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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Baseball

Josh Reddick reportedly agrees to four-year deal with Astros

Josh Reddick

The Houston Astros aren’t playing around this offseason.

According to a report by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports on Thursday, the Astros have agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal with free agent outfielder Josh Reddick, pending a physical.

The 29-year-old Reddick hit .281 last season with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs in 115 combined appearances between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had also been drawing interest from other American League clubs recently.

The Astros already have George Springer stationed in right field, Reddick’s primary position, so perhaps they’ll have some shuffling around to do with their lineup. In any case, Reddick should hopefully find the traffic in Houston to be a bit more to his liking.

Astros acquire Brian McCann from Yankees

brian-mccann-yankees

The Brian McCann era has come to a swift end in The Big Apple.

The Astros announced on Thursday that they have acquired the seven-time All-Star catcher from the New York Yankees in exchange for minor league right-handers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman.

McCann, 32, hit .242/.335/.413 with 20 home runs and 58 RBIs in 2016. We had heard recently that the Yankees were willing to move McCann in exchange for some top young talent, and it sounds like that’s exactly what wound up happening here.

23-year-old Gary Sanchez, who was phenomenal in limited playing time as a rookie last season, now figures to become the Yankees’ everyday backstop. Meanwhile, McCann, though not nearly the difference-maker he used to be, should still provide some veteran pop to a young Astros lineup while allowing slugger Evan Gattis to DH close to full-time.

Image Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle implies team is gauging interest in Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are giving more hints that Andrew McCutchen’s time with the franchise could be coming to a close.

Manager Clint Hurdle admitted Wednesday that the club had to do their due diligence on listening to potential offers for players who have a year or two left on their contracts, as McCutchen does.

“I’ll take it one day at a time,” Hurdle said of McCutchen’s future, via Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think any general manager that’s in a market similar to the one we’re in has to explore the possibility of [trading] players who have one or two years left on their contracts. You have to see what value is there to keep or to move.

“That’s the way we’re going to need to continue to operate. It’s the hard part of what we get to do.”

McCutchen is owed $14 million in 2017 and has a $14.75 million club option for 2018.

The Pirates are not an organization who can spend a limitless amount on players and get away with it. Plus, McCutchen is coming off his worst career season offensively with a .766 OPS. He’s also missed time with injuries over the past three years. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the Pirates are talking trades, though one has to wonder if they’d selling low on the former MVP.

Report: Marlins make Kenley Jansen top free agent target

kenley-jansen

The Miami Marlins are aiming high with their top free agent target.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Marlins have made reliever Kenley Jansen their top target in free agency.

With the team’s issue being their rotation and a lack of quality starting pitching available on the free agent market, the Marlins are considering creating something of a “super pen” to compensate for that weakness.

There are a few reasons that Jansen might consider Miami. He is from Curacao, so the city might appeal to him. In addition, Marlins manager Don Mattingly had Jansen in Los Angeles as he evolved into an elite closer.

A loaded bullpen is one way to compensate for Miami’s rotation issues. It is, however, not a guarantee. The New York Yankees had a bullpen featuring Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, and Dellin Betances, and that ended with two of the three being moved at the trade deadline. That said, the Marlins don’t really have a lot of other options given the shallow pool of starters available.

Rick Porcello has funny response to Kate Upton, Verlander

Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello does not seem to be fazed by Kate Upton’s criticism of the Boston Red Sox pitcher winning the AL Cy Young Award over her fiance, Justin Verlander.

Porcello won the award despite finishing with fewer first-place votes than Verlander (14 vs. 8) largely because he was on 18 second-place ballots, while Verlander was second on just two. Two voters left Verlander off their ballot entirely, which helped Porcello edge out the Tigers ace in overall points 137-132.

Upton was outraged about the outcome and expressed her thoughts in a vulgar manner.

Porcello is too busy drinking wine to worry.

“No. I honestly don’t care,” Porcello told the Boston Herald’s Evan Drellich when asked if he cared about Upton’s reaction. “I’m not the one that made that decision as far as who wins the Cy Young. All I know is I’ve got a lot of people around me right now that I love very much and have been instrumental in my success in getting to this point, and on top of that we’ve got some really good bottles of wine that still need to be drank. There’s not really a concern in my mind.”

Porcello went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 223 innings for the Red Sox. In comparison, Verlander was 16-9 with a 3.04 ERA and 254 strikeouts in 227.2 innings. The pitchers had an equal WAR by Fangraphs’ metrics, while Baseball-Reference’s WAR calculation rated Verlander higher.

The vote seems to show most voters felt Verlander was the best pitcher in the AL, while Porcello was the second-best. What doesn’t seem to compute is why half the voters had Verlander third or worse on their ballots. It seems like some of them did not do their homework.

Kate Upton goes off about Rick Porcello winning Cy Young over Justin Verlander

kate-upton-justin-verlander-grease

Rick Porcello won the A.L. Cy Young Award on Wednesday by beating out Justin Verlander, who got significantly more first-place votes than the Boston Red Sox ace. How does Verlander’s fiancee feel about that?

Not good. Not good at all.

After the results were announced, Kate Upton took to Twitter to unload on Porcello and the voters.

kate-upton-cy-young-tweets

Upton then retweeted some stats that Verlander’s brother Ben, who also felt Justin got cheated, shared.

The Baseball Writers of America Association weighs votes on a points system. Though Porcello received just eight first-place votes to Verlander’s 14, he got 18 second-place votes and finished in the top three on 28 of 30 ballots.

Upton is right to be angry about Verlander being left off of two ballots from Tampa Bay writers, as the right-hander finished with a 16-9 record and 3.04 ERA, which was second-best in the A.L. Verlander led the league with 254 strikeouts.

That’s probably the most animated we have seen Upton, and if you saw her recent rant about national anthem protests you know that is saying a lot. Verlander may not have won the Cy Young, but at least he gets to go home to a nice consolation prize.

John Danks reportedly planning to make comeback in 2017

john-danks-interview

We apparently haven’t seen the last of veteran left-hander John Danks.

According to a report by Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball on Wednesday, Danks is planning to make a comeback in 2017.

The 31-year-old Danks was released by the Chicago White Sox in May 2016 after beginning the season 0-4 with a 7.25 ERA. He doesn’t really appear to be anywhere close to quality starter material anymore as he hasn’t had a winning season since 2010, doesn’t strike very many batters out (6.0 K/9 since 2012), and holds a career 4.28 ERA.

But Danks, who has a history of overcoming the odds to pitch, remains a durable arm who can eat innings at the end of a rotation. Perhaps he might be able to get back into the MLB eventually by working his way up from a minor league deal or a spring training invite.

Image via Charlotte Knights on YouTube

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