Here’s your five-minute MLB Update for Friday, January 31, 2020. Check out all the latest in free-agent signings, trades and news from around the league.
MLB News and Notes
Angels: After 10 seasons (2019-2019) with Los Angeles, longtime Angels’ outfielder Peter Bourjos has announced his retirement. He will now join the Rockies’ organization as an advanced scout.
Astros: It’s official. The Astros have named Dusty Baker as their next manager. Baker will get a one-year contract with either an option for a second year or a buyout. Joe Espada will stay on as bench coach.
Cubs: On Wednesday, an arbitrator ruled on Kris Bryant‘s service time grievance against the Cubs. Bryant lost and will remain under team control through the end of the 2021 season. Speculation of a trade involving Bryant is heating up.
Other reports say that the Cubs have offered Bryant extensions, but that the offers were low, as compared to other similar quality third basemen.
Reds: The Reds have worked hard to build offense this winter, but have suffered a setback. Eugenio Suarez (3B) will be down for most of Spring Training due to shoulder surgery to remove loose cartilage.
Dodgers/Red Sox: Reports say that trade talks between the Dodgers and Red Sox regarding OF Mookie Betts are beginning to heat up.
Kazmir Launches Comeback: It’s been two full seasons since veteran lefty Scott Kazmir pitched, but he’s now attempting a comeback at age 36.
Sign-Stealing Scandal: Ever wonder how productive that elaborately simple scam of the Astros was? This took a lot of time, but a fan actually broke down the bangs.
Tony Barnette: Righty reliever Tony Barnette has announced his retirement from baseball. Although entering the minors in 2006, he spent only about 3-1/2 seasons at the Major League level. (TEX, CHC).
Last July, Barnette stormed out of the Iowa Cubs clubhouse after learning he’d been passed up for a promotion to the majors. The Cubs immediately placed him on the restricted list and he hasn’t returned or played since.
Free Agent Signings
Giants: The Giants have agreed to re-sign 3B Pablo Sandoval (aka “The Panda”) to a minor-league deal. The contract will be worth $2M if he makes the Major League squad, with another $750k available in incentives.
Orioles: The O’s have claimed infielder Pat Valaika off waivers from Arizona.
Pirates: Pittsburgh has signed LHP Robbie Erlin to a minor-league deal. (Monday)
Reds: Cincinnati has signed former Cubs’ setup-man, Pedro Strop.
Tigers: Detroit has agreed to re-sign shortstop Jordy Mercer.
Yankees: The Yanks have added catching depth, signing veteran backstop Josh Thole to a minor league deal.
Only in MLB…
A 95-year-old Chicago woman passed away on January 19th. The sarcastic obituary asked for something strange: Donations to Cubs’ owner, Tom Ricketts, so that he may assemble an MLB-ready bullpen.
The Cubs often have bullpen issues and Ricketts has refused to spend on free agency this winter.
Spring Training Schedule
For those who can’t wait, here’s a look at the first two days of Spring Training games.
Friday, February 21
|Huskies||Red Sox||1:05 PM|
|Golden Gophers||Twins||6:05 P|
Saturday, February 22:
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