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  • It's official: Stanton joins Judge in pinstripes
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, December 11, 2017

    The New York Yankees officially announced Monday the blockbuster trade acquiring reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins.

    • The Yankees also received cash considerations from the Marlins in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro, minor league right-hander Jorge Guzman and minor league infielder Jose Devers.

      "I'm very excited to be here and be a part of the Yankees," Stanton said at a news conference Monday during the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "I'm just looking forward to stepping up and being with this winning environment and winning culture so I'm happy to be here."

      The two teams reached terms of the deal on Saturday pending final approval from the 28-year-old Stanton under the terms of his no-trade clause and passing a physical.

      Stanton, who hit 59 home runs for the Marlins this past season, is now in pinstripes and will be joining another slugger in the Yankees outfield -- American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge, who hit 52 homers in 2017. The Yankees led the majors with 241 home runs in 2017.

      The towering duo of 6-foot-6, 245-pound Stanton and 6-7, 282-pound Judge will be in the 2018 Yankees' lineup for new manager Aaron Boone.

      Only once in major league history has a lineup boasted two 50-homer players -- the 1961 Yankees, when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's record with 61 while Mickey Mantle hit 54.

      "Just watching them from afar, seeing their young dynamic group, the way they flow together on the field, the way they never give up, never quit ... there's not much you could say of why you wouldn't want to be there," Stanton said.

      Talks between the Yankees and Marlins picked up Friday after Stanton turned down deals with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

      The Cardinals and Giants both targeted Stanton from the time that new Marlins ownership -- led by former Yankees great Derek Jeter -- made it known they wanted to move Stanton to help slash payroll. He is owed $295 million over the next 10 years with an opt-out clause in 2021.

      The Yankees will be responsible for $265 million with the Marlins kicking in $30 million as part of the deal, according to multiple reports. Stanton has the right to opt out of his contract and become a free agent after receiving $77 million over the next three seasons, ESPN reported.

      Stanton led the majors in home runs, runs batted in (132) and slugging percentage (.631), while batting .281 with 123 runs scored, 32 doubles, 85 walks and a .376 on-base percentage in 159 games. Stanton also collected his second career NL Hank Aaron Award as his league's most outstanding offensive performer (also 2014) in addition to earning his second Silver Slugger Award (also 2014) and making his fourth All-Star team (2012, 2014-15, 2017).

      "This is going to be a great new chapter in my life and my career so I want to thank everyone involved to be able to get this done," Stanton said.

      Since the start of his career in 2010, Stanton's average of one home run per 13.40 at-bats is the best in the majors among those with at least 1,000 plate appearances over the span. In his eight seasons with the Marlins, Stanton is a .268 hitter with 267 homers and 672 RBIs.

      Stanton criticized the Marlins organization in a farewell post earlier Monday on Instagram while saying goodbye to the fans and the city of Miami.

      "Thank you to the Marlins Organization & the amazing city of Miami! The city that adopted me at 17 with open arms. I've loved this place over the years and it will always be special to me," Stanton wrote. "I appreciate All my teammates & coaching Staff that battled day in and day out

      "I feel for u fans, you've stuck with me as we've shared some roller coaster years. I've always tried to be as professional as possible during the unprofessional, circus times there! Regardless of the Ups&downs, I've grown n learned a lot as a Person/Player. So for that I give thanks, I hope there are better days in Miami. The city & the people are too great not to be! Stay positive & much love!"

      Jeter said on a Monday conference call that trading Stanton to his former team was "the best deal" for the Marlins.

      "It gives us flexibility," Jeter, the CEO of the Marlins, said of deal. "We're trying to fix something that is broken. I'm just as impatient as the fans.

      "I have no feelings about trading him to the Yankees. It was the best deal for us."

      Stanton said he decided to waive his no-trade clause with the Marlins after a conversation with Jeter about the team's future.

      "We had a meeting, we spoke about the direction of the team. I wanted us to go forward and advance with the pitching staff," Stanton said. "I thought our lineup was legit and we needed help with our pitchers and we needed to add rather than subtract. The way they wanted to go was to subtract. So I let that be known, I didn't want to be a part of another rebuild, another losing season. And that's almost a guaranteed losing season, taking away what I thought was a great lineup. So yes, I didn't want to be part of a rebuild."

      The trade marks the second time in major league history that a reigning MVP has been acquired via trade prior to the start of the following season. On Feb. 16, 2004, the Yankees acquired reigning AL MVP Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers.

      Castro, 27, batted .300 with 66 runs, 18 doubles, one triple, 16 home runs, 63 RBIs, 23 walks and a .338 on-base percentage in 112 games with the Yankees in 2017. He was also named to his first American League All-Star team, marking his fourth All-Star selection overall (also 2011-12, 2014 with the Chicago Cubs). Acquired by the Yankees on Dec. 8, 2015, from the Cubs, Castro played two seasons with the Yankees, posting a .283 batting average with 129 runs, 47 doubles, two triples, 37 home runs, 133 RBIs and 47 walks in 263 games.

      Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2006, Castro has hit .282 with 99 home runs and 496 RBIs over 1,154 career games.

      Guzman, 21, went 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA over 66 2/3 innings in 13 games (all starts) with short-season Class A Staten Island in 2017. The right-hander was originally acquired by the Yankees from the Houston Astros on Nov. 17, 2016. Over three minor league seasons, Guzman has an 11-11 record with a 3.67 ERA over 162 innings in 43 appearances (33 starts).

      Devers, 18, was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2016. A native of Samana, Dominican Republic, the left-handed hitting shortstop made his professional debut in 2017, batting .245 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 53 combined games in the minors.

  • Hot Stove action ready to heat up
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, December 11, 2017

    There are still two months to go before pitchers and catchers report, yet two of the biggest events of this baseball offseason likely played out over the past few days.

    • Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani agreed to join the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. And in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the Miami Marlins finalized an agreement to trade National League Most Valuable Player and major league home run champion Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees.

      Both are seismic events.

      Ohtani could have chosen any number of fully formed World Series contenders but didn't. Stanton nudged the Marlins to send him to New York by invoking his no-trade clause to void Miami's agreements for trades to both the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.

      There is still so much more to play out, in free agency and on the trade market. The coming months of "Hot Stove" action began when the winter meetings convened in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday night.

      Here are a handful of things worth keeping an eye on as the meetings unfold and in the weeks ahead:

      --The continuing Marlins sell-off: Dee Gordon was shipped to the Seattle Mariners and Stanton to the Yankees, and that is probably not the end of the dealing.

      The new ownership group backed by Bruce Sherman and fronted by Derek Jeter shelled out $1.2 billion for the club but also reportedly took on $400 million in debt. They expressed a desire to get the team's 2018 payroll into the vicinity of $90 million as part of their business plan. That means trading away some of the club's better (and more expensive players).

      The candidates include just-acquired second baseman Starlin Castro (due $21 million over two years), outfielders Marcell Ozuna (due two arbitration years totaling at least $20 million) and Christian Yelich ($43.25 million over four years), relievers Junichi Tazawa ($7 million for one year) and Brad Ziegler ($9 million for one year) and third baseman Martin Prado ($28.5 million over two years).

      --The Angels' increased sense of urgency: Ohtani is potentially one of the great bargains in baseball. In choosing to play in the North American major leagues this season -- instead of two years from now -- he doesn't get a long-term deal and will make the big-league minimum of about $545,000. So here are the Angels with Ohtani and megastar Mike Trout and money to work with in free agency.

      To be a contender now, Los Angeles is going to need second and third basemen as well as a closer and maybe some high-profile starters. During six seasons with Trout in the fold, the Angels have made the postseason only one time, and the 2018 model also has Justin Upton, Andrelton Simmons and Albert Pujols.

      There are a number of excellent second basemen and third basemen available by trade and in free agency. The Angels been known to spend, and it might be time for a spree.

      --Manny Machado's future with the Baltimore Orioles: Machado is coming off a down season -- if one can believe 33 homers and 95 RBIs is "down" -- yet he is clearly one of the biggest talents in the game. He will be 26 and a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, and the Orioles already have other teams taking their temperature on a potential deal.

      Baltimore is plenty enamored of its third baseman and surely would like to keep him in the fold, but he could be worthy of a free agent deal in the same $300 million as Stanton, and that may be too rich for the Orioles' blood. The Orioles' biggest-ever contract was the 2016 deal of $161 million for seven years to Chris Davis.

      The Orioles will require a bevy in return to trade Machado, but they may want to take that rather than risk Machado walking for one-draft-pick compensation at the end of the season. Teams that missed out on Stanton, such as the Giants and Cardinals, could have serious interest.

      --The Boston Red Sox's countermove: The Yankees' move to acquire Stanton is going to demand a reaction in Boston. The Red Sox's archrival now looks like the favorite to win the American League East if not the entire league. The idea that the Red Sox won't jump into the offensive arms race is hard to fathom.

      The Red Sox didn't hit a lot of home runs in reaching the postseason last year, and power clearly has become the name of the game. The top home run hitter on the free agent market is an attractive one: J.D. Martinez, who hit a combined 45 homers for the Detroit Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

      Boston also may be interested in signing Kansas City Royals free agents Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas (though to add Martinez or Moustakas, it could mean unseating or trading a promising young star). There also may be top sluggers on the trade market as teams look to deal them as they enter the final year on their contract, such as Machado or the Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson.

      --Yu Darvish's value in free agency: Among free agent starting pitchers, Darvish is the biggest name, barreling toward a multiyear deal worth more than $100 million. He spent years as the ace of the Texas Rangers and he was the Los Angeles Dodgers' key pick-up for their postseason run last year.

      However, everyone's last impression of the right-hander is not a good one. In the World Series against the Houston Astros, he drew the start in Games 3 and 7 and didn't get through two innings in either. His World Series ERA was 21.60, with those epic failures causing general managers to question whether he is a big-game pitcher.

      There is no doubt Darvish will be in demand as top starting pitching remains baseball's most valuable commodity, but what teams are willing to offer after those two games on the biggest stage bears watching.

  • MLB notebook: Morris, Trammell elected to Hall of Fame
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, December 10, 2017

    Former Detroit Tigers stars Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday by the entity's Modern Era Baseball committee in Orlando, Fla.

    • Morris, a pitcher, and Trammell, a shortstop, both failed to gain entry during their 15 years on the regular ballot. Morris gained two-thirds of the vote in 2012 -- his 13th time on the ballot -- but didn't receive the required 75 percent in either of his final two years.

      In balloting by the 16-member Modern Era panel, with 12 votes needed for election, Morris got 14 votes and Trammell received 13. Ted Simmons, an eight-time All-Star catcher, just missed election to Cooperstown, getting 11 votes. Committee members were limited to voting to no more than four candidates.

      Morris, a five-time All-Star, compiled a 254-186 record in 18 big-league seasons with the Tigers (1977-90), Minnesota Twins (1991), Toronto Blue Jays (1992-93) and Cleveland Indians (1994). He had a high 3.90 ERA but pitched 28 shutouts and had 175 complete games.

      Trammell played his entire 20-year career with the Tigers and batted .285 with 185 homers and 1,003 RBIs. The six-time All-Star had 2,365 career hits and stole 236 bases and was a five-time Gold Glove winner.

      --The Chicago Cubs agreed to a two-year deal with reliever Brandon Morrow, according to multiple outlets.

      Morrow, 33, was 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 45 regular-season games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017. He gave up just one run and three hits over 8 1/3 innings as the Dodgers won the first two rounds of the National League playoffs to reach the World Series.

      Overall, Morrow is 51-43 with a 4.05 ERA in 299 career appearances (113 starts) with the Seattle Mariners (2007-09), Toronto Blue Jays (2010-14), San Diego Padres (2015-16) and the Dodgers.

      --The St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year contract with right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson.

      The deal, according to multiple media outlets, is worth $11 million pending a physical and includes a vesting option.

      Gregerson, 33, spent the past three seasons with Houston, going 2-3 with a career-high 4.57 ERA in 65 relief appearances for the World Series champion Astros. In 623 career appearances, all in relief, Gregerson owns a 35-36 record with a 3.02 ERA. He also has pitched for the Padres and the Oakland Athletics.

  • Cubs agree to two-year deal with Morrow
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, December 10, 2017

    The Chicago Cubs reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with reliever Brandon Morrow on Sunday, according to multiple outlets.

    • Morrow could be in line to be the Cubs' closer if the franchise fails to re-sign free agent Wade Davis.

      Morrow, 33, was 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 45 regular-season games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017. He gave up just one run and three hits over 8 1/3 innings as the Dodgers won the first two rounds of the National League playoffs to reach the World Series.

      Morrow's standout postseason included four scoreless appearances against the Cubs in the NL Championship Series. The right-hander struck out seven and allowed just one hit in 4 2/3 innings.

      Morrow became the second pitcher to enter all seven games of the World Series when the Dodgers faced the Houston Astros. But his ERA was 8.44 and he served up two homers over 5 1/3 innings.

      Overall, Morrow is 51-43 with a 4.05 ERA in 299 career appearances (113 starts) with the Seattle Mariners (2007-09), Toronto Blue Jays (2010-14), San Diego Padres (2015-16) and Dodgers.

  • Cardinals agree to terms with RHP Gregerson
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, December 10, 2017

    The St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year contract with right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson on Sunday.

    • The deal, according to multiple media outlets, is worth $11 million pending a physical and includes a vesting option.

      Gregerson, 33, spent the past three seasons with Houston, going 2-3 with a career-high 4.57 ERA in 65 relief appearances for the World Series champion Astros.

      It was the ninth major league season for Gregerson, who posted a career-best 31 saves in 64 appearances with the Astros in 2015.

      Gregerson spent his first five seasons with the San Diego Padres, making at least 72 appearances in four of them. He registered a career-low 2.12 ERA in 2014 over 72 appearances with the Oakland Athletics.

      In 623 career appearances, all in relief, Gregerson owns a 35-36 record with a 3.02 ERA.

  • Ex-Tigers Morris, Trammell elected to Hall of Fame
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, December 10, 2017

    Former Detroit Tigers stars Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday by the entity's Modern Era Baseball committee in Orlando, Fla.

    • Morris, a pitcher, and Trammell, a shortstop, both failed to gain entry during their 15 years on the regular ballot. Morris gained two-thirds of the vote in 2012 -- his 13th time on the ballot -- but didn't receive the required 75 percent in either of his final two years.

      In balloting by the 16-member Modern Era panel, with 12 votes needed for election, Morris got 14 votes and Trammell received 13. Ted Simmons, an eight-time All-Star catcher, just missed election to Cooperstown, getting 11 votes. Committee members were limited to voting to no more than four candidates.

      "I'm so proud that Jack and I will be going in together," Trammell said. "The way I describe it is a little bit of a Tiger flavor."

      Morris added, "I can't think of a better scenario to go in with a former teammate and a guy that I respect and love so much, and I know it's going to be good day.

      "It's going to be a warm and fuzzy day for Tigers fans because the tradition of Tiger baseball is magnified because of finally getting acknowledged from that great '84 team."

      Tigers president and CEO Christopher Ilitch said in a statement, "On behalf of the entire Detroit Tigers organization, it's an honor to congratulate Alan Trammell and Jack Morris on their election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

      "This announcement is truly a proud moment for all of us, and for the legions of Tigers fan who watched these all-time greats excel during their years wearing the Olde English 'D'. Their achievements on the field, and character off, exemplify what's best about the sport of baseball -- and I'm thrilled the Modern Era Committee saw fit to enshrine Tram and Jack in Cooperstown.

      "All of us with the Tigers are looking forward to August, when we will be honoring these legends by retiring their numbers at Comerica Park."

      Morris (now 62) and Trammell (now 59) were teammates on the powerhouse 1984 Tigers team that defeated the San Diego Padres in five games to win the World Series.

      "I can't think of any two players more deserving of this honor than Tram and Jack," Detroit general manager Al Avila said. "These two Tigers greats played an integral role on the 1984 World Series championship team."

      Morris, a five-time All-Star, compiled a 254-186 record in 18 big-league seasons with the Tigers (1977-90), Minnesota Twins (1991), Toronto Blue Jays (1992-93) and Cleveland Indians (1994). He had a high 3.90 ERA but pitched 28 shutouts and had 175 complete games.

      Morris won 20 or more games on three occasions. He also was MVP of the 1991 World Series for the Twins and was 7-4 with a 3.80 ERA in 13 overall postseason starts. He won another championship with the Blue Jays in 1992.

      Trammell played his entire 20-year career with the Tigers and batted .285 with 185 homers and 1,003 RBIs. He had 2,365 career hits and stole 236 bases and was a five-time Gold Glove winner.

      The six-time All-Star's best season was 1987, when he established career highs of 28 homers, 105 RBIs and a .343 batting average. He finished second in the American League MVP balloting behind Toronto's George Bell.

      Trammell was MVP of the 1984 World Series when he batted .450 with two homers against his hometown Padres. Overall, he hit .333 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 13 postseason games.

      "I congratulate Alan Trammell and Jack Morris on their election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame," former Tigers outfielder and Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline said. "Playing for the Tigers was truly a privilege and to go into the Hall of Fame as a Tiger is a milestone that I am thrilled to now share with both of them. "

      Candidates passed over were pitchers Tommy John and Luis Tiant, catcher Ted Simmons, first basemen Steve Garvey and Don Mattingly, outfielders Dale Murphy and Dave Parker and former players union executive Marvin Miller.

  • Yankees land Stanton in blockbuster deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, December 9, 2017

    The New York Yankees agreed to acquire National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins in a blockbuster trade, according to multiple reports Saturday.

    • The two teams reached terms for a deal pending final approval from the 28-year-old Stanton under the terms of his no-trade clause and passing a physical. The approval is expected to be a formality.

      Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro and two minor league prospects would be traded to Miami as part of the deal, according to reports.

      The news comes a day after the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants both announced they agreed to deals to acquire Stanton, but he declined to waive his no-trade clause.

      Talks between the Yankees and Marlins picked up Friday after two more teams dropped out of the running for the superstar. New York and Miami re-engaged in talks earlier in the week, according to ESPN.

      The Cardinals and Giants both targeted Stanton from the time that new Marlins ownership -- led by former Yankees great Derek Jeter -- made it known they wanted to move Stanton to help slash payroll. He is owed $295 million over the next 10 years with an opt-out clause in 2021.

      The Yankees would be responsible for $265 million with the Marlins kicking in $30 million as part of the deal, according to multiple reports. Stanton has the right to opt out of his contract and become a free agent after receiving $77 million over the next three season, ESPN reported.

      Stanton, who hit 59 home runs for the Marlins this past season, will be joining another slugger in the Yankees outfield -- American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge, who hit 52 homers in 2017.

      The towering duo of 6-foot-6, 245-pound Stanton and 6-7, 282-pound Judge would be in the 2018 Yankees' lineup for new manager Aaron Boone.

      Only once in major league history has a lineup boasted two 50-homer players -- the 1961 Yankees when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's record with 61 while Mickey Mantle hit 54.

      The interest from the Yankees was a bit of a surprise since owner and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner previously declared his team's payroll will remain below the $197 million luxury tax.

      "If there's one thing my family has proven throughout the years, it's that any time we have money coming off the payroll, whenever humanly possible we're going to put it back into the club, not back into our pockets," Steinbrenner said Wednesday.

      According to ESPN, Stanton counts as $25.05 million for purposes of the luxury tax, but trading Castro cuts New York's tax payroll by $8,801,786. Retired Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 million) comes off the payroll after this season, and five high-priced Yankees have become free agents: CC Sabathia ($20 million), Matt Holliday ($13 million), Michael Pineda ($7.4 million), Todd Frazier ($4,918,033) and Jaime Garcia ($4,961,721).

      The Yankees were one of four teams remaining that Stanton was open to a trade, including his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers along with the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.

      Stanton led the majors during his MVP season in home runs, RBIs (132), extra-base hits (91) and slugging percentage (.631). In his eight seasons with the Marlins, Stanton is a .268 hitter with 267 homers and 672 RBIs.

      The Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman had a busy week starting on Monday with the hiring of Aaron Boone as the 33rd manager in franchise history. Boone was introduced at a press conference Wednesday and the new manager of the storied franchise called the job "the chance of a lifetime."

  • Rockies sign Iannetta to two-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, December 8, 2017

    Catcher Chris Iannetta agreed to a two-year deal with the Colorado Rockies, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

    • Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the deal is worth $8.5 million.

      Iannetta, 34, hit .254 with 17 homers and 43 RBIs in 89 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

      Iannetta spent his first six seasons with the Rockies before playing for the Los Angeles Angels for four years. He then spent one season in Seattle and one in Arizona.

      Jonathan Lucroy is a free agent who has said he would like to play for the Rockies, so it is unclear what the Rockies plan to do regarding the catcher.

      Iannetta has not played more than 92 games in a season since 2014.

  • MLB notebook: Angels land Japanese star Ohtani
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, December 8, 2017

    Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Angels, his agent said Friday.

    • The Angels won Ohtani's services over competition from the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners.

      Ohtani was put up for bid by the Pacific League's Hippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. He had until Dec. 22 to agree to a major league deal.

      The Angels had $2.315 million of international bonus pool money to spend toward Ohtani's offer.

      Ohtani, who throws right-handed and bats left-handed, plans to be both a pitcher and an outfielder with the Angels. He went 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA in five seasons as a pitcher in Japan, and batted .286 with 48 homers and a .500 slugging percentage.

      --The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants both announced that they agreed to deals to acquire Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton but the National League MVP declined to waive his no-trade clause.

      The Cardinals and Giants both targeted Stanton from the time that new Marlins ownership -- led by Derek Jeter -- made it known they wanted to move Stanton to help slash payroll. There is a guaranteed $295 million remaining on Stanton's contract.

      The announcements came on the same day that news leaked that the New York Yankees are among Stanton's preferred choices. He also likes the idea of playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

      The Giants and the Cardinals were originally viewed as co-favorites to land Stanton.

      --The Detroit Tigers agreed to terms with right-hander pitcher Mike Fiers.

      The deal is for one year and $6 million, according to reports.

      Fiers, 32, pitched in 29 games, including a team-high 28 starts, in 2017 for the Houston Astros with an 8-10 record, a 5.22 ERA and 146 strikeouts over 153 1/3 innings.

  • Marlins OF Stanton nixes trade to Cardinals, Giants
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, December 8, 2017

    The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants both announced Friday that they agreed to deals to acquire Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton but the National League MVP declined to waive his no-trade clause.

    • "We had an agreement to acquire Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, subject to him waiving his no-trade clause," Cardinals CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. "We have been notified that he will not waive his no-trade clause to come to St. Louis.

      "While we are disappointed in his decision, we will continue to make every effort to improve our club for the upcoming season."

      The Giants released a similar statement about their efforts to acquire Stanton.

      "Our agreement with the Marlins to acquire Giancarlo Stanton subject to his waiving of the no-trade clause will not move forward and it is our understanding that the Marlins and Stanton are exploring other options," the Giants said in their statement.

      The Cardinals and Giants both targeted Stanton from the time that new Marlins ownership -- led by Derek Jeter -- made it known they wanted to move Stanton to help slash payroll. There is a guaranteed $295 million remaining on Stanton's contract.

      The announcements came on the same day that news leaked that the New York Yankees are among Stanton's preferred choices. He also likes the idea of playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

      The Giants and the Cardinals were originally viewed as co-favorites to land Stanton.

      "Unfortunately we were not able to convince Stanton to waive his no-trade clause and join the Cardinals," president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said in the team's statement. "We felt this was a great landing spot for him, but it was not meant to be."

      The possible interest from the Yankees is a bit of a surprise since owner Hal Steinbrenner has publicly declared his team's payroll will remain below the $197 million luxury tax.

      "It's absolutely a goal of mine -- to be under," Steinbrenner said at last month's owners meetings. "You can have a world championship-caliber team and not have a $200-plus million payroll, and I think we're finally getting to a point where that's coming true for us, because we've got a lot of good young players on our team."

      Other reports claim Stanton may consider a trade to the Chicago Cubs or Houston Astros.

      Stanton hit 59 homers and drove in 132 runs in his big 2017 campaign.

  • Angels win Ohtani sweepstakes for Japanese two-way star
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, December 8, 2017

    Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Angels, his agent said Friday.

    • The Angels won Ohtani's services over competition from the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners.

      "Shohei is humbled and flattered by all the time and effort that so many teams put into their presentations and sincerely thanks them for their professionalism," agent Nez Balelo said in a statement. "In the end, he felt a strong connection with the Angels and believes they can best help him reach his goals in Major League Baseball."

      Ohtani was put up for bid by the Pacific League's Hippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. He had until Dec. 22 to agree to a major league deal.

      The Angels had $2.315 million of international bonus pool money to spend toward Ohtani's offer.

      "We are honored Shohei Ohtani has decided to join the Angels Organization," the team said in a statememt. "We felt a unique connectivity with him throughout the process and are excited he will become an Angel. This is a special time for Angels fans, the Ohtani family, and Nez Balelo and the team at Creative Artists Agency."

      Ohtani, who throws right-handed and bats left-handed, plans to be both a pitcher and an outfielder with the Angels. He went 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA in five seasons as a pitcher in Japan, and batted .286 with 48 homers and a .500 slugging percentage.

      Balelo said Ohtani was deeply involved in the decision-making and broke down the pros and cons of each team's pitch.

      "He read every page of every presentation and listened to every word in each meeting, and he was so impressed that it was not an easy choice," Balelo said. "While there has been much speculation about what would drive Shohei's decision, what mattered to him most wasn't market size, time zone or league but that he felt a true bond with the Angels.

      "He sees this as the best environment to develop and reach the next level and attain his career goals."

  • Mariners land All-Star Gordon, will convert him to OF
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, December 7, 2017

    The Seattle Mariners acquired two-time All-Star Dee Gordon from the Miami Marlins on Thursday for three minor league players.

    • Gordon, 29, will be converted to the outfield by the Mariners after being Miami's second baseman.

      "Dee provides us with a dynamic presence at the top of our lineup," Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "He's a two-time All-Star and former National League batting champion who is electric on the basepaths, having already won three stolen base titles. His athleticism will be an asset both in our lineup and in the middle of our outfield for several seasons to come."

      Gordon batted .308 and led the majors with 60 steals last season. He was the NL batting champion in 2015 when he batted .333 with 58 steals.

      Gordon has a career batting average of .293 with 11 homers, 161 RBIs and 278 steals during parts of seven major league seasons. He was with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2011-14 before being dealt to the Marlins in a seven-player deal.

      Gordon is slated to make $10.8 million this season as part of a five-year, $50 million deal. The pact includes a $14 million club option for 2021.

      Gordon served an 80-game suspension in 2016 for violating MLB's performance-enhancing drug policy.

      The Marlins received right-handers Nick Neidert and Robert Dugger and infielder Christopher Torres for Gordon. Meanwhile, Seattle also received an unspecified amount of international slot money.

      Niedert, 21, was rated the No. 2 prospect in the Seattle organization by MiLB.com. He went 11-6 with a 3.45 ERA in 25 starts last season while splitting time at Single-A Modesto and Double-A Arkansas. Neidert was a second-round pick in 2015.

      Dugger, 22, went 6-6 with a 2.75 ERA while splitting time between Single-A Clinton and Modesto. He was an 18th-round pick out of Texas Tech in 2016.

      Torres, 19, batted .238 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 48 games for Short-A Everett last season. He was originally signed as an international free agent in 2014.

      The Mariners are in the running for Japanese two-way player Shohei Ohtani, which is part of the reason why they coveted the international slot money as part of the deal.

      The Marlins are in cost-cutting mode under new ownership and are also expected to soon deal reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton.

  • Cubs give RHP Chatwood a three-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, December 7, 2017

    Right-hander Tyler Chatwood agreed to a three-year, $38 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, the team announced Thursday.

    • Chatwood posted an 8-15 mark and a 4.69 ERA in 33 appearances last season for the Colorado Rockies. His loss total last season tied for the most in the National League.

      The 27-year-old likely will be thrilled to leave Coors Field in his rear-view mirror, as he limped to a 3-8 record with a 6.01 ERA in 17 games in Denver last season. By comparison, Chatwood owned a 5-7 mark with a 3.49 ERA in 16 games on the road.

      Chatwood compiled a 40-46 record with two saves and a 4.31 ERA in six major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and Rockies.

      The Cubs could potentially lose right-hander Jake Arrieta as a free agent this offseason, so signing Chatwood gives Chicago another bona fide starter.

  • MLB notebook: Palmeiro weighs comeback at age 53
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, December 6, 2017

    Rafael Palmeiro believes he has more to offer the game of baseball, and more to prove as well.

    • The 53-year-old Palmeiro, who last played in 2005, told The Athletic that he is thinking about making a comeback.

      "There's no doubt in my mind I can do it," says Palmeiro, who ended his career as one of four players with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. "I've taken care of myself really well. I've been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played."

      Palmeiro was a four-time All-Star first baseman in his 20-year career with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He batted .288 with 569 homers, 1,835 RBIs. His career ended in 2005, after he was suspended 10 games for testing positive for steroids. He was the first major league baseball player ever suspended for steroids.

      --The New York Yankees formally introduced Aaron Boone at a press conference and the new manager of the storied franchise called the job "the chance of a lifetime."

      "We're chasing championships," Boone said at Yankee Stadium after being introduced as the 33rd manager in franchise history.

      Boone signed a three-year contract through the 2020 season with a team option for 2021. He becomes the 18th Yankees manager to have played for the club.

      Boone, 44, has never been a manager or coach at any level since retiring after the 2009 season. He has been in the booth as an analyst for ESPN since his retirement.

      --The Oakland Athletics' latest bid for a new stadium has apparently struck out -- without even getting to the plate.

      After announcing they had picked a "preferred site" for a new privately financed stadium, the Athletics were informed by the Peralta Community College District that it is not even interested in discussing it.

      The Athletics were looking at the 13-acre plot of land near Laney College that was close to downtown Oakland. The team hoped to move from the Coliseum to the new site by 2023, with a proposal including a $500 million, 34,000-seat stadium as well as retail and affordable housing.

  • Rafael Palmeiro, 53, contemplating comback
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, December 6, 2017

    Rafael Palmeiro believes he has more to offer the game of baseball, and more to prove as well.

    • The 53-year-old Palmeiro, who last played in 2005, told The Athletic that he is thinking about making a comeback.

      "There's no doubt in my mind I can do it," says Palmeiro, who ended his career as one of four players to reach both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. "I've taken care of myself really well. I've been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played."

      Palmeiro was a four-time All-Star first baseman during his 20-year career with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He batted .288 with 569 homers, 1,835 RBIs in his career.

      His career ended in 2005, after he was suspended 10 games for testing positive for steroids. He was the first major league baseball player ever suspended for steroids.

      Months prior to the suspension, Palmeiro had testified at a Congressional hearing about steroids in baseball.

      "Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period," he said at the time. "I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never."

      Palmeiro has maintained that he has never used steroids.

      "Maybe 12 years later, if I can come back and prove I don't need anything as an older player with an older body, then people might think, 'OK, maybe he didn't do anything intentionally,'" Palmeiro said.

  • Athletics' latest stadium proposal strikes out
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, December 6, 2017

    The Oakland Athletics' latest bid for a new stadium has apparently struck out -- without even getting to the plate.

    • After announcing they had picked a "preferred site" for a new privately financed stadium, the Athletics were informed by the Peralta Community College District that it is not even interested in discussing it.

      "At a closed-session meeting Tuesday, the board of trustees of the Peralta Community College District -- whose offices stand where the ballpark would go -- directed Chancellor Jowel Laguerre to discontinue plans in the works with the team," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

      The Athletics were looking at the 13-acre plot of land near Laney College that was close to downtown Oakland. The team hoped to move from the Coliseum to the new site by 2023, with a proposal including a $500 million, 34,000-seat stadium as well as retail and affordable housing.

      "We are shocked by Peralta's decision to not move forward," the Athletics said in a statement Wednesday. "All we wanted to do was enter into a conversation about how to make this work for all of Oakland, Laney, and the Peralta Community College District. We are disappointed that we will not have that opportunity."

      Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred was also shocked about the lack of an opportunity for dialogue.

      "We applaud the efforts by the Oakland A's over the last year to engage the community in an open dialogue about their new ballpark," Manfred said in a statement. "Today's news comes as a surprise and we urge Oakland leaders to rejoin the conversation."

  • Boone: Yankees skipper job 'chance of a lifetime'
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, December 6, 2017

    The New York Yankees formally introduced Aaron Boone at a press conference Wednesday and the new manager of the storied franchise called the job "the chance of a lifetime."

    • "We're chasing championships," Boone said at Yankee Stadium after being introduced as the 33rd manager in franchise history.

      He said he has been "locked in to the game" since he was 3 years old watching his father Bob Boone play for the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium.

      "This is a special day for me and my family," said Boone, who was accompanied on stage by his wife Laura. "I want to thank the Steinbrenner family to entrusting me with this position. It feels like the chance of a lifetime for me.

      "Obviously, this is a team with loads of talent, a team that in many ways came of age this year and arrived. I'm really comfortable that me and my staff will be part of this team taking the next step."

      Boone signed a three-year contract through the 2020 season with a team option for 2021. He becomes the 18th Yankees manager to have played for the club.

      The 44-year-old Boone has never been a manager or coach at any level since retiring after the 2009 season. He has been in the booth as an analyst for ESPN since his retirement.

      "The one thing I promise you guys is you'll get all I've got," Boone said. "I'm so excited to be here."

      Boone replaces Joe Girardi, who was fired on Oct. 26 -- shortly after the Yankees fell one win shy of advancing to the World Series by losing Game 7 of the American League Championship Series to the Houston Astros.

      Joe Torre (12 seasons) and Girardi (10) are the only others to manage the Yankees since 1996.

      General manager Brian Cashman introduced Boone to the New York media on Wednesday.

      "I know it's been a long road and I know a lot of people are surprised we're actually here," Cashman said. "We are very proud to be introducing someone we think will be a great asset to this organization."

      Boone, who was one of six candidates, said his job interview with the Yankees lasted seven hours.

      "It was long, it was tough, it was so fun," Boone said. "I left here and people asked me, 'How'd you do?' My answer was, 'I have no idea.' I think I represented really well. I came out here to get the job. I was very much at peace waiting for the call to come down. When I got the call from Brian it was an emotional moment. Then it was hyper-focused on going from how can we get the Yankees better."

      Boone has been beloved in the Bronx since helping the Yankees to a 2003 World Series title with a walk-off home run in the 11th inning in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. In 54 regular-season games with the Yankees, Boone hit .254 with six homers, 31 RBIs and 31 runs scored.

      Boone played 12 major league seasons, hitting .263 as an infielder with Cincinnati (1997-2003), the Yankees (2003), Cleveland, Florida, Washington and Houston. He is a third-generation major leaguer with his grandfather (Ray Boone), his father (Bob) and his brother (Bret).

      With the pinstripes back on again, Boone chose uniform No. 17 and talked about the importance of having the respect of the players.

      "Certainly the most important thing is going to be my relationship with players," Boone said. "Hopefully it starts obviously with a relationship, but that's a respect you earn. I think hopefully in short order I'll be able to earn that respect."

  • MLB notebook: Royals sign RHP Peralta
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    The Kansas City Royals signed right-hander Wily Peralta to a one-year contract with a club option, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Peralta will reportedly make $1.5 million this coming season. The option is worth $3 million with a $25,000 buyout.

      Peralta, 28, is coming off a poor season in which he went 5-4 with a 7.85 ERA in 19 appearances (eight starts) with the Milwaukee Brewers. He also spent time at Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2017, and went 1-0 with one save and a 3.38 ERA in 13 appearances with the Sky Sox.

      Peralta's best season came in 2014 when he went 17-11 with a 3.53 ERA in 32 starts for the Brewers. He is 17-25 with a 5.39 ERA over the past three campaigns. Overall, Peralta is 47-52 with a 4.48 ERA over parts of six big-league seasons.

      --The Cleveland Indians avoided arbitration with Dan Otero, signing the right-handed reliever to a two-year, $2.5 million contract.

      The deal includes a team option worth $1.5 million for the 2020 season, the Indians announced.

      Otero posted an 8-1 mark with a 2.14 ERA in 114 relief appearances for the Indians the past two seasons, including a 3-0 record in 2017. The 32-year-old owns a 20-7 mark with a 2.91 ERA in six major league seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and Indians.

      --Leonys Martin and the Detroit Tigers have agreed on a major league contract for the 2018 season, the team announced.

      Terms of the contracts were not announced by the Tigers, but USA Today reported Martin will make $1.75 million and could pocket up to $1.1 million in incentives.

      In addition to signing the outfielder, Detroit also came to terms with right-handed pitcher Enrique Burgos, catcher Derek Norris, first baseman Edwin Espinal and outfielder Jim Adduci on minor league deals. Burgos, Norris, Espinal and Adduci each received spring training invites.

      --The St. Louis Cardinals signed right-hander Miles Mikolas to a two-year contract, the team announced.

      Financial terms were not disclosed by the Cardinals, but multiple reports have Mikolas receiving between $14 million and $16 million in the contract.

      Mikolas, who last pitched in the majors for the Texas Rangers in 2014, has flourished with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League during the past three seasons. The 29-year-old owns a 31-13 mark with a 2.18 ERA in 62 starts during that time, including 14-8 with a 2.25 ERA in 27 starts last season.

      Mikolas sports a 4-6 record with a 5.32 ERA in three major league seasons with the San Diego Padres and Rangers.

  • Royals sign RHP Peralta to one-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    The Kansas City Royals signed right-hander Wily Peralta to a one-year contract with a club option, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Peralta will reportedly make $1.5 million this coming season. The option is worth $3 million with a $25,000 buyout.

      Peralta, 28, is coming off a poor season in which he went 5-4 with a 7.85 ERA in 19 appearances (eight starts) with the Milwaukee Brewers. He also spent time at Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2017, and went 1-0 with one save and a 3.38 ERA in 13 appearances with the Sky Sox.

      Peralta's best season came in 2014 when he went 17-11 with a 3.53 ERA in 32 starts for the Brewers. He is 17-25 with a 5.39 ERA over the past three campaigns.

      Overall, Peralta is 47-52 with a 4.48 ERA over parts of six big-league seasons.

  • Tigers agree to deal with OF Martin
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    Leonys Martin and the Detroit Tigers have agreed on a major league contract for the 2018 season, the team announced Tuesday.

    • In addition to signing the outfielder, Detroit also came to terms with right-handed pitcher Enrique Burgos, catcher Derek Norris, first baseman Edwin Espinal and outfielder Jim Adduci on minor league deals.

      Terms of the contracts were not announced by the Tigers, but USA Today reported Martin will make $1.75 million and could pocket up to $1.1 million in incentives.

      Burgos, Norris, Espinal and Adduci each received spring training invites.

      Martin, 29, is entering his eighth big-league season after spending the 2017 campaign split between the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs.

      Over 49 games last season, Martin hit .172 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He is a lifetime .247 hitter with 38 long balls, 176 RBIs and 115 steals in 621 games between the Texas Rangers, Mariners and Cubs.

      Martin made his major league debut in 2011 with the Rangers and spent his first five seasons with Texas.

  • Cardinals sign RHP Mikolas to two-year contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    The St. Louis Cardinals signed right-hander Miles Mikolas to a two-year contract, the team announced on Tuesday.

    • Financial terms were not disclosed by the Cardinals, but multiple reports have Mikolas receiving between $14 million and $16 million in the contract.

      Mikolas, who last pitched in the majors for the Texas Rangers in 2014, has flourished with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League during the past three seasons. The 29-year-old owns a 31-13 mark with a 2.18 ERA in 62 starts during that time, including 14-8 with a 2.25 ERA in 27 starts last season.

      Mikolas sports a 4-6 record with a 5.32 ERA in three major league seasons with the San Diego Padres and Rangers.

  • Indians sign RHP Otero to two-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    The Cleveland Indians avoided arbitration with Dan Otero, signing the right-handed reliever to a two-year, $2.5 million contract on Tuesday.

    • The deal includes a team option worth $1.5 million for the 2020 season, the Indians announced.

      Otero posted an 8-1 mark with a 2.14 ERA in 114 relief appearances for the Indians the past two seasons, including a 3-0 record in 2017.

      The Indians acquired Otero from the Philadelphia Phillies in December 2015 in exchange for cash considerations. The 32-year-old owns a 20-7 mark with a 2.91 ERA in six major league seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and Indians.

  • 'Humbled' Boone officially named by Yankees
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, December 4, 2017

    The New York Yankees hired Aaron Boone as the 33rd manager in franchise history, the club announced on Monday.

    • Boone, who will be introduced Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, signed a three-year contract through the 2020 season with a team option for 2021. He becomes the 18th Yankees manager to have played for the club.

      The 44-year-old Boone replaces Joe Girardi, who was dismissed on Oct. 26 -- shortly after the Yankees fell one win shy of advancing to the World Series by losing Game 7 of the American League Championship Series to the Houston Astros.

      "Words cannot express how humbled I am to wear the pinstripes again as the manager of the Yankees," Boone said. "I want to thank the Steinbrenner family and Brian Cashman for entrusting me with this tremendous honor and responsibility. I believe we are entering into a special time in New York Yankees history, and I am so excited to be a part of it. I can't wait to get to work -- and that work starts now."

      Boone has never been a manager or coach at any level since retiring after the 2009 season.

      He has been beloved in the Bronx, however, since helping the Yankees to a 2003 World Series title with a walk-off home run in the 11th inning in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox.

      "I firmly believe that Aaron possesses the attributes needed to follow in the tradition of great Yankees managers," Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. "From all accounts, he is a polished communicator who possesses the ability to cultivate and grow relationships. Aaron has also spent a lifetime immersed in baseball, affording him a unique and intimate understanding of what fosters team success.

      "Aaron's name is already etched into Yankees history, and my family and I are excited to welcome him back to this franchise. This opportunity will allow him to continue to make a positive impact on this organization in distinctly new and meaningful ways."

      In 54 regular-season games with the Yankees, Boone hit .254 with six homers, 31 RBIs and 31 runs scored.

      Boone was a third baseman from 1997 to 2009 and an All-Star in 2003, when New York acquired him from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline.

  • Red Sox agree on 1-year deal with P Thornburg
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, December 4, 2017

    The Boston Red Sox and right-hander Tyler Thornburg agreed to terms on a one-year contract that avoided arbitration, the team announced Monday.

    • Thornburg missed last season with a right shoulder impingement after the Red Sox acquired him from the Milwaukee Brewers on Dec. 6.

      The 29-year-old posted a 14-9 mark with a 2.87 ERA in 144 career appearances with the Brewers from 2012-16.

      Monday's agreement left the Red Sox with 12 players eligible for arbitration, including infielders Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts; catchers Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez; outfielders Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr.; and pitchers Joe Kelly, Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez, Carson Smith, Brandon Workman and Steven Wright.

  • MLB notebook: Ohtani trims list of potential teams
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, December 3, 2017

    Shohei Ohtani is regarded as the "Babe Ruth of Japan" but he will not playing for the New York Yankees.

    • Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Sunday night that the agents for Ohtani told him the two-way star is not signing with New York.

      The Yankees were not the only team to learn they would not be in the running for Ohtani.

      According to the Boston Globe, the Boston Red Sox were informed they were eliminated from the bidding. Other media reports indicated that the Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets are out of the sweepstakes.

      Media reports indicated that the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants are among nine teams to be granted a meeting with Ohtani.

      Cashman also told reporters that Ohtani seems to prefer West Coast teams and smaller markets.

      -- A World Series championship celebration may have come at a cost for Dallas Keuchel.

      The 29-year-old Houston Astros ace has suffered a "minor (left) foot sprain" and is in a walking boot, reportedly the result of an injury he sustained during the team's World Series title parade last month.

      TMZ Sports was first to report Keuchel's injury. The Astros confirmed the injury to the Houston Chronicle.

      Keuchel told TMZ he slipped during the celebration. The Chronicle reports Keuchel is expected to be ready for spring training in the middle of February.

      -- The San Diego Padres signed general manager A.J. Preller to a three-year contract extension through the 2022 season, the team announced Sunday.

      Preller, 40, was originally named GM of the Padres on Aug. 6, 2014.

      "A.J. is a tireless worker who possesses one of the brightest minds in the game. We have no doubt that he is the right man to lead our baseball operations group into the future," executive chairman Ron Fowler and managing partner Peter Seidler said in a joint statement.

      Preller was instrumental in trades which yielded players such as first baseman Wil Myers, center fielder Manuel Margot and second baseman Carlos Asuaje, as well as adding top prospects to the farm system. He also spearheaded a flurry of international signings over the last two years.