Yonder Alonso Returning to San Diego Padres

Yonder Alonso is making a big return to Southern California…

The San Diego Padres have acquired the 33-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and first baseman in a trade with the Atlanta Braves.

Yonder Alonso

The Padres will send cash to the Braves to complete the deal.

Alonso, the brother-in-law of Padres third baseman Manny Machado, returns to San Diego, where he played from 2012 to 2015. It’s also the city where Machado and Alonso’s sister make their offseason home.

“I’m definitely excited to have my brother-in-law finally on the same team,” Machado said on Tuesday after the Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2.

Alonso was on the Braves’ restricted list after not reporting to their alternate training site. He’ll report to the Padres’ alternate site at the University of San Diego.

Toronto Blue Jays to Celebrate Tony Fernandez with Special Uniform Patch This Season

Tony Fernandez is being honored in a special way by his old team…

The Toronto Blue Jays will celebrate the late Dominican professional baseball player and Major League Baseball legend, who passed away earlier this year, by wearing a patch with his No. 1 on the left sleeve of uniform jerseys this season.

Tony Fernandez

A member of Toronto’s 1993 World Series champions who had nine RBIs in the six-game win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Fernandez had kidney problems and died on February 16 at age 57.

He is the Blue Jays’ career leader in games (1,450), hits (1,583) and triples (72). He spent 12 seasons with Toronto in four stints and had a .288 batting average and 2,276 hits over 17 big league seasons. Fernandez also played for the San Diego Padres, the New York Mets and New York YankeesCleveland IndiansCincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers. He was a five-time MLB All-Star.

“There are few players in the game who can impact a team and a fan base the way Tony did in Toronto,” Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said in a statement. “Beyond his impressive career numbers, achievements, and accolades, Tony resonated with baseball fans because of how he played the game and conducted himself as a teammate.”

Luis Urias Traded to the Milwaukee Brewers

Luis Urias is headed to Wisconsin…

The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired the 22-year-old Mexican professional baseball player and and left-hander Eric Lauer from the San Diego Padres for outfielder Trent Grisham and right-hander Zach Davies in a swap of high-end prospects and veteran pitchers.

Luis Urias

Urias was a consensus top-25 prospect entering the 2019 season and was outstanding at Triple-A El Paso, batting .315 with 19 home runs in 73 games. But he struggled offensively in 71 games with the Padres, batting just .223.

He primarily played second base for the Padres, who boast stars at third base and shortstop with Manny Machadoand Fernando Tatis Jr., respectively. But the Brewers are expected to play Urias at shortstop, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

“It was more of a trade in an area of need for both clubs,” Padres general manager A.J. Prellersaid. “To get good players you have to move good players.”

Lauer was 14-17 with a 4.40 ERA in 53 games — 52 starts — over two seasons with San Diego. He went 8-10 with a 4.45 ERA last season.

Grisham also was widely rated as a top-50 prospect entering the 2019 season and was one of the Brewers organization’s best minor league hitters, batting .300 with 26 homers and 71 RBIs in 97 combined games at Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A San Antonio.

He appeared in 51 games with the Brewers, batting .231 with six homers, and emerged as an every-day player in September after star outfielder Christian Yelichsuffered a season-ending injury.

Davies went 10-7 with a career-best 3.55 ERA in 31 starts last season. He had spent his entire five-year career with the Brewers, going 43-42 with a 3.91 ERA in 111 starts.

New York Mets’ Slugger Pete Alonso Named National League Rookie of the Year

Pete Alonso is living proof that persistence pays off…

The 24-year-old part-Spanish American Major League Baseball player began the 2019 season fighting just to make the New York Mets‘ Opening Day roster. But he ends it as the National League Rookie of the Year after slugging a rookie record 53 home runs, driving in 120 runs and becoming a cult hero for Mets fans for his energy and enthusiasm and one memorable bare-chested postgame interview.

Pete Alonso

Alonso was a near unanimous selection of the award’s 30 voters, getting 29 first-place votes. Atlanta Braves starter Mike Soroka received the other first-place vote and finished second, with San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jrfinishing third.

Soroka posted a 2.68 ERA and won 13 games as the ace of the division-winning Braves. Tatis slashed .317/.379/.590 and dazzled fans with his defensive plays in the infield, but an injury ended his season at 84 games.

“To just win the award, doesn’t matter if it’s unanimous or not,” Alonso said on Monday night. “It’s still such a blessing.”

Alonso’s 53 home runs broke Aaron Judge‘s rookie record of 52 set in 2017, as Alonso became the sixth Rookie of the Year in Mets history, the first since Jacob deGrom in 2014. 

He joins Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Chris Davis as the only active players with 50 home runs in a season and he’s just the 30th player in MLB history to reach that mark. 

His 120 RBIs are the seventh most for a rookie in major league history and the most since Albert Pujols had 130 in 2001.

Alonso’s storybook season was no sure thing back in spring training, however. Although he led the minors with 39 home runs in 2018, the Mets had a glut of infielders with Robinson CanoJed LowrieTodd Frazier and Dominic Smith all in the mix at first, second and third base along with Alonso. There were also concerns about Alonso’s defense, and many teams start their top prospects in Triple-A for a couple of weeks to manipulate the player’s service time.

Alonso, however, earned a roster spot after hitting .352 with four home runs in spring training. It also helped that Lowrie and Frazier began the season on the injured list.

Alonso, a second-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Florida, ran with the opportunity, hitting .378 with six home runs in his first 12 games. He said he was challenged by first-year general manager Brodie Van Wagenento “show up in shape and earn your spot.”

“I felt like I answered the bell,” Alonso said.

He finished April with nine home runs, bashed 10 more in May and entered the All-Starbreak with 30 home runs. In Cleveland, he took home the $1 million prize for winning the Home Run Derby, upstaging fellow rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr.in the final round with a 23-22 victory after Guerrero had bashed 40 home runs in the semifinals.

“It’s survive and advance,” Alonso said after his win. “You’ve got to go in with kind of a killer instinct. It doesn’t matter how many you hit; you just need to have one more than the guy you’re facing.”

Alonso also won over fans when he pledged 5% of his winnings to the Wounded Warrior Projectand another 5% to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Along the way, Alonso became a fan favorite, not just for his prodigious home runs — he hit 15 of at least 430 feet — but also for his infectious joy and his ability to win over New Yorkers. When the Mets began surging back into the playoff race in early August, he issued a not-safe-for-work rallying cry playing off the “Let’s go Mets!” chant. After a walk-off bases-loaded walk beat the Philadephia Phillies on September 6, Mets teammates ripped off Alonso’s jersey and he conducted interviews on SNY and MLB Network bare-chested.

“I’m not taking my shirt off for this one,” Alonso joked on MLB Network’s broadcast while accepting the award.

He wore custom-made cleats on September 11 to honor the victims of 9/11, even ordering a pair for each of his teammates. “For me, I just come from a place where I want to show support, not just for the victims but their families as well, because no one really knows how deep those emotional scars can be,” Alonso said at the time.

He smashed his 42nd home run on August 27, breaking the Mets’ team record shared by Carlos Beltran and Todd Hundley. With three games remaining in the regular season, Alonso was one homer away from tying Judge. He matched him with a home run at home against the Braves in Game 160 and then surpassed Judge in Game 161 with a third-inning home run off Mike Foltynewicz, a towering shot to right-center. Alonso raised both arms over his head in triumph, received hugs from teammates and a standing ovation from the crowd, and then he wiped tears from his eyes while playing first base the following inning.

“To me, it just means so much,” Alonso said after the game. “I didn’t know I was going to be overcome with all that emotion. At that point, I might as well just let it out.”

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.

Yasiel Puig Makes Cleveland Indians Debut

Yasiel Puig is seeing red…

The 28-year-old Cuban professional baseball player was so eager to make his Cleveland Indians debut, he forgot to check out his footwear before walking around the clubhouse.

Yasiel Puig

The slugger was wearing Cincinnati Reds flip-flops with his Cleveland workout gear on Thursday, two days after being acquired from Cinci in a three-team trade that also included the San Diego Padres.

“My bad,” Puig said, laughing. “I came straight to see you guys. You’re not going to see that one again.”

While his footwear didn’t match, Puig’s hair was dyed the color of the Indians’ red jerseys.

Puig started in right field and hit cleanup for the series finale against the Houston Astros. He went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in a 7-1 loss.

Fellow newcomer Franmil Reyes batted sixth as the designated hitter and went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout. The Indians are hoping the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Puig and the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Reyes can bring their much-needed power to a team that has closed the gap on the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins.

Reyes came over from the Padres in the seven-player swap that featured Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer going to Cincinnati and Reds elite prospect Taylor Trammell being sent to the San Diego Padres.

“With God giving me another opportunity, bringing me to Cleveland, I can make my dream come true with this team,” said Puig, who batted .252 with 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 100 games with the Reds. “Keep going, make the playoffs again, fight in the playoffs.

“With Houston, the New York Yankees, no matter who’s coming, we’re going to fight and do the best we can like a family and like a team together and win the championship. This team has potential and good players to go to the World Series.”

In his final contest with Cincinnati, Puig was part of a wild brawl against the Pittsburgh Pirates that resulted in a three-game suspension. Puig learned of his trade shortly after being ejected; he is appealing his punishment, meaning he can play until there is a resolution.

Puig said it was difficult to conceal his happiness about joining a playoff contender while he was among his Reds teammates.

“I started laughing, but I didn’t want to get too excited, because I needed to respect my [former] team because we lost and were coming back from an altercation,” Puig said. “My friends said they needed to buy a new hat and a new jersey, but I said, OK, this is part of the job. We’re going to be in a better place.”

Free agent to-be Puig said he has been friends with Indians first baseman Carlos Santana and shortstop Francisco Lindor for several years. He was on an MLB-sponsored trip to Japan with Cleveland manager Terry Franconain 2014.

The Indians and Reds share a spring training facility in Goodyear, Arizona, so he also is familiar with many other people within the Cleveland organization.

“Everybody is talking about Tito being an amazing manager and an amazing person, so I’m excited to be next to him and to start talking to him,” Puig said. “I’m feeling he can help me a lot in these next three months to be a better baseball player and a better person off the field.”

Reyes, who hit .255 with 27 homers and 46 RBIs in 99 games with San Diego, has a unique tie to the area. He met his wife, Marian, while playing in a Class A game for Fort Wayne at Lake County, whose ballpark is located in the Cleveland suburb of Eastlake.

The 24-year-old Reyes quickly became a fan favorite with the Padres, and he believes the same will be true in his new home.

“When I got the news, the first thing I told my wife was, ‘It’s crazy, we’re getting back to where we started,'” he said. “So Cleveland is really special for me. I know I’m going to have a lot of love from the city.”

Manny Machado Notches the First 100-RBI Season of His MLB Career

It’s a memorable first for Manny Machado

The 26-year-old Dominican-Americanhit a three-run home run to notch the first 100-RBI season of his Major League Baseball career during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 7-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Manny Machado

The win kept the Dodgers’ National League West lead at 1½ games over the Colorado Rockies, which won 5-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Machado had been eager for a memorable moment since he was traded to the Dodgers on July 18 from the Baltimore Orioles. He borrowed a page from a popular script: homering on his bobblehead night.

“We fed off that,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s trying like heck, and he wants that signature moment. Hopefully tonight alleviated some of the pressure for him.”

Machado’s homer was one of three by the Dodgers in the game, giving them a National League-leading 222 on the season and breaking the club record of 221, set last year.

“We have great hitters here,” Machado said. “We’re all confident. We know the team we have.”

San Diego Padres Trade Yangervis Solarte to the Toronto Blue Jays

Yangervis Solarte is migrating north…

The Toronto Blue Jays are acquiring the 30-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball infielder in a trade with San Diego Padres, according to Padres officials.

Yangervis Solarte

In return, the Padres will get a pair of prospects in outfielder Edward Olivares and right-hander Jared Carkuff.

The Padres also re-signed right-handed pitcher Craig Stammen to a two-year contract Saturday and designated infielder Jose Rondon for assignment.

Solarte has spent the past three and a half seasons with the Padres. He hit .255 with 18 home runs and 64 RBIs in 2017 and is a career .267 hitter. He made his big league debut with the New York Yankees in 2014.

The 21-year-old Olivares hit .269 with 17 home runs, 72 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 120 Class A games with Lansing and Dunedin this year. From Venezuela, he signed with Toronto as an international free agent in 2014.

Carkuff, 24, was 3-4 with eight saves and a 3.86 ERA in 34 relief appearances between Class A Vancouver, Lansing and Dunedin and Triple-A Buffalo last season. He was selected by Toronto in the 35th round of the June 2016 draft out of Austin Peay.

The 33-year-old Stammen was 2-3 with a 3.14 ERA with 74 strikeouts and just 28 walks in a career-high 60 appearances for the Padres last season. He inherited a National League-high 55 runners and allowed just 14 of them to score, including only two with the bases loaded.

In 289 career appearances with Washington and San Diego, Stammen is 28-27 with a 3.80 ERA.

Carlos Santana Agrees to $60 Million Deal with Philadelphia Phillies

Carlos Santana is crossing state lines for a big paycheck…

The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the 31-year-old professional baseball player and free agent first baseman, according to multiple reports.

Carlos Santana

Santana became the first to reach a deal among the nine free agents who last month rejected $17.4 million qualifying offers from their former teams.

Santana has played his entire Major League Baseball career with the Cleveland Indians, who acquired him in a 2009 trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Santana has developed into a consistent run producer, and after catching and playing third base, he has become one of the league’s best fielding first basemen. He was a Gold Glove finalist this year.

The switch-hitter batted .259 with 23 homers and 79 RBIs last season for the American League Central champion Indians. He has a career .249 average with 174 home runs in eight seasons for Cleveland.

Santana will join a rebuilding Phillies lineup that also includes slugger Rhys Hoskins, outfielders Aaron Altherr, Nick Williams and Odubel Herrera, and third baseman Maikel Franco.

Nearly 150 of Santana’s 571 at-bats last season came in the leadoff spot, and with a career on-base percentage of .365, he can help provide RBI opportunities for Philadelphia’s other top hitters in the middle of the order.

Santana’s departure is a big loss for Cleveland, which led the AL with 102 wins during the regular season but lost to the New York Yankees in a Division Series.

Santana has a .213 average with four homers and eight RBI in 21 career postseason games.

The addition of Santana would be the second major deal completed Friday by the Phillies, who also traded shortstop Freddy Galvis to the San Diego Padres in a move that likely opens the shortstop job for top prospect J.P. Crawford.

Philadelphia Phillies Trade Freddy Galvis to the San Diego Padres

Que padre for Freddy Galvis

The Philadelphia Phillies announced they have traded the 28-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player to the San Diego Padres.

Freddy Galvis

Philadelphia will receive minor-league pitcher Enyel De Los Santos in the deal.

Galvis has been Philadelphia’s starting shortstop for the last three seasons and has emerged as one of the sport’s top defensive players at the position. He batted .255 with 12 home runs, 61 RBIs and 14 stolen bases this past season, his sixth overall with the Phillies.

Galvis is eligible to become a free agent after the 2018 season. The trade likely will open up an opportunity for top prospect J.P. Crawford to become Philadelphia’s starting shortstop.

De Los Santos, who turns 22 on Dec. 25, went 10-6 with a 3.78 ERA in 26 games — 24 starts — for Double-A San Antonio in 2017.

Galvis would mark the second infield acquisition this week for the Padres, who already brought back third baseman Chase Headley in a trade Tuesday with the New York Yankees.