Yuli Gurriel Agrees to One-Year Deal with Houston Astros

Yuli Gurriel is ready to slash and stay…

The 36-year-old Cuban professional baseball player nicknamed “La Piña“, the Houston Astros’ first baseman, has agreed to a one-year contract with an option for 2022 that guarantees $7 million, a cut of nearly 20% from his 2020 deal.

Yuli Gurriel

The agreement was announced hours before the defending American League champions started their first-round playoff matchup at the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, an odd time to reach a contract for a future season.

Gurriel’s 2020 contract called for an $8.3 million salary and wound up being worth $3,074,074 prorated.

His new deal includes a $6.5 million salary for 2021 and an $8 million club option for 2021 with a $500,000 buyout. Gurriel can earn $2 million in performance bonuses each year based on plate appearances: $250,000 each for 300 and 350, $350,000 apiece for 400 and 450, and $400,000 each for 500 and 550.

He also would get $50,000 for becoming an All-Star, $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $100,000 for Word Series MVP, $200,000 for league MVP, $100,000 for second and $50,000 for third. There is a $50,000 bonus for Gold Glove and another $50,000 for Silver Slugger.

Gurriel would’ve been eligible for free agency under a provision in his 2020 contract, even though he does not have the six years of major league service usually required.

His new deal includes the same provision.

He hit .232 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 57 games during the pandemic-shortened season, down from a career-best .298 with 31 homers and 104 RBIs in 2019. He helped Houston reach the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

In five seasons in Houston that followed a stellar career in Cuba, Gurriel has hit .287 with 71 homers and 301 RBIs.

Yuli Gurriel Agrees to One-Year, $8.3 Million Contract with Houston Astros

Yuli Gurriel has agreed to an Astros-nomicaldeal…

The 35-year-old Cuban Major League Baseball first baseman has agreed to an $8.3 million, one-year contract with the Houston Astros, giving him a $300,000 raise from his scheduled salary for next season.

Yuli Gurriel

Gurriel hit .298 and set career bests with 31 homers and 104 RBIs in 2019 as the Astros won the American League pennant for the second time in three seasons. He hit .310 with one homer and five RBIs in the team’s seven-game World Series loss to the Washington Nationals.

Gurriel, who defected from Cuba, agreed in July 2016 to a $47.5 million, five-year contract with the Astros that included an $8 million salary for 2020. That deal allowed Gurriel to void the remainder of his contract when he became eligible for salary arbitration for the first time, and he reached that eligibility this offseason with 3 years, 43 days of MLB service.

His new contract allows him to become a free agent after the 2020 season, preserving a right contained in his original major league contract. It also includes the same award bonus provisions: $100,000 for MVP, $50,000 for second and $25,000 for third; $50,000 for World Series MVP, and $25,000 each for League Championship Series MVP, Silver SluggerGold Gloveand being selected an All-Star.

Wilson Ramos Agrees to Two-Year Deal with the New York Mets

Wilson Ramos is headed to the Big Apple…

The 31-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball catcher has agreed to a two-year contract with the New York Mets, according to ESPN.

Wilson Ramos

The deal is pending a physical. Once completed, it will be worth a total of $19 million, according to Fancred.

Ramos, who was acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Tampa Bay Rays at July’s trade deadline, is solid defensively and is a proven commodity offensively with a career .273 batting average and 109 home runs.

The veteran catcher, who made $10.5 million in 2018, batted .306 between the Phillies and Rays last season with 15 home runs and 70 RBIs.

Ramos also has been lauded for his veteran presence in the clubhouse and his ability to handle pitching staffs.

The two-time All-Star spent six-plus seasons with the Washington Nationals (2010-16) after breaking into the majors with the Minnesota Twins in 2010. He won a Silver Slugger award in 2016 after belting 22 homers with 80 RBIs and a .307 batting average with the Nationals.

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.

Stanton Returns to the U.S. World Baseball Classic Roster

Giancarlo Stanton is back on Team USA

The 27-year-old part-Puerto Rican baseball star, a right fielder for the Miami Marlins, is among the returnees on the 28-man U.S. World Baseball Classic roster, which also includes Colorado Rockies‘ Nolan Arenado, Arizona Diamondbacks‘ Paul Goldschmidt, San Francisco Giants‘ Buster Posey and Pittsburgh Pirates‘ Andrew McCutchen.

Giancarlo Stanton

The roster, announced Wednesday by USA Baseball, includes 18 All-Stars, two MVPs and nine Gold Glove winners.

Stanton, a three-time Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star, won the Silver Slugger Award and National League Hank Aaron Award in 2014.

Stanton was the Home Run Derby champion in 2016.

Avila Agrees to One-Year Deal with the Chicago White Sox

Alex Avila is ready to Sox it to ‘em…

The 28-year-old Cuban American professional baseball play, nicknamed “The Titanium Catcher” for the perception among baseball fans that he’s unusually likely to be hit by foul tips, has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Alex Avila

Avila was limited to 67 games with the Detroit Tigers this past season with a bone bruise in his left knee, batting .191 with four home runs and 13 RBIs.

He was an All-Star as recently as 2011, when he also won a Silver Slugger award. He also finished 12th in the American League MVP voting that season.

This past season, White Sox catchers combined to finish ninth in the AL in batting average (.230), 11th in OBP (.293) and 10th in slugging percentage (.376).

“Alex has a tremendous reputation as a leader in the clubhouse,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.

“Obviously he knows the division quite well and provides a nice balance from an offensive standpoint given the left-handed bat and his ability to get on base and provide some power against right-handed pitching.”

The signing forms a reunion of sorts between Avila and White Sox closer David Robertson, who were teammates in 2006 at the University of Alabama. Avila was selected by the Tigers in the fifth round of the 2008 draft and made his major league debut in 2009.

In 683 games over seven seasons, all with the Tigers, Avila has batted .242 with a .345 on-base percentage and a .397 slugging percentage. In 2011, while helping the Tigers to the postseason, he batted .295 with 33 doubles, 19 home runs, 82 RBIs and a .506 slugging percentage.

Avila’s father, Al Avila, is the general manager of the Tigers, having replaced Dave Dombrowski in August.

Gonzalez Sets MLB Record By Hitting Five home runs in the Dodgers’ First Three Games

Adrian Gonzalez is batting his way into the history books…

The 32-year-old Mexican-American baseball player, known by his nicknames A-Gon and Gonzo, set a Major League Baseball (MLB) record by clubbing five home runs in the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ first three games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Adrian Gonzalez

Gonzalez, who had gone 3-for-5 with a home run in each of the Dodgers’ first two games against the San Diego Padres, homered in his first three at-bats against Andrew Cashner on Wednesday night in the series finale, a 7-4 win for Los Angeles.

“I was able to run into three fastballs and I thank God they were able to go over the fence. It’s definitely right up there as a personal feat,” Gonzalez said.

He homered in the first and led off the third with another homer, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2. He led off the fifth with his third homer and took a curtain call from the dugout steps.

It’s the first three-homer game of the first baseman’s career. Gonzalez homered in four consecutive at-bats dating to Tuesday before his RBI single in the sixth.

Fittingly, Gonzalez received his Silver Slugger award from last season before the game. Then he went out and had a four-hit game to go with consecutive three-hit games Monday and Tuesday, becoming the first National League player with three hits in each of his first three games since Orlando Cepeda had three straight three-hit games in 1963.

Asked whether he felt locked in coming out of spring training, Gonzalez said, “I didn’t feel good at all, but I didn’t game plan, either, and I wasn’t mentally involved, either.”

Each of Gonzalez’s home runs Wednesday was a solo shot.

He led the major leagues with 116 RBIs in 2014.

Gonzalez is the first Dodger to hit three in a game since teammate Juan Uribe did so against Arizona on Sept. 9, 2013. He’s the third player in franchise history to homer in his first three games, joining Jimmy Wynn in 1974 and Carl Furillo in 1955.

Avila Agrees to One-Year Deal with the Detroit Tigers

Alex Avila won’t be motoring out of the Motor City anytime soon…

The 27-year-old Cuban-American professional baseball catcher has agreed to a one-year-deal with the Detroit Tigers in a deal that avoids arbitration.

Alex Avila

The agreement is for $4.35 million, sources tell ESPN, and has a $5.4 million option for 2015, which triggers if Avila is selected to the All-Star team or makes the top 10 in MVP or Silver Slugger voting in 2014.

Avila, an All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner in 2011, hit .227 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs in 102 games last year for Detroit, his worst hitting performance since his first full season in 2010. He hit .303 after the All-Star break.

Avila had just five hits in 11 postseason games last season.

He was an All-Star and a Silver Slugger in 2011, his second full year in the major leagues. He led the American League in runners caught stealing in 2011 and ’12.

He has a .254 career average with 51 homers and 222 RBIs over 492 games and five seasons with the Tigers.

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.