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  • MLB notebook: Martinez agrees to terms with Red Sox
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Outfielder J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a five-year, $110 million contract that will bring Boston the big bat it coveted the entire offseason.

    • USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported the length of the contract and financial terms late Monday afternoon. FanRag Sports reported there are two opt-out clauses in Martinez's deal, and the outlet said he will receive $50 million over the first two seasons.

      Martinez, 30, rode a career year in 2017 into free agency. He posted a slugging percentage of .690 with 45 home runs in 119 games. That included a destructive 62-game tour with the Arizona Diamondbacks after a mid-July trade from the Detroit Tigers. Martinez belted 29 homers in 62 games with Arizona.

      --Washington Nationals star outfielder Bryce Harper wants to lock in on 2018 without regard for what's on deck: his first foray into free agency.

      Harper, who can become a free agent in November with the potential for a historic contract offer, addressed reporters for the first time this spring training on Monday and refused to discuss anything beyond the upcoming season.

      "I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019 at all," Harper said while reading his prepared opening remarks from his phone. "I'm focused on this year. I'm focused on winning and playing hard like every single year. So if you guys have any questions after 2018, you can call (agent) Scott (Boras), and he can answer you guys. If you guys do talk anything about that, then I'll be walking right out the door."

      --Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo rejoined his team on Monday for the first full-squad workout of spring training. Rizzo left the team last week to support victims of the mass shooting at his former high school in Parkland, Fla.

      "They'll be in my heart every day. They'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I think about them every night I go to sleep," Rizzo told reporters Monday on how he will honor the victims.

      Rizzo had been an early arrival at camp in Mesa, Ariz., before leaving Thursday for Parkland, one day after 17 people were shot to death by a former student. Rizzo remains closely attached with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School since graduating in 2007. He makes his home in the area and recently donated $150,000 to pay for lights at the school's baseball field.

      --The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to terms with outfielder Jarrod Dyson, shortly after losing out in the Martinez sweepstakes.

      Dyson reportedly will receive a two-year, $7.5 million deal, much smaller than the reported five-year, $110-million deal Martinez received from the Boston Red Sox. Martinez finished the 2017 season with the Diamondbacks.

      Dyson, 33, is known for his speed and defense. He recorded 28 steals while batting .251 for the Seattle Mariners last season. Last season was Dyson's only season in Seattle. He spent his first seven years with the Kansas City Royals and was part of that franchise's World Series teams in 2014 and 2015.

      --Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal to remain with the Baltimore Orioles, according to multiple reports.

      The 29-year-old Tillman can reportedly earn an additional $7 million in the incentive-laden contract. He has spent his entire nine-year major league career with the Orioles.

      Tillman struggled with shoulder injuries last season and went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 93 innings over 19 starts and five relief appearances. Overall, he holds a 73-55 record with a 4.43 ERA in 203 games (198 starts) since breaking into the major leagues in 2009.

      --The Washington Nationals and right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit agreed to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

      The club has not confirmed the deal, which will be worth a reported $1 million. The 40-year-old Benoit holds a 58-49 career record with a 3.83 ERA over 15 major league seasons.

      Benoit split last season between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, going a combined 1-6 with two saves and 4.65 ERA over 50 1/3 innings in 52 appearances.

      --Right-handed relief pitcher Peter Moylan agreed to return to the Atlanta Braves for the 2018 season.

      Moylan, 39, spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals and tied for the American League lead with 79 appearances in 2017. Moylan spent eight of his 11 seasons with the Braves.

      Moylan has 460 career relief appearances and a 3.00 ERA in 390 1/3 innings.

      --On the day the majority of MLB clubs conducted their first full-squad workouts of spring training, commissioner Rob Manfred announced the pace-of-play rule changes to be implemented for the 2018 season.

      While the rules focus on three main areas of play, perhaps most notable is the omission of any timers, either between pitches or between batters. On that note, the league stated through a release, "The Commissioner has decided to defer the implementation of a pitch timer and a between-batter timer in 2018 in order to provide players with an opportunity to speed up the game without the use of those timers."

      Instead, the new rules will attempt to shorten game times with changes to mound visits, inning breaks and pitching changes and video review. Each team is limited to six mound visits without a pitching change per nine innings; the time allotted between innings and pitching changes will be 2 minutes, 5 seconds for games only on local TV, 2:25 for games on national TV, and 2:55 for playoff games; and all MLB team video rooms will receive direct slow-motion camera angles, will have direct phone lines to the video-review room, and those phone lines will be monitored to prevent sign stealing.

      --Rebuilding shifted into overdrive with the Tampa Bay Rays parting with face-of-the-franchise third baseman Evan Longoria in the offseason and then weekend moves that saw right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi traded to the Minnesota Twins, and 2017 All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson designated for assignment.

      Ace right-handed pitcher Chris Archer said the decision to designate Dickerson for assignment was "perplexing." Two-time Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier voiced his displeasure by saying, "we lost two great players. It's terrible."

      Longoria reported to the San Francisco Giants and expressed shock over the Dickerson decision: "I kind of just feel bad for the Rays' fan, and I feel bad for the guys this year who were probably counting on Corey to put up numbers to help the team win. I'm not going to take too many shots. But I think it's pretty obvious that the guy is a valuable player and didn't deserve to be DFA'd."

      --Miami Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman said CEO and part owner Derek Jeter "made all the right moves" and supports the team's trading of four star players in Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon.

      The moves to cut payroll and put the franchise on more solid financial footing made Jeter unpopular with baseball fans in South Florida.

      "From my perspective, I think the management of the team has made all the right moves," Sherman said, per the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. "I've been involved in every decision. I support every decision, our partners support every decision. We're building something for the long haul here."

      --After years of court filings and one side's issuance of nearly 50 subpoenas, a trial date has been set for the family of Tony Gwynn's lawsuit against the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company: Sept. 20, 2019.

      The family of the San Diego Padres legend filed the lawsuit more than three years ago. The Hall of Fame member died at age 54 in 2014 after battling cancer of the salivary gland. His family claims he began using the product in 1977, a decade before warnings began appearing on smokeless tobacco products.

      By the time the warnings did appear, the lawsuit claims, Gwynn was "hopelessly addicted" to smokeless tobacco. According to USA Today, the company's response to the lawsuit claims Gwynn was "warned or otherwise made aware of the alleged risks of using smokeless tobacco products."

      --Field Level Media

  • Diamondbacks agree to terms with OF Dyson
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to terms with outfielder Jarrod Dyson on Monday, shortly after losing out in the J.D. Martinez sweepstakes.

    • Dyson reportedly will receive a two-year, $7.5 million deal, much smaller than the reported five-year, $110-million deal Martinez received from the Boston Red Sox. Martinez finished the 2017 season with the Diamondbacks.

      Dyson, 33, is known for his speed and defense. He recorded 28 steals while batting .251 for the Seattle Mariners last season.

      Dyson underwent surgery to repair a core-muscle issue and a sports hernia in September.

      Last season was Dyson's only season in Seattle. He spent his first seven years with the Kansas City Royals and was part of that franchise's World Series teams in 2014 and 2015.

      Dyson has stolen more than 25 bases in each of the past six seasons and has 204 in his career. He has a lifetime average of .258 with 12 homers and 131 RBIs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Nationals sign RHP Benoit to a one-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    The Washington Nationals and right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit agreed to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports Monday.

    • The club has not confirmed the deal, which will be worth a reported $1 million.

      The 40-year-old Benoit holds a 58-49 career record with a 3.83 ERA over 15 major league seasons.

      Benoit split last season between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, going a combined 1-6 with two saves and 4.65 ERA over 50 1/3 innings in 52 appearances. He pitched just 8 1/3 innings for the Pirates as he dealt with a left knee injury that kept him sidelined for more than a month.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox, J.D. Martinez agree to deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Outfielder J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a five-year, $110 million contract that will bring Boston the big bat it coveted the entire offseason.

    • USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported the length of the contract and financial terms late Monday afternoon.

      MLB Network reported talks reached a positive phase on Monday afternoon after acrimonious discussions between the Red Sox and Scott Boras, the agent representing Martinez in free agency.

      Earlier reports said the Red Sox stood pat on a five-year, $125 million offer to Martinez since a December meeting with Boras. But the amount of the total package appears lower than the speculated figure.

      FanRag Sports reported there are two opt-out clauses in Martinez's deal. The outlet said he will receive $50 million over the first two seasons.

      Martinez, 30, rode a career year in 2017 into free agency. He posted a slugging percentage of .690 with 45 home runs in 119 games. That included a destructive 62-game tour with the Arizona Diamondbacks after a mid-July trade from the Detroit Tigers. Martinez belted 29 homers in 62 games with Arizona.

      Baseball's free-agent market has been unpredictable.

      Until another Boras client, former Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, agreed to a $144 million contract with the San Diego Padres, baseball's typical offseason "hot stove" sizzle was mostly fizzle for Boras clients and many others expecting lucrative contracts.

      Outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, had the largest financial commitment in free agency until the Chicago Cubs signed starting pitcher Yu Darvish to a $126 million deal. But even that contract includes an option that could turn it into a three-year commitment for the Cubs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Trial date set for Gwynn family lawsuit against tobacco company
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    After years of court filings and one side's issuance of nearly 50 subpoenas, a trial date has been set for the family of Tony Gwynn's lawsuit against the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company: Sept. 20, 2019.

    • The family of the San Diego Padres legend filed the lawsuit more than three years ago. The Hall of Fame member died at age 54 in 2014 after battling cancer of the salivary gland. His family claims he began using the product in 1977, a decade before warnings began appearing on smokeless tobacco products.

      By the time the warnings did appear, the lawsuit claims, Gwynn was "hopelessly addicted" to smokeless tobacco.

      According to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today Sports, the Gwynn family requested a trial date for 2019. It also asked the judge to designate the case as "complex," meaning the family is expecting a long, hard fight with the defendant.

      According to USAT, the company's response to the lawsuit claims, Gwynn was "warned or otherwise made aware of the alleged risks of using smokeless tobacco products."

      MLB has banned the on-field use of the once-popular product by players making the big-league debut after 2016.

      The USAT reported on Jan. 30 that the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company issued 49 subpoenas and has been "aggressively seeking evidence against deceased baseball legend Tony Gwynn."

      --Field Level Media

  • Marlins owner: Jeter 'made all the right moves'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Miami Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman says CEO and part owner Derek Jeter "made all the right moves" and supports the team's trading of four star players in Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon.

    • The moves to cut payroll and put the franchise on more solid financial footing made Jeter unpopular with baseball fans in South Florida.

      "From my perspective, I think the management of the team has made all the right moves," Sherman said, per the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. "I've been involved in every decision. I support every decision, our partners support every decision. We're building something for the long haul here."

      Sherman, who also carries the title of chairman, spoke prior to the Marlins' first full-squad workout of spring training Monday at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. He stood next to Jeter, who is the face of their ownership group that bought the team from Jeffrey Loria at the end of last season.

      "Finally, it's spring training. I'm a rookie too," said Sherman, who made just his second public appearance since the sale closed and the first since their Oct. 3 introductory news conference.

      Sherman stressed the franchise has enough money despite reports to the contrary.

      "We are a very sophisticated, well-heeled, financially set organization, not just for this year but for many, many years to come," Sherman said. "I didn't get in this personally, nor did the other partners get into this for one, two or three years. Nobody is in this to make any short-term profits whatsoever. This is a long, long haul and I'm excited we get to play baseball now and I can be a fan again."

      Sherman said he understands why many fans are angry after seeing star players leave for other teams.

      "The fans are disappointed in some of the trades that we made. We understand that," Sherman said. "But I'm seeing a change that people understand we're building something from the future here to be sustainable.

      "I'm really excited to be a part of that. I know it's going to take patience. Derek has said that from day one, first meeting I ever had with Derek Jeter was patience, patience. I think we're handling that."

      Jeter said during Monday's appearance that he also has received positive comments from their fans.

      "We've gotten a great response from a lot of fans as well," Jeter said, "so I think that narrative needs to start to change. ... I've met with many fans over the last four months, who all say they have patience, they understand what we're doing and they're giving us a chance. Mentioning that 'all fans' are upset couldn't be further from the truth."

      --Field Level Media

  • Rays miffed management parted with All-Star Dickerson
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Rebuilding shifted into overdrive in Tampa with the Rays parting with face-of-the-franchise third baseman Evan Longoria. The overhaul continued over the weekend with a flurry of moves veterans described as confounding.

    • Not only was right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi traded to the Minnesota Twins, but the Rays also designated 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson for assignment.

      Ace right-handed pitcher Chris Archer said the decision to designate Dickerson for assignment was "perplexing."

      Two-time Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier voiced his displeasure with the overhaul upon arriving Monday for the team's first full-squad workouts in spring training.

      "We lost two great players. It's terrible," Kiermaier said.

      Longoria reported to spring training with a new team -- the San Francisco Giants -- for the first time in his career and expressed shock over the Dickerson decision.

      "I kind of just feel bad for the Rays' fan base," Longoria said. "And I feel bad for the guys this year who were probably counting on Corey to put up numbers to help the team win. I'm not going to take too many shots. But I think it's pretty obvious that the guy is a valuable player and didn't deserve to be DFA'd.''

      The Twins traded unheralded Class A middle infield prospect Jermaine Palacios for Odorizzi, who had 28 or more starts each of the past four seasons, compiling an ERA of 3.81 in 668 1/3 innings.

      Without Odorizzi, the Rays are leaning toward a four-man starting rotation to begin the 2018 season.

      Kiermaier said players must realize "life goes on," and the team will suffer if it decides to dwell on the deals.

      "I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves," Kiermaier said. "No beating around the bush. It's one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don't know the reasoning why. And then you see the team's explanation. Still it's like, 'OK. Well, so be it.'"

      --Field Level Media

  • Nationals' Harper 'focused on this year,' not discussing 2019
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Washington Nationals star outfielder Bryce Harper wants to lock in on 2018 without regard for what's on deck: his first foray into free agency.

    • Harper, who can become a free agent in November with the potential for a historic contract offer, addressed reporters for the first time this spring training on Monday and refused to discuss anything beyond the upcoming season.

      Harper arrived two days ahead of the Nationals' first official full-squad workout at spring training in West Palm Beach, Fla.

      "I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019 at all," Harper said while reading his prepared opening remarks from his phone. "I'm focused on this year. I'm focused on winning and playing hard like every single year. So if you guys have any questions after 2018, you can call (agent) Scott (Boras), and he can answer you guys. If you guys do talk anything about that, then I'll be walking right out the door."

      Last May, the 25-year-old Harper and the Nationals agreed to a one-year, $21.65 million deal for the 2018 season that was the largest one-year deal ever given to an arbitration-eligible player.

      When that contract expires in November, Harper is expected to set a new landmark with a megadeal as a free agent if the Nationals aren't able to sign him to a long-term extension before he hits the open market.

      Harper told reporters in fielding questions that he welcomes talking about how he can help the Nationals advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since moving to Washington, D.C., in 2005.

      "We're expected to win the East. We're expected to possibly win a pennant, and we're expected to possibly win a World Series. As a team, I think we're going to try to do the best we can and do everything possible to win ballgames," Harper said, per ESPN. "We've just got to take it one game at a time and win the East first. Because the Mets are tough. The Braves are good. Philly, Miami, whatever. Miami plays us pretty dang well. We've just got to go out there, play our game and see what we can do."

      Harper made it clear he wants free agent Jake Arrieta -- the former Chicago Cubs ace who remains unsigned with spring training camps underway -- on Washington's staff.

      "If I'm an organization or a team, I want the best players on my team," Harper said. "My fans deserve that. The players deserve that. There's a guy like Jake Arrieta out there right now. I'd put him on my staff any day of the week. He's one of the best pitchers in the game, one of the best playoff pitchers in the game. You saw what he did last year, the year before."

      Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, debuted in the majors in 2012 at the age of 19.

      In 2015, he won the National League Most Valuable Player award, becoming the youngest player ever to be voted a unanimous MVP, following a season in which he hit .330 with 42 home runs and 99 RBIs.

      After a down year in 2016, Harper started out fast last season and was considered an MVP frontrunner before suffering a gruesome knee injury in mid-August. He finished the season hitting .319 with 29 homers and 87 RBIs in 111 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB passes on pitch clock, focuses on mound visits in new pace-of-play rules
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    On the day the majority of MLB clubs conducted their first full-squad workouts of spring training, commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday announced the pace-of-play rule changes to be implemented for the 2018 season.

    • While the rules focus on three main areas of play, perhaps most notable is the omission of any timers, either between pitches or between batters. On that note, the league stated through a release, "The Commissioner has decided to defer the implementation of a pitch timer and a between-batter timer in 2018 in order to provide players with an opportunity to speed up the game without the use of those timers."

      Instead, the new rules will attempt to shorten game times with changes to:

      -- Mound visits

      -- Inning breaks and pitching changes

      -- Video review

      Here is a brief summary of the major changes for this season:

      MOUND VISITS

      -- Each team is limited to six mound visits without a pitching change per nine innings, with one additional such visit per each inning beyond nine.

      -- A "mound visit" includes all visits by a coach or manager and any visit between the pitcher and a teammate(s) during which one or more of the players leaves their position, including the pitcher.

      -- Mound visits by only the catcher count against the allotment, but the home-plate umpire has the discretion to allow additional such visits once the allotment is expired, and only to discuss pitching signs.

      INNING BREAKS AND PITCHING CHANGES

      -- The time allotted between innings and pitching changes will be 2 minutes, 5 seconds for games only on local TV, 2:25 for games on national TV, and 2:55 for playoff games.

      -- Pitchers can throw as many warm-up pitches as they like (the old rule was a guarantee of eight warm-up pitches), but the final warm-up pitch must be thrown at least 20 seconds before the end of the inning break / pitching change.

      -- Enforcement: "Players who consistently or flagrantly violate the time limits will be subject to progressive discipline for just cause by the Office of the Commissioner."

      VIDEO REVIEW

      -- All MLB team video rooms will receive direct slow-motion camera angles.

      -- All MLB dugouts will have direct phone lines to the video-review room, and those phone lines will be monitored to prevent sign stealing.

      The release also stated MLB and the players association will continue to meet during the 2018 season to discuss pace of play.

      --Field Level Media

  • RHP Tillman remains with Orioles on one-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal to remain with the Baltimore Orioles, according to multiple reports Monday.

    • The 29-year-old Tillman can reportedly earn an additional $7 million in the incentive-laden contract.

      He has spent his entire nine-year major league career with the Orioles.

      Tillman struggled with shoulder injuries last season and went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 93 innings over 19 starts and five relief appearances. Overall, he holds a 73-55 record with a 4.43 ERA in 203 games (198 starts) since breaking into the major leagues in 2009.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rizzo rejoins Cubs after mournful trip to Florida high school
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo rejoined his team on Monday for the first full-squad workout of spring training.

    • Rizzo left the team last week to support victims of the mass shooting at his former high school in Parkland, Fla.

      Rizzo had been an early arrival at camp in Mesa, Ariz., before leaving Thursday for Parkland, one day after 17 people were shot to death by a former student.

      Rizzo remains closely attached with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School since graduating in 2007. He makes his home in the area and recently donated $150,000 to pay for lights at the school's baseball field.

      "They'll be in my heart every day. They'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I think about them every night I go to sleep," Rizzo told reporters Monday on how he will honor the victims.

      He gave a heartfelt speech at a vigil for victims of the attack Thursday night.

      "I grew up in Stoneman Douglas," Rizzo said. "I played on those fields. I went to those classes. I studied in those classrooms, the same ones we saw in all those videos yesterday for all the wrong reasons. ...

      "I'm a baseball player, but I'm also an American. I'm a Floridian and a Parklander for life. While I don't have all the answers, I know something has to change before this is visited on another community and another community and another community."

      Cubs manager Joe Maddon supported Rizzo's trip and immediately texted him after he spoke in Parkland.

      "I wanted him to know I was never more proud of him," Maddon said.

      --Field Level Media

  • Braves bring back RP Moylan
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Right-handed relief pitcher Peter Moylan agreed to return to the Atlanta Braves for the 2018 season.

    • Moylan, 39, spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals and tied for the American League lead with 79 appearances in 2017.

      Moylan spent eight of his 11 seasons with the Braves. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013 in addition to two seasons with the Royals.

      Moylan has 460 career relief appearances and a 3.00 ERA in 390 1/3 innings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mets add LHP Vargas to crowded rotation
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Jason Vargas, who tied for the major league lead in wins last year, officially changed teams Sunday.

    • The left-hander signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the New York Mets, who also hold a club option for 2020.

      Vargas, 35, went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA in 32 starts last year for the Kansas City Royals after missing most of the previous two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was an 2017 American League All-Star selection after going 12-3 with a 2.62 ERA in the first half.

      Following the break, he struggled, going 6-8 with an ugly 6.38 ERA in 15 starts. Still, the slump didn't scare off the Mets.

      "If he wins 18 games for us this year, we're pretty good," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said, according to the New York Daily News. "Those 18 wins stand out. Those 32 starts stand out. His 180 innings would have been second in our rotation last year.

      "We need to get back to the point where we have seven or eight guys starting all of our games, not 11, 12 or 13. We're going to be pretty good. Jason really helps us in that."

      Alderson added, according to Newsday, "Of those pitchers that were available of his quality, he was our No. 1 choice."

      Vargas joins a rotation that features plenty of talent but lots of health concerns: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.

      "I think the abilities (of) the guys that have been in this rotation the past few years speaks for themselves," Vargas said Sunday, according to the Daily News. "I don't think there's other pitching staffs out there that can say they have pitchers with better stuff. But the name of the game is health, obviously, and going out there and giving your team a chance to win every fifth day. ...

      "I think that pitching a high level of innings just means that you're getting your job done. It means you're doing what you're supposed to do, you're taking the ball every fifth day. I take pride in being somebody that the guys behind me can count on."

      Vargas, who also missed the 2008 season with a torn hip labrum, is 85-81 with a 4.17 ERA in parts of 11 seasons spent with the then-Florida Marlins, the Mets, the Seattle Mariners, the Los Angeles Angels and the Royals. He appeared in just two games for the Mets in 2007, going 0-1 with a 12.19 ERA.

      --Field Level Media

  • Angels add OF Young, 1B/OF Carter
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    A day after dealing first baseman C.J. Cron to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named, the Los Angeles Angels signed two free agents who will be candidates to fill his roster spot.

    • Outfielder Chris Young landed a one-year major league deal, with multiple media outlets reporting the contract is worth $2 million. First baseman/outfielder Chris Carter signed a minor league contract that reportedly would pay him $1.75 million if he spends the full season in the majors.

      Young, 34, was an All-Star in 2010, when he hit 27 homers, drove in 91 runs and stole 28 bases for the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, he has averaged just 12.4 homers, 40.1 RBIs and 8.3 stolen bases over the past seasons.

      Young broke into the majors in 2006 with the Diamondbacks. He was traded to Oakland after the 2012 season, and he has since played for the A's, the New York Mets, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Last year, he hit .235 with a .322 on-base percentage, a .387 slugging percentage, seven homers and 25 RBIs in 90 games for Boston.

      Carter, 31, has played for the A's, the Houston Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Yankees. Carter shared the National League lead with 41 homers for Milwaukee in 2016 but also led the league with 206 strikeouts.

      After signing with the Yankees as a free agent last winter, he batted .201/.284/.370 with eight homers and 26 RBIs over 62 games before he was released in July. Carter subsequently joined the Athletics' Triple-A Nashville affiliate and hit .252/.357/.511 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 36 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox re-sign Nunez on one-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Retaining a player who thrived last year during a partial season in Boston, the Red Sox re-signed free agent infielder Eduardo Nunez on Sunday.

    • According to multiple media outlets, Nunez received a one-year deal with an option for 2019. He will make $4 million guaranteed in 2018, and the 2019 contract is worth $4 million or a $2 million buyout. He also could make up to $2 million in incentives tied to plate appearances over both seasons.

      Nunez could open the season at first base for Boson as Dustin Pedroia recovers from knee surgery.

      Nunez, 30, missed the bulk of September with the Red Sox because of a sprained right posterior cruciate ligament. He returned for the postseason, only to get carried off the field after reinjuring his right knee during his first at-bat in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.

      Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that the team put Nunez through a complete physical and an all-day practice session before finalizing his contract.

      "We feel comfortable that he's 100 percent ready to go and we're absolutely thrilled that he's with us because he's a good player," Dombrowski said. "They measured his legs, the differences in his legs, his right versus his left. Did hopping on one foot. With that type of injury, it's very important to handle that, if it's healed properly. He did that.

      "He did some stretching exercises. Then he went on the back field and took ground balls at short. Took ground balls at second bending down. He hit live. He ran the bases. He slid and dove back to bases and felt great. Had no pain."

      Nunez joked of the workout, "They almost killed me. They gave me a lot of stealing bases, running, hitting, groundballs, diving, everything, and I passed it. ...

      "I'm very excited to be back. I really enjoyed the time last year here, and I think it's a nice opportunity to win this year."

      The Red Sox acquired Nunez from the San Francisco Giants on July 25, 2017. He wound up being a valuable addition for Boston, hitting .321 with eight home runs, six stolen bases and 27 RBIs in 38 games down the stretch.

      Overall, Nunez batted .313 with 12 home runs, 24 stolen bases and 58 RBIs last year.

      "We'll see how the roster shapes up, but he's a guy who's going to get at-bats," new Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, according to the Boston Herald. "He's capable of being a good second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, he can play the outfield. He's going to give me some options, which is great, especially early in the season when we start off with playing in Tropicana Field then going to the National League.

      "He's a guy who's going to help us early in the season, (and) he's going to impact this team in a positive way."

      Boston cleared a spot for Nunez on the 40-man roster by designating right-handed reliever Ben Taylor for assignment. Taylor, 25, made 14 appearances for the Red Sox last year, going 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA. He had no decisions, two saves and a 2.70 ERA in 12 outings for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2017.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Royals react to Hosmer's departure
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, February 18, 2018

    Eric Hosmer's former Kansas City Royals teammates said farewell to the first baseman after it was reported that he and the San Diego Padres agreed to terms on an eight-year contract.

    • Hosmer's deal will be the largest in Padres history at $144 million, according to multiple reports. The contract is heavily front-loaded and includes an opt-out clause after the fifth year. The deal is pending a physical, which is scheduled to take place Monday.

      "The emotions, for me, and for (general manager Dayton Moore), too, I thought that going into the winter that there were just going to be teams that blow us away," Royals manager Ned Yost said, per the Kansas City Star. "Well, that didn't develop. I was thinking 10 years, $200 (million) plus; well that didn't happen. It boiled down to a two-team race. It's like, you always hope for the best, but you just don't know what's going to happen.

      Said Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy: "It's just a part of the game, man. It sucks, but it's part of the game. Whatever's best for his family is what he has to do. That dude loves this place, loves these guys, loves the city of Kansas City, obviously, and he gave more than he took for the better part of a decade. He deserves whatever he gets."

      --Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz discussed for the first time his mother's kidnapping in Venezuela, saying "nobody really prepares themselves for something like that," but added she is doing better after being rescued last weekend.

      Ana Isabel Soto, 72, was kidnapped on Feb. 8 as Diaz was preparing to travel for spring training in Bradenton, Fla. She was rescued three days later by Venezuelan police and security officers.

      Diaz said the discovery that police officers and a longtime family friend were involved in the kidnapping has him trying to move family members out of his native Venezuela.

      --New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he believes Tim Tebow, a former NFL quarterback and current outfield prospect in the organization, eventually will reach the major leagues.

      The 30-year-old Tebow arrived at the Mets' spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Sunday for his first major league camp. He hit .226 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs in 126 games split between Class A Columbia and St. Lucie last season.

      "I think he will play in the major leagues. That's my guess. That's my hope and to some extent now after a year and a half, a modest expectation," Alderson said of Tebow. "I'm happy he's here. I think he's great for the team and great for baseball and was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year."

      --Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona rejoined his team at spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., after the death of his father last week.

      Former Indians player John "Tito" Francona died unexpectedly late Tuesday night at his home in New Brighton, Pa. He was 84. Terry Francona went to Pennsylvania to be with his family.

      "It's so nice to be back. I went back for two days to be with my family and then I came back here to kind of be with my family," he told reporters Sunday. "This is about as close as you can feel with the people that aren't your family. ... It's not just baseball, it's Cleveland, it's the people here. And I know that."

      --Field Level Media

  • Francona rejoins Indians in camp after father's death
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, February 18, 2018

    Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona rejoined his team at spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., after the death of his father last week.

    • Former Indians player John "Tito" Francona died unexpectedly late Tuesday night at his home in New Brighton, Pa. He was 84.

      Terry Francona, who shares his father's nickname and is often referred to as Tito, went to Pennsylvania to be with his family.

      "It's so nice to be back. I went back for two days to be with my family and then I came back here to kind of be with my family," he told reporters Sunday. "This is about as close as you can feel with the people that aren't your family. ... It's not just baseball, it's Cleveland, it's the people here. And I know that."

      The Indians acquired Tito Francona from the Detroit Tigers on March 21, 1959, in exchange for future Hall of Famer Larry Doby. He spent six years with the Indians from 1959-64.

      In his first year with the Indians in 1959, the year Terry was born, Tito batted .363 and finished fifth in the American League MVP voting. He was 34 at-bats shy of qualifying for the batting title.

      In 1960, Tito Francona led the AL in doubles and in 1961 he was an AL All-Star and led the league in singles. He made his debut in 1956 with the Baltimore Orioles, finishing tied for second with Indians Hall of Famer Rocky Colavito for AL Rookie of the Year.

      Francona ended his career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970, and was named to the top 100 greatest Indians roster in 2001. Over his career, he hit .272 with 125 home runs and 626 RBIs in 1,719 games.

      Terry Francona has won two World Series titles as a manager, both with the Boston Red Sox. He was named manager of the Indians in 2013.

      --Field Level Media

  • Royals react to Hosmer's departure, deal with Padres
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, February 18, 2018

    Eric Hosmer's former Kansas City Royals teammates are reacting to his departure after it was reported Saturday night the first baseman and the San Diego Padres agreed to terms on an eight-year contract.

    • Hosmer's deal will be the largest in Padres history at $144 million, according to multiple reports. The contract is heavily front-loaded and includes an opt-out clause after the fifth year. The deal is pending a physical, which is scheduled to take place Monday.

      Royals manager Ned Yost addressed Hosmer's departure on Sunday morning at spring training camp in Surprise, Ariz.

      "The emotions, for me, and for (general manager Dayton Moore) , too, I thought that going into the winter that there were just going to be teams that blow us away. Well, that didn't develop. I was thinking 10 years, $200 (million) plus; well that didn't happen. It boiled down to a two-team race," Yost said, per the Kansas City Star. "It's like, you always hope for the best. But you just don't know what's going to happen.

      "He made his decision, and now we just move on. Did we want him back? Sure we did, 100 percent. We really did. We just felt that his legacy was going to be cemented in Kansas City. He's loved there. But at the end of the day, he chose or got a better offer from San Diego. So we just move on. Just control what you can control."

      Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy said his former teammate deserved everything he earned in free agency.

      "I told him yesterday, 'My happiness for you trumps the bummer that I'm feeling right now,'" Duffy told the newspaper. "It's just a part of the game, man. It sucks but it's part of the game. Whatever's best for his family is what he has to do.

      "That dude loves this place, loves these guys, loves the city of Kansas City, obviously, and he gave more than he took for the better part of a decade. He deserves whatever he gets."

      The 28-year-old Hosmer hit a career-high .318 with 25 home runs and 94 RBIs for Kansas City last season. He was an All-Star in 2016 and has won four Gold Gloves at first base.

      For his career, Hosmer has hit .284 with 127 home runs and 566 RBIs in seven years with the Royals, who selected him third overall in the 2008 draft.

      Hosmer helped the Royals to two consecutive World Series appearances and the second world championship in franchise history (2015).

      Duffy was drafted by the Royals a year prior to Hosmer joining the organization in 2008 and debuted in the major leagues 12 days after Hosmer in May 2011.

      "Any special memories?" Duffy said. "I mean, yeah, about 11 seasons worth."

      For catcher Drew Butera, who joined the Royals in 2015, the team is losing a clubhouse leader.

      "He was the guy that anyone went to for anything," Butera told the newspaper. "If you were feeling down you went to him. If you were walking the clubhouse you got some new shoes, he was the first guy you went to go show. He always made you feel special whether you were a 12-year veteran superstar or you had one day in the show. He was the guy that you went to and he always built you up and led the team."

      --Field Level Media

  • Pirates' Diaz on mother's kidnapping: 'Nobody really prepares themselves for something like that'
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, February 18, 2018

    Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz discussed for the first time his mother's kidnapping in Venezuela, saying "nobody really prepares themselves for something like that," but she is doing better after being rescued last weekend.

    • Ana Isabel Soto, 72, was kidnapped on Feb. 8 as Diaz was preparing to travel for spring training in Bradenton, Fla. She was rescued three days later by Venezuelan police and security officers.

      Diaz, who was given permission to arrive late to camp so he could spend time with his mother, spoke to reporters Sunday about the frightening ordeal.

      Diaz said the discovery that police officers and a longtime family friend were involved in the kidnapping has him trying to move family members out of his native Venezuela.

      "Going back and realizing that situation, it kind of just removes the trust, the trust of your roots and makes you want to detach from your roots and maybe even question do I want to go back, do I want to remain there," Diaz said in Spanish, with interpreter Mike Gonzalez translating to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You kind of lose the trust and it makes it more aware of your surroundings."

      Diaz said money motivated the six kidnappers, five of whom were police officers. His family did not have to pay ransom.

      "Nobody really prepares themselves for something like that," Diaz said. "Nobody takes the time to think that through and try to even imagine what that could feel like. However, when it hit me, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a very tough situation to deal with. But when I did find out the news that we found my mom, I can tell you that the joy that I felt was overwhelming."

      This is not the first time kidnappers have targeted Venezuelan athletes or their relatives. In 2009, then-Colorado Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba waited in anguish as his 11-year-old son was rescued from kidnappers. Former Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in 2011 but later was found alive and unharmed after an air rescue.

      "The goal is to get (his immediate family) out of Venezuela," Diaz said. "It's a tough process but that's the goal."

      Diaz, 27, hit .223 with one home run and 19 RBIs in 64 games as a backup last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Padres, 1B Hosmer agree to 8-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, February 18, 2018

    Eric Hosmer's extended run as a free agent appears to be nearing its end.

    • The San Diego Padres and the former Kansas City Royals first baseman have agreed to terms on an eight-year contract, according to multiple reports. The deal reportedly includes an opt-out after the fifth season.

      Hosmer's contract will be the largest in Padres history at $144 million, according to a report from Scott Miller of Bleacher Report. Hosmer will make $20 million each of the first five seasons and $13 million in each of the last three, equating to an $18 million average, and will also get a $5 million signing bonus. The deal is pending a physical, which is scheduled to take place Monday.

      Hosmer was one of several big-name free agents repped by Scott Boras remaining on the open market despite spring training already being underway.

      Hosmer hit .318/.385/.498 with 25 home runs and 94 RBIs for Kansas City last season. The 28-year-old was an All-Star in 2016 and has won four Gold Gloves at first base.

      For his career, Hosmer has hit .284 with 127 home runs and 566 RBIs in seven years with the Royals, who selected him third overall in the 2008 draft.

      With the addition of Hosmer, the Padres will likely shift first baseman Wil Myers back to the outfield, where he played the majority of his professional career prior to moving to the infield full-time in 2016.

      Prior to Hosmer's reported deal, Myers' six-year, $83 million contract signed in 2017 was the largest pact in Padres history.

      --Field Level Media

  • Twins acquire RHP Odorizzi from Rays
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, February 18, 2018

    The Tampa Bay Rays continued a busy Saturday evening, trading right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios.

    • The announcement came less than two hours after the Rays acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Los Angeles Angels, designating All-Star outfielder/designated hitter Corey Dickerson for assignment in a corresponding move.

      Odorizzi, 27, has been a popular name in trade rumors the last couple of years. He went 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 28 starts for the Rays last season, his fourth straight season reaching at least 28 starts.

      Overall, Odorizzi is 40-38 with a 3.83 ERA in his six major league seasons, all pitched for the Rays besides two starts for the Kansas City Royals in 2012.

      The addition of Odorizzi helps to fill the void created in the Twins' starting rotation when probable Opening Day starter Ervin Santana underwent surgery on the middle finger of his throwing hand earlier this month that will sideline him for 10 to 12 weeks.

      Palacios, 21, hit .296 with 13 home runs, 67 RBIs and 20 stolen bases between Class A Cedar Rapids and high-A Fort Myers last year.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rays acquire 1B Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, February 17, 2018

    The Tampa Bay Rays announced a trade Saturday night, but the bigger surprise is who they removed from their 40-man roster in a corresponding move.

    • The Rays designated All-Star outfielder/designated hitter Corey Dickerson for assignment to make room for first baseman C.J. Cron, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for a player to be named later.

      Dickerson was named to his first All-Star Game last season as the American League's starting designated hitter. The 28-year-old slashed .282/.325/.490 with a career-high 27 home runs and 62 RBIs, ranking second on the Rays with an .815 OPS.

      Dickerson's batting average slipped from .312 in the first half to .241 in the second, but he still remained a key part of the Rays' offense down the stretch.

      Last month, the Rays avoided arbitration with Dickerson by agreeing to a $5.95 million contract for 2018. He still has a year of arbitration remaining before becoming a free agent after the 2019 season.

      Cron, 28, hit .248 with 16 home runs and 56 RBIs for the Angels last season. Opposite Dickerson, Cron had better results in the second half, hitting .267 with 14 home runs after a slow start (.213 average, two home runs) in the first half.

      Cron avoided arbitration with the Angels with a $2.3 million deal for 2018 and is under team control through the 2020 season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mets' Wright on playing in 2018: 'Going to give it my best shot'
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, February 17, 2018

    Numerous injuries have kept New York Mets third baseman David Wright from playing more than 40 games in a season since 2014, but the 35-year-old isn't ready to call it quits just yet.

    • As he enters the 2018 season recovering from separate surgeries he underwent on both his back and shoulder last year, Wright is hoping his body holds up well enough for him to take the field this year.

      "I'm going to give it my best shot, certainly," Wright said Saturday at the team's spring facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "I probably have a lot of the same questions you're asking me and a lot of people are asking of me. I just don't know. It's certainly been an uphill climb for me.

      "To honestly answer your question, I just don't know. I'd love to play, but my body's got to hold up and have to cooperate with me a little bit."

      Wright missed the entire 2017 season and last appeared in a major league game on May 27, 2016. He underwent surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff last September and then had back surgery a month later to remove a bony layer over his spinal canal.

      Wright said Saturday that he's still in the rehab process of his recovery and is keeping in communication with the doctors who performed his operations in order to ensure a smooth road back.

      "We want to make sure that when we progress to these steps that it's not going to do anything that will kind of set us back. So for now we're in the rehab process," Wright said. "I guess baby steps are still steps in the right direction."

      Wright, a seven-time All-Star, has missed serious time due to injury in five of the last six seasons he's played. The lifetime Met is due $20 million in 2018 and still has two years and $27 million remaining on his contract beyond this season.

      The Mets signed Todd Frazier this offseason to play third base.

      "We're certainly a very good team without me," Wright said. "My mindset is we'll be a better team with both of us out there."

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Pedroia ahead of schedule after knee procedure
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, February 17, 2018

    Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia arrived at spring training camp on Saturday with a four-inch scar down the front of his left knee.

    • The 34-year-old Pedroia is not sure when he will be ready to play, but he told reporters he is "ahead of schedule" and pain-free for the first time since last April. He underwent a cartilage restoration procedure after last season that he expects to prolong his career.

      Pedroia isn't expected to be ready for the start of the 2018 season, but the Red Sox expect his return to the lineup sometime in May. Pedroia hit .293 with seven home runs and 62 RBIs in 105 games last season.

      "The way it's worked out, it was the best decision I could have made," Pedroia said at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., per the Boston Herald. "My knee doesn't hurt. Last year, waking up and walking around was painful. It's not fun to live your life like that. Having the surgery, I could tell immediately that I was feeling better. Not one time did I have any pain in the entire process. Now it's just building strength and getting back to being athletic and things like that and your body picks that up quick."

      --Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett won his arbitration case and will earn $5.7 million in 2018.

      The Reds lost their bid to pay Gennett a salary of $5.1 million. The ruling reportedly pushes the team's payroll to $98.4 million.

      Gennett, 27, enjoyed a breakout season in 2017. He hit .295 with 27 home runs and 97 RBIs in 141 games. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound player made national headlines in June when he slammed four home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

      --The Los Angeles Dodgers announced they have re-signed veteran infielder Chase Utley to a two-year contract.

      The move was expected to happen since the start of camp in Glendale, Ariz., where media members noticed all of Utley's gear in his locker but no nameplate listed above. Utley spent the majority of the offseason working out at Dodger Stadium.

      Utley, 39, will return for his third full season with the Dodgers after playing his first 12-plus years with the Philadelphia Phillies. He hit .236 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 309 at-bats last season. He is 150 hits shy of 2,000 for his career.

      --The San Francisco Giants and left-handed relief pitcher Tony Watson reached an agreement on a two-year contract, according to multiple reports.

      The deal includes incentives, plus a player option for 2020, a source told ESPN.

      The 32-year-old Watson was 7-4 with 10 saves and 53 strikeouts over 66 2/3 innings in 71 relief appearances last year for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was acquired by the Dodgers for a pair of minor leaguers at the July 31 trade deadline.

      --The Minnesota Twins signed right-hander Anibal Sanchez to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract, according to multiple reports.

      Sanchez, who turns 34 on Feb. 27, agreed to a deal that would pay him $2.5 million should he make the major league club out of spring training. He can also earn $2.5 million in incentives.

      Sanchez holds a 90-94 record and 4.09 ERA over 12 seasons with the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers. He went 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA over 105 1/3 innings in 28 outings (17 starts) for the Tigers in 2017.

      --The Cleveland Indians signed free agent outfielder Rajai Davis to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to major league spring training camp.

      Davis, 37, was a member of the 2016 American League champion Indians, leading the AL in stolen bases (43 in 49 attempts) and hitting one of the most dramatic home runs in the history of the franchise in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field.

      Davis spent the 2017 season between Oakland and Boston, hitting a combined .235 with 19 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 20 RBIs and 29 steals in 36 attempts.

      --The Philadelphia Phillies and free agent left-handed relief pitcher Fernando Abad agreed to a minor League contract, according to multiple reports.

      The deal is only a non-roster invitation for Abad, who can make $3.1 million, according to FanRag Sports.

      The 32-year-old Abad spent the 2017 season with the Boston Red Sox, appearing in 48 games out of the bullpen and going 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA. He has a 3.65 career ERA in 317 2/3 innings over eight major league seasons.

      --The San Francisco Giants are not ruling out a reunion with two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.

      General manager Bobby Evans said the team would be interested in bringing back the 33-year-old right-hander after Lincecum's encouraging performance during a Thursday outing for a number of major league teams.

      Lincecum, who turns 34 in June, is attempting to return to the majors after spending nine seasons with the Giants, winning three World Series titles and making four All-Star teams. He last pitched in the majors in 2016, going 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA in nine starts with the Los Angeles Angels.

      --The reported deal between the Texas Rangers and Korean reliever Seung Hwan Oh no longer is expected to be completed according to multiple reports.

      The Rangers and Oh had agreed to terms before spring training opened, but the deal was contingent on the results of a physical and was never finalized. A source told the Dallas Morning News there were concerns after an MRI exam on the 35-year-old pitcher's arm.

      Rangers general manager Jon Daniels declined to comment on Oh, who reportedly was set to earn a base salary of $2.75 million this season with a team option for 2019. Oh converted 39 of 47 saves over the last two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.

      --Field Level Media

  • Giants, LHP Watson reach two-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, February 17, 2018

    The San Francisco Giants and left-handed relief pitcher Tony Watson reached an agreement on a two-year contract, according to multiple reports.

    • The deal includes incentives, plus a player option for 2020, a source told ESPN. The agreement was first reported by FanRag Sports on Friday.

      The 32-year-old Watson was 7-4 with 10 saves and 53 strikeouts over 66 2/3 innings in 71 relief appearances last year for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was acquired by the Dodgers for a pair of minor leaguers at the July 31 trade deadline.

      Watson had a 2.57 ERA in seven postseason innings and 11 relief outings in the Dodgers' run to within one game of winning the World Series.

      He was 5-3 with a 3.66 ERA in 47 games for the Pirates last season after beginning the season as Pittsburgh's closer.

      Watson, who became a free agent in December, has a 33-17 career record with a 2.68 ERA in 474 relief appearances since making his major league debut in 2011.

      --Field Level Media