Dereck Rodriguez Agrees to Minor League Deal with Colorado Rockies 

Dereck Rodriguez has a new deal…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican baseball pitcher, the son of MLB Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, has signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies that includes an invitation to spring training.

Dereck Rodriguez

Rodriguez appeared in 51 games over three seasons with the San Francisco Giants. He compiled a 12-15 record with a 4.27 ERA before being designated for assignment by the Giants on August 26. He was claimed five days later off waivers by the Detroit Tigers before recently becoming a free agent.

Rodriguez made his major league debut at Coors Field on May 29, 2018. He allowed four runs, one earned, over 3⅓ innings. He also had an RBI double off Kyle Freeland.

Rodriguez was originally a sixth-round pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2011.

Francisco Liriano Signs Minor League Contract with the Philadelphia Phillies

Francisco Liriano isn’t leaving The Keystone State… 

The Philadelphia Phillies have signed the 36-year-old Dominican professional baseball left-handed pitcher to a minor league contracts with invitations to attend major league spring training.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano was 5-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 69 relief appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirateslast season. Liriano is 112-114 with a 4.15 ERA and has averaged 9.01 strikeouts per nine innings over 419 career games.

During his career, he has played for the Minnesota TwinsChicago White Sox, the PiratesToronto Blue JaysHouston Astrosand Detroit Tigers.

Liriano was an MLB All-Star in 2006, and is a two-time winner of the MLB Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Ivan Nova Headed to the Detroit Tigers

Ivan Nova is roarin’ to go…

The Detroit Tigers announced Monday that they’ve agreed to a deal with the 34-year-old professional baseball pitcher.

Ivan Nova

To make room for Nova on the 40-man roster, the Tigers designated left-hander Matt Hall for assignment.

Nova made a major-league-leading 34 starts for the Chicago White Sox last season, going 11-12 with a 4.72 ERA in 187 innings. The right-hander had 114 strikeouts, posting his worst strikeout rate (5.49/9 IP) since 2014.

He did pitch two complete games, including a four-hitter in a 9-1 victory against the Miami Marlins on July 22, bringing his career total to 10.

Nova’s curveball has long been his most effective pitch, but it wasn’t working for him in 2019, with a lower spin rate than he had in 2015-17, missing fewer bats and getting hit harder, so he used it less often.

He was acquired by Chicago from the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 2018 season for minor league pitcher Yordi Rosario and $500,000 in international signing bonus pool allocation. 

Nova has made 223 big league starts, producing a 4.32 ERA with 954 strikeouts in 1,328⅔ innings.

Signed by the New York Yankees as an international free agent in 2004, Nova made his big league debut six years later and was with the Yankees until 2016, when he was traded to Pittsburgh for two minor leaguers. He finished that season a combined 12-8 with a 4.17 ERA for the Yankees and Pirates.

In 2015, Nova went 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA over 17 starts in his return from Tommy John surgery.

Anthony Rendon Among This Year’s MLB National League MVP Finalists

Anthony Rendonhas made the final cut…

The 29-year-old Mexican American Major League Baseball star has been named a finalist for the National League MVP award.

Anthony Rendon

Rendon, who hit key home runs in Games 6 and 7 of the World Series to help lead his Washington Nationals team to their first championship, will face off against Los Angeles Dodgersoutfielder Cody Bellingerand Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelichfor the MLB honor. Yelich won last year’s NL MVPaward with 29 of 30 first-place votes.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike TroutHouston Astros third baseman Alex Bregmanand Oakland Athleticsshortstop Marcus Semienare finalists for the American League MVPaward. Trout is seeking his third MVP award after winning in 2014 and ’16. He finished second in 2012, ’13, ’15 and ’18.

Houston’s Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are finalists for the AL Cy Young Award along with Tampa Bay Rays’ Charlie Morton, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America said. Verlander won the 2011 Cy Young with the Detroit Tigers, when he also was voted MVP.

New York Metsace Jacob deGromis a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award after getting 29 of 30 first-place votes last year. He is competing with Washington’s Max Scherzerand the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu. Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner.

New York Mets first baseman Pete AlonsoAtlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka and San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.are finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year. Houston designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe and Baltimore Orioles‘ left-hander John Means are the top candidates in the AL.

The New York Yankees‘ Aaron BooneMinnesota Twins‘ Rocco Baldelliand Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash are finalists for AL Manager of the Year. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker is a finalist to win the NL award for the second straight season, joined by the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Craig Counsell and St. Louis CardinalsMike Shildt.

Rookies of the Year will be announced on November 11, followed by Managers of the Year on November 12. Cy Young winners will be announced on November 13, and MVPs on November 14.

Aristides Aquino Breaks National League Rookie Mark for Home Runs in a Month

It’s been a banner month for Aristides Aquino.

The 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds broke the National League rookie mark for homers in a month with his 14th in August in his team’s 4-3 loss to the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.

Aristides Aquino

Aquino hit a two-run homer in the first for Cincinnati, and his two-out RBI single in the eighth tied it at 3.

Aquino broke the rookie record of 13 in a month set by the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger in June 2017. The Major League Baseball (MLB) record by a rookie is 18 by the Detroit Tigers‘ Rudy York in August 1937.

Reds manager David Bell’s reaction to his outfielder’s latest achievement?

“Speechless,” Bell said. “Guys are having fun watching him and what he’s doing. Pretty special.”

Aquino, who was promoted from the minors on August 1, tied the Reds record for homers by a player in a month held by Frank Robinson (1962) and Greg Vaughn (1999). He leads the majors with 32 RBIs this month.

Nicholas Castellanos Traded to the Chicago Cubs

Nicholas Castellanos is headed to the Windy City…

The Chicago Cubs have acquired the 27-year-old Latino professional baseball player and outfielder from the Detroit Tigers, a move they hope fortifies their lineup amid a playoff push.

Nicholas Castellanos

The Tigers received right-handed pitching prospects Alex Langeand Paul Richanin the deal. The Cubs also will receive cash considerations.

“The guy is a good hitter,” Cubs manager Joe Maddonsaid of Castellanos. “I always thought he patterned himself after [Miguel]Cabrera, early on. Saw a lot of balls go into the gap.”

Castellanos is hitting .273 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs this season. His best season came in 2017, when he hit 26 home runs and drove in 101 runs with a .272 average.

He was a late scratch Wednesday afternoon, informed of the trade just before the Tigers played the Angels.

“I’m very excited to be able to go to Chicago and help this team in a pennant race any way that I can,” Castellanos told reporters in Detroit.

He should provide a big boost offensively to a Chicago team that entered Wednesday’s action a game behind the first-place Cardinals in the NL Central and tied atop the wild-card standings. His 119 doubles the past three seasons trail only Red Sox star Mookie Betts‘ total in that span. Castellanos has 37 doubles this season, which puts him tied with Boston‘s Rafael Devers for the most in the majors.

“When you watched us play over the last few months, it felt, at times, we were a bat short in the lineup,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said in a conference call. “He kills lefties. That’s something we’ve really struggled with. We think he’s going to give a pro at-bat versus righties and lefties.”

The Cubs are 9-13 when a left-hander starts against them and have the third-worst batting average against lefties this season, at .235. Castellanos has mashed lefties throughout his career, especially this season, in which he is hitting .347 against them.

Maddon isn’t sure where he’ll hit Castellanos in the order, but his .357 on-base percentage while batting second this year is very enticing. He’ll be in uniform on Thursday when the Cubs complete a series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The move was completed just ahead of Wednesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline.

Miguel Cabrera Hits First Home Run Since April 2018

Miguel Cabrera is back… with a bullet.

The 35-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player and Detroit Tigers first baseman, looking healthy again, connected for his first homer of the spring in Detroit’s 7-4 win over the Atlanta Braves this weekend. 

Miguel Cabrera

It was the first time Cabrera had gone deep in any game for the Tigers since April 28. His 2018 season ended after 38 games because of a biceps injury.

“He’s feeling good. He’s having a good time,” manager Ron Gardenhiresaid. “He’s actually been swinging good. We’ve seen him hit them all over the place in BP. It’s all about timing. Been off a long, long time.”

Cabrera seems comfortable at the plate so far: He’s 6-for-11 with a home run, a double and three walks in five spring training games.

Cabrera singled and walked before hitting a two-run homer to right-center field off Jacob Webb in the fifth inning.

“I think the wind got it,” the Detroit slugger said, showing perhaps more modesty than necessary.

Cabrera hit three home runs in April last year — and that was his total for the season. He missed almost all of May after straining a hamstring, and he went homerless in 41 June at-bats before his season ended for good.

Cabrera turns 36 in April and has hit only 19 homers in 168 games over the past two seasons.

The rebuilding Tigers have traded plenty of stars away over the past couple years, but Cabrera’s huge contract makes that difficult. Cabrera did hit 38 home runs in 158 games in 2016. He’s just 35 homers away from 500, and a run at that milestone would be a highlight even if the Tigers don’t contend for a playoff spot in the near future.

“He won’t have to work as hard as a lot of other guys for timing. He’s just a good hitter,” Gardenhire said. “You saw him take some real close pitches and foul off some pitches, and then barrel it up too.”

Eugenio Suarez Agrees to a 7-Year, $66 Million Deal with the Cincinnati Reds

Eugenio Suarez is seeing Reds in his future…

The 26-year-old Venezuelan baseball player has agreed to a seven-year, $66 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds that makes him part of the foundation for team’s long-term rebuilding.

Eugenio Suarez

The deal supersedes the $3.75 million, one-year contract Suarez was awarded when he lost his salary arbitration case last month.

There’s a team option for 2025 at $15 million — with a $2 million buyout — that would make the deal worth $79 million over eight years.

The Reds started an overhaul in 2015, trading most of their top players for prospects. They have lost more than 90 games and finished last in the National League Central each of the past three seasons.

“We are sending a signal to the fans that the work that we’ve put in the last couple years is starting to come together,” general manager Dick Williams said. “We’re starting to identify the building blocks that we want to build this team around. Geno is one of them. We’re ready to start winning again and we want Geno to be a part of it.”

Suarez gets a $2 million signing bonus payable within 30 days of the deal’s approval by the commissioner’s office and salaries of $2.25 million this year, $7 million in 2019, $9.25 million in 2020, $10.5 million in 2021 and $11 million each of the next three years.

It’s the largest contract the Reds have agreed to during the rebuilding process.

Cincinnati obtained Suarez from the Detroit Tigers in December 2014 as part of the trade that sent right-hander Alfredo Simon to the Tigers. Suarez was a shortstop earlier in his career, but the Reds moved him to third base after Todd Frazier was traded.

He has developed into a top third baseman, leading the NL in fielding percentage last season. He also batted .260 and had career highs with 26 homers and 82 RBIs. Suarez and the Reds began talking about a long-term deal before arbitration.

“It’s an honor for me to be part of this wonderful team,” Suarez said.

Francisco Rodriguez Agrees to Minor League Deal with the Philadelphia Phillies

Francisco Rodriguez is back in the game…

The 36-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher, nicknamed “Frankie” and “K-Rod“, has agreed to a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Francisco Rodriguez

Rodriguez, a former All-Star reliever, will report to major league spring training, according to multiple reports.

The deal, which was first reported by FanRag Sports on Saturday, will include a $2.5 million base salary if Rodriguez is added to the 40-man roster. And he has a chance to make $1.25 million in incentives.

Rodriguez, a right-hander, saved 44 games for the Detroit Tigers in 2016, but he was 2-5 with a 7.82 ERA in 28 appearances last season before being released by Detroit in June.

Rodriguez is fourth on the career list with 437 saves and set the single-season record of 62 in 2008, when he was with the Los Angeles Angels. His future was in question after a shaky season in 2012 with the Milwaukee Brewers, but he was able to rebound, reinventing himself by relying on his changeup.

The Tigers traded for Rodriguez in November 2015, and though his strikeout numbers in 2016 weren’t great, he had a solid season, and Detroit exercised his $6 million option for 2017. The Tigers remained responsible for the remainder of his 2017 salary.

Seattle Mariners’ Robinson Cano Headed to the MLB All-Star Game

Robinson Cano will be reporting for MLB All-Star duty…

The 34-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a second basemen for the Seattle Mariners, is among seven replacement players selected for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Miami.

Robinson Cano

Cano, who has the world’s fifth-largest sports contract at $240 million, is an 8-time All-Star.

Other replacement players to the American League roster include Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer and Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna, Houston Astros reliever Chris Devenski, Minnesota Twins reliever Brandon Kintzler and Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood was added to the National League All-Stars.

Three of the original All-Stars are on the disabled list and won’t be active for the game: Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro and Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel.

Four pitchers on the All-Star rosters won’t be active because they are scheduled to start Sunday: the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, Texas RangersYu Darvish, Cleveland IndiansCorey Kluber and Detroit’s Michael Fulmer.