Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Yohan Ramírez from New York Mets

Yohan Ramírez heading out west…

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired the 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher from the New York Mets for cash on Monday.

Yohan Ramírez, The right-hander was designated for assignment last week.

He started the season with the Mets, allowing seven runs in 5 1/3 innings and was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles on April 13.

Ramírez returned to the Mets on May 6 and threw three scoreless innings before being DFA’d. Overall, he is 0-1 with a 6.91 ERA in 14 1/3 innings.

Ramirez has spent parts of five seasons in the majors with Seattle, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, the Chicago White Sox, New York and Baltimore.

He is a combined 6-5 with a 4.29 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 138 1/3 innings.

Ramírez arrived in Los Angeles before Monday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

To make room for Ramírez, the Dodgers optioned right-handed pitcher Landon Knack to Oklahoma City.

They also designated RHP Eduardo Salazar for assignment off the 40-man roster.

San Diego Padres Finalizing Deal to Acquire Luis Arraez from Miami Marlins

Luis Arraez is thisclose to heading west…

The San Diego Padres are nearing a deal to acquire the 27-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball second baseman from the Miami Marlins for reliever Woo-Suk Go and prospects Dillon Head, Jakob Marsee and Nathan Martorella, per ESPN sources.

The trade is pending a medical review, but is expected to be finalized soon.

The transaction represents the first significant move for the Marlins since Peter Bendix took over as the team’s president of baseball operations in November after Kim Ng departed.

It marks the beginning of the Marlins’ teardown of an underachieving roster that has produced the third-worst record in the majors at 9-24 entering Friday with a minus-59 run differential after reaching the postseason in 2023.

On the other side, it’s another aggressive deal for A.J. Preller, the leader of the Padres’ front office since 2014.

Arraez, one of the sport’s best contact hitters, will give the Padres a needed left-handed-hitting weapon after Juan Soto was sent to the New York Yankees in December.

San Diego entered Friday 16-18 with a neutral run differential, 4.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West standings.

Arraez was the Marlins’ best player, an MLB All-Star and batting champion each of the last two seasons. This season, he is batting .299 with a .719 OPS in 33 games, all started at second base. He also has extensive experience at first base.

Arraez is expected to start games as the Padres’ designated hitter, but the club plans to cycle through the DH spot. Jake CronenworthXander Bogaerts and Manny Machado could also get at-bats there. Bogaerts has been the club’s starting second baseman.

Go spent seven seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) before signing a two-year deal with a mutual option worth $4.5 million guaranteed during the offseason. The 25-year-old right-hander appeared in 10 games for Double-A San Antonio, posting a 4.38 ERA across 12 ⅓ innings after failing to make the Padres’ bullpen out of spring training.

Head was the Padres’ first-round pick (25th overall) last year out of high school. The 19-year-old center fielder is batting .237 with a .683 OPS and three stolen bases in 21 games in low-A.

Martorella is batting .294 with an .282 OPS in 23 games in San Antonio. The Padres selected the 23-year-old first baseman in the fifth round of the 2022 draft.

Marsee, a 22-year-old outfielder, has spent the season in San Antonio batting .185 with two home runs. He was a sixth-round pick in 2022 out of Central Michigan.

Kiké Hernández Agrees to One-Year, $4 Million Contract with Los Angeles Dodgers

Kiké Hernández isn’t dodging his future…

The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to terms with the 32-year-old Puerto Rican super utility man on a one-year, $4 million contract.

Kiké HernándezHernández, who emerged during a six-year stint with the Dodgers and returned to Los Angeles in a trade last July, had considered a number of other teams before a recent team trade paved the way for another stretch with the Dodgers.

He’s expected to garner most of his playing time against left-handed pitchers, with Los Angeles’ primary shortstop, Gavin Lux, and center fielder, James Outman, both left-handed hitters.

Hernández underwent double hernia surgery in the offseason but is expected to be ready around opening day.

Hernández hit .262/.308/.423 in 54 games with the Dodgers last year, more in line with his career numbers than his .222/.279/.320 line with the Minnesota Twins and .222/.291/.338 showing in an injury-pocked 2022 with Boston Red Sox.

Amed Rosario Agrees to One-Year, $1.5 Million Deal with Tampa Bay Rays

Amed Rosario is celebrating a ray(s) of sunshine…

The 28-year-old Dominican professional baseball shortstop has signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Amed RosarioThe deal is for $1.5 million, according to ESPN.

Rosario will bring a strong bat against left-handed pitching and should get at-bats at shortstop, second base and potentially corner-outfield spots.

Rosario adds to Tampa Bay’s infield depth behind shortstop Jose Caballero and second baseman Brandon Lowe. The Rays acquired Caballero in a January trade with Seattle.

He was traded from the Cleveland Guardians to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Noah Syndergaard before the 2023 trade deadline. He hit a combined .263 in 142 games between the two teams, with 70 runs, 58 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

Rosario broke into the majors with the New York Mets in 2017. He was traded to Cleveland in January 2021 as part of a multiplayer package for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.

Rosario is a .272 hitter with 60 homers and 334 RBI in 839 career games. He set career highs with a .287 batting average, 15 homers and 72 RBI in 2019 with the Mets. He led the majors with nine triples in 2022 with Cleveland.

Yasmani Grandal Reportedly Agrees to One-Year, $2.5 Million Contract with Pittsburgh Pirates

It’s all hands on deck for Yasmani Grandal.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are adding the 35-year-old Cuban professional baseball catcher, a two-time MLB All-Star, according to multiple ESPN reports.

Yasmani GrandalThe Pirates and Grandal have agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $2.5 million, according to the reports.

Pittsburgh is searching for depth at catcher with Endy Rodriguez — who started 57 games in 2023 as a rookie — already ruled out for 2024 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in December. He got injured while playing winter ball in his native Dominican Republic.

Grandal would join a catching situation that includes 2021 first overall pick Henry Davis, Jason Delay and Ali Sanchez.

Grandal is a career .237 hitter while playing for four teams across 12 seasons, including the past four years with the Chicago White Sox.

Grandal hit .234 with eight home runs and had 33 RBIs in 118 games with the White Sox in 2023.

The Pirates have remained bullish that Davis can become an every-day catcher even though he spent the vast majority of his rookie season playing right field. Adding Grandal gives the Pirates a little bit of flexibility as Davis continues to refine his work defensively.

Grandal provided power at the plate during his prime. He has topped 20 home runs in a season five times, most recently with Chicago in 2021. He made a pair of All-Star teams earlier in his career, first in 2015 while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and again in 2019 while with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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.

Eduardo Rodriguez Agrees to Four-Year Deal with Arizona Diamondbacks

Eduardo Rodriguez is heading to The Copper State.

The 30-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher, nicknamed “E-Rod,” has agreed to a four-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks valued at around $20 million a year, according to ESPN.

Eduardo Rodriguez The deal is pending a physical.

The left-handed starter opted out of the final three years of his deal with the Detroit Tigers after going 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 152⅔ innings. He was expected to be moved at the trade deadline this year but invoked his no-trade clause to kill an agreed-upon deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rodriguez gives the National League champion Diamondbacks another quality starter for their rotation that includes NL Cy Young Award finalist Zac Gallen, veteran Merrill Kelly and youngsters like righty Brandon Pfaadt and lefty Tommy Henry.

During their recent run to the World Series, Arizona only had three true starting pitchers, using the bullpen to get through Game 4 of the NL Championship Series and the World Series.

At his best, Rodriguez offers a polished four-pitch mix he controls well and uses to generate strikeouts. Over his eight-year career, he has punched out more than a batter an inning, and his ability to limit home runs prompted the Tigers to lavish a five-year, $77 million deal on him after he reached free agency following six seasons with the Boston Red Sox.

Rodriguez missed almost half of his first season with Detroit in 2022 while dealing with marital issues. He was looking like a surefire All-Star this year until a ruptured pulley in his left index finger caused him to miss all of June. Rodriguez wasn’t nearly as effective after he returned, posting a 4.24 ERA over 15 starts and 85 innings as compared to a 2.13 ERA in 11 starts and 67⅔ innings before the injury.

He opted out anyway, forgoing the final three years and $49 million on his deal to hit free agency once again.

Adrian Beltre Among Newcomers to Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame Ballot

Adrian Beltre is getting his first chance at entering the hall…

The 44-year-old Dominican former professional baseball player, regarded as one of the greatest third basemen of all time, is among the newcomers to the 26-player Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot, as revealed on Monday.

Adrian Beltre Beltre, a four time MLB All-Star. played 21 major league seasons and won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award five times. He played for the Los Angeles DodgersSeattle MarinersBoston Red Sox and Texas Rangers.

Other newcomers are  Bartolo ColonMatt HollidayJose BautistaAdrian GonzalezJose ReyesVictor MartinezJames Shields, David Wright, Joe MauerChase Utley and Brandon Phillips.

Players must receive 75% of the vote to gain induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with the top holdovers from last year’s vote including Todd Helton (72%), Billy Wagner (68%), Andruw Jones (58%), Gary Sheffield (55%) and Carlos Beltran (46.5%).

It’s the 10th and final year on the ballot for Sheffield, while Wagner is on the ballot for the ninth time.

Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, both of whom received PED suspensions during their careers, also return to the ballot.

Beltran returns for the second time after his vote total might have been held down in his initial appearance due to his involvement in the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal.

Here’s a look at the top Latino newcomers:

  • Beltre should be a lock as a first-year candidate after finishing with 3,166 hits, 477 home runs and 93.5 WAR while capturing five Gold Gloves. He ranks third in WAR among third basemen, behind only Mike Schmidtand Eddie Mathews. He had his career season with the Los Angeles Dodgersin 2004, when he led the National League with 48 home runs and finished second in the MVP voting, but his best run came in his 30s with the Texas Rangers from 2011 to 2018, when he had four 30-homer seasons and hit .304.
  • Colon became a fan favorite late in his career, and he finished with 247 wins and won a Cy Young Award with the Angels in 2005, but his career ERA of 4.12 is a little high for serious consideration.
  • Bautista had a nice run from 2010 to 2015 as the game’s top power hitter — he led the AL with 54 home runs in 2010 and 43 in 2011, and his 227 home runs over those six seasons were 28 more than Miguel Cabrerato lead all hitters — but he was late bloomer and didn’t do enough on the front end or back end of his career, and Hall of Fame voters tend to reward longevity over peak value.
  • Gonzalez (43.5 WAR) falls into the “Hall of Very Good” category, with just over 2,000 hits, 317 home runs and seven 100-RBI seasons, but the offensive bar is high for first basemen.

Other holdovers are Omar VizquelAndy PettitteBobby AbreuJimmy RollinsMark BuehrleFrancisco Rodriguez and Torii Hunter.

After years of electing multiple candidates, the BBWAA has elected just one each of the past two years — Scott Rolen in 2023; David Ortiz in 2022 — and didn’t elect anyone in 2021.

Earlier, the Hall of Fame announced its Contemporary Era Committee ballot, which this year considered managers, executive and umpires.

The eight candidates on that ballot are managers Jim Leyland, Lou Piniella, Cito Gaston and Davey Johnson; executives Hank Peters and Bill White (who was also a fine player); and umpires Joe West and Ed Montague.

Ronald Acuna Jr. Wins National League’s Most Valuable Player Award in Unanimous Fashion

Ronald Acuna Jr. is the unanimous choice…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, has been named the Most Valuable Player of Major League Baseball’s National League, in unanimous fashion no less.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,In the American League, Shohei Ohtani was the unanimous choice for MVP.

Acuna and Ohtani’s unanimous wins are historic, since it’s an unprecedented occurrence in the 92-year history of the award.

Acuna beat out Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who came in second on all 30 ballots.

A force at the leadoff spot for a fearsome Braves lineup, Acuna combined 41 home runs with an NL-leading 73 stolen bases, easily becoming the first ever member of the 40-70 club.

He also led the NL in on-base percentage (.416), OPS (1.012), hits (217) and runs scored (149). His .337 batting average trailed only Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez (.354) for the major league lead.

Acuna did not attend his scheduled conference call with BBWAA members because he debuted for the Tiburones de La Guaira of the Venezuelan winter league shortly after claiming the award. The game was pushed back an hour to accommodate the announcement.

Acuna won the NL Rookie of the Year Award during his age-20 season in 2018 — Ohtani won the AL version that year — and finished fifth in NL MVP voting during his age-21 season in 2019, clearly establishing himself as one of the most dynamic forces in the sport. But he suffered a torn ACL in the middle of the 2021 season, forcing him to merely watch from the dugout while his Braves teammates won a championship later that fall. The following year, he was admittedly not himself. The explosiveness that helped elevate him to stardom was lacking. His timing in the batter’s box was off.

Acuna spent the ensuing offseason working diligently on his conditioning and trained with Fernando Tatis Sr., father of his good friend Fernando Tatis Jr., on slightly lowering his hands to lessen some of the moving parts in his swing and get his bat through the zone more quickly. Through six months of baseball’s regular season, Acuna’s OPS never fell below .900.

Acuna’s stolen-base total was aided by new rules that introduced a pitch clock, increased the size of bases and limited the number of pitcher disengagements, but he hit 13 more home runs than the next-closest player ever to 70 stolen bases and stole 27 more bases than the next-closest player ever to 40 home runs.

“I don’t know what to say — just super excited, happy,” Acuna, surrounded by family and friends in his native Venezuela, told MLB Network in Spanish. “Hopefully, by the grace of God, I can have an even better year next year than the one I just had.”

Ronald Acuna Jr. Named a National League MVP Finalist

Ronald Acuna Jr. has landed on the MVP finals list…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player and Atlanta Braves outfielder is among the finalists for the National League MVP award, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced in a show televised on MLB Network.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,Acuña had a record-breaking season for the Braves, becoming the first player to finish a season with 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases.

The other two finalists for the award include former Braves star Freddie Freeman and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate, Mookie Betts.

Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas is among the American League Rookie of the Year finalists include Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson and Cleveland right-hander Tanner Bibee.

The AL Cy Young Award will come down to three right-handers vying for their first plaque: the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, Toronto Blue Jays’ Kevin Gausman and Minnesota Twins’ Sonny Gray, who officially hit free agency at 5:00 pm ET on Monday.

In the NL, left-hander Blake Snell — also a free agent — is the favorite to win his second Cy Young, while San Francisco’s Logan Webb and Zac Gallen of NL champion Arizona are seeking their first.

Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll is the distinct favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year and is a finalist alongside New York Mets right-hander Kodai Senga and Dodgers outfielder James Outman.

The final BBWAA award, Manager of the Year, is headlined in the NL by Craig Counsell, who was hired away Monday from Milwaukee by the Chicago Cubs. He’s opposed by Atlanta’s Brian Snitker and the favorite, Miami manager Skip Schumaker, who led the Marlins to the postseason despite a -57 run differential.

The AL slate is led by Rangers manager Bruce Bochy — who last won the award in 1996 — along with two-time winner Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay and Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde, who led the Orioles to a 101-win season and the AL East title.

Rookie of the Year results will be announced next week, with Manager of the Year on November 14, Cy Young on November 15 and MVP on November 16.