MLB News

Dodgers brass: Releasing Trevor Bauer was right move

Dodgers brass: Releasing Trevor Bauer was right move

Los Angeles Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expressed no regrets Wednesday about the team's decision to release right-hander Trevor Bauer last month.

The team's top executives spoke with reporters for the first time regarding Bauer, who last pitched in June 2021. He was placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball in the next month after he was accused of sexual assault.

Despite never facing criminal charges and denying all allegations against him, Bauer was handed a 324-game suspension in April 2022. On Dec. 22, the punishment was cut to 194 games on appeal, reinstating him at that point while ordering him to forgo his pay for the first 50 games in 2023.

The Dodgers had 14 days from the appeal ruling to decide if they would activate Bauer or release him, and they finally designated him for assignment on the last day of that window. He was officially released on Jan. 12.

Kasten acknowledged that the Dodgers met with Bauer the day before cutting ties with him. Bauer issued a statement saying club officials told him they "wanted me to return and pitch for the team this year."

Kasten said Wednesday, "I'm not gonna get into contradicting or agreeing with anything about what was supposed to be a private conversation. I'll just say within a very short time we came back and made our decision. I think that speaks for itself. ...

"I don't want to talk about what went on, what was discussed, what wasn't discussed or who was there. But we did hear from him. I thought it was the right thing to do. I'm happy that we did it, along with everything else that we did, to reach the best decision that we could. I stand by our decision. I'm very comfortable with it."

He added, "We all had a strong feeling all the way through the process of the right way to handle this."

Friedman added, "With the way that things transpired, we feel good about our decision to move on."

Friedman said the Dodgers didn't make an immediate decision on Bauer in part because the ruling occurred around the holidays and Kasten was about to go on vacation.

Kasten added, "We had the time. Check all our bases, get all the info you could get to make a decision, which we did, and that included hearing from Trevor because we had not spoken to him since the beginning of this. And because we had the time, we took the time to get as much info as we can to be sure we were making the right decision. That's what we did. We feel like we made the right decision. And we'll move on."

Bauer, 32, remains a free agent. The Dodgers owe him $22.5 million of the $32 million he was due to make in 2023.

Bauer was the National League Cy Young Award winner with the Cincinnati Reds in the abbreviated 2020 season after going 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts. He signed a three-year, $102 million free agent deal with the Dodgers in February 2021.

In a 10-year major league career with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2012), Cleveland (2013-19), Cincinnati (2019-20) and Los Angeles (2021), Bauer has an 83-69 record with a 3.79 ERA in 222 games, including 212 starts.

Mariners defeat reliever Diego Castillo in arbitration

Mariners defeat reliever Diego Castillo in arbitration

The Seattle Mariners defeated Diego Castillo in arbitration, meaning the right-handed reliever will receive $2.9 million in 2023.

Castillo requested $3.225 million. The decision, rendered Wednesday by a three-judge panel, is the first arbitration case decision of the year.

Castillo still receives a raise of $800,000. He went 7-3 with a 3.64 ERA and seven saves in 59 appearances last season.

The 29-year-old Castillo is 24-18 with a 3.12 ERA and 35 saves in 250 appearances (17 starts) over five seasons between the Tampa Bay Rays (2018-21) and Mariners (2021-22).

Castillo has been a stellar postseason pitcher, going 1-0 with a 0.98 ERA and three saves in 17 appearances, including one as an opener.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe is also waiting on a decision. His case was heard Monday and he requested $11.9 million and the Angels countered with $11.25 million. Renfroe made $7.65 million last season with the Milwaukee Brewers before being traded to the Angels in the offseason.

Dodgers give RHP Tony Gonsolin new two-year deal

Dodgers give RHP Tony Gonsolin new two-year deal

The Los Angeles Dodgers avoided arbitration with All-Star right-hander Tony Gonsolin on Tuesday, with the sides agreeing to a two-year, $6.65 million deal.

Gonsolin had been seeking a $3.4 million salary for 2023, while the Dodgers were offering $3 million. The settlement will see him make $3.25 million this year and a minimum of $3.4 million next year, according to The Athletic.

Per the report, he also would get an extra $500,000 for hitting each of six milestones in terms of games started: 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 28. And Cy Young Award bonuses are available, too, The Athletic reported.

Last season, Gonsolin finished 16-1 to break the franchise's single-season record for winning percentage -- a major-league-leading .941. He tied for fifth in the majors in wins. Had he thrown enough innings to qualify, he would have ranked second in the majors in ERA (2.14), WHIP (0.87) and opponents' batting average (.172).

Gonsolin missed most of the last two months of the season due to a forearm strain.

He went 11-0 with a 2.02 ERA in 17 starts during the first half of the 2022 campaign, earning a spot on the National League All-Star Game. Gonsolin wound up taking the loss in the Midseason Classic at Dodger Stadium after allowing three runs on four hits (including homers by Giancarlo Stanton and Byron Buxton) in his lone inning during the NL's 3-2 loss.

Gonsolin, 28, was a ninth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2016 out of Saint Mary's College of California. In four major league seasons, all with Los Angeles, he has a 26-6 record with a 2.51 ERA in 59 games (51 starts). In 272 2/3 innings, he has 267 strikeouts and 91 walks.

Mariners claim LHP Tayler Saucedo off waivers from Mets

Mariners claim LHP Tayler Saucedo off waivers from Mets

The Seattle Mariners claimed left-handed relief pitcher Tayler Saucedo off waivers from the New York Mets on Tuesday.

Saucedo, 29, spent the past two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and appeared in 33 games, including just four last season.

The Hawaii native has a career ERA of 5.40 but gave up four earned runs, including three home runs, across 2 2/3 innings in 2022 for an ERA of 13.50. Saucedo also has 19 career strikeouts (zero in 2022).

The Mets selected Saucedo off waivers from the Blue Jays in November. They designated him for assignment on Jan. 24.

Seattle DFA'd right-handed pitcher J.B. Bukauskas to make room on its 40-man roster for Saucedo. Bukauskas, 26, last appeared in the major leagues in 2021 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he went 2-2 with a 7.79 ERA in 21 appearances out of the bullpen.

Reports: Blue Jays reach 2-year deal with RHP Chad Green

Reports: Blue Jays reach 2-year deal with RHP Chad Green

The Toronto Blue Jays have reached agreement on a two-year deal worth at least $8.5 million with right-hander Chad Green, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

Green, who underwent Tommy John surgery in May, would be guaranteed $2.25 million in Year 1 of the deal in 2023 before a multi-layered option structure kicks in, per the reports.

The Jays have a club option for 2024-26 that would pay Green $27 million over three seasons. If the Blue Jays decline that option, Green has a player option for 2024 worth $6.25 million before bonuses, per the reports.

Green pitched in just 14 games in 2022, going 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA. In his seven seasons, all with American League rival New York Yankees, Green is 33-22 with a 3.17 ERA and 11 saves in 272 games (24 starts).

Green is not expected to return until the second half of the 2023 season.

All-Star OF Dexter Fowler retires after 14 seasons

All-Star OF Dexter Fowler retires after 14 seasons

Center fielder Dexter Fowler, an All-Star and World Series champion, retired after 14 seasons on Tuesday.

Fowler, 36, announced his decision on social media, stepping away after 1,460 games with five organizations.

"It's here. I'm hanging up my cleats," he wrote.

"... Today is one of those moments where you metaphorically step down from your throne with a standing ovation, tip of the cap, and the world stops spinning. I'm mostly proud to look back at my career knowing that I played the game the right way and did my best to make a positive impact beyond the win."

Fowler made the National League All-Star team and won a World Series championship with the Chicago Cubs -- the franchise's first since 1908 -- during the 2016 season.

A 14th-round draft pick by Colorado in 2004, Fowler batted .259 with 127 home runs, 253 doubles, 82 triples, 517 RBIs and 149 stolen bases with the Rockies (2008-13), Houston Astros (2014), Cubs (2015-16), St. Louis Cardinals (2017-20) and Los Angeles Angels (2021).

He led the majors with 14 triples in 2010.

Longtime Dodgers scout, executive Ralph Avila dies at 92

Longtime Dodgers scout, executive Ralph Avila dies at 92

Former Los Angeles Dodgers scout and executive Ralph Avila, a key figure in the team's successful in-roads into the Dominican Republic, died Monday in South Florida at age 92, the team confirmed.

Avila's son Al, a baseball executive himself, told ESPN Deportes his father died from natural causes.

Avila joined the Dodgers as a scout in 1970 and was still advising the team as recently as 2021. He signed future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez as well as Ramon Martinez, Candy Maldonado, Mariano Duncan, Raul Mondesi, Omar Daal and Jose Vizcaino.

Avila helped create the Dodgers' academy in the Dominican and was one of the architects of the Dominican Summer League. He was honored as the major leagues' International Scout of the Year in 2006, becoming the first person to receive the award.

The Avila family has become a fixture in the major leagues.

Ralph Avila's son Al was the Detroit Tigers' general manager from August 2015 to August 2022.

Al's son Alex had a 13-year major league career as a catcher with the Tigers (2009-15, 2017), Chicago White Sox (2016), Chicago Cubs (2017), Arizona Diamondbacks (2018-19), Minnesota Twins (2020) and Washington Nationals (2021), making the American League All-Star team in 2011.

Cleveland superfan, drummer John Adams dies at 71

Cleveland superfan, drummer John Adams dies at 71

The Cleveland Guardians released a statement Monday to mourn the passing of John Adams, team superfan who pounded on a big bass drum from the top of the bleachers at nearly every home game for 48 years.

Adams was 71.

Adams banged on the drum for more than 3,500 home games, missing just 45 until he fell ill. The Guardians presented Adams with a life-sized drum made out of bronze last Aug. 24 to commemorate the anniversary of his first game in Cleveland's old Municipal Stadium in 1973.

The drum, which Adams bought for $25 at a garage sale in 1973, is permanently showcased at the team's Heritage Park area at Progressive Field on bleachers that were removed from left field.

Adams underwent triple bypass surgery and battled thyroid problems among myriad health issues and complications in recent years.

Reports: Marlins acquire RHP Matt Barnes from Red Sox

Reports: Marlins acquire RHP Matt Barnes from Red Sox

The Miami Marlins acquired reliever Matt Barnes and cash from the Boston Red Sox for left-hander Richard Bleier, MLB.com and The Athletic reported Monday.

Neither team confirmed the trade.

The Red Sox designated Barnes, who had been their longest-tenured player, for assignment last week.

Barnes, a 32-year-old right-hander, made his MLB debut in 2014 with Boston. In 429 appearances (two starts), he threw 431 2/3 innings and was 32-30 with a 4.07 ERA and 47 saves.

As Boston's closer in 2021, Barnes was 6-4 with a 3.79 ERA and 24 saves. He followed that last season with an 0-4 record, 4.31 ERA and eight saves in 44 games.

Barnes was stellar for the Red Sox in the postseason, appearing in 12 games and posting a 2-0 record with a 0.79 ERA. He won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2018.

Bleier, 35, has a career record of 14-6 with a 3.06 ERA in 308 games (two starts). He's saved five games in 17 opportunities.

Last season, Bleier was 2-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 55 games (one start) and a save in 50 2/3 innings.

St. Petersburg to follow Rays' plan for new stadium

St. Petersburg to follow Rays' plan for new stadium

The first box was checked Monday in keeping the Tampa Bay Rays right where they have been -- in St. Petersburg, Fla., on a redeveloped 86-acre plot.

Mayor Ken Welch announced that the city has chosen the Rays' vision for a new stadium and all 86 acres, a project that's estimated to cost more than $6 billion over the next 20-plus years. It includes $2.5 billion to $3 billon for a new 30,000-seat ballpark on the site where Tropicana Field currently sits.

"The process was detailed and transparent, and as your mayor, I have done my homework." Welch said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "I am confident that this decision is the best path forward."

The next question is, will the Rays commit to staying now that their vision and specs were selected? The organization has yet to state that publicly.

Rays co-president Brian Auld recently said the organization is fully engaged with St. Pete but is also "continuing dialogue" about a Tampa stadium.

Tampa officials are also discussing a stadium with the Rays on 33 acres of property along the Ybor Channel in Ybor Harbor.

"There is a lot of work still to do," Tampa mayor Jane Castor said, according to the Times. "Tampa remains a great option for the team and we're keeping our door open and pencil sharpened for the due diligence on any potential Rays stadium proposal in Tampa."

The Rays' lease at Tropicana Field ends in 2027.

RHP Darren O’Day retires after 15 seasons

RHP Darren O’Day retires after 15 seasons

Right-handed submarine-style pitcher Darren O'Day announced his retirement Monday after 15 seasons.

O'Day, 40, announced his decision in a lengthy Twitter post.

"It's been a wild ride that I never thought I'd get to experience, but it's finally time to hang 'em up," he said to intro his letter.

O'Day went 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in 28 relief appearances in 2022 with Atlanta, his second tour of duty with the Braves.

He finishes 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 appearances, all in relief, with six different teams. He posted 21 career saves.

O'Day made his major league debut on March 31, 2008, with the Los Angeles Angels. He would go on to pitch seven seasons in Baltimore, earning his lone All-Star appearance in 2015. He pitched to a 1.52 ERA in 68 games that season.

Reports: Royals, RHP Zack Greinke agree to 1-year deal

Reports: Royals, RHP Zack Greinke agree to 1-year deal

The Kansas City Royals are bringing back free agent right-hander Zack Greinke on a one-year contract, multiple outlets reported Monday.

The deal is said to be in the $8 million to $10 million dollar range plus performance bonuses, pending the results of a physical exam.

Greinke, 39, was 4-9 with a 3.68 ERA in 26 starts in his second stint with the Royals last season.

He began his career with Kansas City (2004-10), winning the American League Cy Young Award there in 2009.

The six-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove winner enters his 20th season in 2023 ranked second among active pitchers in wins (223) and third in strikeouts (2,882).

In addition to the Royals, Greinke has pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-12), Los Angeles Angels (2012), Los Angeles Dodgers (2013-15), Arizona Diamondbacks (2016-19) and Houston Astros (2019-21).

Yankees name Brad Wilkerson assistant hitting coach

Yankees name Brad Wilkerson assistant hitting coach

The New York Yankees named former big leaguer Brad Wilkerson an assistant hitting coach on Monday.

Wilkerson, 45, was a career .247 hitter in eight seasons with Montreal/Washington, Texas, Seattle and Toronto. He had 122 home runs and 399 RBIs in 972 games.

Wilkerson joins the Yankees from Jacksonville University, where he spent the last three years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

Reports: Gold Glove C Roberto Perez agrees to deal with Giants

Reports: Gold Glove C Roberto Perez agrees to deal with Giants

Two-time Gold Glove catcher Roberto Perez agreed to a deal with the San Francisco Giants, according to reports on Sunday.

Terms of Perez's deal haven't been reported.

Perez, 34, won the American League Gold Glove in both 2019 and 2020 with Cleveland. He led the AL in caught-stealing percentage in both 2019 (40.8 percent) and the shortened 2020 season (71.4 percent).

Perez is a defensive-minded asset but typically a liability with the bat though he did hit a career-best 24 homers in 2019. He has a career batting average of .207 with 55 homers and 192 RBIs in 511 games over nine seasons, the first eight with Cleveland.

Perez spent last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates but played in just 21 games due to a hamstring injury that occurred while running the bases on May 7. He batted .233 with two homers and eight RBIs.

Veteran INF Josh Harrison agrees to one-year deal with Phillies

Veteran INF Josh Harrison agrees to one-year deal with Phillies

Two-time All-Star infielder Josh Harrison reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, his agency, MSM Sports, announced Sunday.

The 35-year-old Harrison will receive $2 million, according to the New York Post.

Harrison batted .256 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 119 games for the Chicago White Sox last season.

The Phillies will be the fifth team in five seasons and sixth overall for Harrison, who was a National League All-Star for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014 and 2017.

Harrison batted a career-high .315 in 2014 and hit a career-best 16 homers in 2017.

Overall, Harrison has a .272 career average with 71 homers and 378 RBIs in 1,168 games. He spent eight seasons with Pittsburgh (2011-18) before he began bouncing around the majors, playing for the Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics and White Sox.

Harrison is primarily a second baseman but also factors in at third base. He can also play the outfield and shortstop.

The Phillies are defending National League champions.

Yankees settle with 2B Gleyber Torres on one-year deal

Yankees settle with 2B Gleyber Torres on one-year deal

The New York Yankees agreed to a one-year contract with second baseman Gleyber Torrres, avoiding arbitration.

The team announced Sunday that a settlement was reached Saturday. Terms were not disclosed.

Torres, who is not eligible for free agency until 2025, earned a $6.25 million base salary last season.

The two-time All-Star batted .257 with 24 home runs and 76 RBIs in 140 games in 2022.

Torres, 26, is a career .265 hitter with 98 homers and 310 RBIs in 576 games over five seasons with the Yankees.

Reports: Rays finalizing extension for 3B Yandy Diaz

Reports: Rays finalizing extension for 3B Yandy Diaz

The Tampa Bay Rays are finalizing a three-year, $24 million contract extension with third baseman Yandy Diaz, multiple outlets reported Saturday.

The deal reportedly includes a club option for a fourth season in 2026.

Diaz, 31, and the Rays were scheduled to have an arbitration hearing after failing to reach an agreement by the Jan. 13 deadline. He won't be eligible for free agency until 2025.

Diaz posted a .296/.401/.423 slash line in 2022 with 42 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs, 78 walks and just 60 strikeouts in 137 games.

The Cuban-born Diaz is a lifetime .278 hitter with 39 homers and 198 RBIs in 472 games with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay.

Rays sign RHP Pete Fairbanks to 3-year extension

Rays sign RHP Pete Fairbanks to 3-year extension

The Tampa Bay Rays announced a three-year extension with a club option on a fourth season for right-handed reliever Pete Fairbanks on Friday.

The club did not announce financial terms, but reports put the deal at $12 million, at least, including a $1 million buyout on the fourth season. The value could rise to $24.6 million if the Rays pick up the option and performance bonuses are reached.

The deal nixes Fairbanks' arbitration hearing scheduled for next week.

Fairbanks, 29, went 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 relief appearances in 2022. He missed the first 3 1/2 months of the season with a torn lat muscle sustained in spring training. He made his season debut July 17.

Fairbanks is 11-12 with a 3.46 ERA and 15 saves in 119 career appearances (two starts) for Texas and the Rays.

Reports: Mets, batting champ Jeff McNeil agree on $50M extension

Reports: Mets, batting champ Jeff McNeil agree on $50M extension

The New York Mets are rewarding homegrown player Jeff McNeil after the slick hitter led the National League in batting in 2022.

The Mets and McNeil agreed on a four-year, $50 million contract extension through at least the 2026 season, according to multiple media reports Friday.

McNeil batted .326 last season in collecting his second All-Star Game honor as well as his first Silver Slugger award.

He has established his hitting credentials with a .307 career batting average in five years since making his debut at age 26 in 2018. Known for making contact more than the pop in his bat, the left-handed-hitting McNeil struck out only 61 times in 589 plate appearances and 533 at-bats in 2022. He has just 242 strikeouts in 2,039 plate appearances for his career.

A 2013 draft pick (12th round) by the Mets out of Long Beach State, McNeil turns 31 in April. He was slated for arbitration, where his request for $7.75 million this coming season was countered with the Mets' $6.25 million offer, according to ESPN.

The new deal, pending him passing a physical, covers two seasons of arbitration eligibility and includes a fifth-year club option for 2027 that would make the total value $63.75 million, according to ESPN and Newsday.

ESPN and MLB.com reported that the average annual value of $12.5 million increases the club's competitive balance tax bill and prompts a 90 percent tax on the additional average salary.

The franchise's project tax for the entire player payroll is around $467 million, a major league record, ESPN reported.

McNeil, who also plays solid defense as a corner outfielder and third baseman, is slated to be the Mets' starting second baseman. He has recorded 564 hits, including 121 doubles and 46 home runs, along with 214 RBIs in his major league career.

Braves extend manager Brian Snitker through 2025

Braves extend manager Brian Snitker through 2025

For the second time in a span in two years, the Atlanta Braves lengthened the contract of Brian Snitker, extending the World Series-winning manager Friday for one more season through 2025.

No financial terms of the deal were reported.

Snikter, 67, guided the Braves to a championship in 2021 and a month later the team picked up a club option on his contract that extended his deal through 2024. Friday's deal means Snitker won't have lame-duck status beyond the upcoming season.

The Braves are 542-451 over seven seasons under Snitker, winning 97 games in 2019 and following their title with 101 victories last season. The Braves were eliminated in the National Division Series by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2022.

Atlanta has advanced to the postseason in each of the last five years.

Snitker is a longtime member of the Braves organization, since his days as a minor league player for Atlanta from 1977-80. He has served in various roles in the organization since, starting as a roving instructor in 1980 and taking his first minor league manager job with the club in 1982. In 20 seasons as a minor league manager with the Braves, Snitker's teams won 1,301 games.

After seven seasons as the Braves' third-base coach, Snitker was named manager at Triple-A Gwinnett in 2013 before taking over as interim Braves manager in May 2016 after Fredi Gonzalez was fired. He became the full-time manager to start the 2017 season.

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