Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • MLB notebook: All teams to participate in Stoneman Douglas tribute
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    All 30 Major League Baseball teams will recognize the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by wearing the school's baseball hats at the opening spring training games Friday and Saturday.

    • Seventeen people were killed in a mass shooting at the Parkland, Fla., school on Feb. 14. A former student at the school was arrested and charged with premeditated murder.

      Baseball's tribute began when the Miami Marlins announced Tuesday that players, coaches and personnel would wear Stoneman Douglas hats for the Grapefruit League opener Friday at Jupiter, Fla.

      Later Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that all team personnel and umpires would wear the school's hats pregame Friday, with the option to continue wearing the hats during the games that day. Players subsequently will sign the hats and donate them to an auction benefiting the Broward Education Foundation, which will designate the proceeds to the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund, according to MLB.com.

      --After losing free agent slugger J.D. Martinez, the Arizona Diamondbacks apparently are trying to replace some of the missing power.

      In a three-way trade, Arizona dealt infielder Brandon Drury to the New York Yankees and received slugging right fielder Steven Souza from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to multiple reports.

      The Diamondbacks also will receive right-handed pitcher Taylor Widener from the Yankees, according to the New York Post. FanRag and ESPN both reported that the Yankees are shipping second base prospect Nick Solak to Rays.

      --The Minnesota Twins signed right-hander Anibal Sanchez to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract.

      Sanchez, who turns 34 on Feb. 27, agreed to a deal that would pay him $2.5 million should he make the major league club out of spring training. He officially joined workouts with the team on Tuesday.

      Sanchez can also earn $2.5 million in incentives.

      --The Martinez signing in Boston caused its first ripple effect, as the Red Sox traded minor league outfielder Bryce Brentz to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.

      Brentz, 29, is out of minor league options and will try to win a job at spring training camp with the Pirates. He played a combined 34 major league games for Boston in 2014 and 2016, hitting .311 with one homer and nine RBIs.

      --With No. 35 not available in San Diego, Eric Hosmer found a way to honor late close friend Yordano Ventura.

      Hosmer announced Tuesday that he would wear No. 30 with the Padres, the number Ventura wore when the two were teammates with the Kansas City Royals. On Monday, Hosmer signed an eight-year, $144 million deal with San Diego, the richest contract in team history.

      Ventura was killed 13 months ago in a car accident in the Dominican Republic at age 25.

      --Perhaps the Philadelphia Phillies can pull an ace out of their sleeve days into spring training.

      According to MLB Network, the Phillies are engaged in preliminary contract talks with ace right-hander Jake Arrieta, the 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner with the Chicago Cubs. Arrieta, 31, is a surprise leftover on the market in the final days of February.

      However, the Scott Boras client is reportedly generating significant interest from multiple National League teams even after declining a six-year deal from the Cubs that opened the door for Yu Darvish to join Chicago's staff.

      --Harsh opinions of the offseason moves made by the Marlins have been splashed everywhere for months, but manager Don Mattingly rejected the input of one notable division rival.

      Washington Nationals All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper said he was shocked when the Marlins traded away their entire outfield -- National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, center fielder Christian Yelich and left fielder Marcell Ozuna.

      "He doesn't really know what goes on over here," Mattingly said. "He may think he does, but he doesn't know what the discussions are. He doesn't know our players."

      --Field Level Media

  • 3-way trade sends Souza to D-backs, Drury to Yanks
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    After losing free agent slugger J.D. Martinez, the Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to replace some of the missing power.

    • In a three-way trade Tuesday, Arizona dealt infielder Brandon Drury to the New York Yankees and received slugging right fielder Steven Souza from the Tampa Bay Rays.

      The Diamondbacks also got right-handed pitching prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees. New York shipped second base prospect Nick Solak to Rays.

      Arizona will give up three minor-leaguers, with prized left-hander Anthony Banda and two other players to be named going from the Diamondbacks to Tampa Bay.

      The D-backs clearly hope Souza, who turns 29 in April, can help replace the loss of Martinez, who hit a career-high 45 home runs in 2017. Martinez reportedly agreed to a free agent deal with the Boston Red Sox on Monday.

      Souza is coming off a career year in Tampa Bay, where he reached career highs in homers (30), RBIs (78), stolen bases (16), slugging percentage (.459) and OPS (.810). The right fielder first broke into the majors with the Washington Nationals in 2014 but spent the past three years with the Rays.

      A career .236 hitter, Souza has averaged 21 home runs and nearly 12 steals over the past three seasons.

      Drury hits for a higher average and brings decent power to New York along with plenty of positional versatility. The 25-year-old has played second and third base as well as outfield in his three-year career. Over the past two seasons, Drury averaged 34 doubles and 14.5 home runs, and he owns a career .271 batting average.

      Widener, 23, went 7-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 27 starts for high Class A Tampa last year.

      Solak, 23, split last season between high Class A and Double-A, hitting a combined .297 with a .384 on-base percentage, a .452 slugging percentage, 12 homers and 53 RBIs in 130 games.

      Banda, 24, appeared in eight major league games for Arizona last year, including four starts. He went 2-3 with a 5.96 ERA. In 22 starts for Triple-A Reno, he finished 8-7 with a 5.39 ERA.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox trade minor-league slugger Brentz to Pirates
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    The J.D. Martinez signing in Boston caused its first ripple effect.

    • The Red Sox traded minor league outfielder Bryce Brentz to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations, the Red Sox announced Tuesday.

      Brentz, 29, in out of minor-league options and will try to win a job at spring training camp with the Pirates.

      Brentz, originally picked in the first round (36th overall) of the 2010 MLB draft, was an International League All-Star in 2017 and hit 31 home runs with 85 RBI for Boston's Triple-A affiliate.

      Despite 127 career HR in the minors and two brief MLB stints with the Red Sox in 2014 and 2016 (.287, 1 HR, 9 RBI in 90 plate appearance), Bruntz's path to the majors became much more difficult once the team signed Martinez to a five-year, $120 million deal on Monday.

      To make room for Bruntz on Pittsburgh's 40-man roster, the Pirates moved pitcher Nick Burdi to the 60-day disabled list.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hosmer to honor late Ventura, wear No. 30
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    With No. 35 not available in San Diego, Eric Hosmer found a way to honor late close friend Yordano Ventura.

    • Hosmer announced Tuesday that he will wear No. 30 with the Padres, the number Ventura wore when the two were teammates with the Kansas City Royals.

      Ventura was killed 13 months ago in a car accident in the Dominican Republic at age 25.

      "It really meant a lot to me to wear and carry on this number," Hosmer said during his Tuesday introductory press conference. "It's something that myself and the core guys of Kansas City want to continue to make sure Yordano's legacy is lived out."

      Hosmer signed an eight-year, $144 million contact to join the Padres after spending his entire career in Kansas City.

      He was unable to wear No. 35 as the Padres retired that number in honor of 1976 Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones, one of the franchise's first bona fide stars.

      Third-base coach Glenn Hoffman was wearing No. 30 for San Diego, and Hosmer approached him and told him why he's like to wear the number.

      "I spoke to Glenn Hoffman yesterday and I know he wears No. 30 and basically told him it would mean a lot to me if I can wear No. 30 and continue Yordano's legacy," Hosmer said. "It really meant a lot to me and Hoff was more than open of letting me carry on that number. And like I told him, 'I'll wear it with pride each and every day' and it's something that myself and the core guys with Kansas City want to continue to make sure that Yordano's legacy is lived out."

      --Field Level Media

  • Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas HS in spring openers
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    All 30 Major League Baseball teams will recognize the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by wearing the school's baseball hats at the opening spring training games Friday and Saturday.

    • Seventeen people were killed in a mass shooting at the Parkland, Fla., school on Feb. 14. A former student at the school was arrested and charged with premeditated murder.

      Baseball's tribute began when the Miami Marlins announced Tuesday that players, coaches and personnel would wear Stoneman Douglas hats for the Grapefruit League opener Friday at Jupiter, Fla.

      Later Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that all team personnel and umpires would wear the school's hats pregame Friday, with the option to continue wearing the hats during the games that day.

      The two teams that are off Friday, the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers, will wear the Stoneman Douglas hats Saturday.

      Players subsequently will sign the hats and donate them to an auction benefiting the Broward Education Foundation, which will designate the proceeds to the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund, according to MLB.com.

      Manfred said of the hat tribute that MLB received "really strong sentiment of the clubs it was the appropriate thing to do immediately."

      Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who attended the school and still resides in the area in the offseason, left the team last week to speak at a candlelight vigil.

      Multiple members of the Marlins have visited shooting survivors and invited them to be part of spring training sessions.

      Lewis Brinson, a 23-year-old Marlins outfielder who played against Stoneman Douglas as a rival of his school in Coral Springs, Fla., visited area hospitals and vowed to return.

      "It was a hard moment for me last week just to know something could go on in a neighborhood I grew up in," Brinson said. "It was a tough pill for me to swallow. But they'll get through it.

      "Those kids are warriors. What they went through, all the wounds they have. They have battle scars for being in high school. That's unheard of. It needs to stop at some point."

      --Field Level Media

  • Marlins' Mattingly to Harper 'mind your own dugout'
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    Harsh opinions of the offseason moves made by the Miami Marlins have been splashed everywhere for months, but manager Don Mattingly rejected the input of one notable division rival on Monday.

    • Washington Nationals All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper said he was shocked when the Marlins traded away their entire outfield -- National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, centerfielder Christian Yelich and left fielder Marcell Ozuna.

      "He doesn't really know what goes on over here," Mattingly said. "He may think he does. But he doesn't know what the discussions are. He doesn't know our players."

      Harper said he felt the Marlins were only a pitcher or two away from being a contender. The teams play 19 times per season as tenants of the National League East.

      The dramatic facelift in Florida is ongoing, an effort new CEO Derek Jeter repeated last week was an effort to clear debt, payroll and rebuild from the ground floor.

      Mattingly said it's important to "take care of your own dugout," in reply to Harper's suggestions.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Phillies talking deal with RHP Arrieta
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    Perhaps the Philadelphia Phillies can pull an ace out of their sleeve days into spring training.

    • According to MLB Network, the Phillies are engaged in preliminary contract talks with ace right-hander Jake Arrieta, the 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner with the Chicago Cubs.

      Arrieta, 31, is a surprise leftover on the market in the final days of February.

      However, the Scott Boras client is reportedly generating significant interest from multiple National League teams even after declining a six-year deal from the Cubs that opened the door for Yu Darvish to join Chicago's staff.

      The Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins and Phillies have now been linked to the right-hander, who was traded to the Cubs from the Baltimore Orioles 2013 -- by Phillies president Andy MacPhail.

      Arrieta was 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA in 2015 and 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA in 128 starts with the Cubs.

      Little action was expected from the rebuilding Phillies in free agency, but MacPhail made the first big splash of the winter when he signed first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million contract.

      --Field Level Media

  • Giants, Watson finalize 2-year contract
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    The San Francisco Giants finalized a two-year contract with free agent relief pitcher Tony Watson on Monday.

    • The 32-year-old left-hander will make a minimum of $9 million, but the contract features a player option for a third year plus bonuses tied to games finished. Over three years, he could wind up earning as much as $21 million to $26 million, according to various media reports.

      Watson went 7-4 with 10 saves and 53 strikeouts in 71 relief appearances (66 2/3 innings) last year while splitting the season between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Dodgers. He was acquired by Los Angeles for two minor-leaguers at the July 31 trade deadline.

      In seven postseason innings over 11 relief outings, Watson had a 2.57 ERA, helping the Dodgers get to Game 7 of the World Series.

      He was 5-3 with a 3.66 ERA in 47 games for the Pirates last season after beginning the season in the closer role.

      Watson has a 33-17 career record with 30 saves and a 2.68 ERA in 474 relief appearances since making his major league debut in 2011. He was an All-Star in 2014, when he led the National League with 78 appearances and finished 10-2 with two saves and a 1.63 ERA.

      The Giants cleared a spot on the 40-man roster for Watson by designating right-hander Joan Gregorio for assignment. Gregorio, 26, served an 80-game suspension last year after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

      Formerly a top prospect, Gregorio never reached the majors despite spending eight seasons in the San Francisco farm system. He went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 13 starts for Triple-A Sacramento last year.

      --Field Level Media

  • Padres, Hosmer finalize 8-year, $144M deal
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    Eric Hosmer owns the richest contract in San Diego Padres history after signing an eight-year, $144 million deal Monday.

    • Padres executive vice president/general manager A.J. Preller announced that the deal was finalized. Hosmer is signed through 2025, though he could opt out after the 2022 season.

      "We're truly excited to have Eric as part of the Padres organization," Preller said in a prepared statement. "His resume speaks for itself. Eric has been a winner throughout his career, both as an integral part of a championship team and as a player who's earned a tremendous reputation on and off the field. We believe his leadership and passion for the game will be invaluable as we work towards our goal of a World Series championship."

      Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler and general partner Peter Seidler said in a joint statement released by the team, "Eric's decision to join our club represents a significant moment in Padres history. He has competed on baseball's biggest stages and has embraced each opportunity. The intangibles and experience that he brings to the table will be vital as we continue the development of our young club and strive to bring a championship to deserving Padres fans everywhere."

      Hosmer, 28, will make $20 million each of the first five seasons and $13 million in each of the last three, equating to an $18 million average, and will also get a $5 million signing bonus.

      Last year, Hosmer hit .318 with a .385 on-base percentage, a .498 slugging percentage, 25 home runs and 94 RBIs while playing all 162 games for the Royals. He was part of a World Series title team for Kansas City in 2015. He was an All-Star in 2016, and he is a four-time American League Gold Glove winner.

      For his career, Hosmer has a .284/.342/.439 batting line with 127 home runs and 566 RBIs in seven years with the Royals. Kansas City selected him third overall in the 2008 draft.

      Hosmer's arrival in San Diego likely will bump Wil Myers from first base to the outfield. Myers previously had the biggest contract in Padres history, a six-year, $83 million deal signed in 2017.

      MLB.com reported that Hosmer would wear No. 30 in San Diego, the number worn by his late Royals teammate, Yordano Ventura, who died in a January 2017 car accident.

      The Padres will hold a press conference to introduce Hosmer on Tuesday at 8 a.m. PST.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Martinez agrees to terms with Red Sox
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Outfielder J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a five-year, $110 million contract that will bring Boston the big bat it coveted the entire offseason.

    • USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported the length of the contract and financial terms late Monday afternoon. FanRag Sports reported there are two opt-out clauses in Martinez's deal, and the outlet said he will receive $50 million over the first two seasons.

      Martinez, 30, rode a career year in 2017 into free agency. He posted a slugging percentage of .690 with 45 home runs in 119 games. That included a destructive 62-game tour with the Arizona Diamondbacks after a mid-July trade from the Detroit Tigers. Martinez belted 29 homers in 62 games with Arizona.

      --Washington Nationals star outfielder Bryce Harper wants to lock in on 2018 without regard for what's on deck: his first foray into free agency.

      Harper, who can become a free agent in November with the potential for a historic contract offer, addressed reporters for the first time this spring training on Monday and refused to discuss anything beyond the upcoming season.

      "I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019 at all," Harper said while reading his prepared opening remarks from his phone. "I'm focused on this year. I'm focused on winning and playing hard like every single year. So if you guys have any questions after 2018, you can call (agent) Scott (Boras), and he can answer you guys. If you guys do talk anything about that, then I'll be walking right out the door."

      --Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo rejoined his team on Monday for the first full-squad workout of spring training. Rizzo left the team last week to support victims of the mass shooting at his former high school in Parkland, Fla.

      "They'll be in my heart every day. They'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I think about them every night I go to sleep," Rizzo told reporters Monday on how he will honor the victims.

      Rizzo had been an early arrival at camp in Mesa, Ariz., before leaving Thursday for Parkland, one day after 17 people were shot to death by a former student. Rizzo remains closely attached with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School since graduating in 2007. He makes his home in the area and recently donated $150,000 to pay for lights at the school's baseball field.

      --The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to terms with outfielder Jarrod Dyson, shortly after losing out in the Martinez sweepstakes.

      Dyson reportedly will receive a two-year, $7.5 million deal, much smaller than the reported five-year, $110-million deal Martinez received from the Boston Red Sox. Martinez finished the 2017 season with the Diamondbacks.

      Dyson, 33, is known for his speed and defense. He recorded 28 steals while batting .251 for the Seattle Mariners last season. Last season was Dyson's only season in Seattle. He spent his first seven years with the Kansas City Royals and was part of that franchise's World Series teams in 2014 and 2015.

      --Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal to remain with the Baltimore Orioles, according to multiple reports.

      The 29-year-old Tillman can reportedly earn an additional $7 million in the incentive-laden contract. He has spent his entire nine-year major league career with the Orioles.

      Tillman struggled with shoulder injuries last season and went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 93 innings over 19 starts and five relief appearances. Overall, he holds a 73-55 record with a 4.43 ERA in 203 games (198 starts) since breaking into the major leagues in 2009.

      --The Washington Nationals and right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit agreed to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

      The club has not confirmed the deal, which will be worth a reported $1 million. The 40-year-old Benoit holds a 58-49 career record with a 3.83 ERA over 15 major league seasons.

      Benoit split last season between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, going a combined 1-6 with two saves and 4.65 ERA over 50 1/3 innings in 52 appearances.

      --Right-handed relief pitcher Peter Moylan agreed to return to the Atlanta Braves for the 2018 season.

      Moylan, 39, spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals and tied for the American League lead with 79 appearances in 2017. Moylan spent eight of his 11 seasons with the Braves.

      Moylan has 460 career relief appearances and a 3.00 ERA in 390 1/3 innings.

      --On the day the majority of MLB clubs conducted their first full-squad workouts of spring training, commissioner Rob Manfred announced the pace-of-play rule changes to be implemented for the 2018 season.

      While the rules focus on three main areas of play, perhaps most notable is the omission of any timers, either between pitches or between batters. On that note, the league stated through a release, "The Commissioner has decided to defer the implementation of a pitch timer and a between-batter timer in 2018 in order to provide players with an opportunity to speed up the game without the use of those timers."

      Instead, the new rules will attempt to shorten game times with changes to mound visits, inning breaks and pitching changes and video review. Each team is limited to six mound visits without a pitching change per nine innings; the time allotted between innings and pitching changes will be 2 minutes, 5 seconds for games only on local TV, 2:25 for games on national TV, and 2:55 for playoff games; and all MLB team video rooms will receive direct slow-motion camera angles, will have direct phone lines to the video-review room, and those phone lines will be monitored to prevent sign stealing.

      --Rebuilding shifted into overdrive with the Tampa Bay Rays parting with face-of-the-franchise third baseman Evan Longoria in the offseason and then weekend moves that saw right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi traded to the Minnesota Twins, and 2017 All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson designated for assignment.

      Ace right-handed pitcher Chris Archer said the decision to designate Dickerson for assignment was "perplexing." Two-time Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier voiced his displeasure by saying, "we lost two great players. It's terrible."

      Longoria reported to the San Francisco Giants and expressed shock over the Dickerson decision: "I kind of just feel bad for the Rays' fan, and I feel bad for the guys this year who were probably counting on Corey to put up numbers to help the team win. I'm not going to take too many shots. But I think it's pretty obvious that the guy is a valuable player and didn't deserve to be DFA'd."

      --Miami Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman said CEO and part owner Derek Jeter "made all the right moves" and supports the team's trading of four star players in Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon.

      The moves to cut payroll and put the franchise on more solid financial footing made Jeter unpopular with baseball fans in South Florida.

      "From my perspective, I think the management of the team has made all the right moves," Sherman said, per the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. "I've been involved in every decision. I support every decision, our partners support every decision. We're building something for the long haul here."

      --After years of court filings and one side's issuance of nearly 50 subpoenas, a trial date has been set for the family of Tony Gwynn's lawsuit against the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company: Sept. 20, 2019.

      The family of the San Diego Padres legend filed the lawsuit more than three years ago. The Hall of Fame member died at age 54 in 2014 after battling cancer of the salivary gland. His family claims he began using the product in 1977, a decade before warnings began appearing on smokeless tobacco products.

      By the time the warnings did appear, the lawsuit claims, Gwynn was "hopelessly addicted" to smokeless tobacco. According to USA Today, the company's response to the lawsuit claims Gwynn was "warned or otherwise made aware of the alleged risks of using smokeless tobacco products."

      --Field Level Media

  • Diamondbacks agree to terms with OF Dyson
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to terms with outfielder Jarrod Dyson on Monday, shortly after losing out in the J.D. Martinez sweepstakes.

    • Dyson reportedly will receive a two-year, $7.5 million deal, much smaller than the reported five-year, $110-million deal Martinez received from the Boston Red Sox. Martinez finished the 2017 season with the Diamondbacks.

      Dyson, 33, is known for his speed and defense. He recorded 28 steals while batting .251 for the Seattle Mariners last season.

      Dyson underwent surgery to repair a core-muscle issue and a sports hernia in September.

      Last season was Dyson's only season in Seattle. He spent his first seven years with the Kansas City Royals and was part of that franchise's World Series teams in 2014 and 2015.

      Dyson has stolen more than 25 bases in each of the past six seasons and has 204 in his career. He has a lifetime average of .258 with 12 homers and 131 RBIs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Nationals sign RHP Benoit to a one-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    The Washington Nationals and right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit agreed to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports Monday.

    • The club has not confirmed the deal, which will be worth a reported $1 million.

      The 40-year-old Benoit holds a 58-49 career record with a 3.83 ERA over 15 major league seasons.

      Benoit split last season between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, going a combined 1-6 with two saves and 4.65 ERA over 50 1/3 innings in 52 appearances. He pitched just 8 1/3 innings for the Pirates as he dealt with a left knee injury that kept him sidelined for more than a month.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox, J.D. Martinez agree to deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Outfielder J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a five-year, $110 million contract that will bring Boston the big bat it coveted the entire offseason.

    • USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported the length of the contract and financial terms late Monday afternoon.

      MLB Network reported talks reached a positive phase on Monday afternoon after acrimonious discussions between the Red Sox and Scott Boras, the agent representing Martinez in free agency.

      Earlier reports said the Red Sox stood pat on a five-year, $125 million offer to Martinez since a December meeting with Boras. But the amount of the total package appears lower than the speculated figure.

      FanRag Sports reported there are two opt-out clauses in Martinez's deal. The outlet said he will receive $50 million over the first two seasons.

      Martinez, 30, rode a career year in 2017 into free agency. He posted a slugging percentage of .690 with 45 home runs in 119 games. That included a destructive 62-game tour with the Arizona Diamondbacks after a mid-July trade from the Detroit Tigers. Martinez belted 29 homers in 62 games with Arizona.

      Baseball's free-agent market has been unpredictable.

      Until another Boras client, former Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, agreed to a $144 million contract with the San Diego Padres, baseball's typical offseason "hot stove" sizzle was mostly fizzle for Boras clients and many others expecting lucrative contracts.

      Outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, had the largest financial commitment in free agency until the Chicago Cubs signed starting pitcher Yu Darvish to a $126 million deal. But even that contract includes an option that could turn it into a three-year commitment for the Cubs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Trial date set for Gwynn family lawsuit against tobacco company
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    After years of court filings and one side's issuance of nearly 50 subpoenas, a trial date has been set for the family of Tony Gwynn's lawsuit against the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company: Sept. 20, 2019.

    • The family of the San Diego Padres legend filed the lawsuit more than three years ago. The Hall of Fame member died at age 54 in 2014 after battling cancer of the salivary gland. His family claims he began using the product in 1977, a decade before warnings began appearing on smokeless tobacco products.

      By the time the warnings did appear, the lawsuit claims, Gwynn was "hopelessly addicted" to smokeless tobacco.

      According to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today Sports, the Gwynn family requested a trial date for 2019. It also asked the judge to designate the case as "complex," meaning the family is expecting a long, hard fight with the defendant.

      According to USAT, the company's response to the lawsuit claims, Gwynn was "warned or otherwise made aware of the alleged risks of using smokeless tobacco products."

      MLB has banned the on-field use of the once-popular product by players making the big-league debut after 2016.

      The USAT reported on Jan. 30 that the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company issued 49 subpoenas and has been "aggressively seeking evidence against deceased baseball legend Tony Gwynn."

      --Field Level Media

  • Marlins owner: Jeter 'made all the right moves'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Miami Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman says CEO and part owner Derek Jeter "made all the right moves" and supports the team's trading of four star players in Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon.

    • The moves to cut payroll and put the franchise on more solid financial footing made Jeter unpopular with baseball fans in South Florida.

      "From my perspective, I think the management of the team has made all the right moves," Sherman said, per the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. "I've been involved in every decision. I support every decision, our partners support every decision. We're building something for the long haul here."

      Sherman, who also carries the title of chairman, spoke prior to the Marlins' first full-squad workout of spring training Monday at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. He stood next to Jeter, who is the face of their ownership group that bought the team from Jeffrey Loria at the end of last season.

      "Finally, it's spring training. I'm a rookie too," said Sherman, who made just his second public appearance since the sale closed and the first since their Oct. 3 introductory news conference.

      Sherman stressed the franchise has enough money despite reports to the contrary.

      "We are a very sophisticated, well-heeled, financially set organization, not just for this year but for many, many years to come," Sherman said. "I didn't get in this personally, nor did the other partners get into this for one, two or three years. Nobody is in this to make any short-term profits whatsoever. This is a long, long haul and I'm excited we get to play baseball now and I can be a fan again."

      Sherman said he understands why many fans are angry after seeing star players leave for other teams.

      "The fans are disappointed in some of the trades that we made. We understand that," Sherman said. "But I'm seeing a change that people understand we're building something from the future here to be sustainable.

      "I'm really excited to be a part of that. I know it's going to take patience. Derek has said that from day one, first meeting I ever had with Derek Jeter was patience, patience. I think we're handling that."

      Jeter said during Monday's appearance that he also has received positive comments from their fans.

      "We've gotten a great response from a lot of fans as well," Jeter said, "so I think that narrative needs to start to change. ... I've met with many fans over the last four months, who all say they have patience, they understand what we're doing and they're giving us a chance. Mentioning that 'all fans' are upset couldn't be further from the truth."

      --Field Level Media

  • Rays miffed management parted with All-Star Dickerson
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Rebuilding shifted into overdrive in Tampa with the Rays parting with face-of-the-franchise third baseman Evan Longoria. The overhaul continued over the weekend with a flurry of moves veterans described as confounding.

    • Not only was right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi traded to the Minnesota Twins, but the Rays also designated 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson for assignment.

      Ace right-handed pitcher Chris Archer said the decision to designate Dickerson for assignment was "perplexing."

      Two-time Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier voiced his displeasure with the overhaul upon arriving Monday for the team's first full-squad workouts in spring training.

      "We lost two great players. It's terrible," Kiermaier said.

      Longoria reported to spring training with a new team -- the San Francisco Giants -- for the first time in his career and expressed shock over the Dickerson decision.

      "I kind of just feel bad for the Rays' fan base," Longoria said. "And I feel bad for the guys this year who were probably counting on Corey to put up numbers to help the team win. I'm not going to take too many shots. But I think it's pretty obvious that the guy is a valuable player and didn't deserve to be DFA'd.''

      The Twins traded unheralded Class A middle infield prospect Jermaine Palacios for Odorizzi, who had 28 or more starts each of the past four seasons, compiling an ERA of 3.81 in 668 1/3 innings.

      Without Odorizzi, the Rays are leaning toward a four-man starting rotation to begin the 2018 season.

      Kiermaier said players must realize "life goes on," and the team will suffer if it decides to dwell on the deals.

      "I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves," Kiermaier said. "No beating around the bush. It's one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don't know the reasoning why. And then you see the team's explanation. Still it's like, 'OK. Well, so be it.'"

      --Field Level Media

  • Nationals' Harper 'focused on this year,' not discussing 2019
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Washington Nationals star outfielder Bryce Harper wants to lock in on 2018 without regard for what's on deck: his first foray into free agency.

    • Harper, who can become a free agent in November with the potential for a historic contract offer, addressed reporters for the first time this spring training on Monday and refused to discuss anything beyond the upcoming season.

      Harper arrived two days ahead of the Nationals' first official full-squad workout at spring training in West Palm Beach, Fla.

      "I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019 at all," Harper said while reading his prepared opening remarks from his phone. "I'm focused on this year. I'm focused on winning and playing hard like every single year. So if you guys have any questions after 2018, you can call (agent) Scott (Boras), and he can answer you guys. If you guys do talk anything about that, then I'll be walking right out the door."

      Last May, the 25-year-old Harper and the Nationals agreed to a one-year, $21.65 million deal for the 2018 season that was the largest one-year deal ever given to an arbitration-eligible player.

      When that contract expires in November, Harper is expected to set a new landmark with a megadeal as a free agent if the Nationals aren't able to sign him to a long-term extension before he hits the open market.

      Harper told reporters in fielding questions that he welcomes talking about how he can help the Nationals advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since moving to Washington, D.C., in 2005.

      "We're expected to win the East. We're expected to possibly win a pennant, and we're expected to possibly win a World Series. As a team, I think we're going to try to do the best we can and do everything possible to win ballgames," Harper said, per ESPN. "We've just got to take it one game at a time and win the East first. Because the Mets are tough. The Braves are good. Philly, Miami, whatever. Miami plays us pretty dang well. We've just got to go out there, play our game and see what we can do."

      Harper made it clear he wants free agent Jake Arrieta -- the former Chicago Cubs ace who remains unsigned with spring training camps underway -- on Washington's staff.

      "If I'm an organization or a team, I want the best players on my team," Harper said. "My fans deserve that. The players deserve that. There's a guy like Jake Arrieta out there right now. I'd put him on my staff any day of the week. He's one of the best pitchers in the game, one of the best playoff pitchers in the game. You saw what he did last year, the year before."

      Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, debuted in the majors in 2012 at the age of 19.

      In 2015, he won the National League Most Valuable Player award, becoming the youngest player ever to be voted a unanimous MVP, following a season in which he hit .330 with 42 home runs and 99 RBIs.

      After a down year in 2016, Harper started out fast last season and was considered an MVP frontrunner before suffering a gruesome knee injury in mid-August. He finished the season hitting .319 with 29 homers and 87 RBIs in 111 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB passes on pitch clock, focuses on mound visits in new pace-of-play rules
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    On the day the majority of MLB clubs conducted their first full-squad workouts of spring training, commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday announced the pace-of-play rule changes to be implemented for the 2018 season.

    • While the rules focus on three main areas of play, perhaps most notable is the omission of any timers, either between pitches or between batters. On that note, the league stated through a release, "The Commissioner has decided to defer the implementation of a pitch timer and a between-batter timer in 2018 in order to provide players with an opportunity to speed up the game without the use of those timers."

      Instead, the new rules will attempt to shorten game times with changes to:

      -- Mound visits

      -- Inning breaks and pitching changes

      -- Video review

      Here is a brief summary of the major changes for this season:

      MOUND VISITS

      -- Each team is limited to six mound visits without a pitching change per nine innings, with one additional such visit per each inning beyond nine.

      -- A "mound visit" includes all visits by a coach or manager and any visit between the pitcher and a teammate(s) during which one or more of the players leaves their position, including the pitcher.

      -- Mound visits by only the catcher count against the allotment, but the home-plate umpire has the discretion to allow additional such visits once the allotment is expired, and only to discuss pitching signs.

      INNING BREAKS AND PITCHING CHANGES

      -- The time allotted between innings and pitching changes will be 2 minutes, 5 seconds for games only on local TV, 2:25 for games on national TV, and 2:55 for playoff games.

      -- Pitchers can throw as many warm-up pitches as they like (the old rule was a guarantee of eight warm-up pitches), but the final warm-up pitch must be thrown at least 20 seconds before the end of the inning break / pitching change.

      -- Enforcement: "Players who consistently or flagrantly violate the time limits will be subject to progressive discipline for just cause by the Office of the Commissioner."

      VIDEO REVIEW

      -- All MLB team video rooms will receive direct slow-motion camera angles.

      -- All MLB dugouts will have direct phone lines to the video-review room, and those phone lines will be monitored to prevent sign stealing.

      The release also stated MLB and the players association will continue to meet during the 2018 season to discuss pace of play.

      --Field Level Media

  • RHP Tillman remains with Orioles on one-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal to remain with the Baltimore Orioles, according to multiple reports Monday.

    • The 29-year-old Tillman can reportedly earn an additional $7 million in the incentive-laden contract.

      He has spent his entire nine-year major league career with the Orioles.

      Tillman struggled with shoulder injuries last season and went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 93 innings over 19 starts and five relief appearances. Overall, he holds a 73-55 record with a 4.43 ERA in 203 games (198 starts) since breaking into the major leagues in 2009.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rizzo rejoins Cubs after mournful trip to Florida high school
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo rejoined his team on Monday for the first full-squad workout of spring training.

    • Rizzo left the team last week to support victims of the mass shooting at his former high school in Parkland, Fla.

      Rizzo had been an early arrival at camp in Mesa, Ariz., before leaving Thursday for Parkland, one day after 17 people were shot to death by a former student.

      Rizzo remains closely attached with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School since graduating in 2007. He makes his home in the area and recently donated $150,000 to pay for lights at the school's baseball field.

      "They'll be in my heart every day. They'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I think about them every night I go to sleep," Rizzo told reporters Monday on how he will honor the victims.

      He gave a heartfelt speech at a vigil for victims of the attack Thursday night.

      "I grew up in Stoneman Douglas," Rizzo said. "I played on those fields. I went to those classes. I studied in those classrooms, the same ones we saw in all those videos yesterday for all the wrong reasons. ...

      "I'm a baseball player, but I'm also an American. I'm a Floridian and a Parklander for life. While I don't have all the answers, I know something has to change before this is visited on another community and another community and another community."

      Cubs manager Joe Maddon supported Rizzo's trip and immediately texted him after he spoke in Parkland.

      "I wanted him to know I was never more proud of him," Maddon said.

      --Field Level Media

  • Braves bring back RP Moylan
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Right-handed relief pitcher Peter Moylan agreed to return to the Atlanta Braves for the 2018 season.

    • Moylan, 39, spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals and tied for the American League lead with 79 appearances in 2017.

      Moylan spent eight of his 11 seasons with the Braves. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013 in addition to two seasons with the Royals.

      Moylan has 460 career relief appearances and a 3.00 ERA in 390 1/3 innings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mets add LHP Vargas to crowded rotation
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Jason Vargas, who tied for the major league lead in wins last year, officially changed teams Sunday.

    • The left-hander signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the New York Mets, who also hold a club option for 2020.

      Vargas, 35, went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA in 32 starts last year for the Kansas City Royals after missing most of the previous two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was an 2017 American League All-Star selection after going 12-3 with a 2.62 ERA in the first half.

      Following the break, he struggled, going 6-8 with an ugly 6.38 ERA in 15 starts. Still, the slump didn't scare off the Mets.

      "If he wins 18 games for us this year, we're pretty good," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said, according to the New York Daily News. "Those 18 wins stand out. Those 32 starts stand out. His 180 innings would have been second in our rotation last year.

      "We need to get back to the point where we have seven or eight guys starting all of our games, not 11, 12 or 13. We're going to be pretty good. Jason really helps us in that."

      Alderson added, according to Newsday, "Of those pitchers that were available of his quality, he was our No. 1 choice."

      Vargas joins a rotation that features plenty of talent but lots of health concerns: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.

      "I think the abilities (of) the guys that have been in this rotation the past few years speaks for themselves," Vargas said Sunday, according to the Daily News. "I don't think there's other pitching staffs out there that can say they have pitchers with better stuff. But the name of the game is health, obviously, and going out there and giving your team a chance to win every fifth day. ...

      "I think that pitching a high level of innings just means that you're getting your job done. It means you're doing what you're supposed to do, you're taking the ball every fifth day. I take pride in being somebody that the guys behind me can count on."

      Vargas, who also missed the 2008 season with a torn hip labrum, is 85-81 with a 4.17 ERA in parts of 11 seasons spent with the then-Florida Marlins, the Mets, the Seattle Mariners, the Los Angeles Angels and the Royals. He appeared in just two games for the Mets in 2007, going 0-1 with a 12.19 ERA.

      --Field Level Media

  • Angels add OF Young, 1B/OF Carter
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    A day after dealing first baseman C.J. Cron to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named, the Los Angeles Angels signed two free agents who will be candidates to fill his roster spot.

    • Outfielder Chris Young landed a one-year major league deal, with multiple media outlets reporting the contract is worth $2 million. First baseman/outfielder Chris Carter signed a minor league contract that reportedly would pay him $1.75 million if he spends the full season in the majors.

      Young, 34, was an All-Star in 2010, when he hit 27 homers, drove in 91 runs and stole 28 bases for the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, he has averaged just 12.4 homers, 40.1 RBIs and 8.3 stolen bases over the past seasons.

      Young broke into the majors in 2006 with the Diamondbacks. He was traded to Oakland after the 2012 season, and he has since played for the A's, the New York Mets, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Last year, he hit .235 with a .322 on-base percentage, a .387 slugging percentage, seven homers and 25 RBIs in 90 games for Boston.

      Carter, 31, has played for the A's, the Houston Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Yankees. Carter shared the National League lead with 41 homers for Milwaukee in 2016 but also led the league with 206 strikeouts.

      After signing with the Yankees as a free agent last winter, he batted .201/.284/.370 with eight homers and 26 RBIs over 62 games before he was released in July. Carter subsequently joined the Athletics' Triple-A Nashville affiliate and hit .252/.357/.511 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 36 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox re-sign Nunez on one-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, February 19, 2018

    Retaining a player who thrived last year during a partial season in Boston, the Red Sox re-signed free agent infielder Eduardo Nunez on Sunday.

    • According to multiple media outlets, Nunez received a one-year deal with an option for 2019. He will make $4 million guaranteed in 2018, and the 2019 contract is worth $4 million or a $2 million buyout. He also could make up to $2 million in incentives tied to plate appearances over both seasons.

      Nunez could open the season at first base for Boson as Dustin Pedroia recovers from knee surgery.

      Nunez, 30, missed the bulk of September with the Red Sox because of a sprained right posterior cruciate ligament. He returned for the postseason, only to get carried off the field after reinjuring his right knee during his first at-bat in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.

      Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that the team put Nunez through a complete physical and an all-day practice session before finalizing his contract.

      "We feel comfortable that he's 100 percent ready to go and we're absolutely thrilled that he's with us because he's a good player," Dombrowski said. "They measured his legs, the differences in his legs, his right versus his left. Did hopping on one foot. With that type of injury, it's very important to handle that, if it's healed properly. He did that.

      "He did some stretching exercises. Then he went on the back field and took ground balls at short. Took ground balls at second bending down. He hit live. He ran the bases. He slid and dove back to bases and felt great. Had no pain."

      Nunez joked of the workout, "They almost killed me. They gave me a lot of stealing bases, running, hitting, groundballs, diving, everything, and I passed it. ...

      "I'm very excited to be back. I really enjoyed the time last year here, and I think it's a nice opportunity to win this year."

      The Red Sox acquired Nunez from the San Francisco Giants on July 25, 2017. He wound up being a valuable addition for Boston, hitting .321 with eight home runs, six stolen bases and 27 RBIs in 38 games down the stretch.

      Overall, Nunez batted .313 with 12 home runs, 24 stolen bases and 58 RBIs last year.

      "We'll see how the roster shapes up, but he's a guy who's going to get at-bats," new Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, according to the Boston Herald. "He's capable of being a good second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, he can play the outfield. He's going to give me some options, which is great, especially early in the season when we start off with playing in Tropicana Field then going to the National League.

      "He's a guy who's going to help us early in the season, (and) he's going to impact this team in a positive way."

      Boston cleared a spot for Nunez on the 40-man roster by designating right-handed reliever Ben Taylor for assignment. Taylor, 25, made 14 appearances for the Red Sox last year, going 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA. He had no decisions, two saves and a 2.70 ERA in 12 outings for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2017.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Royals react to Hosmer's departure
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, February 18, 2018

    Eric Hosmer's former Kansas City Royals teammates said farewell to the first baseman after it was reported that he and the San Diego Padres agreed to terms on an eight-year contract.

    • Hosmer's deal will be the largest in Padres history at $144 million, according to multiple reports. The contract is heavily front-loaded and includes an opt-out clause after the fifth year. The deal is pending a physical, which is scheduled to take place Monday.

      "The emotions, for me, and for (general manager Dayton Moore), too, I thought that going into the winter that there were just going to be teams that blow us away," Royals manager Ned Yost said, per the Kansas City Star. "Well, that didn't develop. I was thinking 10 years, $200 (million) plus; well that didn't happen. It boiled down to a two-team race. It's like, you always hope for the best, but you just don't know what's going to happen.

      Said Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy: "It's just a part of the game, man. It sucks, but it's part of the game. Whatever's best for his family is what he has to do. That dude loves this place, loves these guys, loves the city of Kansas City, obviously, and he gave more than he took for the better part of a decade. He deserves whatever he gets."

      --Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz discussed for the first time his mother's kidnapping in Venezuela, saying "nobody really prepares themselves for something like that," but added she is doing better after being rescued last weekend.

      Ana Isabel Soto, 72, was kidnapped on Feb. 8 as Diaz was preparing to travel for spring training in Bradenton, Fla. She was rescued three days later by Venezuelan police and security officers.

      Diaz said the discovery that police officers and a longtime family friend were involved in the kidnapping has him trying to move family members out of his native Venezuela.

      --New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he believes Tim Tebow, a former NFL quarterback and current outfield prospect in the organization, eventually will reach the major leagues.

      The 30-year-old Tebow arrived at the Mets' spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Sunday for his first major league camp. He hit .226 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs in 126 games split between Class A Columbia and St. Lucie last season.

      "I think he will play in the major leagues. That's my guess. That's my hope and to some extent now after a year and a half, a modest expectation," Alderson said of Tebow. "I'm happy he's here. I think he's great for the team and great for baseball and was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year."

      --Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona rejoined his team at spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., after the death of his father last week.

      Former Indians player John "Tito" Francona died unexpectedly late Tuesday night at his home in New Brighton, Pa. He was 84. Terry Francona went to Pennsylvania to be with his family.

      "It's so nice to be back. I went back for two days to be with my family and then I came back here to kind of be with my family," he told reporters Sunday. "This is about as close as you can feel with the people that aren't your family. ... It's not just baseball, it's Cleveland, it's the people here. And I know that."

      --Field Level Media