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.

Seattle Mariners Acquire Luis Castillo in Trade with Cincinnati Reds

Luis Castillo is heading west…

The Seattle Mariners, looking to end a postseason drought that stretches to 2001, acquired the best arm on the trade market on Friday night in a deal for the 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher from the Cincinnati Reds.

Luis Castillo“He’s one of the best pitchers in the game — he’s really established himself as a dominant starter,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We’ve got a chance to do something really big here this year. You have to step out and take a chance once in a while if you ultimately want to get the reward, take a little risk. Dominant starting pitcher, and I’m anxious to meet him.”

Minor leaguers Noelvi Marte, Levi Stoudt, Edwin Arroyo and Andrew Moore are headed to Cincinnati, the teams announced.

Marte, a shortstop, is the highest rated of the group, with ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel ranking him the 12th-best prospect in baseball ahead of the season.

“We felt this was the best return we could get for Luis,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said.

The Mariners, led by star rookie Julio Rodriguez, are 54-47, 12 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the AL West. They are in the second of three AL wild-card spots, a half-game in front of Tampa Bay (53-47) and two games ahead of Cleveland (51-48). Seattle won its final 14 games before the MLB All-Star break, one short of the longest winning streak in team history and the best run by any club heading into the break since 1933. But the Mariners are 3-5 since, following an 11-1 loss at Houston on Friday night.

Now, they’ve added the best available arm ahead of the Tuesday trade deadline, one who will join an already-solid rotation that includes Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert.

It’s a massive pickup for a Mariners organization that has not reached the postseason since 2001, the longest active drought among the four major North American pro sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL).

Castillo is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts for the Reds this season, striking out 90 and walking 28 in 85 innings. His fastball averages 97 mph. He has a career 3.62 ERA in six seasons, all with Cincinnati.

“It has been a beautiful experience,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “To have my name in the fans’ mouth and having them cheer me on, it is something I will treasure forever.”

Castillo won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season, so the Mariners would have him for at least the rest of this year and all of next.

Castillo has bounced back from a career-worst season in 2021, when he lost 16 games and walked a league-high 75 batters. His changeup has been his best pitch for most of his career, but this year, he is actually throwing his four-seam fastball more, and doing so with a lot of success. Opponents have whiffed on 39% of their swings against his four-seamer, the highest rate of Castillo’s career and the highest of any pitcher in the majors (minimum 300 four-seamers thrown).

Castillo has a 1.38 ERA in four starts against the AL this year, second to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (0.69) among qualified pitchers.

The Reds have been moving veteran players for prospects since the end of the lockout earlier this year. In March, they traded Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to the Mariners, and Thursday, they traded outfielder Tyler Naquin and reliever Phillip Diehl to the New York Mets.

They’re getting a haul from Seattle in this trade, with Marte and Arroyo ranked among the team’s top 10 prospects ahead of the season by ESPN’s McDaniel.

Marte, 20, has spent the year for High-A Everett, hitting .275 with 15 home runs and a team-best 62 runs scored and 55 RBIs to go along with 13 steals entering Friday.

McDaniel ranked Arroyo, also a shortstop, as Seattle’s eighth-best prospect entering the season. The 18-year-old has spent the season at Single-A Modesto, hitting .316 with 76 runs, 67 RBIs, 13 home runs and 21 steals.

Stoudt, a 24-year-old right-hander and a third-round draft pick in 2019, is 6-6 with a 5.28 ERA in 18 starts for Double-A Arkansas this season.

And Moore, 22, has a 1.95 ERA in 25 relief appearances at Modesto this season.

“Noelvi Marte has a chance to be an impact middle of the order bat who can play shortstop,” Krall said. “Edwin Arroyo same thing — he has power/speed combo, who can play shortstop. Levi Stoudt has a chance to be a major league starter. Andrew Moore just started to pitch. He was drafted last year. He has explosive, explosive stuff. His fastball is up to 102 with a plus slider.”

Cincinnati infielder Brandon Drury also could be moved before the Tuesday deadline, along with several Reds relievers.

Jose Iglesias Agrees to One-Year Contract with Colorado Rockies

Jose Iglesias is headed to Colorado…

The 32-year-old Cuban professional baseball shortstop has agreed to a one-year contract with the Colorado Rockies, according to The Associated Press.

Jose IglesiasIglesias, who is represented by MVP Sorts Group, will earn $5 million.

Bringing in Iglesias all but shuts the door on a return of free-agent shortstop Trevor Story, who is set to become the latest big-name player to exit the Rockies.

Before the 2021 season, the team traded perennial All-Star and Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Story turned in a 24-homer, 20-steal season in ’21 as the Rockies missed the playoffs for a third straight year.

Iglesias batted .271 last season over 114 games with the Los Angeles Angels and 23 with the Boston Red Sox. He was an MLB All-Star in 2015 while a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Iglesias, who made his debut in Major League Baseball in 2011, has also played with the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles during his 10-year-career.

Freddy Galvis Signs Two-Year Deal with Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

Freddy Galvis is headed to Japan…

The 32-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball shortstop has signed a two-year deal with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

Freddy GalvisThe club in the Nippon Professional Baseball league confirmed the length of the contract with The Associated Press but declined to give financial details.

Reports in Japan say the total contract could be worth 700 million yen, or about $6 million.

Galvis played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles in the 2021 season.

The shortstop has also played for the San Diego PadresToronto Blue Jays and the Cincinnati Reds.

Last season marked his second stint with the Phillies.

“I’m so grateful and happy to be part of such a wonderful franchise,” Galvis said in a statement in English provided by the club. “I can’t wait to start playing with my teammates to give the fans and city another championship.”

Galvis has a career batting average of .246 with 109 home runs.

Yasiel Puig Signs One-Year, $1 Million Contract with South Korea’s Kiwoom Heroes

Yasiel Puig is a new Hero…

The 31-year-old Cuban former Major League Baseball outfielder has signed a one-year, $1 million contract with South Korean club Kiwoom Heroes.

Yasiel Puig

Puig hasn’t played in the MLB since 2019, when he played 100 games for the Cincinnati Reds and 49 for the Cleveland Indians before becoming a free agent.

Ko Hyung-wook, the general manager of the Seoul-based Heroes, said Puig’s past season in the Mexican League, where he batted .312 and hit 10 home runs for El Aguila de Veracruz, showed that his skills remained “excellent.”

Ko said Puig still has an interest in making a return to the big leagues and hoped that his drive to prove himself will have a positive impact on his Korean teammates. Ko downplayed concerns about Puig’s maturity, saying he came away with the impression that the former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder was “devoted to family, and mature” after their personal talks.

Puig batted .277 with 132 home runs and 415 RBI while appearing in seven major league seasons, the first six with the Dodgers where he earned an MLB All-Star selection in 2014.

Puig’s offensive production regressed in the following years and he also developed a reputation for erratic on-field behavior, finding himself in the middle of several bench-clearing incidents. He was suspended three games in 2019 for his involvement in a brawl against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his last game as a Red, an altercation that happened just moments after the team traded him to the Cleveland Indians.

Puig was reportedly in talks for a deal with the Atlanta Braves last year before he announced via Twitter in July 2020 that he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Heroes finished fifth among 10 clubs in the Korea Baseball Organization in this year’s regular season and were eliminated by crosstown rivals Doosan Bears in the first round of the postseason.

Eduardo Rodriguez Agrees to Five-Year, $77 Million Deal with Detroit Tigers

Eduardo Rodriguez is heading to the Motor City.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher, nicknamed E-Rod, has agreed to a five-year-deal with the Detroit Tigers worth $77 million, according to ESPN.

Eduardo Rodriguez,The former Boston Red Sox left-hander went 13-8 with a 4.74 ERA last season with the Red Sox after missing all of 2020 because of coronavirus-related myocarditis.

Rodriguez was Boston’s best starter in 2019, finishing sixth in the American League Cy Young voting and posting a 19-6 record with a 3.81 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 34 starts.

In seven seasons in Boston, Rodriguez was 64-39 with a 4.16 ERA.

Rodriguez joins a young rotation that includes former top prospects Tarik SkubalCasey Mize, and Matt Manning.

Earlier this month the Tigers acquired veteran Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for infield prospect Nick Quintana.

The Athletic first reported Monday that Rodriguez and the Tigers had finalized a deal.

San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. Hits Two Homers in Return from Injured List

Fernando Tatis Jr. is back in the game with a bang…

The 22-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, known as “El Niño“, wasted no time making his mark in his return from the San Diego Padres’ injured list on Sunday, hitting his 32nd and 33rd homers in an 8-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks while playing right field for the first time as a professional.

Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis had one thought running through his mind as he returned to San Diego’s lineup.

“Make them remember why they missed you,” he said grinning.

The MLB All-Star — batting leadoff — ripped a double down the left-field line in his first at-bat but was stranded at third in the first inning. He added a solo homer in the third on a towering fly ball that landed in the left-field stands and another solo shot in the fifth that easily cleared the wall in approximately the same spot.

“Fernando being Fernando,” Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “It never ceases to amaze any of us.”

It was Tatis’ fifth multi-homer game this season and No. 8 for his career. He added a bases-loaded single in the eighth that brought home Victor Caratini and Trent Grisham.

Tatis also caught David Peralta‘s fly to right for the final out of the bottom of the first.

Tatis had been on the injured list since July 31 after partially dislocating his left shoulder for the third time this season.

The electrifying star usually plays shortstop, but the Padres decided to move him to the outfield for the time being. The hope is there’s less chance he’ll get hurt, allowing him to stay in the lineup for the rest of the season.

He wasn’t challenged much in the outfield on Sunday, but he made a few routine catches.

“It was pretty chill,” Tatis said.

Tatis suffered a partially dislocated left shoulder on a violent swing April 5 against the San Francisco Giants and went on the 10-day injured list. He reinjured the shoulder diving for a ball and left a game against the Cincinnati Reds on June 19 but missed only one game.

He left a spring training game after hurting the shoulder while making a throw but was back two days later. He revealed then that he had been dealing with shoulder discomfort since his minor league days. Tatis also missed eight games in mid-May after testing positive for COVID-19.

He became the first Padres player voted to start an All-Star Game since Tony Gwynn in 1999.

The return of Tatis is a huge boost for the Padres, who have 15 players on the injured list and have taken a nosedive in the National League West standings. They still occupy the second NL wild-card spot in the playoff race but are feeling pressure from the charging Cincinnati RedsPhiladelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

Freddy Galvis Signs One-Year Contract with Baltimore Orioles

Freddy Galvis is ready to play ball in the Charm City.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball shortstop has agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles, helping the team fill a hole in their infield.

Freddy Galvis

Galvis broke into the big leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012 and spent the past two years with Cincinnati Reds.

He hit .220 with seven homers and 16 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Galvis is expected to take over as Baltimore’s shortstop from Jose Iglesias, who was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in December. Galvis played 33 games at shortstop last season and 16 at second base.

He would receive a $250,000 assignment bonus the first time he’s traded.

Galvis had a $5.5 million salary last season — the option year of his previous contract, which wound up as $2,037,037 prorated during the shortened season.

Galvis has a .247 career batting average with 95 home runs and 386 RBIs. A journeyman who is headed to his fifth big league team, Galvis started with the Phillies, made a one-year stop with the San Diego Padres in 2018 and played with the Toronto Blue Jays before joining Cincinnati during the 2019 season.

His best season offensively was in 2019, when he hit 23 homers with 70 RBIs.

Baltimore signed him primarily for his ability to deftly play in the middle of the infield. He has a .984 fielding percentage as a shortstop over 801 games.

Hansel Robles Agrees to One-Year Contract with Minnesota Twins

Hansel Robles is Twinning

The Minnesota Twins have signed the 30-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher and former Los Angeles Angels closer to a one-year contract.

Hansel Robles

The deal is worth $2 million, according to The Associated Press.

Robles saved 23 games in 27 chances in 2019 when he went 5-1 with a 2.48 ERA in a 71 appearances. Last season, however, he struggled with a 10.26 ERA in 18 appearances, finishing 0-2 with one save in three chances.

He wasn’t tendered a contract by the Angels this offseason, making him a free agent. The Angels traded him for Cincinnati Reds closer Raisel Iglesias this offseason.

Robles will join the back end of a Twins bullpen led by closer Taylor Rogers, who has 39 saves in 47 chances over the past two seasons.

Robles has a 3.91 ERA in his career over 313 appearances with the New York Mets and Angels in six major league seasons.

Raisel Iglesias Acquired by the Los Angeles Angels

Raisel Iglesias will be seeing angels next season…

The 30-year-old Cuban professional baseball pitcher, a closer for the Cincinnati Reds, has been acquired by the Los Angeles Angels.

Raisel Iglesias

The team acquired Iglesias in exchange for right-handed reliever Noe Ramirez and a player to be named later or cash considerations on Monday, the first day of the virtual winter meetings.

 

Iglesias saved 92 games from 2017 to 2019, but had arguably his best season in 2020, posting a 2.74 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP while striking out 31 batters and walking only five in 23 innings.

Iglesias, a right-hander, throws his four-seam fastball in the upper-90s and also mixes in a slider and a changeup. He’s the second acquisition made by new Angels general manager Perry Minasian, coming over five days after the team acquired another native Cuban, shortstop Jose Iglesias, from the Baltimore Orioles. That day, the Angels also non-tendered five relievers, including former closer Hansel Robles.

 

Raisel Iglesias and Jose Iglesias are not related but were born one day apart. They were teammates with the Reds in 2019.

Raisel Iglesias will make $9.125 million in the final season of his three-year, $24.125 million contract, but the Angels are also receiving unspecified cash considerations in the trade. By dealing Iglesias and non-tendering Archie BradleyBrian Goodwin and Curt Casali, among others, the Reds have saved nearly $20 million in salary commitments for 2021.

Reds general manager Nick Krall told reporters the team is trying to “reallocate resources” to address its pitching depth and find a starting shortstop.