Framber Valdez & Three Houston Astros Relievers Tie MLB Record for Strikeouts in Nine-Inning Game

Framber Valdez has earned a place in Major League Baseball history…

The 28-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher and three Houston Astros relievers tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game, as the Astros won 4-2 for a sweep on Sunday of the Los Angeles Angels.

Framber ValdezTwelve different Los Angeles batters came to the plate and all of them struck out at least once. 

Valdez struck out a career-high 13 in six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks. Relievers Hector Neris and Rafael Montero each struck out two in scoreless innings and Ryan Pressly (2-2) fanned three in the ninth.

“It’s something that is very emotional and very exciting for me,” Valdez said through a translator after the game. “It’s very special to be a part of that.”

Astros manager Dusty Baker concurred.

“It’s very impressive. He was throwing strikes,” Baker said referring to Valdez, and when asked about the team total of 20, he simply replied, “Boy, that’s a lot.”

The 20 strikeouts is the most in a nine-inning game in Astros franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. There had been several occasions where other teams struck out 20, including performances by Max Scherzer, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood. The Astros’ previous record was 18 in 1964 against Cincinnati.

Houston pitchers fanned 47 in the series against the Angels.

Carlos Correa Agrees to Three-Year, $105.3 Million Contract with Minnesota Twins

Carlos Correa is Twinning

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop has agreed to a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Minnesota Twins that includes opt-outs after the first two seasons, according to ESPN.

Carlos Correa

Correa’s deal, which was first reported by Fox 26 Houston, will pay him $35.1 million in each of the three years, sources said.

Correa’s choice to play with the Twins comes as a surprise, given the team has lost 18 consecutive postseason games and finished last in the AL Central a year ago at 73-89.

His average salary makes him the highest paid Latino in the MLB, as he becomes baseball’s fourth highest behind New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer ($43.3 million), New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole ($36 million) and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout ($35.5 million).

 

A two-time MLB All-Star who was the first pick in the 2012 amateur draft, Correa led the Houston Astros‘ turnaround. Houston lost more than 100 games each year from 2011-13, then won its first World Series title by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in 2017.

He’s coming off perhaps his best season, posting a career-best 7.2 WAR, according to Baseball-Reference.com, which ranked third in the American League. He hit .279 with 26 homers, 92 RBIs and 104 runs for the Astros. The oft-injured Correa played in 148 games, his most since the 2016 season.

It was also Correa’s most decorated season. He appeared in the All-Star Game, finished fifth in AL MVP balloting, won his first Gold Glove at shortstop and was awarded a Platinum Glove by Rawlings as the AL’s top overall defender. Since Correa broke in for the Astros in 2015, he ranks sixth among all position players in WAR (34.1).

For all his regular-season exploits, Correa has been even more accomplished during the postseason. Since his first appearance for Houston in 2015, Correa ranks third among all players in postseason homers (18). His 59 RBIs in the playoffs are 10 more than any other player during that span.

Still, Correa remains a controversial figure because of his association with the sign-stealing scandal that tainted the Astros’ 2017 World Series title, and his adamant defense about the legitimacy of the championship. Before the 2020 season, he told reporters, “When you analyze the games, we won fair and square. We earned that championship.”

Despite the controversies, Correa is respected around the game as a clubhouse leader.

“If your best player is not a good leader, they can take you down the wrong road,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said of Correa during the 2021 playoffs. “Carlos is in the great category.”

Minnesota has not been to the World Series since winning the 1991 title and has lost its past eight postseason series since beating Oakland in a 2002 AL Division Series.

Correa has enjoyed great success in Minnesota as a visiting player, though. He has a .413 batting average (26-for-63) at Target Field with five homers and 20 RBIs in 15 games. His 1.205 OPS is his highest at any ballpark where he has played four or more games.

Correa became a free agent after rejecting the Astros’ qualifying offer, worth $18.4 million. As a result of his departure, Houston will recoup a compensatory draft pick.

Correa was the top overall pick of the 2012 amateur draft after being selected by Houston out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He then went on to win AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2015.

Francisco Lindor Elected to Executive Subcommittee of Major League Baseball Players Association

Francisco Lindor is representing his fellow players…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican Major League Baseball player, a shortstop for the Cleveland Indians, has been elected to the executive subcommittee of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Francisco Lindor

Lindor joins a roster of newcomers to the executive subcommittee that includes New York Yankees pitchers Zack Britton and Gerrit Cole, free-agent catcher Jason Castro and free-agent shortstop Marcus Semien.

They join St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Andrew Miller, free-agent pitcher James Paxton and Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer on the union’s highest-ranking member body.

The newcomers replace Elvis AndrusCory GearrinChris IannettaCollin McHugh and Daniel Murphy on the executive subcommittee.

Lindor and Semien were elected alternate association player representatives, Britton a pension committee representative, and Cole an alternate pension committee representatives.

Britton, Cole, Paxton and Scherzer are clients of agent Scott Boras. Semien is represented by the Wasserman agency, Lindor by SportsMeter, Miller by Frontline Athlete Management and Castro by ISE Baseball.

Cole, at $324 million over eight years, and Scherzer, at $210 million over six seasons, are among baseball’s highest-paid players.

Britton has a $53 million, three-year deal and Miller a $34.5 million, three-year contract. Lindor is eligible for arbitration after making $17.5 million. Semien had a $13 million salary last season, Paxton $12.5 million and Castro $6.85 million.

Anthony Rendon Among This Year’s MLB National League MVP Finalists

Anthony Rendonhas made the final cut…

The 29-year-old Mexican American Major League Baseball star has been named a finalist for the National League MVP award.

Anthony Rendon

Rendon, who hit key home runs in Games 6 and 7 of the World Series to help lead his Washington Nationals team to their first championship, will face off against Los Angeles Dodgersoutfielder Cody Bellingerand Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelichfor the MLB honor. Yelich won last year’s NL MVPaward with 29 of 30 first-place votes.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike TroutHouston Astros third baseman Alex Bregmanand Oakland Athleticsshortstop Marcus Semienare finalists for the American League MVPaward. Trout is seeking his third MVP award after winning in 2014 and ’16. He finished second in 2012, ’13, ’15 and ’18.

Houston’s Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are finalists for the AL Cy Young Award along with Tampa Bay Rays’ Charlie Morton, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America said. Verlander won the 2011 Cy Young with the Detroit Tigers, when he also was voted MVP.

New York Metsace Jacob deGromis a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award after getting 29 of 30 first-place votes last year. He is competing with Washington’s Max Scherzerand the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu. Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner.

New York Mets first baseman Pete AlonsoAtlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka and San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.are finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year. Houston designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe and Baltimore Orioles‘ left-hander John Means are the top candidates in the AL.

The New York Yankees‘ Aaron BooneMinnesota Twins‘ Rocco Baldelliand Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash are finalists for AL Manager of the Year. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker is a finalist to win the NL award for the second straight season, joined by the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Craig Counsell and St. Louis CardinalsMike Shildt.

Rookies of the Year will be announced on November 11, followed by Managers of the Year on November 12. Cy Young winners will be announced on November 13, and MVPs on November 14.

Quintana Named to American League All-Star Team

It’s a special first for Jose Quintana

The 27-year-old Colombian professional baseball player, a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, has replaced the Cleveland IndiansDanny Salazar on the American League All-Star roster.

Jose Quintana

A first-time All-Star, Quintana is 7-8 with a 3.21 ERA, sixth in the AL at the start of Sunday. He joins teammate Chris Sale on the AL roster.

Kansas City‘s Wade Davis, Boston‘s Craig Kimbrel and Toronto‘s Marco Estrada also were dropped from the AL pitching staff because of injuries, and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez were added.

In the National League, Los AngelesClayton Kershaw and New York‘s Noah Syndergaard got hurt and won’t pitch, along with Stephen Strasburg, who just came off the disabled list, and San Francisco‘s Madison Bumgarner, who starts Sunday. New York’s Bartolo Colon, San Diego‘s Drew Pomeranz and Washington‘s Max Scherzer were added.

In the infield, Aledmys Diaz replaced St. Louis teammate Matt Carpente. In the outfield, Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce and Pittsburgh‘s Starling Marte replaced the Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes and Chicago‘s Dexter Fowler.

Miami‘s Marcell Ozuna and Colorado‘s Carlos Gonzalez entered the starting lineup in place of Cespedes and Fowler.

Cabrera Named Player of the Year at Major League Baseball Players Choice Awards

Miguel Cabrera is getting some serious respect from his fellow Major League Baseball players…

The 30-year-old Venezuelan baseball star and Detroit Tigers slugger has won his second consecutive player of the year award in voting by his fellow major leaguers.

Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera followed his historic Triple Crown season of 2012 with another impressive year. He led the American League with a .348 average and had 44 homers and 137 RBIs, both second to Baltimore Orioles star Chris Davis. Cabrera edged Davis and the Angels’ Mike Trout for the honor.

Retiring Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was voted Marvin Miller man of the year for excellence on and off the field, and Rivera was also picked as the AL’s comeback player of the year, notching 44 saves after missing most of 2012 with a knee injury. Pittsburgh’s Francisco Liriano was selected the National League‘s comeback player.

For the second consecutive year, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen won NL outstanding player. Cabrera was selected AL outstanding player.

Other awards Monday night went to Detroit’s Max Scherzer (AL outstanding pitcher), the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (NL outstanding pitcher), Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers (AL outstanding rookie) and Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez (NL outstanding rookie).

Sánchez Reaches $80 Million, Five-Year Deal with the Detroit Tigers

Aníbal Sánchez is the Motor City’s $80 million dollar man…

The 28-year-old Venezuelan free-agent right-hander has reached an agreement with the Detroit Tigers on a five-year, $80 million deal, agent Gene Mato confirmed to ESPN.com Friday.

Anibal Sanchez

Sánchez is 48-51 with a 3.75 career ERA for the Tigers and Miami Marlins. He has been regarded by many observers as the second-most attractive starting pitcher on this winter’s free-agent market, behind Zack Greinke.

Sánchez reportedly had reached agreement on a five-year, $75 million contract Thursday with the Chicago Cubs, but the deal apparently went south and he elected to return to Detroit.

Sánchez impressed the Tigers with his performance after coming to Detroit with second baseman Omar Infante in a July deadline trade with the Marlins. He went 4-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 12 regular-season starts for manager Jim Leyland, and recorded a 1.77 ERA while going 1-2 in three postseason outings.

He will join Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister at the top of Detroit’s 2013 rotation.