February 2019 - Baseball Wiretap

Manny Machado Agrees To Sign 10-Year, $300M Deal With Padres

Feb 19, 2019 12:33 PM

Manny Machado has agreed to sign with the San Diego Padres on a 10-year, $300 million deal. Machado will have an opt-out after the fifth season. The deal is the largest free agent contract in American sports history.

Machado finished last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Machado was also pursued by the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.

Bob Nightengale reports the Padres offered Machado an eight-year deal worth between $240 million and $280 million.

Jeff Passan/ESPN

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Cardinals To Re-Evaluate Carlos Martinez On March 5

Feb 20, 2019 9:03 AM

The St. Louis Cardinals have shut down Carlos Martinez for two weeks so that he can build up shoulder strength.

Martinez, 27, won't throw before being re-evaluated on March 5.

The right-hander endured an injury-plagued season in 2018.

Mike Shildt said an MRI this week showed Martinez's right shoulder was structurally sound.

Associated Press

Tags: St. Louis Cardinals, Injury, Misc Rumor

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MLB Adding Rules To Prevent Sign Stealing

Feb 20, 2019 8:59 AM

Major League Baseball is implementing new rules to guard against high-tech sign stealing, according to a source.

Rob Manfred promised to put new directives in place after several incidents of alleged stealing of catchers' signs last season.

There was already a rule in place that prohibited sign stealing from any place other than a runner on second base. That rule would now be updated to include measures that address the use of new technology to gain an advantage on opponents.

ESPN

Tags: Misc Rumor

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Rob Manfred Again Downplays Slow Free-Agent Market

Feb 20, 2019 8:54 AM

Rob Manfred continues to downplay this offseason's slow free-agent market.

The commissioner predicts top free agents will all get deals and the second slow market won't have lasting significance.

"In some ways, I feel like it's a little much ado about nothing if in fact those players all sign at the end of the day," Manfred said. "The season's going to go on. We're going to have the right players out there playing on the field, and it's kind of no harm, no foul."

Although Manny Machado agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with San Diego Padres, Bryce Harper, Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain on the market.

"I do think [things] are a little overblown right now," Manfred said. "I do think it would be helpful if we tried to not sensationalize the back-and-forth on the individual issues. I think that the dialogue is best conducted in a room between the bargaining parties."

ESPN

Tags: Misc Rumor

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Sean Doolittle Voices Support For New Era's Union Workers Losing Jobs

Feb 19, 2019 11:32 AM

New Era is closing its Western New York factory, eliminating approximately 200 union jobs in favor of non-union workers at a new plant in Florida.

New Era is the official hat provider for Major League Baseball.

"As one of the most prominent unions in the US, we want to elevate the voices of the laborers whose work makes our game possible," Sean Doolittle tweeted, becoming the first major league player to throw his support behind the workers at the Derby plant.

"This isn’t the first time that jobs of union garment workers who make MLB uniforms have been in jeopardy. In 2017, MLB was able to step in and help broker a deal to save 600 textile jobs at the Majestic factory in PA. It was a win for everyone," Doolittle tweeted.

"As players continue to stand together it’s important that we also continue to stand in solidarity with the union labor that has helped make our game what it is today," he tweeted.

"We stand in solidarity with the Derby, NY factory families who make the iconic on-field hats we put on everyday and fans wear to support their favorite team," Doolittle tweeted. "We hope MLB can help these NY families the way they helped the uniform workers in PA. Otherwise, it’s ."

New Era makes about 65 million baseball caps per year. 

David Robinson/The Buffalo News

Tags: Washington Nationals

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Mike Trout On Phillies Speculation: I Can't Predict The Future

Feb 19, 2019 8:05 AM

Mike Trout won't be a free agent for a few years, but he's already being asked about potentially ending up with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Trout is from Millville, New Jersey, which is about an hour south of Philadelphia.

"I don't think I went a day this offseason without someone saying, "When are you coming to Philly?'" he said.

"I can't predict the future. I don't know."

Trout will be a free agent after the 2020 season.

Matt Snyder/CBS Sports

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Red Sox, Chris Sale Have Discussed Extension

Feb 19, 2019 7:59 AM

The Boston Red Sox would like to keep Chris Sale from hitting the open market and have discussed a long-term deal with the pitcher's representation.

Sale will be a free agent after this season.

The left-hander has averaged 200 innings over the last three years. He also finished in the top five in Cy Young voting each year.

R.J. Anderson/CBS Sports

Tags: Boston Red Sox, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Tony Clark: Some Teams Don't Justify Ticket Costs

Feb 19, 2019 7:54 AM

Tony Clark, the head of the players' union, says baseball fans should question whether it makes sense to purchase tickets for some teams.

The comments were made in response to Rob Manfred's assertion that free agents have failed to adjust their economic demands in a market upended by analytics.

"Players' eyes don't deceive them, nor do fans'," Clark said. "As players report to spring training and see respected veterans and valued teammates on the sidelines, they are rightfully frustrated by a two-year attack on free agency. Players commit to compete every pitch of every at-bat, and every inning of every game. Yet we're operating in an environment in which an increasing number of clubs appear to be making little effort to improve their rosters, compete for a championship or justify the price of a ticket."

Average attendance has dropped for three straight seasons and last year fell below 30,000 per game for the first time since 2003.

Associated Press

Tags: Misc Rumor

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Rockies Moving Charlie Blackmon To Right Field

Feb 19, 2019 7:48 AM

The Colorado Rockies are moving Charlie Blackmon to right field.

Blackmon has played center field for the club since 2014. He's logged more games in center than anyone else in franchise history.

"[Bud Black] assured me this was going to help the Rockies win more games, and I'm all about that," Blackmon said.

Ian Desmond is slated to play center, while David Dahl will be in left.

"I really enjoy playing center field," Blackmon said. "I think you can impact the game in center field more than in either corner. There is a sense of pride in being able to play center field, especially at Coors Field. I'm not going to let that get in the way, especially if we think it is going to help us win more games.

"Ian Desmond is more than capable. Super-fast. Incredible athlete. I'm sure he'll pick up the slack just fine."

Associated Press

Tags: Colorado Rockies, Misc Rumor

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Red Sox Owner: Spending More Money Helps

Feb 19, 2019 7:44 AM

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry says that, while there is not a perfect correlation between a bigger payroll and winning, "spending more money helps."

Henry's Red Sox had the highest payroll in the sport in 2018 and won their fourth World Series title since he became principal owner of the franchise in 2002.

On Monday, commissioner Rob Manfred said, "I reject the notion that payroll is a good measure for how much a team is trying or how successful that team is going to be."

Asked about that comment and whether there is a correlation between spending and winning, Henry replied, "I think the Baltimore payroll was double what the Tampa payroll was last year. Close to double. There is a correlation, I'm sure there is a correlation, but it's not as perfect. It's very difficult to predict things in baseball, to predict player performance. Spending more money helps."

David Schoenfield/ESPN

Tags: Boston Red Sox, Misc Rumor

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Bruce Bochy To Retire After 2019 Season
Bruce Bochy has led the Giants to three World Series championships, in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

ESPN.com

Padres Have Made Serious Bids For Bryce Harper, Manny Machado
The Padres have reportedly made the largest offer to Manny Machado in free agency.

A.J. Cassavell/MLB

Talks 'Intensifying' Between Bryce Harper, Phillies
Nothing appears to be imminent as Bryce Harper's free agency drags on and reports come and go.

Jon Heyman/MLB Network

Khris Davis Wants To Stay With A's 'At Least Three More Years'
Khris Davis hit a Major League-best 48 home runs last season.

Mike Axisa/CBS Sports

Mets, Adeiny Hechavarria Agree To Minor League Deal
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria has agreed to a minor league contract and an invitation to the Mets' spring training camp.

ESPN.com

MLB To Use Pitch Clocks In Spring Training Games
Pitchers will have 20 seconds to deliver the ball to the plate when teams begin spring training games this week.

ESPN.com

Robinson Cano: "I Feel Like I'm 25'
Robinson Cano, 36, reported to training camp on Sunday, a day ahead of the team's first full-squad workout.

ESPN.com

Aaron Judge Fully Healthy For Spring Training
Aaron Judge's once-broken wrist if fully healed and reported to spring training in good physical condition.

ESPN.com

Pujols, Ohtani Have Opening Day Goal
It may be unrealistic for Shoehei Ohtani to be ready for Opening Day.

ESPN.com

Padres, Aaron Loup Agree To One-Year, $1.4M Contract
The deal between Aaron Loup and the Padres includes a team option for the 2020 season.

ESPN.com

Brewers Sign Mike Moustakas To One-Year, $10M Deal
The Brewers and third baseman Mike Moustakas have a mutual option on a second year.

ESPN.com

Tim Tebow Feels Ready For Spring Training
Tim Tebow is fully committed to the game of baseball and feels more comfortable on the field.

ESPN.com

Ichiro Suzuki Back In M's Camp
Ichiro Suzuki is working toward the chance to play for the Mariners in his home country.

ESPN.com

Giants, Cameron Maybin Agree To Deal
The Giants will bring outfielder Cameron Maybin to camp as a non-roster invitee.

ESPN.com

Cardinals Expect Marcell Ozuna To Be Ready For Opener
Outfielder Marcell Ozuna underwent offseason shoulder surgery.

ESPN.com

CC Sabathia To Retire After 2019 Season
Left-handed pitcher CC Sabathia is entering his 19th major league baseball season.

ESPN.com

Blue Jays, John Axford Agree To Minor League Deal
Reliever John Axford was 4-1 with a 4.41 ERA for the Blue Jays last season.

ESPN.com

White Sox May Be 'Safety Net' For Bryce Harper, Manny Machado
The feeling around baseball is that the White Sox are a "safety net" for unsigned superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, according to a report.

Buster Olney/ESPN

Manny Machado Meets With Padres For Second Time
Padres general manager A.J. Preller flew to Miami to meet with Manny Machado last week, according to sources.

Jeff Passan/ESPN

Jacob deGrom 'Not Sure' If Extension Will Come Before Opening Day
Jacob deGrom hasn't received a long-term contract offer from the Mets and isn't sure if he will before Opening Day.

ESPN