Oakland A’s Pitcher Frankie Montas Acquired by New York Yankees

Frankie Montas is heading to the Northeast…

The 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball right-handed, starting pitcher has been acquired by the New York Yankees, alongside part-Latino closer Lou Trivino in a deal with the Oakland Athletics.

Frankie MontasThe A’s are receiving left-handers Ken Waldichuk and J.P. Sears, right-hander Luis Medina and second baseman Cooper Bowman from the Yankees. Waldichuk, 24, was the fifth-highest-ranked prospect in the Yankees’ farm system, according to MLB.com.

The American League-best Yankees have had a busy deadline, acquiring outfielder Andrew Benintendi and rookie reliever Scott Effross before solidifying an already strong rotation and bullpen with the acquisitions of Montas and Trivino.

The trade for Montas is the second involving a highly sought-after starting pitcher this week, following Seattle’s acquisition of right-hander Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds for a four-prospect package.

Montas, who is not eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season, has shown flashes of excellence since signing with Boston in 2009. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers before moving to Oakland, where he blossomed over the past six seasons into the pitcher who this season has 104⅔ innings of 3.18 ERA ball with 109 strikeouts, 28 walks and a dozen home runs allowed.

“His level of talent, especially with how he’s pitched the last couple years, just excited to get him in the mix,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s got the full arsenal and stuff you look for top of the rotation guy. Gone out and proved last couple years he is that kind of caliber pitcher.”

A shoulder injury sidelined Montas for a mid-July start, but he returned with three shutout innings, followed by a five-inning, two-earned-run start against Houston. That was enough of a sample to draw a broad range of teams — large-market and small.

”I think we’re comfortable with where he’s at shoulder-wise,” Boone said.

Montas joins a rotation headed by MLB All-Stars Gerrit Cole (9-3, 3.30 ERA) and Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.53 ERA) that has faltered of late.

Left-hander Jordan Montgomery is 0-2 with a 5.36 ERA in his last eight starts and right-hander Jameson Taillon is 1-1 with a 5.04 ERA in his last five. Luis Severino has not pitched since July 13 because of a lat strain and was moved to the 60-day injured list Monday along with right-handed reliever Miguel Castro, out since July 10 with a strained right shoulder.

Going into Monday night’s series opener against Seattle, Domingo German had an 8.22 ERA in his first two starts after recovering from a right shoulder impingement.

By winning the Montas sweepstakes, the Yankees add a starter who will slot into a playoff rotation with a fastball-slider-splitter pitch mix that has proved effective all season. Montas went at least five innings in 15 of his first 16 starts, with the only exception being a game in which he got hit in the hand on a comebacker and left the game after 1⅔ innings.

Trivino, a 30-year-old right-hander, is 1-6 with a 6.47 ERA — double his 2021 figure — and 10 saves in 13 chances. Right-handed batters are hitting .289 against him this year while lefties are hitting .392 with nine walks in 60 plate appearances.

“Little bit down year statistically but we don’t think it lines up with what we’re seeing on some underlying things and who we think he is,” Boone said. “He’s been a very good reliever for them on some playoff-caliber teams.”

Trivino joins one of the better bullpens in the majors, but one that has struggled with injuries of late. Chad GreenMichael King and Zack Britton are all on the 60-day injured list with Green and King expected to miss the rest of the season.

Waldichuk, who is pitching at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, is 6-3 with a 2.71 ERA overall in 17 starts for two clubs in the Yankees’ minor league system this season and has 116 strikeouts in 76⅓ innings.

Sears, 26, is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in 22 innings for the Yankees in the majors this season and is 1-1 with a 1.67 ERA in 43 innings in Triple-A. Medina, 23, is 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 17 starts for Double-A Somerset this season.

Bowman, 22, is hitting .217 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs for Class-A Hudson Valley this season.

The Yankees also optioned right-hander Clarke Schmidt to Scranton and promoted right-hander Carlos Espinal from the RailRiders.

Albert Pujols to Participate in This Year’s MLB All-Star Game

Albert Pujols is getting another All-Star moment…

The 42-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals will take part in the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has announced.

Albert PujolsBut he isn’t the only living baseball legend getting called up…

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers will also participate.

Pujols, Cabrera and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron are the only players in MLB history to register 3,000 hits, 500 home runs and 600 doubles.

“I am delighted that Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera have agreed to participate in the All-Star Game,” Manfred said in a statement. “Albert and Miguel are two of the most accomplished players of their generation. They have also represented the baseball traditions of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela with excellence for the last two decades. Albert and Miguel are two all-time greats whose achievements warrant this special recognition.”

It’s the 11th MLB All-Star selection for Pujols, who is in his 22nd MLB season. He ranks fifth in MLB history with 683 home runs and ninth with 3,326 career hits.

“If there is one game for the fans to celebrate the history and longevity, it’s the All-Star Game,” said Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa, who was Pujols’ manager in St. Louis for seven years. “Anything like that [being selected to participate in the All-Star Game], I’m all in favor of.”

Cabrera, 39, reached 3,000 career hits earlier this season. He’ll be appearing in his 12th All-Star Game.

The slugger called Pujols “one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“To be part of this together is going to be great,” he said Friday.

The All-Star Game will be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 19.

Jose Ramirez Agrees to Historic 5-Year, $150-Million Contract Extension with Cleveland Guardians 

Jose Ramirez is extending his time in Ohio…

The 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, an MLB All-Star third baseman and the Cleveland Guardians have agreed on a five-year, $124 million contract extension, according to ESPN.

Jose RamirezThe deal includes a full no-trade clause, per sources. With this year and the pickup of a 2023 option, Ramirez is guaranteed $150 million.

Cleveland set the table for this move during the offseason, picking up Ramirez’s $12 million contract option on November 5 after an MVP-caliber campaign for Ramirez. The formal transaction allowed the franchise some room for longer-term negotiations once baseball’s work stoppage ended.

The five-year, $124 million extension is the largest in franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The Guardians had been one of five Major League Baseball teams that had never agreed to a $100 million contract with a player. The Oakland AthleticsPittsburgh PiratesKansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox are the others.

Ramirez, who has finished in the top three of the American League MVP voting three times in his career, was one of few bright spots for Cleveland’s inconsistent offense during the team’s final season with its old nickname. He hit .266 with 36 home runs, 103 RBIs and 27 steals in the final year of what was a team-friendly $26 million, four-year contract.

“I would really like to stay,” Ramirez said after Cleveland finished 80-82 last year, the club’s first losing season since 2012. “But there’s no rush. I would really like to stay here the rest of my career. But we have to wait to see what happens. I would love to see what they have to offer.”

The veteran’s future has been a hot topic during spring training in Goodyear, Arizona, and manager Terry Francona was not afraid to open up about it last month.

“I think Jose knows how we feel about him,” Francona told reporters during a March 17 media availability. “In this age of blogging and the internet, there is so much out there that we could make ourselves crazy. I hope it doesn’t make him crazy. I don’t think it does.”

Chris Antonetti, Cleveland’s president, also addressed his star infielder’s future in Arizona last month.

“Without getting into specifics, I do think we’ll have some internal conversations,” Antonetti said about the new deal. “The timing of that is really hard to say when we’ll be able to do that, just because of the compressed nature of the offseason.”

Ramirez is the only position player left from Cleveland’s 2016 pennant-winning team, which lost the World Series in seven games. He has been in the majors since 2013, spending his entire career with Cleveland. In his first season, he appeared in just 15 games, but he has topped 120 games in five seasons since — and has stayed relatively healthy.

Francona expects to use Ramirez in the No. 3 spot in the batting order this season, telling reporters last month that it was safe to “ink” him in that spot moving forward.

The Guardians will open the year Thursday against the Kansas City Royals. In that game, right-hander Shane Bieber will become the 12th pitcher in franchise history to make three consecutive Opening Day starts.

Opening Day will also see the return of Francona to regular-season action for Cleveland after missing time because of toe surgery.

“It’s been a hard couple years, there’s no getting around it,” Francona said. “And I don’t want to act like a big baby because I know there’s people that have had way worst bouts than I had. But it’s not been easy.”

Alex Colomé Agrees to One-Year Deal with Colorado Rockies

Alex Colomé has a new deal…

The 33-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher has agreed to a one-year deal with the Colorado Rockies, according to The Associated Press. The contract will become official when Colome passes a physical.

Alex Colomé The deal for the reliever is reportedly worth $1.25 million.

Daniel Bard and Carlos Estevez combined for 31 of the Rockies’ 33 total saves in 2021, though Colome’s more established track record as a closer could make him the top ninth-inning choice for the Rox next year.

Bard and Estevez could be moved back into set-up roles, or manager Bud Black could simply take a committee approach with his closer’s role.

Colome, who made his Major League Baseball debut in May 2013, is coming off a season in which he saved 17 games for the Minnesota Twins.

He led the league with 47 saves in 2017 while with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Colome also played for the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox.

Carlos Rodon Signs Two-Year, $44 Million Deal with San Francisco Giants 

Carlos Rodon is headed out west…

The 29-year-old Latino professional baseball play, an MLB All-Star left-hander, and the San Francisco Giants have agreed on a two-year, $44 million contract that includes an opt-out after the first season, according to ESPN sources.

Carlos RodonRodon set a career high for wins with the Chicago White Sox in 2021 in going 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA and made his first All-Star team. His 24 starts and 132⅔ innings are the most for him since 2016, well beyond his totals in the previous two years combined.

Rodon has a history of arm and shoulder injuries and threw just 28 innings over the final two months of the 2021 regular season. But he also played a big role as the White Sox ran away with the American League Central title at 93-69. They beat Cleveland by 13 games and finished with their highest win total since the 2005 World Series championship team went 99-63.

Rodon will help fill out a rotation alongside ace Logan Webb and lefty Alex Wood. The Giants lost right-hander Kevin Gausman to the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this offseason on a $110 million, five-year deal and declined righty Johnny Cueto‘s $22 million contract option.

Wood received a $25 million, two-year contract to stay with San Francisco, which won a franchise-record 107 games last season before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series.

Rodon, who was the third overall selection in the 2014 first-year player draft out of North Carolina State, has a career record of 42-38 with a 3.79 ERA and 710 strikeouts in 121 games.

Oscar Colás Signs Agreement with Chicago White Sox

Oscar Colás is headed to the Windy City

The 23-year-old Cuban professional baseball pitcher and outfielder has agreed to a contract with the Chicago White Sox, adding another name to the team’s rich Cuban history.

Oscar ColásConsidered one of the top international free agents, Colás received a $2.7 million signing bonus. The team also announced it had agreed to terms with outfielder Erick Hernández in a deal that included a $1 million bonus.

Colás hails from Santiago de Cuba. He bats and throws left-handed and hit .282 with 28 homers and 116 RBIs in 187 games over his foreign league career.

Colás also has worked as a pitcher, but Marco Paddy, an executive for international operations for the White Sox, said he’ll concentrate on developing him as an outfielder.

“He wants to be a position player and he feels that he’s got a better chance to be successful as a position player,” Paddy said, “and we feel like his development as a pitcher would take much longer than a position player.

“So, for that kind of player with that type of power, that type of ability on the field, obviously we’re looking for a guy that has the opportunity to get to the major leagues a lot quicker.”

The White Sox have experienced a long run of success with Cuba natives that includes Minnie Miñoso, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in December, and extends all the way to their current team with first baseman José Abreu, centerfielder Luis Robert, catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Yoán Moncada. The team also has Yoelqui Cespedes, Norge Vera, and Yolbert Sánchez in the minors.

Colás said he talked to Robert, Cespedes and Sánchez before finalizing his decision.

“What they told me is this is a very good organization, that they’re very excited having me,” Colás said through an interpreter, “and that they just want me to join them and play hard as they are doing here.”

The 17-year-old Hernández is from Moca, Dominican Republic. He bats and throws left-handed.

The team said it expects to make more international signings in the coming weeks.

“We feel very good with what we were able to accomplish this year,” Paddy said. “Having the ability to sign two high-level prospects with impact-type tools like Colás and Hernández, I would categorize that as a solid year.”

Joey Cora to Become Third-Base Coach for New York Mets

Joey Cora has Mets his match…

The New York Mets are on the verge of hiring the 56-year-old Puerto Rican former Major League Baseball player, who had an 11-year career in the MLB, as their new third-base coach, ESPN reports, confirming a report by the New York Post.

Joey Cora,

Cora, the older brother of Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, spent five years as third-base coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates before being let go at the end of the 2021 season.

In New York, he’ll become the first coach hired under Buck Showalter, who took over as the team’s manager less than three weeks ago.

The Mets retained Jeremy Hefner as their pitching coach but are still in the process of filling vacancies at bench coach, hitting coach and first-base coach, among others.

Cora was a major league middle infielder from 1987 to 1998, making an MLB All-Star team late in his career, then transitioned into coaching shortly thereafter. Cora began as a manager in the Mets’ minor league system and later spent eight years with the Chicago White Sox under Ozzie Guillen, winning a World Series as the team’s third-base coach in 2005. Cora was also Guillen’s bench coach with the Miami Marlins in 2012 and has often interviewed for managerial jobs throughout his post-playing career.

Cora will now replace Gary DiScarcina, who was let go amid the shake-up that followed the firing of former Mets manager Luis Rojas. Rojas is now the New York Yankees‘ third-base coach, while DiSarcina has the same position with the Washington Nationals.

Minnie Miñoso Named to Baseball Hall of Fame

Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso is headed to the Hall

The late Cuban professional baseball player, nicknamed “The Cuban Comet” and “Mr. White Sox,” has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Minnie MiñosoMiñoso was widely considered baseball’s first Latino star in a career that started in the Negro leagues and continued over several decades with him excelling mostly for the Chicago White Sox. The was the first Black Cuban in the major leagues and the first black player in White Sox history, as a 1951 rookie he was the one of the first Latin Americans to play in an MLB All-Star Game.

Minnie MiñosoMiñoso was an American League (AL) All-Star for seven seasons and a Gold Glove winner for three seasons when he was in his 30s.

Miñoso joins Gil Hodges, former Minnesota Twins teammates Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat, a longtime television analyst after his playing days, Bud Fowler, and Buck O’Neil, a champion of Black ballplayers during a monumental, eight-decade career on and off the field.

Oliva, an 83-year-old Cuban former professional baseball right fielder, designated hitter, and coach, played his entire 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career for the Twins, from 1962 to 1976.

Oliva and Kaat are the only living new members. Dick Allen, who died last December, fell one vote shy of election.

Kaat pitched 25 seasons with a host of teams, including the Phillies, Yankees and Cardinals, winning 283 games. He served as an analyst for the Yankees before moving on to the MLB Network.

The 16-member Early Days and Golden Days committees met separately in Orlando, Florida. The election announcement was originally scheduled to coincide with the big league winter meetings, which were nixed because of the MLB lockout.

The six newcomers will be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York, on July 24, 2022, along with any new members elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

First-time candidates David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez join Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling on the ballot, with voting results on January 25.

Leury Garcia & Chicago White Sox Agree to New Contract Terms

Leury Garcia is staying put…

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms with the 30-year-old Dominican professional baseball utility player and free agent infielder/outfielder, according to ESPN.

Leury Garcia Seeking a return to the postseason, the club brought back the popular, longest tenured player on the team. Garcia, 30, was used as a super utility player last season for the White Sox, appearing in 65 games in the outfield, 36 at second base, 19 at shortstop and 11 at third base.

He slashed .267/.335/.376 in 415 at-bats, and was a valuable player moving around the diamond as the White Sox were hit with a multitude of injuries throughout the summer.

The switch hitter is also one of the leaders on a young White Sox team who have made the playoffs the last two seasons. Garcia has been with the Sox since 2013.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement was first reported by MLB Network.

Javier Baez Agrees to Six-Year, $140 Million Deal with Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers have found what they’ve been searching for in Javier Baez

The Major League Baseball team has agreed to a six-year, $140 million deal with the 29-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball player and free-agent shortstop, according to ESPN sources.

Javier BaezThe deal also includes an opt-out, according to the source.

It would be the second-largest free-agent deal in Tigers franchise history, behind Prince Fielder, who signed a nine-year, $214 million deal with Detroit in January 2012.

While he struck out a league-high 184 times last season, Baez hit .265 with 31 homers, 87 RBIs and 18 steals. He also brings Gold Glove defense to Detroit with his signature no-look tags.

The Tigers had been looking for a shortstop since it went 77-85 last season, finishing third in the AL Central behind the Cleveland Guardians and the Chicago White Sox.

Baez was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft. The two-time National League All-Star had been close to signing a long-term extension with the Chicago Cubs before the 2020 season, but the COVID-19 pandemic put negotiations on hold.

Those contract talks never resumed, and the Cubs traded Baez to the New York Mets this past July.