Robert Suarez Agrees to $46 Million, Five-Year Contract with San Diego Padres

Robert Suarez has landed a father of a deal…

The 31-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher and reliever has agreed to remain with the San Diego Padres under a $46 million, five-year contract, according to multiple reports.

Robert Suarez The deal, pending a physical, was first reported by MLB Network. Suarez can opt out after three years and become a free agent again, the reports said.

Suarez, a rookie, was having a terrific postseason until allowing Bryce Harper‘s go-ahead, two-run homer with no outs in the eighth inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series that sent the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series.

Manager Bob Melvin was criticized by some for letting Suarez pitch to Harper instead of using left-hander Josh Hader. Melvin said Hader wasn’t ready when Harper came to bat and that he wanted to get through the final three innings with Suarez and Hader, the Padres’ two best relievers. Melvin said he wanted to get two outs from Suarez in the eighth and the final four outs from Hader. Philadelphia won 4-3.

Suarez, who is represented by Amuse Sports, will make salaries of $10 million in each of the first three years of the deal and $8 million in the last two. Additionally, he can make up to $3 million per season if he finishes a certain number of games. Those incentives will pay off if Hader is not retained after his contract expires following next season and Suarez becomes the closer.

Suarez was especially impressive in the NL Division Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, throwing four scoreless innings in three appearances. He pitched two scoreless innings in a wild-card series win against the New York Mets.

He went 5-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 45 appearances during the regular season.

Albert Pujols to Play in Dominican Professional Baseball League This Winter

Albert Pujols is heading south for the winter…

The 31-year-old Dominican professional baseball and Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman is ready to fulfill a promise of playing in the Dominican Professional Baseball League this winter, while reiterating his interest in playing in the majors until “I feel I can’t play anymore.”

Albert Pujols

Pujols, who was officially introduced late last week as the newest player on the Leones del Escogido, will see action for the first time in the Dominican Republic.

“I made a promise,” Pujols said. “I said I was going to play here before I retire. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to retire yet. My time to retire hasn’t arrived yet. Why do I have to retire because someone tells me to? I’m going to do it on my terms and when I feel I can’t play anymore.”

Pujols played 109 games in his 21st season in the majors, which ended when the Atlanta Braves beat the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. He said he has a “game plan” in mind for the number of games that he will be playing in the Dominican league.

“I have an agreement with the team board. I have a family, commitments,” Pujols said. “I will play the games that my body allows me, but I will be helping the team in whatever it needs.”

Pujols added: “When Albert Pujols gets tired of playing baseball, that’s it. I’m not going to go out there and embarrass myself. I’ve trained really hard and worked on my body to be able to have a good career. … I know what I can do.”

The Santo Domingo native, who turns 42 in January, was drafted in 2002 by the Gigantes del Cibao in the LIDOM, but he never played winter baseball in the Dominican Republic, where the season ends in January.

“Since I was a child I always wanted to play at the Quisqueya Stadium. It is a dream come true,” Pujols said.

Pujols was greeted by his teammates and executives at the Leones Stadium when he arrived for his presentation and first practice with the team.

“Bringing Pujols to the local ball is an organization-wide effort for the good of our baseball and shows everyone’s commitment in this centennial year of the team,” Leones general manager Jose Gomez Frias said in a statement.

Pujols will wear the No. 5, which is retired by the team in honor of Leones legend Junior Noboa, but Noboa will allow Pujols to wear it. Noboa, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians, among other MLB teams, is currently the baseball commissioner for the Dominican Republic.

A 10-time MLB All-Star, Pujols’ 679 career home runs are fifth-most all-time and most among active players. He won World Series championships with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and 2011.

Enrique Hernandez Agrees to Two-Year, $14 Million Deal with Boston Red Sox

Enrique Hernandez is seeing Red (Sox)

The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal with the 29-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball utility player, according to ESPN.

Enrique Hernandez

Hernandez, originally acquired from the Miami Marlins as part of a seven-player trade in December 2014, was a key cog for the Los Angeles Dodgers over the past six years because of his infectious energy, defensive versatility and production against left-handed pitching.

Hernandez is a career .240/.313/.425 hitter, making him slightly below league average, but he can provide premium defense as a middle infielder and in the outfield.

From 2016 to 2020, Hernandez compiled 5.7 FanGraphs wins above replacement.

One of his greatest highlights with the Dodgers came in October, when he hit the tying home run in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

Julio Urías Makes MLB History as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Game 7 Closer Against the Atlanta Braves

Julio Urías has etched his name into the annals of Major League Baseball history…

On Sunday night, the 24-year-old Mexican professional baseball player, a former child prodigy, pitched the Los Angeles Dodgers into the 2020 World Series.

Julio Urías

“It was his moment,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Urías entered the seventh inning of a tied game and retired the next nine Atlanta Braves batters in order, requiring only 39 pitches to do so. He blanked the over the final three innings of a 4-3 victory in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in Arlington, Texas.

With that, the left-hander became only the second reliever to close out a winner-take-all game with at least three no-hit innings. The other: Pedro Martinez in his famous six-inning performance in Game 5 of the 1999 American League Division Series for the Boston Red Sox against the Cleveland Indians.

It was Urias’ second win of the series, the first coming only four days earlier, when he threw 101 pitches in a Game 3 start.

His fastball touching 96 mph, he recorded his first three outs on only 10 pitches.

The quick seventh inning positioned Urías to earn the victory when Cody Bellinger launched a 94-mph sinker by Chris Martin into the right-field stands in the bottom of the inning.

Urías responded by navigating through the middle of the Braves’ order in the eighth inning. Their best hitter, Freddie Freeman, worked a nine-pitch at-bat, but Urías ultimately made him line out weakly to center field.

In Roberts’ mind, there was little question about who would pitch the ninth inning.

Kenley Jansen had pitched in each of the two previous games. This was Urías’ game to finish.

“I trust him,” Roberts said.

Urías forced Ozzie Albies to ground out. He made Dansby Swanson do the same. And when his changeup was lazily golfed to center field by Austin Riley, Urías raised his arms skyward.

Bellinger caught the fly ball, prompting Will Smith to approach the mound in celebration. Urías slapped Smith’s chest protector and embraced the catcher.

In the immediate aftermath of the victory, NLCS most valuable player Corey Seager marveled at Urías’ composure.

“That was his moment right there,” Seager said. “That was his game to win, and he went out and did it.”

Baez Named National League Championship Series Co-MVP

Javier Baez has etched his name in the MLB history books…

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball infielder for the Chicago Cubs has been selected as a National League Championship Series co-MVP alongside starter Jon Lester on Saturday night, after leading the Cubs to their first NL pennant since 1945.

Javier Baez

Baez hit .318 (7-for-22) with five RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, picking up right where he left off in the division series.

The versatile Baez also made a couple of the most exciting plays in the NLCS, stealing home during Chicago’s victory in the opener and robbing Adrian Gonzalez of a hit with a terrific, bare-handed scoop in Game 5 on Thursday night.

“Just having fun,” Baez said. “Living my dream, playing like a little kid, moving everywhere, catching the ball and making plays.”

Next up for Baez and the Cubs: the World Series against Francisco Lindor and the Cleveland Indians, beginning Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Baez and Lindor are part of a dynamic group of young players from Puerto Rico that also includes Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

Baez “grew up in Puerto Rico, played a lot of baseball as a youth, played a lot of winter ball,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s been taught properly and well. And when he goes out there, man, you saw him before the game sitting on the bench, saw him waving into the camera. He’s just being himself. I love that.”

Lester and Baez became the first NLCS co-MVPs since Cincinnati Reds relievers Rob Dibble and Randy Myers in 1990.

The Cubs grabbed Baez with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 2014 but really turned into a consistent force this year, batting .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs while playing several different positions.

Baez Makes Chicago Cubs History in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series

Life’s a steal for Javier Baez

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican Chicago Cubs second baseman stole home in the second inning of Saturday’s National League Championship Series game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the first Cubs player to do so in the postseason since 1907.

Javier Baez

Baez reached second base on a hustle double and advanced to third on a wild pitch before stealing home.

With pitcher Jon Lester at the plate, Baez ventured off third base as Lester turned to bunt. Lester took the pitch, and catcher Carlos Ruiz immediately threw to third base, trying to catch Baez napping.

Instead, Baez took off for home, beating third baseman Justin Turner’s throw back to Ruiz and scoring the Cubs’ third run of the game.

Baez is the first player to steal home in any postseason game since Elvis Andrus in the 2010 American League Championship Series.