Baltimore Orioles Acquire Thyago Vieira From Milwaukee Brewers

Thyago Vieira is headed to Maryland.

The Baltimore Orioles have acquired the 31-year-old Brazilian professional baseball pitcher and reliever in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Thyago Vieira,Baltimore got Vieira and minor league pitcher Aneuris Rodriguez from Milwaukee for minor league right-hander Garrett Stallings.

Vieira had no record and a 5.64 ERA in 16 appearances with Milwaukee this season before he was designated for assignment Monday.

The right-hander is 2-2 with two saves and a 6.18 ERA in 41 career big league appearances, also playing for the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago White Sox.

Stallings was a fifth-round pick by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2019 amateur draft. He went 0-1 with a 5.67 ERA in 11 games, four starts, for Triple-A Norfolk this season.

Atlanta Braves to Open Season with Reynaldo Lopez as Team’s Fifth Starter

It’s a Braves new season for Reynaldo Lopez

The Atlanta Braves will open the season with the 30-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher as their fifth starter.

Reynaldo López,López, who signed a $30 million, three-year deal with the Braves in November, earned the rotation spot by allowing just four earned runs over 16 ⅔ innings in five spring appearances.

He surrendered 10 hits, walked six and struck out 13.

This marks a return to a starting role for Lopez after he was used exclusively as a reliever the past two seasons by the Chicago White SoxLos Angeles Angels and Cleveland Guardians. He thrived out of the bullpen, posting a 3.02 ERA with 146 strikeouts in 131⅓ innings over 129 appearances.

But the Braves signed López early in free agency with an eye toward using the hard-throwing right-hander as a starter again. He made a total of 65 starts for the White Sox over the 2018 and ’19 seasons, going 17-22 with a 4.64 ERA.

López joins a rotation that also includes MLB All-Star Spencer Strider, Max Fried, Charlie Morton and another newcomer, Chris Sale.

It also makes sense for the Braves to use López as a starter early in the season, even if he winds up returning to the bullpen. If he began as a reliever, it would have been difficult to stretch out his arm later in the year for a starting role.

Atlanta, which has won six straight NL East titles, opens the season March 28 at Philadelphia.

Raul Ibanez Named Vice President of Baseball Development & Special Projects for Los Angeles Dodgers

Raul Ibanez is getting a special promotion…

The Los Angeles Dodgers have rehired the 51-year-old Cuban American former professional baseball player, an MLB All-Star in 2009, as their new vice president of baseball development and special projects.

Raul IbanezIbanez spent the past two years working with Major League Baseball as a senior vice president of on-field operations, reporting directly to executive vice president Morgan Sword — who helped spearhead last year’s rule changes — while working on issues related to rules, equipment and on-field technology.

Prior to that, Ibanez spent six years as a special assistant within the Dodgers’ baseball operations department.

Ibanez’s current Dodgers role is full-time, which means he will relinquish his duties with MLB.

Ibanez spent 19 years in the big leagues, accumulating 2,034 hits and 305 home runs while playing for the Seattle MarinersPhiladelphia PhilliesKansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees from 1996 to 2014.

Ibanez’s most productive years were spent in Seattle, but he made his only All-Star team as a member of the Phillies in 2009 and later starred for them in the postseason.

With the Yankees, he had perhaps the most memorable moment of his career, hitting the tying, pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the 2012 American League Division Series then the walk-off homer in the 12th.

Ronald Acuña Jr. Named MLB’s Player of the Year by Major League Baseball Players Association

Ronald Acuña Jr. is this year’s Major League Baseball all-star, according to his peers…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder and Atlanta Braves right fielder has been voted player of the year and the National League‘s outstanding player by fellow major leaguers in the annual Players Choice Awards of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,Los Angeles Angels designated hitter and pitcher Shohei Ohtani was voted the American League‘s outstanding player, the union said Thursday.

Acuña became the first player with 40 homers and 70 stolen bases in a season, hitting .337 with 41 homers, 106 RBIs and 73 stolen bases. No player previously had 40 homers and 50 steals in a season.

Ohtani hit .304 with 44 homers, 95 RBIs and 20 stolen bases and went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings. His pitching season ended August 23 because of a torn elbow ligament, an injury that will keep him from the mound until 2025. His hitting season ended September 3 due to an oblique strain.

Ohtani is expected to be the top player on the free agent market.

Marcus Semien, the second baseman of the World Series champion Texas Rangers, won his second Marvin Miller man of the year award, given to a player whose leadership inspires others. Semien, who also received the award in 2021, is a member of the union’s eight-man executive subcommittee.

Former outfielder Phil Bradley was awarded the Curt Flood Award for advancement of players’ rights and devotion to the union. Bradley is a union special assistant for international and domestic special events.

The New York Yankees‘ Gerrit Cole was selected as the AL outstanding pitcher and San Diego‘s Blake Snell the NL outstanding pitcher.

Comeback players were Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger in the NL and Chicago White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks in the AL.

Outstanding rookies were Arizona outfielder Corbin Carroll in the NL and Baltimore infielder Gunnar Henderson in the AL.

Los Angeles Dodgers Retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 Jersey

Fernando Valenzuela has received a special honor for the Los Angeles Dodgers

The team retired the 62-year-old Mexican former professional baseball pitcher’s No. 34 jersey on Friday night before hosting the Colorado Rockies. His number was cut into the center-field grass and stenciled in white on the back of the mound.

Fernando Valenzuela“It’s very emotional,” Valenzuela told a crowded room of English and Spanish-language media before the ceremony. “I never expected it.”

Retired pitcher and current broadcaster Orel Hershiser and retired Dodger Manny Mota lifted off a blue cloth to reveal Valenzuela’s number high above the field.

Fans, some wearing sombreros, were on their feet cheering, along with Valenzuela’s children and grandchildren. He held hands with wife Linda as they walked down the left-field line to watch the unveiling.

Earlier, a mariachi band broke out in music and song as Valenzuela was introduced and walked from the dugout to the stage set up in front of the mound.

Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, Valenzuela’s catcher Mike Scioscia, Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrín and Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías were among those on hand.

Valenzuela and Scioscia appeared on a Topps baseball card in which they were labeled future stars. After his playing career, Scioscia managed the Los Angeles Angels.

“It seems like yesterday when this little pudgy kid who was 20 years old started Opening Day for us and lights the whole world on fire,” Scioscia told the crowd. “What you couldn’t see was the ice water in his veins. He proved how spectacular and magical everything was.”

After the ceremony, Valenzuela tossed a first pitch to Scioscia, who bobbled the catch and buried his face in his glove.

The Rockies watched from the railing in the visitor’s dugout, while some of the Dodgers were on the field warming up and a few looked on from the dugout.

Earlier in the day, Valenzuela was in downtown Los Angeles, where the city council declared it “Fernando Valenzuela Day.”

The activities were part of a weekend celebration of one of the most enduring and popular players in Dodgers history. Valenzuela was the theme of the postgame drone show.

On Saturday, the team is giving away his bobblehead and on Sunday, the giveaway is a replica of Valenzuela’s 1981 World Series ring.

Valenzuela became a sensation that year. Besides winning the World Series, he won Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award, the first player to do so in the same year.

He was named the Opening Day starter that year by manager Tommy Lasorda after Jerry Reuss got hurt a day earlier. He responded with a 2-0 victory over Houston, beginning the season with an 8-0 record, including five shutouts, and an 0.50 ERA.

“Tommy Lasorda came up to me and said, ‘Are you ready to pitch tomorrow?’ I said, ‘I’m ready,'” Valenzuela recalled. “That’s what I was looking for, the opportunity to show what I can do.”

Valenzuela’s pitching motion — glancing skyward at the apex of each windup — was a hit, too. His signature pitch was the screwball, taught to him by teammate Bobby Castillo in 1979.

During his warmups, ABBA‘s hit “Fernando” blared from the speakers.

The native of Mexico was credited for drawing large numbers of Latino fans to Dodger Stadium and they nicknamed him “El Toro” — the Bull. He proved a huge draw on the road as well.

His number joins previous honorees Pee Wee Reese, Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, Don Drysdale and Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jarrín.

Jarrín “helped me a lot early in my career talking to you guys,” Valenzuela said, referring to the translation the broadcaster did for English-speaking media.

Besides Lasorda and Jarrín, Valenzuela also credited Mike Brito, the scout who in Mexico found the left-handed pitcher, for boosting his career. Brito died last year at age 87.

Valenzuela also won the 1988 World Series with the Dodgers, as well as Silver Slugger awards in 1981 and 1983. He pitched for the team from 1980 to 1990, including a no-hitter on June 29, 1990. He retired in 1997.

Valenzuela has stayed close to the franchise. He is the color commentator on the Spanish-language broadcasts for its SportsNet LA cable channel.

He remains among the franchise leaders in wins (141), strikeouts (1,759), innings pitched (2,348⅔), starts (320), complete games (107) and shutouts (29).

Valenzuela became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2015.

Amed Rosario Acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers

Amed Rosario is heading to Los Angeles…

The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired the 27-year-old Dominican professional baseball shortstop in a trade on Wednesday that saw them send right-hander Noah Syndergaard to the Cleveland Guardians.

Amed RosarioRosario joins a Dodgers team whose .629 OPS at shortstop is the fifth worst in baseball and that just a day ago traded for super-utilityman Enrique Hernández, who had been the Boston Red Sox‘s shortstop.

Syndergaard, 30, will join the Guardians in Chicago on Thursday for the opener of a four-game series, but it’s not clear when he’ll make his debut, according to Chris Antonetti, Cleveland’s president of baseball operations.

He is rehabbing at Triple-A after hitting the injured list in early June because of a blister on his right index finger.

After signing a one-year, $13 million contract with the Dodgers in the offseason, Syndergaard posted a 7.16 ERA over a dozen starts, and the Dodgers no longer envisioned a long-term place for him within what remains a needy rotation.

The Dodgers’ hope is for Rosario, who is hitting .265/.306/.369 with three home runs this season, to capture some of his previous offensive and defensive magic. Last year, he registered more than four wins above replacement, and he discussed a long-term contract extension with the Guardians before agreeing to a $7.8 million salary in arbitration.

Rosario is due to hit free agency this winter and will be among the youngest players in the class. He made his debut with the New York Mets at age 21 and was traded to Cleveland in 2021 as part of the four-player package for shortstop Francisco Lindor and starter Carlos Carrasco.

Cleveland could replace Rosario with young infielders Tyler Freeman and Gabriel Arias, and also could turn to 22-year-old Brayan Rocchio, who made his major league debut earlier this season and is currently hitting .295/.385/.419 at Triple-A.

“We felt that this made sense for us, and now is the right time to give Gabby and Tyler some more opportunities,” Antonetti said. “We also wanted to be respectful to Amed. We recognize his place on our team and as a veteran leader and his expectations of himself and transitioning him to a lesser role would had an impact on him and the team and we were very mindful about doing that.”

Cleveland’s beleaguered rotation could get a boost from Syndergaard, the one-time MLB All-Star who will join his fourth team in two seasons after getting dealt from the Los Angeles Angels to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline last year.

Three of the Guardians’ top starters — ace Shane Bieber and right-handers Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill — are on the injured list, and the team currently has three rookies (Gavin WilliamsTanner Bibee and Logan Allen) starting alongside veteran Aaron Civale.

The Guardians’ pitching nonetheless has been among the team’s strengths, with a 4.07 starters ERA that ranks 10th in the major leagues. Cleveland could continue to pursue a bat to enhance an offense whose 420 runs are 25th in the major leagues.

Adolis Garcia Joins American League MLB All-Star Game Lineup as Injury Replacement

Adolis Garcia is headed to the MLB All-Star Game

The 30-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and Texas Rangers outfielder has joined the American League lineup as an injury replacement.

Adolis Garcia Garcia was named to the AL team along with Baltimore Orioles outfielder Austin Hays and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Carlos Estevez.

They take over for New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase.

With Garcia’s selection, Texas will become the first team in 47 years to have five position players start in the All-Star Game.

On the NL side, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Geraldo Perdomo was named as an injury replacement for Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Estevez and Perdomo are first-time All-Stars.

Garcia joins Rangers catcher Jonah Heim, second baseman Marcus Semien, shortstop Corey Seager and third baseman Josh Jung in the AL lineup for Tuesday’s game at Seattle. The non-Rangers are Tampa Bay first baseman Yandy Díaz and outfielder Randy Arozarena, Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and Hays.

The only other teams with five position players to start the All-Star Game were the 1939 Yankees and the 1956, 1957 and 1976 Cincinnati Reds.

Judge hasn’t played since tearing a ligament in his right big toe June 3 while crashing into a bullpen gate as he made a catch at Dodger Stadium. Trout broke his left wrist fouling off a pitch Monday and had surgery Wednesday.

Clase, who is tied for first in the major leagues with 42 appearances and ranks fourth with 24 saves, withdrew from the All-Star Game in order to spend time with his pregnant girlfriend in the Dominican Republic. He will remain with the Guardians through Sunday’s home series finale against Kansas City.

Swanson is dealing with a bruised heel and decided not to play in the All-Star Game.

LA Angels New Addition Eduardo Escobar Placed on Restricted List as He Prepares for U.S. Citizenship Test

Eduardo Escobar is hitting the U.S. history books, not baseballs, these days…

Three days after the Los Angeles Angels acquired him from the New York Mets, the 34-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player has been placed on the restricted list.

Eduardo Escobar,The reason: Escobar is scheduled to take his United States citizenship test on Tuesday in Miami.

Escobar hails from Venezuela and now lives in Miami with his wife and children. The citizenship test was already in his plans before the Mets executed the trade.

The Angels have a home series against the Chicago White Sox beginning Monday night. Escobar could return Wednesday in time for the third game of a four-game series.

The Mets traded Escobar and cash considerations to the Angels on Friday night in exchange for Double-A right-handed pitchers Landon Marceaux and Coleman Crow.

Escobar’s Angels debut came in the team’s 25-1 thrashing of the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. Escobar did his part by going 2-for-4 with four runs and one RBI. He had another two hits in Sunday’s series finale, including a triple.

In 42 games with the Mets and Angels this season, Escobar is batting .254 with four home runs, 17 RBIs and 20 runs.

In a related move, Los Angeles recalled outfielder Jo Adell from Triple-A Salt Lake.

Adell, 24, has spent most of the season at Triple-A after playing 161 games for the Angels in his first three MLB seasons. In Adell’s lone major league game of 2023, he hit a solo home run in three at-bats during a 3-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on June 8.

Angels catcher Chris Okey also cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Salt Lake.

Los Angeles Angels Acquire Eduardo Escobar from New York Mets

Eduardo Escobar is thanking his angels

The Los Angeles Angels, in need of infield depth after a recent rash of injuries, have acquired the 34-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball third baseman from the New York Mets in exchange for two minor league starting pitchers.

Eduardo Escobar,Right-handers Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux, ranked 19th and 20th in the Angels’ system, respectively, by MLB.com, will be sent to the Mets’ system as part of the deal.

The Mets will pay all but the pro-rated league minimum of Escobar’s salary, which calls for $9.5 million in what will likely be the final year of his deal. Escobar’s contract also contains a $9 million club option for 2024.

Escobar, a switch-hitter, is batting .236/.286/.409 with four home runs in 120 plate appearances this season. He lost most of his playing time at third base to highly rated prospect Brett Baty.

A .254/.307/.435 hitter in his 13-year major league career, Escobar can also play second base and, in a pinch, shortstop.

With the Angels, he will essentially replace Gio Urshela, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a fractured pelvis.

The Angels also have third baseman Anthony Rendon (wrist contusion) and shortstop Zach Neto (oblique strain) on the injured list.

Crow, 22, and Marceaux, 23, had both matriculated to Double-A this season. Crow posted a 1.88 ERA in his first four starts but hasn’t pitched in a game since late April.

The Mets also optioned struggling right-hander Tylor Megill to Triple-A Syracuse on Friday, two days after he gave up 4 runs, 5 hits and 4 walks in 2⅓ innings Wednesday in a 10-8 loss to Houston.

Megill is 6-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 15 starts for the Mets this season.

Los Angeles Angels Call Up Shortstop Zach Neto

Zach Neto is getting in the game…

The Los Angeles Angels have called up the 22-year-old Latino professional baseball player, their first-round pick from the 2022 draft, and sent David Fletcher to Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday.

Zach NetoNeto started Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox and batted eighth, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the 9-7 loss.

Neto is the first 2022 draft pick to debut in the majors — after only 44 minor league games with Double-A Rocket City in which he hit .322/.408/.529 with three home runs in 27 at-bats this season. He’s expected to take over at shortstop full-time.

He was the 13th selection in last year’s draft. After signing, Neto, rated as the No. 84 prospect in all of baseball by ESPN entering this season, started at the Double-A level in 2022, hitting .320 in 122 at-bats.

Fletcher, who is making $6 million in his sixth season with the Angels, is hitting only .125 with 1 RBI through eight games.