Wonderfilm Media Developing Biopic About Tampa Bay Rays’ Breakout Star Randy Arozarena

Randy Arozarena’s life story is headed to the big screen…

The 25-year-old Cuban professional baseball outfielder and Tampa Bay Rays rookie, who broke the MLB record for most home runs and hits in a single postseason, will be the focus of a biopic from Wonderfilm Media.

Randy Arozarena

Arozarena, the Rays’ breakout star, came from Cuba and fueled his team’s run to the World Series, which eventually went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games.

Brad Gann, the screenwriter of the Mark Wahlberg-led Invincible and a co-writer of pro surfer Bethany Hamilton biopic Soul Surfer, will write the screenplay.

Arozarena’s story is inspiring. He escaped Cuba on a makeshift boat, landed in Mexico, and started a new life there before making his way to the U.S. and eventually, his Major League Baseball debut in 2017.

Arozarena currently holds the MLB record for most home runs in a single postseason with 10. In his rookie postseason, Arozarena broke Barry Bonds’ record for most home runs as well as Derek Jeter’s record for most hits by a rookie. He was also named MVP of the ALCS.

Francisco Cervelli Agrees to One-Year Deal with the Miami Marlins

Francisco Cervelli is heading to the Sunshine State…

The 33-year-old half-Venezuelan professional baseball player, a free-agent catcher,has agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Miami Marlins, according to ESPN.

Francisco Cervelli

The move reunites Cervelli with former New York Yankees teammate Derek Jeter, the Marlins’ CEO and part owner, and Miami special adviser Jorge Posada, whom he considers a mentor.

Cervelli will back up Jorge Alfaro at catcher for the Marlins.

Cervelli finished last season with the Atlanta Braves after he was waived by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had requested his release after he worked his way back from another concussion that had appeared to put his career in jeopardy.

In 37 games with the Braves, he hit .281 with two home runs and seven RBIs. A career .269 hitter, he had hit .193 in 34 games for the Pirates last season before he was sidelined by his concussion. He has suffered several concussions in his big league career.

He played his first seven seasons with the Yankees before joining the Pirates in 2015.

Nolan Arenado Agrees to Lucrative Eight-Year Deal with the Colorado Rockies

Nolan Arenadois still planning toRockies & roll…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American Major League Baseball player has agreed to an eight-year, contract extension with the Colorado Rockies worth $260 million, according to Yahoo Sports.

Nolan Arenado

Arenado says he wants to spend his entire major league career with the Rockies and had no desire to become a free agent after this season.

“At the end of the day my heart was here,” he said Wednesday, a day after agreeing to the deal.

Arenado’s deal has a $32.5 million average annual value, second behind the $34.42 million for pitcher Zack Greinke in a $206.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacksthat began in 2016.

He said he wants to emulate Colorado’s Todd Helton and former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter by spending his entireMLB  career with one team.

Arenado says the cold free-agent market the past two seasons wasn’t a big factor but “obviously it’s in your head.”

He agreed in January to a one-year, $26 million contract with the Rockies. His new deal keeps that salary, calls for $35 million annually from 2020 to 2024, $32 million in 2025 and $27 million in 2026. He must decide after the 2021 season whether to opt in for the remainder of the contract.

He can earn an additional $25,000 each time he is anAll-Star or wins aGoldGlove, $50,000 forSilver Sluggeraward, $75,000 for league championship series MVP, $75,000 for World SeriesMVP, $100,000 for MVP and $50,000 for second through fifth in the voting, and $100,000 for comeback player of the year.

Escobar’s Historic World Series Homerun Baseball Sells for Nearly $20,000

A piece of Alcides Escobar’s World Series history has found a new home.

Alcides Escobar

The baseball that the 28-yar-old Venezuelan Kansas City Royals shortstop hit for an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the first inning in Game 1 sold on Wednesday night for $19,200.

The ball was retrieved and authenticated by Major League Baseball with a QR code and a hologram. The league then put it up on its website for eight days before the auction closed after 84 bids at 11:18 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Alcides Escobar's World Series Homerun Baseball

A Game 1-used third base, which was used for the first two innings only, was also sold Wednesday night for $6,260. Two game-used balls from the game sold for $900 and $1,220.

Other World Series game-used item auctions that will close in the next couple of days include Johnny Cueto‘s first-pitch ball in Game 2 and Noah Syndergaard‘s first-pitch ball for the New York Mets in Game 3, which buzzed Escobar’s head and sent him to the ground.

Syndergaard’s Game 3 jersey is also being auctioned off.

The highest price paid for a game-used ball purchased on Major League Baseball’s website was the ball used to throw the first pitch of Game 7 of last year’s World Series, which went for $28,890.

Last year, MLB.com also sold the ball used to make Derek Jeter‘s last out for more than $24,000.

Escobar’s inside-the-park home run was the first in a World Series game since Mule Haas of the Philadelphia A‘s did it in 1929.

Correa Becomes the MLB’s First Puerto Rican No. 1 Draft Pick

He’s only 17-year-old… But Carlos Correa has already made it into annals of baseball…

The Houston Astros selected the Puerto Rican baseball phenom as the No. 1 pick Monday night, making him the first player from Puerto Rico to lead off the Major League Baseball draft.

Carlos Correa

“This means a lot,” said Correa, who was all smiles when he heard his name called, knowing he’d made hometown history at the baseball draft. “We’ve got a lot of good players there.”

Despite producing its share of baseball royalty like Roberto Clemente, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Juan Gonzalez and Bernie Williams, Correa is the first selection from Puerto Rico. Some of those players signed as free agents — catcher Ramon Castro had been the highest-drafted player out of Puerto Rico, going No. 17 to Houston in 1994.

“I feel so excited to be the No. 1 pick,” said Correa, who was congratulated by Delgado on Twitter. “I’ve worked so hard to be here.”

It was the first time Houston had the top pick in the draft since 1992, when the Astros selected Phil Nevin — passing on future star Derek Jeter, who went five spots later to the New York Yankees.

“I have read about that,” said Correa, calling Jeter his idol. “I want to be like him. He’s awesome.”

Carlos Correa

First-year Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Correa “has a chance to be a star” who could hit 20-30 home runs in the pros, whether it’s in his current role as a shortstop or “ultimately maybe third base.”

Correa said he’d like to stay at shortstop and plans to use his signing bonus to help his family.

As he walked to the podium and shook hands with commissioner Bud Selig before a brief hug, Correa pulled out a small Puerto Rican flag and held it up to cheers from the crowd of major league representatives and fans gathered in the stadium-themed studio.

While recent drafts lacked first-pick intrigue, Luhnow said the Astros didn’t settle on Correa until about an hour before they went on the clock. Several mock draft lists predicted the Astros would select Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, but instead Houston made a somewhat surprising selection — although Correa was considered one of the top five players available.

Correa, who has an incredibly strong arm and terrific instincts on defense, may be the highly sought after “big-time bat” for the middle of Astros lineup. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound star from Santa Isabel was a star at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He’s committed to the University of Miami, but will likely head to Houston’s farm system instead.

“Right now, he stays at shortstop and if he was to happen to grow out of it, it’s the power that’s the attraction here and it’s the middle of the order potential impact bat,” Astros scouting director and assistant general manager Bobby Heck said. “So if he has to move, his profile is still very, very strong.”

Meanwhile, Florida high school outfielder Albert Almora was selected sixth by the Chicago Cubs.

“I’m speechless,” said Almora by phone in an interview with MLB.com, about an hour after the 18-year-old was drafted. “I don’t remember much of anything that happened tonight. I know that the Cubs drafted me, and I’m grateful, but I’m still kind of shocked and overwhelmed.”

The first round and the compensation rounds are completed Monday night, with rounds 2 through 40 conducted over the next two days via conference call with the teams.

Rodriguez & Rivera Go to Bat for “Bully”

The Major League Baseball season may have just gotten underway last week… But that hasn’t stopped New York Yankees stars Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera from showing their support for the documentary Bully.

Alex Rodriguez & Mariano Rivera

Rodriguez and Rivera joined fellow players Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson, as well as the team’s manager Joe Girardi, for a special public service announcement to urge the audience to sign on to a website for the film and its Bully Project petition.

Directed by filmmaker Lee Hirsch, Bully follows several middle school students from around the country during one school year and documents bullying and the middle school environment. In one scene, shot in Sioux City, Iowa, middle school student Alex Libby is taunted by classmates on the school bus; another shows an LGBT teen in Oklahoma who faces bullying over her decision to come out. The film also follows the family of Georgia teen Tyler Long in the year following his suicide after he was bullied in middle school.

The film provoked controversy when the MPAA originally gave the movie an R rating, citing the language used in the film. That decision was later overturned after a national letter-writing campaign.

Rodriguez, Rivera and their Yankees teammates join a growing list of celebrities who have spoken out against bullying, including Victoria Justice and Wilmer Valderrama.

Bully opens in theaters around the country on Friday.

Posada Ending His Baseball Career?

Jorge Posada may just have caught his last baseball at Yankee Stadium

The 40-year-old professional baseball star is reportedly planning to retire after 17 seasons with the New York Yankees rather than pursue opportunities with other teams.

Jorge Posada

A person familiar with Posada’s decision told The Associated Press on Saturday that the five-time All-Star catcher will announce his retirement this month. The free agent instructed his sports agents not to make calls on his behalf this offseason, according to a source.

Posada won five World Series titles with the team that picked him up in the 24th round of the 1990 draft. He became a free agent after a trying season in New York, the final year of a four-year, $52 million contract.

Posada’s retirement leaves shortstop Derek Jeter and closer Mariano Rivera as the two remaining players from the core group that led the Yankees to four World Series championships from 1996-2000 and one more in ’09. Andy Pettitte retired after the 2010 season.

Only Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra have caught more games in pinstripes than Posada (1,574).

He likely will receive strong Hall of Fame consideration after finishing with a career batting average of .273 and producing 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs in 1,829 games.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.