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November

28
Pittsburgh Pirates, 1B Carlos Santana agree on 1-year, $6.7M deal

First baseman Carlos Santana and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in agreement on a one-year, $6.7 million contract, pending the results of a physical, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN. Santana, 36, concluded with a league-average OPS last year, hitting .202/.316/.376 between stints with the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. But his expected numbers, based on how hard he hit the ball (an 81st-percentile exit velocity) and his elite walk rate (97th percentile), projected far better results, something that drove his market. Further, nobody was shifted a higher percentage last year than Santana, who saw altered defense in 356 of his 362 left-handed batting appearances. With […]

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November

10
Dusty Baker to return as champion Astros’ manager in 2023

For years, as Dusty Baker chased his first World Series title as a manager, the former big league outfielder would always say if he won one he’d like to win two. Baker will get an opportunity to do just that after he signed a one-year contract with the Houston Astros for the 2023 season. “How many times in your life do you say something and then have the opportunity to fulfill it?” Baker said Wednesday. “I wasn’t just talking. I meant what I said. I love keeping my word. So, hey man we’ve got a chance to win back-to-back and this is […]

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November

08
First baseman Anthony Rizzo opts out of contract with Yankees

First baseman Anthony Rizzo officially opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees on Monday night, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and multiple reports. It was an expected move in a deal that would have paid him $16 million next campaign. Now, Rizzo enters free agency looking to secure a new deal coming off a season in which he had 32 home runs and 75 RBIs. But the 33-year-old veteran hit just .224, and was among a host of Yankees who did not hit for average during a season that included an American League East title. New York outlasted the Cleveland Guardians in the […]

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November

01
Royals hire Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro as manager

The Kansas City Royals hired Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro as manager Sunday, turning over the young core of a rebuilding franchise to a forward-thinking manager with experience winning in a small market. Quatraro replaces Mike Matheny, who was fired as part of a wide-spread shakeup within the Royals after a 65-97 finish for their sixth consecutive losing season. Quatraro was chosen by Royals general manager J.J. Picollo, who took over as head of the club’s baseball operations after the firing of longtime front-office executive Dayton Moore. “We are extremely excited to have Matt leading our club and core of talent,” Picollo […]

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October

21
Padres’ bats come alive in Game 2 comeback win to even NLCS

Juan Soto and Josh Hader absorbed most of the attention, but Brandon Drury and Josh Bell were in-season assets of similar importance to the San Diego Padres — a belief further emphasized by Fernando Tatis Jr.’s ensuing suspension. Drury and Bell represented key power bats in the middle of the lineup, a key source of protection for Soto and Manny Machado. And on Wednesday, with the Padres in desperate need of a victory, their bats finally came alive. Drury and Bell, struggling all postseason and for most of their Padres tenure, combined for five hits and drove in five runs in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, keying an 8-5 […]

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October

07
Cardinals to start Jose Quintana, Miles Mikolas vs. Phillies

The Cardinals will start left-hander Jose Quintana in Game 1 of their National League wild-card series versus the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, manager Oliver Marmol announced Thursday. Miles Mikolas will start Game 2 of the best-of-three series for St. Louis, and Marmol is unclear about who would start a potential winner-take-all Game 3. His other three starters — Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery and Adam Wainwright — will all crack the postseason roster and will all be available out of the bullpen. “We can use them however we please,” Marmol stated prior to Thursday’s workout at Busch Stadium. “And we will.” The Phillies will start Zack Wheeler in Game 1, Aaron Nola in Game 2 and Ranger Suarez if […]

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September

19
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits 58th, 59th homers, moves within two of American League record

Yankees star Aaron Judge turned in perhaps the best game of his historic season Sunday, hitting two home runs, a double and a single, driving in four runs and setting himself up to break the American League single-season home run record at home this week. Judge, as he is wont to do, downplayed his individual effort in the Yankees’ 12-8 victory over the Brewers, saying: “We’ve got some big games coming up. That’s really the only thing on my mind right now.” But around the Yankees’ clubhouse, all anyone could do was marvel at the 30-year-old outfielder, whose 59 home runs are two shy of Roger […]

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September

14
Springer homers, Jays beat Rays 7-2 for doubleheader split

Pinch-hitter Whit Merrifield drove in two runs with a seventh-inning double, George Springer added a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 Tuesday night to gain a doubleheader split between AL wild card contenders. Toronto (80-62) remained a half-game ahead of the Rays (79-62) in a race for the three AL wild cards that also includes Seattle (79-61), which played later Tuesday. The Blue Jays trailed 2-1 before rallying with a four-run seventh against left-hander Colin Poche (4-2). Pinch-hitter Santiago Espinal walked and advanced to third on two wild pitches. Pinch-hitter Danny Jansen drew a one-out walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Bradley Zimmer. Merrifield followed with a double […]

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September

13
Valdez pitches 1st shutout, Astros blank Tigers 7-0

Framber Valdez pitched his first career shutout and the Houston Astros defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-0 on Monday night. Valdez (15-5) posted his 24th consecutive quality start, tying New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom (2018) for the longest single-season streak. “This means a lot to me, because it means I’m helping the team when I’m pitching,” Valdez said through a translator. “They help me with their great defense and their offense, and I know I’m giving them a chance to win.” The All-Star left-hander gave up six hits and struck out eight with one walk. “That’s a monumental streak — a lot of great pitchers have never come close […]

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September

05
Smith, Thompson homers power MLB-leading Dodgers past Padres

Will Smith homered for the second successive game and Trayce Thompson added a pinch-hit home run as the Los Angeles Dodgers used two big innings to defeat the San Diego Padres 9-4 on Sunday night. The Dodgers, who have the best record in the MLB at 92-41, extended their lead over the Padres in the NL West to 19 matches with 29 games left. The Dodgers’ magic number to claim the division is nine. “You definitely want to win the division and it gives you a little bit easier road to the postseason,” Smith said. “Once you get to the postseason, it doesn’t matter. We really just […]

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