Joely Rodriguez Agrees to $2 Million, One-Year Contract with Boston Red Sox

Joely Rodriguez is seeing Red (Sox)…

The 31-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher has agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, a deal that includes a team option for 2024.

Joely Rodriguez Rodriguez gets a $1.5 million salary next year, and the Red Sox’s option is for $4.25 million with a $500,000 buyout.

He can earn $250,000 in performance bonuses each year for games pitched: $50,000 each for 30 and each additional 10 through 70. In 2023, he also can earn $800,000 in roster bonuses: $200,000 apiece for 30, 60, 90 and 120 active days.

Rodriguez’s contract allows him to become a free agent when the deal expires.

The left-hander was 2-4 with a 4.47 ERA last season for the New York Mets, striking out 57 and walking 26 in 50⅓ innings while allowing three home runs.

Rodríguez is 5-9 with a 4.56 ERA in 157 relief appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies (2016-17), Texas Rangers (2020-21), New York Yankees (2021) and Mets (2022).

He spent 2018 and ’19 with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League.

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.

Houston Astros Rookie Sensation Jeremy Peña Named World Series MVP

Jeremy Peña has capped his remarkable rookie season with history-making prize…

The 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a shortstop for the Houston Astros, has become the first rookie position player to win the Willie Mays World Series MVP award after leading his team to the World Series title over the Philadelphia Phillies, four games to two.

Jeremy Peña“It has a lot to do with my family, my upbringing,” Pena said. “Shoutout to my teammates as well. They took me in since day one. They gave me the confidence to just go out and play my game.”

Peña came through in the clutch during all four of the Astros’ wins, and he was the team’s most consistent hitter as well.

In Game 2, Peña hit a first-inning RBI double to give Houston a 1-0 edge en route to a 5-2 win.

In Game 4, he had a single and a run during the Astros’ five-run fifth inning en route to a 5-0 victory.

In Game 5, he had three hits, a run and two RBI in a 3-2 victory. His two biggest hits were a first-inning RBI single and a fourth-inning solo home run.

In Game 6, the shortstop scored the game-winning run after hitting a single and scoring after Yordan Alvarez‘s towering three-run home run en route to the 4-1 clincher.

Peña also won the American League Championship Series MVP after hitting .353 with a pair of home runs in a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees. He is the first-ever player to win the ALCS and World Series MVP awards.

He filled big cleats this season after longtime shortstop Carlos Correa signed with the Minnesota Twins last offseason, but he excelled with 22 home runs, 63 RBI and a .715 OPS. And that was before an exemplary playoff performance that vaulted Houston to its second-ever World Series win.

Pena went 2-for-4 with a run scored Saturday at the plate while continuing to flash the defense that made him the first-ever rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove.

For the series, Pena hit .400, posted a 1.023 OPS and led all hitters with 10 hits and 15 total bases. Pena also smacked a go-ahead home run off Philadelphia’s Noah Syndergaard during Houston’s crucial 3-2 win in Game 5.

Pena, who was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, carried the flag of his homeland to the podium for his postgame news conference.

“Man, it’s special,” Pena said. “I can’t even put it into words right now, but shoutout to my Dominican people.”

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Pena’s OPS makes him just the fourth rookie to surpass 1.000 over a single World Series, minimum of 20 at-bats. He joins Pepper Martin, 1.330 (Cardinals, 1931); Andruw Jones, 1.250 (Braves, 1996); and Randy Arozarena, 1.234 (Rays, 2020).

During the regular season, Pena hit .253 with 22 homers, 63 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. He enters the offseason as a top candidate for American League Rookie of the Year.

Pena becomes the first rookie position player to win World Series MVP and third rookie overall, joining Larry Sherry (1959) and Livan Hernandez (1997).

Yordan Alvarez Leads Houston Astros to World Series Title After Hitting Massive Go-Ahead Home Run

With a massive swing, Yordan Alvarez helped propel the Houston Astros to a second World Series title.

The 25-year-old Cuban professional baseball designated hitter and left fielder hit a clutch late-inning home run to help the Astros take Game 6 from the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night by a 4-1 margin.

Yordan AlvarezIn the process Alvarez helped secure Houston’s second title in the last six years.

Alvarez came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with runners on first and third and one out in the inning. The Phillies, who had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the frame on a Kyle Schwarber home run, elected to replace right-handed starter Zack Wheeler with left-handed reliever José Alvarado. Unfortunately for Phillies manager Rob Thomson and crew, that decision did not pay off.

Alvarado fell behind 2-1 to Alvarez before throwing a 99 mph sinker that caught far too much of the plate. Alvarez made Alvarado pay for the mistake, too, crushing a home run to dead center that left his bat traveling at 112.5 mph and carried some 450 feet, according to Statcast. The home run gave the Astros a 3-1 lead with just nine outs separating them from another title.

The Astros’ win expectancy swung from 50.5 percent prior to the home run to 84.3 percent afterward, per FanGraphs‘ calculations

Alvarez had a big postseason in one respect, as he showed a knack for delivering go-ahead home runs. According to MLB.com‘s Sarah Langs‘ research, he became the only player in Major League Baseball history to record three go-ahead home runs in the sixth inning or later of a postseason game. To be clear: that’s on a career level, yet Alvarez did it all in this postseason alone.

Cristian Javier Teams with Houston Astros Relievers for Historic World Series No-Hitter

Cristian Javier has earned a place in World Series history…

The 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher teamed up with Houston Astros relievers Bryan AbreuRafael Montero and Ryan Pressly in completing the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, using his devastating fastball to vex a helpless Philadelphia Phillies lineup through the first six innings of what became a 5-0 Astros victory in Game 4 on Wednesday.

Cristian JavierThe Astros were coming off a difficult loss and needed Javier to rescue them from an overwhelming World Series deficit, but Javier’s parents Trinidad and Cecilio tried to strike an optimistic, supportive tone.

They proved to be prophetic.

“Let’s try to stay positive,” Javier recalled hearing from his mother and father. “God willing, you’ll throw a no-hitter.”

The win tied the Series at two games apiece and placed Javier in exceedingly rare company, joining former New York Yankees right-hander Don Larsen — author of a perfect game in 1956 — as the only pitchers in World Series history to finish an outing with no hits allowed in six or more innings.

“This is the best gift I could have ever given my family, my parents,” Javier said in Spanish. “To me, it’s even more special knowing that they were able to see that in person.”

Javier’s start was a reenactment of the combined no-hitter he played a key role in against the New York Yankees on June 25, making Javier the first pitcher to start multiple combined no-hitters within a career, let alone the same season. He set the tone for what became the third no-hitter of any kind in the 119 years that Major League Baseball has staged the postseason, and the second — along with Roy Halladay‘s in the 2010 National League Division Series, against a Cincinnati Reds team managed by current Astros manager Dusty Baker — that took place at Citizens Bank Park.

“That’s what’s strange about life,” Baker said of finally getting on the right side of a postseason no-hitter. “I remember being on the other end of that. It was the seventh inning and it seemed like it was the second inning, and I looked up on the board and it’s the seventh inning already. Then you’re trying not to be no-hit and then you’re trying to win the ballgame and — yeah, that’s pretty remarkable.”

Javier himself is remarkable. He was signed for $10,000 seven years ago from La Victoria, a small town within Santo Domingo known mostly for the notorious prison that shares its name. He was nearing his 18th birthday then, old in an international market where prospects agree to deals at 12 and 13 years old, and he threw only in the mid-80s. But his fastball was already extremely difficult to hit. As he got stronger, his velocity continued to increase. He became the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2019, established himself as a dynamic weapon — in the rotation or out of the bullpen — in 2020 and 2021, and reached a new level in 2022, posting a 2.54 ERA in 148⅔ regular-season innings.

As the year went on, Javier only got better.

Dating back to September 14, the right-hander has thrown at least five scoreless innings and allowed no more than two hits in six consecutive starts. He is now the first pitcher in postseason history with at least five innings and no more than one hit allowed in back-to-back starts.

“Just going into today’s game, we had so much confidence in him,” Astros center fielder Chas McCormick said. “Even coaches, I had a feeling — Javier’s going to shove today. And he’s been shoving.”

Javier struck out nine batters and issued just two walks through the first six innings. At the start of the fourth, he began a stretch of five consecutive strikeouts. In the sixth, the pitcher with the lowest groundball rate in the majors during the regular season — among those who compiled at least 140 innings — benefitted from three consecutive groundouts. At that point, Javier became the first pitcher to reach six no-hit innings in the World Series since Jerry Koosman in 1969.

Javier did it with his four-seam fastball. He threw it 72% of the time, the highest percentage of his major league career, and recorded 14 of his 18 outs — including two-thirds of his strikeouts — with that pitch. He also got 27 foul balls off it, the most of any pitcher on a singular pitch in a game this season, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. It was a sign that the Phillies were consistently late, the main characteristic Astros co-pitching coach Joshua Miller looks for in Javier.

“It’s a good fastball,” Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarber said. “He’s got good extension, good ride, things like that. When it says ’92’ up on the board, it’s playing a little bit harder than that.”

There have been 18 combined no-hitters throughout major league history, but none have come particularly close to occurring in the postseason. The only other one that extended through seven innings was done by the Atlanta Braves, against these Astros, in Game 3 of last year’s World Series. Javier, Abreu, Montero, Pressly and Astros catcher Christian Vazquez, who filled in for Martin Maldonado largely because of how well he works with Javier, all posed with the baseball on the field postgame. The National Baseball Hall of Fame preserved one of the baseballs Javier pitched with and got it signed by all five players, also keeping a rosin bag and John Smoltz‘s scoresheet.

“It’s a very special day for us,” Vazquez said.

J.D. Martinez Added to MLB All-Star Game Roster

J.D. Martinez is getting his all-star moment after all…

The 34-year-old Cuban American professional baseball player, a designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, has been added to the MLB All-Star Game rosters, according to the league.

J.D. Martinez Martinez is part of a roster of new additions that includes Garrett Cooper, and an Francisco Giants ace Carlos Rodon.

Martinez replaces Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez and becomes the third Boston Red Sox player to land on the American League roster along with Xander Bogaerts and have been added to the All-Star rosters, MLB announced Tuesday.

Cooper steps in for reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper. The Philadelphia Phillies‘ star has a fractured thumb. Cooper gives the Miami Marlins three All-Stars as he joins teammates Sandy Alcantara and Jazz Chisholm Jr. 

Rodon was one of the more notable snubs when rosters were announced, but he ends up making his second All-Star appearance by replacing Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader, who has family responsibilities.

Rodon (8-5, 2.70 ERA) was selected by the league to fill in for Hader, while Martinez and Cooper were next up in voting at their positions. This is the fifth time Martinez has been an All-Star, but the first time for Cooper.

Dodger Stadium will host the MLB All-Star Game next Tuesday night at 7:30 pm ET.

Pete Alonso Vying to Win Third-Straight Home Run Derby Crown

Pete Alonso is hoping for a three-peat…

The 27-year-old part-Spanish American professional baseball player and New York Mets first baseman will take part in this year’s Home Run Derby next week in Los Angeles.

Pete AlonsoMajor League Baseball made the announcement on Monday on its official Twitter page, confirming the return of one of the Derby’s most successful hitters.

“It’s a really fun event,” Alonso told reporters in the Mets clubhouse Monday before their 4-1 win over the Braves in Atlanta. “It’s going to be super exciting, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Also before the game, the Braves announced that star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will participate in the Derby. And later Monday, St. Louis Cardinals veteran Albert Pujols entered into the Derby as well, giving the former Los Angeles Dodgers slugger a chance participate in a familiar park.

“It’s an honor to be back in the All-Star Game and to have a chance to be part of the Home Run Derby, that’s something I enjoy a lot and my kids will have a blast,” Pujols said Monday night. “Hopefully, I can put on a good show for them, because at the end of the day, it’s not about us, it’s about putting a good show for the fans.”

Washington Nationals star outfielder Juan Soto and Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber, who leads the National League in home runs with 28, also will participate in the event, their teams announced Tuesday.

Last year, in Denver, Alonso outlasted Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini to become the third back-to-back Home Run Derby champion.

Alonso recorded 74 home runs — totaling 6.35 miles in distance — en route to the crown.

“I think I’m the best power hitter on the planet,” Alonso said after the win last year. “Being able to showcase that, and really putting on a fun display for fans, I just think it’s a dream come true for me because when I was young, my parents let me stay up past my bedtime to watch this. That was one of the few nights per year I actually got to stay up past my bedtime, just watch incredible feats that you don’t see in a regular baseball game.”

And now Dodger Stadium will be his stage next Monday, as he takes a break from a regular season that has New York fans thinking about a postseason run. The Mets enter play on Monday with a 53-33 record and a first-place standing in the National League East. Alonso leads the team with 23 home runs to go along with a .273 batting average and 70 RBIs.

Last year — with New York bench coach Dave Jauss pitching to him — Alonso wowed the crowd at Coors Field with a final-round total of 23, in joining Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Cespedes (2013-14) in winning consecutive titles.

“This is just surreal,” Alonso said at the time. “It’s just truly a blessing.”

Alonso confirmed Monday that Jauss will again be his pitcher next week.

“Just need to give him about two pots of coffee for before and a case of Bud Light for after, and he said he’s good to go,” Alonso said.

Washington Nationals Star Juan Soto Hits 100th Career Home Run

He’s only 23, but Juan Soto has already joined elite Major League Baseball company…

On Tuesday night, the Dominican professional baseball outfielder for the Washington Nationals hit home run No. 100 at just 23 years old.

Juan Soto“It means a lot,” Soto said following the Nationals’ 16-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. “It’s just a number that not many players get to, and it feels an honor to be there.”

Soto rocked an 89.5 mph cutter from Braves right-hander Bryce Elder a Statcast-projected 451 feet to right-center field at 112.5 mph.

The milestone dinger was the fourth-longest of his career.

“For me, it’s just a blessing,” Soto said. “It just comes to me. I never tried to hit a homer, or anything like that. I’m one of the guys who just tries to hit singles every day. So for me to become consistent hitting homers, it’s just impressive and it tells how good I’ve been working on my body and everything.”

At 23 years and 169 days, Soto is just the seventh active player to belt 100 homers at age 23 and younger, per Elias Sports Bureau.

He joined Miguel Cabrera (23 years, 127 days), Bryce Harper (23 years, 181 days), Ronald Acuña Jr. (23 years, 184 days), Albert Pujols (23 years, 185 days), Giancarlo Stanton (23 years, 221 days) and Mike Trout (23 years, 253 days).

Soto first homered in 2018, his age-19 season.

“It’s awesome,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s so young, and for him to get his 100th home run at this early stage in his career, he’s going to hit a lot more. I’m happy for him. He swung the bat well today, he really did.”

The milestone home run adds to Soto’s success against the team’s National League East rival. He has hit 14 dingers against the Braves in 58 games, second to only his offensive production vs. the Philadelphia Phillies (17 home runs in 60 games). He also increased his Truist Park homer total to nine, third most at any opposing stadium behind Citizens Bank Park (12) and Citi Field (10).

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.

Hector Neris Agrees to Two-Year, $17 Million Deal with Houston Astros

Hector Neris is celebrating an Astros-nomical deal…

The 32-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher and the Houston Astros have agreed to a two-year, $17 million deal, according to ESPN.

Hector Neris

Neris, a right-handed reliever, started the 2021 season as the closer for the Philadelphia Phillies but lost the job in June. He finished the season with a 4-7 record with 12 saves and a 3.63 ERA in 74 games.

In parts of eight seasons with the Phillies, Neris was 21-29 with a 3.42 ERA and 84 saves.

NBC Sports Philadelphia first reported the deal.