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.

Christian Arroyo Agrees to Minor League Deal with Milwaukee Brewers

Things are brewing for Christian Arroyo.

The 28-year-old half-Puerto Rican professional baseball player has agreed to a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers that includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Christian Arroyo An infielder, Arroyo hit .241 with a .268 on-base percentage, 3 homers and 24 RBIs in 66 games for the Boston Red Soxlast season. He played primarily second base but also made appearances at shortstop and third base.

He also has big league experience at first base and right field.

Arroyo has a .252 batting average, a .299 on-base percentage, 24 homers and 120 RBIs in 295 regular-season games. He has played for San Francisco (2017), Tampa Bay (2018-19), Cleveland (2020) and Boston (2020-23).

Texas Rangers Sign Diego Castillo to Minor League Deal

Diego Castillo has joined the Texas Rangers organization…

The 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher, a veteran reliever, is among seven free agents who’ve signed minor league contracts with the Texas Rangers that include invitations to spring training with the World Series champions.

Diego Castillo, The Rangers announced the signings Wednesday of Castillo and two other right-handed pitchers, Gerardo Carrillo and Jesus Tinoco, along with catcher Andrew Knapp and outfielders Sandro Fabian, Elier Hernandez and Derek Hill.

Castillo has a 24-18 record with 35 saves and 3.22 ERA over six big league seasons with Tampa Bay Rays (2018-21) and Seattle Mariners (2021-23), with opponents hitting only .200 against him. The right-hander, who turns 30 on January 18, allowed six earned runs over 8⅔ innings in eight relief appearances for the Mariners last season.

Tinoco had a 2.93 ERA in 38 appearances this year for the Saitama Seibu Lions of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization in Japan. Before that, he made 48 appearances over four big league seasons with the Colorado Rockies (2019-21), Miami Marlins (2021) and Texas (2022). He pitched in 17 games for the Rangers, and in one of his two starts allowed the 62nd home run hit by New York Yankees star Aaron Judge to break the AL single-season record.

Rangers pitchers and catchers will have their first spring training workout in Surprise, Arizona, on February 14.

The first full-squad workout is scheduled for February 19.

Emilio Pagan Signs Two-Year Deal with Cincinnati Reds

Emilio Pagan is headed to Ohio…

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball player has signed with the Cincinnati Reds on a two-year deal for the right-handed reliever.

Emilio Pagan, The deal is reportedly worth $16,000,000 and includes both a player option after the first season and performance bonuses.

The Cincinnati Reds are expecting to spend money this offseason according to Bob Castellini, with the signing of Pagan considered the first of several deals the team makes this offseason to add to their 82-win club from 2023 that’s full of young talent.

Pagan spent the 2023 season with the Minnesota Twins and had one of the best years of his career.

He pitched in 66 games and threw 69.1 innings while posting a 2.99 ERA, giving up 45 hits – including 5 home runs – to go along with 21 walks and 65 strikeouts.

He has played in the MLB for the Tampa Bay RaysSeattle MarinersOakland AthleticsSan Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins. He plays for the Puerto Rico national baseball team.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Star Yandy Diaz Wins His First Silver Slugger Award

Yandy Diaz is celebrating his first silver moment…

The 32-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and Tampa Bay Rays star has won his first Silver Slugger Award, which is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball.

Yandy DiazDiaz, who has played for the Rays since 2019, won the award in the American League’s first base position. He was this year’s AL batting champion.

Seattle Mariners’ star Julio Rodriguez has picked up his second Silver Slugger Award.

The 22-year-old Dominican professional baseball center fielder won one of the outfield awards in the American League.

In the National League voting, 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player William Contreras, who plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, has claimed his maiden Silver Slugger.

NL batting champion Luis Arraez (.354) of the Miami Marlins won his second in a row after winning in 2022 with the AL‘s Minnesota Twins.

Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. collected his third Silver Slugger Award in the outfield, alongside San Diego PadresJuan Soto, who claimed his fourth award.

Francisco Lindor, the 29-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop for the New York Mets, picked up the third Silver Slugger prize of his career.

The Texas Rangers received their first American League Offensive Team of the Year honor.

Louisville Slugger presented the Atlanta Braves with the inaugural National League Offensive Team of the Year award as determined by a combination of offensive statistics and a fan vote for finalists between September 25-October 1.

Both the Rangers and Braves led their leagues in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

Here’s the full list of winners: 

American League
C: Adley Rutschman (Baltimore)
1B: Yandy Diaz (Tampa Bay)
2B: Marcus Semien (Texas)
SS: Corey Seager (Texas)
3B: Rafael Devers (Boston)
OF: Kyle Tucker (Houston), Julio Rodriguez (Seattle), Luis Robert Jr. (Chicago)
DH: Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles)
UTIL: Gunnar Henderson (Baltimore)

National League
C: William Contreras (Milwaukee)
1B: Matt Olson (Atlanta)
2B: Luis Arraez (Miami)
SS: Francisco Lindor (New York)
3B: Austin Riley (Atlanta)
OF: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta), Mookie Betts (Los Angeles), Juan Soto (San Diego)
DH: Bryce Harper (Philadelphia)
UTIL: Cody Bellinger (Chicago)

Pete Alonso to Vie for Third Title at This Year’s MLB All-Star Home Run Derby

Pete Alonso is gunnin’ for a triple crown…

The 28-year-old part-Spanish American professional baseball player and New York Mets first baseman will participate in the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby on July 10 in Seattle, as he looks to win the title for the third time.

Pete Alonso“I’m stoked,” Alonso said after hitting his 25th homer Sunday night in New York’s 8-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants. “It’s a really fun event. The field is extremely talented and I think this is going to be a derby that a lot of people are going to remember for a long time.”

Alonso was selected to his third MLB All-Star team earlier in the day, and New York’s lone representative on the National League squad will take part in the derby for the fourth time.

He joins a field so far that also includes Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez.

Alonso won the competition in 2019 and 2021. Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Céspedes (2013-14) are the only other back-to-back champions in the history of the event, which began in 1985.

The 2020 edition was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his rookie season, Alonso edged Guerrero 23-22 in the final round with just seconds to spare to claim a $1 million prize.

Two years later, Alonso hit 74 homers at Coors Field in Colorado and won the derby by edging Trey Mancini in the finals.

Last year at Dodger Stadium, Alonso topped Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. in the first round before losing 31-23 to Rodríguez in the semifinals.

Alonso is hitting .221 with 25 homers and 58 RBIs in 76 games this season. He missed 10 games with a bruised left wrist but made a speedy return from the injury.

“I thought that the derby wasn’t necessarily the biggest priority when I was coming back from the wrist,” Alonso said. “It was trying to come back and be as productive as I can for my team. If I’m able to play a game, I’m definitely going to be able to take batting practice. So for me the biggest concern was getting back to the team. The derby for me is a happy bonus.”

Tampa Bay Rays Star Randy Arozarena to Compete in His First Home Run Derby

Randy Arozarena is preparing to take a swing at a first home run title…

The 28-year-old Cuban-Mexican professional baseball outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, an MLB All-Star, will take part in the 2023 Home Run Derby, Arozarena announced via social media.

Randy ArozarenaThis will be Arozarena’s first time in the Home Run Derby, and makes him the third Rays player to participate in one, after Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena.

“He’s excited about it,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I can feel very confident in saying he will be very entertaining. I know the fans enjoy watching Randy, I enjoy watching Randy. He’s got that “It” factor, and this is just another level to it.”

Arozarena is the fourth announced participant in the eight-man July 10 contest at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, joining Seattle Mariners‘ centerfielder Julio RodríguezToronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts.

“I feel very happy for the opportunity to participate in the Home Run Derby,” Arozarena said. “It’s always been a goal of mine, and also to be in the All-Star game itself. Everyone knows I like to hit home runs, so that is another reason why I wanted to be able to participate.”

Arozarena has 15 home runs so far this season, second on the Rays behind Jose Siri, who has 16. With Arozarena’s bubbly personality and penchant for dramatic on-field moments, Cash sees him as a perfect fit for the Derby’s big stage.

“There are some people that just have it,” Cash said. “I don’t know what it is, like you can’t pin it down. You watch him, I think every time there is a picture taken of him or he’s on TV, he’s smiling, and most of the time fans can really relate to that. I appreciate that, and then you add the component that he’s a really special talent, with speed, with power. He’s fun to watch.”

Atlanta‘s Ronald Acuña Jr., who topped all players in votes, said he will not participate for a third time.

Juan Soto won last year’s derby at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, edging Rodríguez 19-18 in the final round.

Nolan Arenado Named a Starter for His Eighth MLB All-Star Game

Nolan Arenado will be starting in yet another Major League Baseball All-Star Game… 

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American professional baseball a third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals has been voted as a starter for the MLB All-Star Game in Seattle next month.

Nolan ArenadoArenado will be headed to the All-Star Game for the eighth time in his career.

The final round of voting was announced on Thursday evening and revealed three starters from the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, while the MLB-leading Tampa Bay Rays will have two starters — Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena.

Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Corbin Carroll also made the team as a starter in the outfield, where he’ll join veterans Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuna Jr.

Other highlights from the second phase of voting include Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez beating out Philadelphia Phillies DH Bryce Harper in a close vote (53% to 47%), denying Harper of the National League honor after his quick return from Tommy John surgery.

Meanwhile, Mike Trout earned his 11th All-Star appearance while Freddie Freeman is the National League‘s starter at first base in his seventh All-Star Game.

MLB’s leading hitter, Luis Arraez, also was named a starter, beating out Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies. Arraez was batting over .400 as recently as this past weekend, but saw that mark drop to .392 on Thursday.

“I almost cried there,” Arraez said after learning of his election.

Albies’ teammate, catcher Sean Murphy, won out over Dodgers backstop Will Smith to garner his first All-Star appearance.

Shohei Ohtani (DH) and Acuna were previously announced as starters after leading their respective leagues in first-round voting.

All-Star pitchers and reserves will be named on Sunday.

The game takes place on Tuesday, July 11, at T-Mobile Park.

Here are the 2022 MLB All-Star Game starters:

American League
C — Jonah Heim, Rangers
1B — Yandy Diaz, Rays
2B — Marcus Semien, Rangers
SS — Corey Seager, Rangers
3B — Josh Jung, Rangers
DH — Shohei Ohtani, Angels
OF — Mike Trout, Angels
OF — Randy Arozarena, Rays
OF — Aaron Judge, Yankees

National League
C — Sean Murphy, Braves
1B — Freddie Freeman, Dodgers
2B — Luis Arraez, Marlins
SS — Orlando Arcia, Braves
3B — Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
DH — J.D. Martinez, Dodgers
OF — Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves
OF — Mookie Betts, Dodgers
OF — Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks

Yandy Díaz Helps Team Extend the Tampa Bays Rays Season-Opening Win Streak to 11

Yandy Díaz and his Tampa Bay Rays teammates are inching closer to Major League Baseball history.

The Cuban-born professional baseball infielder and his Rays team members have run their season-opening win streak to 11 games, moving closer to history by defeating the Boston Red Sox 7-2 on Tuesday night.

Yandy DíazDíaz and Brandon Lowe hit back-to-back solo shots with two out in the fifth inning. Lowe extended his homer streak to four straight games.

Isaac Paredes and Josh Lowe also connected for the Rays, and Shane McClanahan (3-0) struck out nine while pitching five-plus innings of one-run ball.

“This team is having a lot of fun right now, we’re doing what we need to do every single night,” Josh Lowe said in his postgame, on-field interview. “We’re just going to keep it rolling as long as we can.”

The 1987 Milwaukee Brewers and the 1982 Atlanta Braves share the MLB record for the best start to a season at 13-0. The Rays are closing in.

“We’re just getting good pitches to hit. That’s all, really,” Josh Lowe said. “We’ve all worked really hard to get to this point that we’re at right now. We’re keeping it simple, and staying within ourselves. … We’re doing our job.”

The four homers brought Tampa Bay’s total to 29, matching the major league record through 11 games set by the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals. It was the Rays’ third four-homer game of the young season.

“It’s unbelievable. Everyone kind of wrote us off about our offense,” McClanahan said. “But we believe in these guys, and they are showing why we believe in them. It’s been awesome.”

Boston’s Alex Cora has watched his club produce just three runs in this series, and that was after the Rays posted back-to-back shutouts of the Oakland Athletics. But the manager has been impressed with Tampa Bay’s offense, as well.

“They’re playing good baseball right now. They did a few things offensively that they have cleaned up compared to last year, their approach is a lot different,” Cora said. “They’re putting good swings on good pitches and hitting the ball out of the ballpark.”

Sergio Romo to Retire as Member of San Francisco Giants Organization

Sergio Romo will end his career in Giant(s) fashion…

The San Francisco Giants have signed the 40-year-old Mexican American professional baseball pitcher, a longtime reliever, who will retire as a member of the team at the end of spring training.

Sergio RomoRomo signed a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training. He’ll retire March 27 during the Giants’ final spring training game against the Oakland Athletics.

“The relationship that Giants fans have with their players is unique — few exemplify that bond more than Sergio,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said in a statement Saturday. “After all that he accomplished as a Giant from 2008 to 2016, including his huge contributions to the championship teams, it’s a thrill to have him back in a San Francisco uniform.”

Romo won three World Series titles with San Francisco while spending the first nine years of his major league career with the team. He earned his only MLB All-Star appearance in 2013, when he set a career high with 38 saves.

He holds the Giants’ franchise record for postseason appearances by a pitcher with 27. His 515 games pitched with the team rank fifth all-time, while his 84 saves rank seventh.

After leaving the Giants as a free agent, Romo also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (2017), Tampa Bay Rays (2017-18), Miami Marlins (2019), Minnesota Twins (2019-20), Oakland Athletics (2021), Seattle Mariners (2022) and Toronto Blue Jays (2022).

Romo has 137 career saves in 15 major league seasons, going 42-36 with a 3.21 ERA in 821 relief appearances and five starts.