ll be facing when Perez takes the mound. Richards (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rangers, who have a 47-38 record against right-handed starting pitchers.

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New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

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(espn.go.com)- As they look to keep fighting in the AL East chase, the visiting Yankees are hoping Masahiro Tanaka can continue to pitch well Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.

After missing three games at Atlanta and Monday’s 4-3 loss at Fenway Park, Teixeira was sent back to New York for further tests on his injured shin. The results weren’t positive as the first baseman will miss at least two weeks with a significant bone bruise.

Rick Porcello pitched great, which is what mattered most to the Boston Red Sox.

The New York Yankees won, which is what mattered most to the New York American League Baseball Club.

Porcello struck out a career-high 13 batters and walked just one in eight innings, but a two-run double by Stephen Drew in the fifth and a home run by Brett Gardner that wrapped around the Pesky Pole in the eighth was enough to give the Yankees a 3-1 win over the Red Sox before 35,077 in Fenway Park.

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Drew’s two-out double followed an error by rookie first baseman Travis Shaw, who allowed Didi Gregorius’ grounder to skip under his glove with Alex Rodriguez on first with a single. Drew hit a 2-and-0 pitch from Porcello, his first 2-and-0 count of the night.

Gardner’s home run also came with two out.

The Sox scored their only run on a double by Jackie Bradley Jr. and a two-out, opposite-field single by Pablo Sandoval in the third off Yankees starter Michael Pineda. Pineda gave up four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out seven in six innings.

The Sox threatened in the eighth against Yankees setup man Dellin Betances on singles by Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, but with David Ortiz at the plate and two out, Betts was called out for oversliding third base on an attempted double steal.

The call was reviewed by replay officials in New York, who issued the following ruling:

“After viewing all relevant angles, the Replay Official definitively determined that the runner lost contact with third base while the fielder was applying the tag. Additionally, the umpires on the field determined that the fielder did not push the runner off the base, a decision that is not reviewable. The call is CONFIRMED. The runner is out.”

Ortiz struck out on the next pitch to end the inning, and former Sox left-hander Andrew Miller struck out three batters in the ninth to register his 29th save. Miller has 73 strikeouts in just 47 1/3 innings.

The most recent Red Sox pitcher to whiff 13 or more or more while walking one or fewer was Jon Lester, on July 24, 2010, when he K’d 13 and walked one in a 5-1 loss. The last Sox pitcher to do so at Fenway: Curt Schilling, when he walked one and struck out 14 in eight scoreless innings in a 3-2 Red Sox win.

Nine of Porcello’s 13 strikeouts came on a called third strike.

What it means: The Toronto Blue Jays were up 1.5 games on the Yankees coming into Tuesday in the American League East and were tied with the Cleveland Indians as of this writing. If Toronto wins, the two teams will stay dead-locked in the division. A loss brings the Yankees to within a half-game.

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