Paul Goldschmidt focused on Cardinals, not 2020 free agency

Now that he is with the St. Louis Cardinals, Paul Goldschmidt is not thinking beyond the 2019 season.

The six-time All-Star was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks this week and will earn $14.5 million in the final season of a seven-year deal that will pay $46 million, including a $1 million assignment bonus for the trade. If he doesn’t sign a new contract, he would be among the top free agents next offseason.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Try not to have any distractions, so anything like that won’t be on my mind,” Goldschmidt said at his introductory news conference Friday. “I think the biggest thing is I’m excited to be here, excited to be part of this team and organization and just focused on getting ready for spring training and opening day and the season and trying to help us win.”

St. Louis has a history of acquiring sluggers such as Mark McGwire and Matt Holliday and signing them to long-term contracts.

“It’s always hard to pencil out these types of deals when you only have one year of control,” president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “… I’ve always sort of been one of those types of people who thinks about the bigger picture. This was a different type of deal for us. It was clearly about trying to position the 2019 team to be more competitive.”12

St. Louis sent pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, minor league infielder Andy Young and a 2019 draft pick to Arizona on Wednesday for Goldschmidt.

“The Cardinals have had some impressive first basemen over the years,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said, citing Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Bill White, Orlando Cepeda, McGwire, Keith Hernandez, Albert Pujols and Matt Carpenter.

“Paul is a perfect fit for our club,” DeWitt added. “Last year, we won 88 games. Had a wonderful second half — struggled in the first half and were so close to the playoffs. We felt like an additional impact player could put us over the top.”

St. Louis has missed the playoffs in three straight years for the first time since 1997-99.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“We couldn’t find anything negative on him. Nothing,” Mozeliak said of Goldschmidt. “He loves baseball. Loves to play the game, plays it right. And when you think about the St. Louis Cardinals, he just sounds like the perfect fit.”


Nationals owner: Maxed out offer for Bryce Harper, ‘don’t expect him to come back’

Nationals owner Mark Lerner says he doesn’t expect Bryce Harper to return to Washington after telling the superstar outfielder that the team maxed out its offer at the end of the regular season.

Multiple reports said Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, rejected a 10-year contract worth approximately $300 million in September.

Lerner didn’t discuss the exact offer that was given to Harper, but he said the Nationals couldn’t comfortably offer more and field a competitive team around the six-time All-Star.

“When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, ‘This is the best we can do.’ We went right to the finish line very quickly,” Lerner told 106.7 The Fan. “And we said, ‘If this is of interest to you, please come back to us, and we’ll see whether we can finish it up.’ But we just couldn’t afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that.”

Even if Harper, 26, were willing to accept the previous Nationals offer, Lerner said he wasn’t sure the team could now make it work.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The Nationals officially signed left-hander Patrick Corbin on Friday to a heavily back-loaded six-year deal worth $140 million. At a news conference introducing Corbin on Friday, general manager Mike Rizzo said the deal wasn’t relevant to what might happen with Harper.11

“I think they’re independent of each other. I really do,” Rizzo said. “We’ve gone about this business of creating a roster for 2019, and at the end of the day, we’ll figure out whether that includes Harp or not.

“We thought it was good business — we had to fix the things we needed to fix. Harp is a big part of our family and we’d love to have him back.”

No timeline has been given for when Harper is expected to sign with a team. Harper is expected to receive the largest contract in free agency this year, and Boras is known for extending talks with his free agents past the holiday break.

Without Harper, the Nationals would have Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Michael Taylor and Victor Robles in their outfield.

“We feel very strongly we’re in good shape,” Lerner said. “It’ll be a young, pretty incredible outfield defensively, and certainly with the bat, it’s going to be special.“cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

And now the Nationals have Corbin joining a star-studded rotation with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

Corbin gets a $2.5 million signing bonus payable next Oct. 31 and salaries of $12.5 million next season, $19 million in 2020, $24 million in 2021, $23 million in 2022, $24 million in 2023 and $35 million in 2024 — when he turns 35. The final year’s salary includes $10 million that will be deferred without interest and payable on Jan. 15, 2026.


What Jean Segura trade says about Phillies’ pursuit of Manny Machado

The Mariners-Phillies trade is finally official: The Mariners will send shortstop Jean Segura and relievers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos to the Phillies for first baseman Carlos Santana and shortstop J.P. Crawford.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

As with so many trades, the money and contracts must be considered. Segura is signed for four more seasons at $59.4 million (there is a $17 million team option for 2023 with a $1 million buyout). Santana has two years remaining at $41.1 million, plus a $500,000 buyout or $17.5 million team option for 2021. Nicasio will make $9.25 million in 2019 while Pazos and Crawford and not arbitration-eligible.12

While finding a taker for Santana’s contract was a nice bonus to this deal, the fact that the Phillies took on more overall money in the deal is an indication — at least to me — that they were hesitant to hand shortstop to Crawford in 2019.

A former first-round pick, Crawford’s minor league career had some ups and downs, but after a solid season at Triple-A in 2017 (he hit .243/.351/.405 with 79 walks and 15 home runs in 556 plate appearances) and a 23-game cameo with the Phillies, he entered 2018 as Keith Law’s No. 10 overall prospect.

Crawford began the season as the Phillies’ starting shortstop and was hitting .188 on April 28, when he landed on the DL with a forearm strain. He returned in June, started eight of 11 games at third base, and then suffered a broken hand when hit by a pitch. He returned in September and ended up hitting .214/.319/.393 in 138 PAs with the Phillies (and .208/.339/.317 in 29 games in the minors). It was mostly a lost season given the injuries, so it’s hard to evaluate his progress. It’s worth pointing out that the Phillies know him best of all and decided to trade him.

The basic scouting report: good glove, bats lefty, won’t hit for much for average or power, good plate discipline.

There doesn’t appear to be a lot of upside on offense, although if he draws enough walks at least he won’t kill the offense with a poor OBP. If he’s a .350 OBP guy with 10 home runs and good defense, that’s a valuable player. If he’s a .300 OBP guy with limited power, there’s pressure on the defense to be elite, and that seems to be the overriding issue in evaluating him: Is he an elite defender?nike nfl jerseys cheap china

His defense has always been scouted as a strength, with range, good hands and a strong arm. The metrics, however, were not kind to him in 2018, with minus-6 DRS in just 229 innings. Some of that was courtesy of a high error rate — he made eight errors, all on throws, for a poor .931 fielding percentage. Two of those came trying to complete double plays, one trying to double a runner off first and the other five came on grounders. The curious thing is when Crawford returned in June, Scott Kingery — who had played two games at shortstop in his minor league career — continued to get the majority of the starts at shortstop while Crawford played third base. Seems like a strange decision to move the player who is supposed to be the potentially elite defender.


Pirates avoid arbitration, reach deal with reliever Michael Feliz

The Pirates avoided arbitration with reliever Michael Feliz, reaching an agreement on Friday on an $850,000, one-year contract.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Feliz went 1-2 with a 5.33 ERA in 47 appearances for the Pirates in 2018 after being part of the trade that sent pitcher Gerrit Cole to Houston.

Pittsburgh offered contracts to left fielder Corey Dickerson and reliever Keone Kela.11

Dickerson is likely due a significant raise over the $5.95 million he made this year. Dickerson hit .300 with 13 home runs and 55 RBI and earned the first Gold Glove of his career after being obtained from Tampa Bay on the eve of the regular season.

Pittsburgh acquired Kela at the trade deadline in July. He went 3-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 54 appearances for Texas and Pittsburgh, earning $1.2 million. The Pirates ended his season early September as a precaution due to his workload. Kela’s 52 innings were his most since 60 1/3 as a rookie in 2015.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china


Mariners discussed Robinson Cano trade with Yankees, Mets

The Seattle Mariners are actively trying to trade Robinson Cano and reached out to the Yankees and Mets about possible blockbusters that would have sent the star second baseman back to New York, according to a recent report by The Athletic.

Citing multiple sources, The Athletic reported that the Mariners and Yankees briefly talked about a potential trade involving Cano and veteran outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury in a swap of lucrative contracts.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

But those talks fizzled, in part, according to the report, because the Yankees wanted the Mariners to include cash that would offset some of the $120 million that Cano will make over the final five years of his contract.i

The Mets would be interested in acquiring Cano only if Seattle included a prospect and cash in the trade, according to the report.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Mariners have already completed one trade with the Yankees this offseason, sending ace left-hander James Paxton to New York earlier this month for a trio of minor leaguers, including top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.

Cano, 36, batted .303 with 10 home runs last season but was suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s joint drug policy.

The eight-time All-Star spent his first nine years with the Yankees before signing a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners before the 2014 season.


Mets coach Jim Riggleman downplays idea he’s manager in waiting

New York started 11-1 last season in Callaway’s first season as a manager, then struggled with injuries and faded to 44-63 by early August before finishing fourth in the NL East at 77-85.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any issue with any perception because I think we’re going to get that out of the way real quick by the way we work in spring training and the way we get out of the blocks in April as to what our ballclub is going to be able to do,” Riggleman said.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Riggleman’s agent, Burton Rocks, was contacted about the job by Mets senior adviser Omar Minaya even before new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was hired last month. The 66-year-old Riggleman interviewed about two weeks ago with Van Wagenen, Callaway, assistant general manager John Ricco and Minaya.11

Riggleman was Cincinnati’s bench coach and became interim manager for the final five-plus months last season. He led the Reds to a 64-80 record after the team’s 3-15 start under Bryan Price. David Bell was hired by the Reds on Oct. 21.

In a 2-1, 10-inning loss at Riggleman’s Reds on May 9, New York’s Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores batted out of order because the handwritten lineup card given to umpires was different from a computer-printed version posted in the Mets’ dugout.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“It’s one that got by, but, believe me, it’s gotten by everybody who’s ever done this job,” Riggleman said. “Now, sometimes it happened in the minor leagues and it’s such an eye-opening experience for you that you just say, wow, as many times as we looked at that lineup, that one got by us.”

Riggleman also managed the Chicago Cubs (1995-99), Seattle (2008) and Washington (2009-11). He has a 726-904 (.445) record as a big league manager. He compared his new job under Callaway to his work with Jim Tracy with the Los Angeles Dodgers and with Price.


Giants exercise options on Madison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval

Madison Bumgarner’s $12 million contract option for the 2019 season has been exercised by the San Francisco Giants, keeping the 2014 World Series MVP and ace left-hander with the club for at least one more season after his past two years were shortened by injuries.cheap youth nfl jerseys

The Giants on Monday also exercised third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s option for the $555,000 minimum.

In April 2012, Bumgarner signed a $35.56 million, six-year deal through 2017 that included $12 million club options for the 2018 and ’19 seasons.12

Bumgarner, 29, broke the pinkie on his pitching hand when he was hit by a line drive from Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield in his final spring training start. He returned to go 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 21 starts over 129 2/3 innings.

MadBum missed nearly three months last year following a dirt bike accident during an off day in Colorado.

Sandoval, the 2012 World Series MVP, is recovering from right hamstring surgery and didn’t play after July 29. His salary for next season will be offset against the $18 million he is still owed by Boston. He signed a $95 million, five-year deal with the Red Sox after the 2014 season and departed San Francisco.nfl cheap nike jerseys

The Giants reinstated from the 60-day disabled list catcher Buster Posey, Sandoval and right-handers Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto and Julian Fernandez.


Denard Span a free agent after Mariners decline $12 million option

The Mariners have declined outfielder Denard Span’s $12 million contract option for next year in favor of a $4 million buyout, making the 34-year-old a free agent.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

Span, who exercised his part of the option, was acquired by Seattle last May in a trade with Tampa Bay and became one of the Mariners most consistent hitters. Span hit .272 with 15 doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 94 games with the Mariners, often batting in the middle of Seattle’s order. He played 87 of those games in the outfield, almost all in left field.11

Span agreed to a $31 million, three-year contract with San Francisco before the 2016 season and earned an additional $4.75 million in performance bonuses and escalators that raised his earnings under the deal to $35.75 million.

He was traded to Tampa Bay from San Francisco last offseason and relished the chance to play where he grew up. But with Seattle needing a left-handed bat after the suspension of Robinson Cano as it tried to contend for a playoff spot, he was traded to the Mariners along with reliever Alex Colome for a pair of minor leaguers.cheap youth nfl jerseys


New manager David Bell tasked with turning around Reds

David Bell buttoned his Reds jersey with the No. 25, the same one worn by his grandfather and his father. Buddy Bell stood in the back of the room, watching the scene as a proud papa. In the front row was young Gus Bell, named for the grandfather who was a star in Cincinnati.

The Reds reached into their family roots for their next manager, one who is expected to help lead the club out of its rebuilding doldrums.

David Bell was introduced as the Reds’ 63rd manager on Monday in the city where he grew up. How much he succeeds will depend upon the front office, which hasn’t been able to translate its high-profile trades into on-field success.

The Reds hope that having a member of an esteemed Cincinnati baseball family in the dugout will get fans’ attention for at least the short-term. Gus Bell played for the Reds from 1953 to ’61 and is in their Hall of Fame. Buddy Bell was a popular player with the Reds from 1985 to ’88. Now David has a third-generation place on the field.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“I used to go and watch his grandfather play,” owner Bob Castellini said. “His grandfather’s namesake is in the front row, little Gus.

“He brings a Cincinnati tradition back to us. The Bell family is a Cincinnati family.”12

The city’s last shining baseball moment came in 2015, when it hosted the All-Star Game. The franchise then embarked on a massive overhaul, trading away most of its stars — including Todd Frazier, who won the Home Run Derby. The team had little to show for it at the major league level, losing 94, 94 and 95 games each of the past three seasons, its worst stretch since the Great Depression.

Attendance also has fallen each year. The Reds drew only 1.6 million last season, their smallest attendance total since 1984 at Riverfront Stadium when they lost 92 games, fired Vern Rapp and brought back Pete Rose — another Cincinnati native — as player-manager.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

The starting rotation has been the main thing holding them back. Dick Williams, the director of player personnel, said at season’s end that the Reds will be looking to add veteran starters in the offseason, a departure from the last few years when they counted heavily on young pitchers to grow into jobs.

Bell was one of more than a dozen candidates interviewed, including Joe Girardi. Jim Riggleman, who took over on an interim basis when Bryan Price was fired in April, also was interviewed. Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, another Cincinnati native, wasn’t interested in interviewing.


Dodgers roll out all-righty lineup to face Chris Sale in Game 1

After some late afternoon showers in Boston, the sun partially came out around 5 p.m. ET, a rainbow appeared from above the Green Monster all the way to over the right-field grandstand, and the grounds crew temporarily removed the tarp from the infield (it was later put back on, even as the skies cleared). Rain returned to Fenway after 6:30 p.m., with lightning in the area forcing fans already in the stadium to seek shelter on the concourse. Despite the late round of storms, Game 1 got underway on time.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts rolled out an unusual lineup, stacking his lineup with nine right-handed batters against Sale, the first time that has happened in a World Series game since 2005, when the Houston Astros did it in a game started by the Chicago White Sox’s Mark Buehrle.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

The curious choice is the decision to bat Brian Dozier in the leadoff spot. Dozier has an extensive history against Sale from their days together in the AL Central and has hit .255 (12-for-47) with three home runs off him, but he has struggled since joining the Dodgers at the July 31 trade deadline. He didn’t play much in the first two rounds, going 2-for-11 with two walks, and hit .182/.300/.350 in 170 regular-season plate appearances with the Dodgers.11

It’s understandable that Roberts would want to stack his lineup against Sale, however, as lefties have hit just .175 against him in 2018 with no home runs (including the postseason). Of course, righties don’t exactly light him up either, as they hit .181 — albeit with a slugging percentage nearly 100 points higher.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

The Dodgers started Austin Barnes at catcher over Yasmani Grandal, who has struggled with passed balls and wild pitches so far in the postseason. Matt Kemp earns the DH spot after hitting .273 and slugging .508 against lefties. Once Sale is pulled and Red Sox manager Alex Cora goes to his stable of right-handed relievers, Roberts can counter with his powerful left-handed bats off the bench: Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson and the switch-hitting Grandal.

The Red Sox’s lineup does not feature any major surprises. As he did in a couple of games against the Yankees in the division series when a lefty started, Cora has moved Steve Pearce up to the third spot, sliding J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts back to fourth and fifth. Pearce hit .304/.400/.559 against lefties in the regular season. Rafael Devers gets the start at third base over Eduardo Nunez, even though that creates a lefty-lefty matchup against Kershaw. Devers had a couple of key hits in the American League Championship Series, including a three-run homer off Houston’s Justin Verlander in Game 5 of the ALCS.