Sergio Romo Agrees to One-Year Deal with the Minnesota Twins

Sergio Romo is Twinning

The 36-year-old Mexican American professional baseball pitcher has agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins, according to multiple reports.

Sergio Romo

The deal includes a club option and $5 million guaranteed with a chance to earn $10 million. MLB.comwas first to report the deal; MLB Networkwas first to report terms.

Romo was 2-1 with 20 saves and 60 strikeouts over 60⅓ innings in 65 relief appearances last season for the Miami Marlins and the Twins — who acquired him, minor league pitcher Chris Vallimontand a player to be named for minor league first baseman Lewin Diazat the July 31 trade deadline.

The veteran right-hander was acquired by Minnesota to serve as a playoff-tested performer to fortify the back end of its bullpen, and the Twins held off the Cleveland Indians to win their first American League Centraltitle since 2010.

Romo spent the first half of the year as the Marlins’ closer, racking up 17 saves to go along with a 3.58 ERA in 37⅔ innings.

Romo won three championships with the San Francisco Giants, closing out the final game of the 2012 World Series in memorable fashion when he froze Miguel Cabrera on a down-the-middle fastball. In 25⅓ career playoff innings, Romo has a 3.55 ERA.

Romo was drafted by the Giants in 2005 and worked his way up the team’s minor league system before landing in the big leagues in 2008.

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.”

Detroit Tigers Designated Hitter Victor Martinez Registers 2,000th Career Hit

And the hits just keep coming for Victor Martinez

The 38-year-old Venezuelan baseball player, a designated hitter and first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, reached 2,000 career hits on Friday night.

Victor Martinez

Martinez, heard the crowd roar and felt his heart swell, as he picked up the milestone hit on the same field where he began his MLB career, against the franchise that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela.

Detroit’s switch-hitter singled in the second inning off Cleveland IndiansCarlos Carrasco to reach the plateau. After reaching first base, Martinez received a lengthy standing ovation from the large Cleveland crowd, fans that adored him during his eight seasons with the Indians from 2002-09.

Martinez hugged Detroit first-base coach Omar Vizquel, his teammate in Cleveland and a fellow Venezuelan, before tipping his cap to the crowd. Players on both benches applauded and the game was briefly halted to acknowledge the feat.

“It’s special to have it done here,” Martinez said following the Tigers’ 11-2 loss. “For me, it was even better. Nothing against the Indians, I feel like it’s where everything started for me. I will always remember this day, until I die. What the fans did to me with that ovation. It made me feel so proud and so good that they stand up for me. I just want to let them know too that I will always have the Indians in my heart, always.”

Martinez is the ninth active player to reach 2,000 hits, joining Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Matt Holliday and Jose Reyes.

To attain the milestone in Cleveland and with Vizquel, the career hits leader among Venezuelan-born players, at his side made it even more meaningful for Martinez.

“He congratulated me and told me it was awesome, and at the same time, I wasn’t hearing and stuff,” Martinez said. “It was a pretty cool moment.”

Martinez was a three-time All-Star with the Indians, who signed him in 1996. He broke down in tears when Cleveland traded him to the Boston Red Sox at the deadline in 2009 for three pitchers.

And although he’s had a long run with the Tigers, Cleveland will remain dear to Martinez.

“This is my seventh year in Detroit, but this was a place that I called home, and I’m always going to have Cleveland in my heart,” he said. “It was the team that gave me a chance to be a professional baseball player, gave me a chance to become a major leaguer. It’s a pretty special place.”

Martinez, too, is a pretty special hitter.

He entered the season with a .301 career average and the five-time All-Star has been one of the game’s toughest outs from the day he broke into the big leagues.

“There aren’t a lot of people who can say they got 2,000 major league hits,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He probably grinded out every single one of those at-bats to get those hits. It’s something he should be proud of.”

Cabrera Notches Hit No. 2,500

It’s another special milestone for Miguel Cabrera

The 33-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, singled in the third inning of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Indians for the 2,500th hit of his career.

Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera, a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, became the 100th player in Major League Baseball history to reach the milestone with his line drive off Indians starter Trevor Bauer.

Cabrera, an 11-time MLB All-Star, was hit on the left hand by a pitch in the first inning but remained in the game after being checked by a team trainer.

In 2012, Cabrera became the first player since 1967 to win the batting Triple Crown, leading the AL with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 RBI, earning him the AL MVP award that year.

In 2013 Cabrera improved on the previous year’s batting performance, including a career-high .348 batting average, and received another AL MVP award.

Pujols to Participate in This Year’s All-Star Home Run Derby

Albert Pujols is coming out swinging…

The 35-year-old Dominican professional baseball player has announced that he’ll take part in this year’s All-Star Home Run Derby.

Albert Pujols

Pujols, the Los Angeles Angels‘ first baseman, says he talked with Major League Baseball and confirmed he’ll be one of the hitters for the event Monday in Cincinnati.

The All-Star Game is the next night.

“I’m going to give it one last chance,” Pujols said Tuesday. “The good thing with Major League Baseball is they allow us to bring our kids onto the field on practice day so they’ll be able to enjoy that. They’ll have a great time and meet the players they get to watch every day.”

Pujols said he wanted to be a part of the competition after being picked for the AL All-Star team this week. He’ll start in place of Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, who went on the disabled list for the first time in his career with a strained calf.

Pujols declined to be in the Home Run Derby last year because he wasn’t playing in the All-Star Game.

“You want to be in the game,” he said. “That’s the most important thing because you want to be able to have a chance to help the American League have home field advantage.”

This will be Pujols’ fourth time competing in the Home Run Derby. He reached the semifinal in 2003, 2007 and 2009 but has never won the event.

He said he’s looking forward to the new format. Instead of being given a number of outs per round each player will have five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The clock will stop after home run balls land in the final minute.

Players can earn an extra minute if they hit two home runs that land 420 feet or more and 30 seconds for each blast that lands 475 feet or more. The maximum bonus time a player can get is 1:30.

“If anything it’ll be better because you don’t have to sit around so much like you did in the past,” he said. “If I hit in the first round we had to wait until everybody hit and sometimes you sat an hour and a half, two hours.”

Pujols entered Tuesday leading the American League with 25 home runs.

Escobar Named a Starter for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game

Alcides Escobar is having a season to remember…

The 28-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball shortstop is one of four Kansas City Royals players named American League starters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game being hosted by the Cincinnati Reds.

Alcides Escobar

Escobar, a first year pick, will be joined by his teammates Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain (outfielders) and Salvador Perez (catcher) as Royals reps for this year’s All-Star Game.

Much was said of the potential ballot-stuffing being done by Kansas City fans, but ultimately only four players from the AL Central leaders made it to the starting lineup. Long a doormat in the AL, the Royals have more starters this season than in the previous 25 years combined.

“It’s just been the support of our fans, really, over the last two years,” said Gordon, making his third straight All-Star appearance. “Winning brings attention and that’s what we’ve been doing. I think we play with a lot of energy, a lot of fun. People have noticed it.”

While the Royals may have led the way with the most players per team, the leading vote-getter came from north of the border.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson set a new record for all-time single-season voting with over 14 million total votes cast. Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper led all National League selections by garnering 13.9 million votes.

Only two teams placed multiple players on the All-Star rosters, the Royals, who won the AL pennant last season, and the Miami Marlins, who entered Sunday eight games under .500 and 11 games back in the NL East.

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton were both voted to the NL squad, though Stanton won’t play in the Midsummer Classic.

Stanton, who signed a $325 million contract this offseason to stay in Miami, is on the disabled list with a broken bone in his hand. He’ll join Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (calf) and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday (quad) as All-Star starters who are on the DL.

The Reds will host the All-Star Game for the first time since 1988 and will be represented by Todd Frazier, who was voted the NL team’s starting third baseman.

“I was really nervous. I was excited. It was a huge comeback,” said Frazier, who went from trailing the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter by 2.5 million votes in June to winning the starting nod by 2.1 million. “I’m pretty much on Cloud Nine.”

All-Star pitchers, reserves and the finalists for the Final Vote will be announced Monday.

Royals manager Ned Yost and San Francisco Giants skipper Bruce Bochy will helm the AL and NL teams, respectively, when the 2015 All-Star Game is played Tuesday, July 14.

“We’re going to have a blast,” Yost said. “The All-Star Game is an experience you never forget, and to do it with so many of our teammates there is really special.”

In addition to Escobar, Perez and Cabrera, other Latino players selected as All-Star Game starters are Jose Altuve, Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta.

 

2015 MLB All-Star Game Starters
AL POS. NL
Miguel Cabrera, DET 1B Paul Goldschmidt, ARI
Jose Altuve, HOU 2B Dee Gordon, MIA
Alcides Escobar, KC SS Jhonny Peralta, STL
Josh Donaldson, TOR 3B Todd Frazier, CIN
Salvador Perez, KC C Buster Posey, SF
Mike Trout, LAA OF Bryce Harper, WAS
Lorenzo Cain, KC OF Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
Alex Gordon, KC OF Matt Holliday, STL
Nelson Cruz, SEA DH N/A

 

Bautista to Captain the American League’s Home Run Derby Team

It’s batter up for José Bautista

The 33-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, will serve as the American League’s captain for the Home Run Derby.

José Bautista

Bautista, the 2010 and 2011 MLB home run champion and a five-time Major League Baseball All-Star, will have some star power on his team. He’s selected reigning derby champ and Oakland Athletics’ star Yoenis Cespedes, the Minnesota TwinsBrian Dozierand the Baltimore OriolesAdam Jones as the top three picks for his team.

They’ll face off a Nation League team that includes captain and Colorado Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki, and his top three picks: the Cincinnati RedsTodd Frazier, the Los Angeles DodgersYasiel Puig and the Miami MarlinsGiancarlo Stanton.

An additional fifth member will be named to each team on Thursday.

“Bunch of guys with a lot of power,” Tulowitzki said of his team. “More than that, I think they’re good guys, got to know them throughout the years.”

Stanton is the only player in the National League group that ranks in the top five in the majors in home runs with 21 entering play Tuesday night, but he is the NL-leader in the category.

That means that only one member of the remaining top five home run hitters in the league will be added to Bautista’s side. He has a choice of Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz (28), the Chicago White Sox‘s Jose Abreu (27) and Detroit TigersVictor Martinez (21).

Bautista’s Toronto teammate Edwin Encarnacion is third in the league with 26 home runs, but is currently on the disabled list. Martinez might also bow out of the running as he’s been held out of recent games due to injury.

Fellow Tiger Miguel Cabrera (14) and Los Angeles Angels phenom Mike Trout (20) have already said they will not participate in the contest, which will be held Monday night on ESPN from Minnesota’s Target Field.

Stanton, Tulowitzki (18) and Frazier (17) are all in the top five in homers in the National League along with the Chicago CubsAnthony Rizzo (18) and Philadelphia PhilliesMarlon Byrd (18).

Also a possibility for the final NL spot is Tulowitzki’s teammate and former Minnesota Twinsplayer Justin Morneau. Morneau is a candidate in the Final Vote to make the All-Star team.

“If he wins that final vote, there’s possibly a chance,” Tulowitzki said. “I think it would make a storyline. Played with the Twins all those years. He’s definitely on the list if he makes the team. There are some other guys as well that have lobbied and would be good choices.”

Cabrera Agrees to Record $292 Million Contract with the Detroit Tigers

It’s official. Miguel Cabrera is the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball

The 30-year-old Venezuelan baseball star, a two-time American League MVP, has agreed to terms with the Detroit Tigers on a new 10-year contract that will pay him a whopping $292 million.

Miguel Cabrera

The new contract, which covers the two years remaining on Cabrera’s current deal and eight additional years, is expected to become official later this week, the source said.

According to CBSSports.com, which earlier reported Detroit and Cabrera were closing in on an agreement, the new deal also includes two additional vesting options worth $30 million apiece for years 11 and 12 that could bring the total of the deal to $352 million.

Multiple media outlets have reported that Cabrera needs to pass a physical exam before his new deal is complete.

If the new contract is calculated as a single, 10-year entity, it will surpass the 10-year, $275 million deal that Alex Rodriguez signed with the New York Yankees in December 2007, as the largest in MLB history.

Based on a career average of 607 at-bats per season and an average of $30 million annually, Cabrera would earn $49,423 per at-bat.

Cabrera, who turns 31 in April, is an eight-time All-Star in 11 seasons with the Florida Marlins and Tigers. He’s a .321 career hitter with 365 home runs.

He’s the only major league player with 100 or more RBIs in each of the past 10 seasons, and last year he became the first Tiger to win three consecutive batting titles since Ty Cobb achieved the feat from 1917 to 1919.

Cabrera led the majors with a .348 batting average last year and his 44 homers and 137 RBIs were both second to Baltimore’s Chris Davis.

The Venezuelan slugger won the Triple Crown in 2012 — becoming the game’s first player to lead either league in batting average, homers and RBIs since 1967.

Ortiz Earns Sixth Silver Slugger Award of His MLB Career

Forget golden… David Ortiz is a silver sensation…

The 37-year-old Dominican-American Boston Red Sox star, this year’s World Series MVP, has won the sixth Silver Slugger award of his illustrious career as the top designated hitter in voting by Major League Baseball managers and coaches.

David Ortiz

In what turned out to be a showcase of Latino baseball stars, New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera were selected for the fifth time each.

Silver Slugger awards are given to the top offensive player at each position in the American and National Leagues. They were handed out Wednesday night on the MLB Network.

First-time selectee Pedro Alvarez (third base) was joined by Pirates teammate Andrew McCutchen. The star outfielder won his second prize.

St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina (catcher) received his first Silver Sluggers.

Several players earned bonuses or salary escalators for winning the award:

Cabrera and Ortiz each get $100,000 bonuses, while Molina earns $50,000.