Maikel Franco Agrees to One-Year Deal with the Kansas City Royals

Maikel Francois officially Royal-ty

The 27-year-old Dominican professional baseball third baseman has agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Kansas City Royals, according to ESPN.

Maikel Franco

Franco, who became a free agent when he was non-tendered by the Philadelphia Philliesearlier this offseason, is expected to be the Royals’ everyday third baseman.

Hunter Dozier(.279, 26 homers, 84 RBIs) primarily manned third base (91 starts) for the Royals last season, but Kansas City will take advantage of his versatility and move him around the field in 2020. Dozier also had starts at first base and in the outfield last season.

Franco hit .234 with 17 home runs and 56 RBIs in 123 games last season for Philadelphia.

Before 2019, Franco had hit at least 22 home runs for three consecutive seasons for the Phillies, the only team he has played for in six major league seasons.

He is a .249 hitter with 102 home runs and 343 RBIs in 656 career games.

MLB.comwas first to report to Franco’s agreement with the Royals.

Nolan Arenado Wins Seventh Straight Golden Glove Award

The golden streak continues for Nolan Arenado

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American Major League Baseball player has extended his streak of winning a Gold Glove Award in every season of his career on Sunday, when the Colorado Rockies star earned the award for National Leaguet hird basemen for the seventh consecutive year.

Nolan Arenado

Arenado has won the award each year since he debuted in 2013. With this year’s win, he moved into sole possession of fourth place for the most Gold Glovesamong third basemen and just one behind Scott Rolenfor third place all time.

Only Baltimore Orioles legend Brooks Robinson, who won 16 Gold Gloves in a row from 1960 to ’75, and Mike Schmidt, who won 10, have more than Arenado. Robinson has the most Gold Gloves among all position players, but at just 28 years old, Arenado has a chance to catch him.

Kansas City Royals veteran Alex Gordon also won his seventh career Gold Glove, claiming the ALleft fielder award for the third straight year to move into a tie for 14th-most among outfielders.

2019 Gold Glove Winners

POS.ALNL
CRoberto Perez, IndiansJ.T. Realmuto, Phillies
1BMatt Olson, AthleticsAnthony Rizzo, Cubs
2BYolmer Sanchez, White SoxKolten Wong, Cardinals
SSFrancisco Lindor, IndiansNick Ahmed, Diamondbacks
3BMatt Chapman, AthleticsNolan Arenado, Rockies
LFAlex Gordon, RoyalsDavid Peralta, Diamondbacks
CFKevin Kiermaier, RaysLorenzo Cain, Brewers
RFMookie Betts, Red SoxCody Bellinger, Dodgers
PMike Leake, MarinersZack Greinke, Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks had four Gold Glove winners on their team this season, including both pitchers, Mike Leake and Zack Greinke, though the two never played with each other. Leake won the American League pitcher’s award for his time with the Seattle Mariners before Arizona acquired him at the trade deadline on July 31, the day the Diamondbacks dealt Greinke to the Houston Astros.

Shortstop Nick Ahmed, who won his second straight Gold Glove, and left fielder David Peralta were the other Diamondbacks honored Sunday. Peralta was one of three National League outfielders who won their first Gold Gloves, joining the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Lorenzo Cain and the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Cody Bellinger.

The Oakland Athletics had a pair of winners, as first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman both won for the second straight season. The Cleveland Indians had two Gold Glovers in shortstop Francisco Lindor, who won the second of his career, and catcher Roberto Perez, a first-time winner.

The second baseman awards went to the Chicago White Sox‘s Yolmer Sanchez and the St. Louis Cardinals‘ Kolten Wong, who both won for the first time.

Also in the American League, Boston Red Soxright fielder Mookie Betts won for the fourth straight season, and Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier won his third career Gold Glove after a two-year absence.

In the National League, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won his third career Gold Glove and second in a row, while catcher J.T. Realmuto earned his first award in his first season with the Philadelphia Philliesafter a preseason trade from the Marlins.

Managers and up to six coaches per team vote for the awards in their league and cannot choose their own players. For the first time, the defensive index from the Society for American Baseball Research was used, and it comprised about 25% of the vote, with the managers and coaches ballots the rest.

Jose Ramirez Hits Two Homers in First Game Back from the Injured List

Jose Ramirez is back with a vengeance…

The 27-year-old Dominican professional baseball player and Cleveland Indians said he was “ready to play” following his activation from the injured list on Tuesday. Two home runs later, it appears he was understating matters.

Jose Ramirez

The switch-hitting Ramirez smacked a first-inning grand slam in his first plate appearance since August 24, swinging left-handed against Chicago White Soxstarter Carson Fulmer. He followed that up with a three-run shot from the right side of plate in the third against reliever Hector Santiago.

With the Indians up 11-0 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, manager Terry Francona replaced Ramirez in the lineup with Yu Chang. Ramirez finished the game 2-for-3, striking out in his final at-bat. The Indians wonby the same score.

It’s Ramirez’s third multi-homer game this year and first since August 15 in New York. The switch-hitting third baseman now has 12 career multi-homer games.

Ramirez surpassed his career high with the seven RBI. He tied his previous high of six RBI in a game during the Tribe’s 19-5 romp that featured a three-run homer and a two-run shot. He previously drove in six runs on April 15, 2017 against the Detroit Tigers.

“Seven RBIs his first two at-bats when he had surgery and hasn’t played in a month, that’s unbelievable,” Francona said.

Ramirez had missed four weeks during Cleveland’s drive for an American Leagueplayoff spot because of a fractured hamate bone in his right hand.

His seven RBIs through three innings Tuesday were a career high for a game.

“I was super, super happy,” Ramirez said after his big game. “It was great to be back with the guys and help however I [could].”

Ramirez was activated from the 10-day injured list prior to the contest. Ramirez, who turned 27 last week, suffered the hamate injury on August 24 against the Kansas City Royals. He had surgery two days later.

Ramirez said before the game that he’s still “not 100 percent on my wrist, but still I feel a big improvement.”

The two-time MLB All-Starhit .254 with 20 homers and 75 RBIs in his first 126 games this season. He was on a tear before getting hurt, hitting .320 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 46 games in July and August. 

Nelson Cruz Makes MLB History with 400th Career Homer

Nelson Cruz has joined an elite group of MLB players…

The 39-year-0ld Dominican professional baseball player and Minnesota Twins slugger hit his 400th career home run, becoming the 57th player in Major League Baseball history to reach the mark.

Nelson Cruz

Cruz connected in the fourth inning on Sunday for his 40th homer of the season. He became the third player in Twins history to hit 40 home runs in a season, joining Harmon Killebrew and Brian Dozier.

“It’s nice to do it in front of the fans. I think they deserve it,” Cruz said. “They’ve been such a big influence for us as a team. They come up every day with that energy.”

Cruz tagged the Kansas City Royals‘ Gabe Speier for a solo drive. It gave the AL Central-leading Twins an 8-6 lead on their way to a 12-8 win and elicited a curtain call for Cruz as fans at Target Field gave him a standing ovation.

This was the fourth time in Cruz’s career that he’s gotten to the 40-homer mark. He did so in three straight years from 2014-16 with the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners. He’s the 26th player in baseball history with four 40-home run seasons. Cruz also became the ninth Dominican-born player with 400 career homers.

“Nelly going out there and hitting his 400th home run, maybe he picked the perfect day to do it,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We’re all honored to be here and witness it and enjoy this experience with him.”

Pete Alonso Sets National League Rookie Record for Home Runs in a Season

Pete Alonso is the rookie on top…

The 24-year-old part-Spanish American professional baseball player, a first baseman for the New York Mets, hit his 40th home run of the season on Sunday to set the National League rookie record for home runs in a season.

Alonso homered to left field in the ninth inning. The 418-foot blast off the Kansas City Royals‘ Jacob Barnes broke a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Cody Bellinger for most home runs by a NL rookie in a season.

Bellinger hit 39 home runs in 2017.

“It’s crazy,” Alonso said after the Mets’ 11-5 victory when asked about setting the record. “I just gotta go back to the days of spring training when I didn’t know if I was gonna make the team out of camp or not. I’m just extremely thankful for this opportunity, and this has been such an incredible year. I just wanna keep building and help this team win.”

Alonso quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count, but when Barnes threw a high fastball, he didn’t miss.

“I was just trying to hit the ball hard like I have been,” said Alonso, who is the first Mets player to hit 40 home runs in a season sinceCarlos Beltranhit 41 in 2006. “Take good, quality swings at good pitches and, thankfully, he gave me a fastball up in the zone, which I like to swing at.”

The result was a no-doubt shot over the bullpen in left field that snapped the tie with Bellinger, who hit the 39-home run mark on the way to winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2017.

“It was a pretty grand one,” New York manager Mickey Callawaysaid. “It went a long way, it seemed like.”

Bellinger took to Twitter after Sunday’s action to congratulate Alonso on breaking his record.

Next up for Alonso is the Mets’ season record of 41 home runs set by Todd Hundleyin 1996 and equaled by Beltran a decade later.

“That’s even more mind-boggling,” Alonso said. “I’m just really grateful. Grateful and thankful and happy that I’ve had this opportunity.”

With the home run, Alonso improved to 3-for-4 in the Mets’ victory over the Kansas City Royals, with three runs and two RBIs.

The victory pulled the Mets (64-60) into a three-way tie in the NL wild-card chase, 1½ games behind the Chicago Cubs, who hold the second wild-card spot.

The New York Yankees‘ Aaron Judge holds the major league record for home runs in a season by a rookie, with 52 in 2017.

Martin Maldonado Acquired by the Chicago Cubs

Martin Maldonado is joining the Cub

The Chicago Cubs have acquired the 32-year-old Puerto Rican MLB catcher for left-hander Mike Montgomery, the reliever who secured the last out in the Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship season.

Martin Maldonado

Maldonado, a defensive-minded catcher, should be an immediate replacement for All-Starcatcher Willson Contreras, who hit the injured list on Monday with a strain in the arch of his right foot. While Contreras isn’t expected to miss a significant amount of time, Maldonado serves as a solid insurance policy.

He has been one of the best defensive catchers in baseball this season and was traded last July, too, going from the Los Angeles Angels to the Houston Astros. He signed a one-year, $2.5 million with the Kansas City Royals and started in place of Salvador Perez, who’s out for the year with Tommy John surgery.

Once Contreras returns, Maldonado will serve as a backup. The move could free the Cubs to use backup catcher Victor Caratini in more of a utility role to get him more plate appearances.

Maldonado made his Major League Baseball debut in September 2011 for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was a Gold Glove Awardwinner in 2017.

Alcides Escobar Agrees to One-Year Contract with the Kansas City Royals

Alcides Escobar is still Royal-ty.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball shortstop has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal to remain with the Kansas City Royals, according to ESPN.

Alcides Escobar

Escobar batted .250 in 162 games with 150 hits and a career-high 36 doubles with Kansas City last season. The solid defensive shortstop, one of a quartet of Royals who debuted with Kansas City in 2011 and keyed the team’s run to a Major League Baseball championship in 2015, ranked sixth in the American League with a .978 fielding percentage.

A career .260 hitter, Escobar won a Gold Glove and was an AL All-Star during that championship season, as the Royals won their first World Series title in 30 years. His best offensive season came in 2012, when he batted .293 with a career-high 177 hits, 30 doubles, 35 steals and 52 RBIs.

Escobar broke into the MLB with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.

His agreement with the Royals was first reported by FanRag Sports.

Houston Astros Star Jose Altuve Wins Silver Slugger Award for Fourth Straight Season

It’s a grand slam, of sorts, for Jose Altuve

The 27-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, a second baseman for the World Series champion Houston Astros, is among the winners of this year’s Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award.

Jose Altuve

The award goes to one player per league, per position and is selected by a vote of MLB coaches and managers.

Eleven of the 18 winners are under 30, including Altuve, who won for the fourth straight season.

But Altuve isn’t the only Astros player to make the list…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican and Panamanian American baseball star, who became Major League Baseball All-Star for the first time this year, also earned a Silver Slugger Award.

Springer, an outfielder for the Astros, was named the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP), hitting a record-tying five home runs as the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

All told, the eight first-time winners included outfielders Aaron Judge, Miami MarlinsMarcell Ozuna, Springer, Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and pitcher Adam Wainwright. Like Altuve, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey also won for the fourth time.

Outfielder Justin Upton and Seattle Mariners DH Nelson Cruz rounded out the American League winners. It was Upton’s third award and the second for Cruz.

The National League selections featured plenty of previous winners as first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado both won for the third time. Second baseman Daniel Murphy, shortstop Corey Seager and outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton each won for the second time.

Selections are based on a combination of offensive stats, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in addition to the managers’ and coaches’ views of a player’s overall offensive value.

Cepeda to Have Street Named After Him in San Francisco

Orlando Cepeda will see his name on a street sign soon…

The 79-year-old Puerto Rican retired first baseman, who made his Major League Baseball debut with the San Francisco Giants in April 1958, will receive a ceremonial sign for a street that will be named in his honor in the Bay City.

Orlando Cepeda

It’s all part of the redevelopment of the old Candlestick Park site.

Cepeda, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, played for the Giants from 1958 until 1966.

During a career that lasted sixteen years, he also played with the St. Louis Cardinals, helping the team win the World Series in 1967, as well as the Atlanta Braves (1969–72), Oakland Athletics (1972), Boston Red Sox (1973), and Kansas City Royals.

Other San Francisco iconic athletes to have a name after them include San Francisco 49ers legends Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and coach Bill Walsh, as well as former Giants players Willie Mays and Barry Bonds.

Herrera Agrees to One Year Contract with the Kansas City Royals

Kelvin Herrera has agreed to a Royal deal…

The 27-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher and the Kansas City Royals have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration with the hard-throwing right-hander.

Kelvin Herrera

The Royals announced the deal on Friday but didn’t disclose financial terms.

According to multiple reports, the sides settled at $5.325 million to avoid arbitration.

Herrera, who is slated to be Kansas City’s closer this season, tweeted that he and the Royals decided to “put our differences aside.”

Herrera is assuming the closer job after the Royals traded Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs this offseason. He went 2-6 with a 2.75 ERA and 12 saves last season, his sixth with the Royals.

Herrera has a 2.63 ERA in 351 career relief appearances for Kansas City, which has signed all of its arbitration-eligible players.