Here’s what Jeff Passan is hearing about Chicago handing out a surprisingly large contract, where Fernando Tatis’ contract talks really stand, DJ LeMahieu‘s future — in New York or elsewhere — and much more.
George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays in agreement on 6-year, $150M deal, sources say
Outfielder George Springer and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a six-year, $150 million deal, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN’s Jeff Passan, confirming a report by MLB Network.
Springer is headed to the Blue Jays’ spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, for a physical. If all goes according to plan, Toronto will get the star it has been looking for all winter.
Springer, the sparkplug for the Houston Astros‘ offense in the leadoff spot for the past four seasons, was one of the most coveted free agents on the market this offseason. He hit a team-high 14 home runs this season and added another four in the postseason, as the Astros lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series.
While several of his teammates struggled offensively this past season amid fallout from the 2017 sign-stealing scandal, Springer, who earned $21 million on a one-year deal after avoiding arbitration, has continued to put up better numbers since then — hitting .265 with 32 RBIs in 51 games in 2020 while lowering his strikeout rate to 17.1%, a career best.
He passed on a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer by the Astros, who will get a compensation draft pick with him signing with a new team.
Prior to the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Springer hit 20 home runs in five of the previous six seasons. He earned three straight All-Star nods from 2017-19, and he was named 2017 World Series MVP in 2017, when the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.
Springer has been at his best during big moments, hitting 19 postseason home runs, which is tied for fourth all-time. He also ranks sixth in slugging percentage (.546), seventh in extra-base hits (34) and is tied for 14th in runs scored (43).
Since making his debut in 2014, Springer has been one of the best hitters out of the leadoff spot in all of baseball, ranking second in home runs (136), third in RBIs (352) and fourth in hits (665) and extra-base hits (254), according to ESPN Stats & Information. He also has hit a first-inning leadoff home run 39 times during his career, which ranks fourth in American League history.
In 2019, Springer set career highs with a .292 batting average, a .591 slugging percentage, .383 on-base percentage and 6.2 WAR (wins above replacement).
Defensively, Springer continues to be very solid as the everyday center fielder at age 31 and could easily slide over to either of the corner outfield spots, if needed.
Overall, in seven seasons with the Astros, Springer has a .270 career average with 174 home runs and 458 home runs.
Blue Jays Nation first reported that Springer and Toronto had reached agreement on a deal.
Tommy Lasorda memorialized in private service at Dodger Stadium
LOS ANGELES — Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda was memorialized during a private service at Dodger Stadium before his burial on Tuesday.
Lasorda died Jan. 7 after a heart attack at age 93.
His casket, covered with a huge assortment of blue and white flowers, was placed on the pitcher’s mound with a blue 2, signifying Lasorda’s jersey number, on the back of the mound.
Lasorda’s wife of 70 years, Jo, attended in a wheelchair, along with their daughter, Laura. The mourners stood socially distanced around the mound.
Former Dodgers catcher and Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, retired player and major league manager Bobby Valentine, retired Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros, retired player and coach Mickey Hatcher, former Dodgers pitcher Charlie Hough, and former NBA coach Mike Fratello were among the 10 pallbearers. Each wore a jersey with Lasorda’s No. 2 on the back.
Karros and Hatcher, along with Sketchers president and co-founder Michael Greenberg, and personal friends Steve Brener and Chris Leggio spoke at the stadium and served as pallbearers, along with businessman Warren Lichtenstein. Wearing masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they carried Lasorda’s casket to a white hearse parked in front of the dugout.
The national anthem was sung and Lasorda’s image was projected on the stadium’s video boards.
A motorcade traveled from the stadium to Rose Hills Memorial Park in nearby Whittier, where Lasorda was buried. The group had just arrived at the cemetery when they received word that Dodgers Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton had died at age 75.
Lasorda spent 71 years in the Dodgers organization, starting as a player when the team was still based in Brooklyn. He later coached and then became its best-known manager for 21 years in Los Angeles, leading the franchise to two World Series championships. After stepping down in 1996, he became an ambassador for the sport he loved.
Free-agent reliever Kirby Yates reaches deal with Toronto Blue Jays, per reports
The one-year deal has a $5.5 million guarantee, according to Sportsnet, and includes $4.5 million in performance bonuses for appearances and awards.
The deal is pending a physical, which Yates underwent Tuesday at the Blue Jays’ spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, per The Athletic.
Yates, 33, pitched just 4⅓ innings last season for the San Diego Padres before undergoing season-ending surgery in August to remove bone chips from his right elbow. Before the surgery he struggled in his six appearances, going 0-1 with a 12.46 ERA and two saves.
Yates was one of baseball’s best relievers the previous two seasons for the Padres, and led the majors in 2019 with 41 saves. He also had a 1.19 ERA that season in 60 appearances and was selected as an All-Star for the first time.
In 2018, he posted a 2.14 ERA in 65 appearances and had 12 saves.
Cricket7 days ago
Sri Lanka v England 2020-21
Soccer6 days ago
Arsenal team news: Expected 4-2-3-1 line-up vs Crystal Palace with two set to return
NFL7 days ago
The flaw in Jeffrey Lurie’s thinking on Eagles QBs Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles Blog
Cricket6 days ago
Former Australia Test opener Colin McDonald dies aged 92
NFL5 days ago
Denver Broncos RB Melvin Gordon pleads not guilty in DUI case
NFL2 days ago
Rob Gronkowski says he wants to play for Tampa Bay Buccaneers again in 2021
Soccer7 days ago
Manchester United and Liverpool make Sergio Ramos transfer decision
Cricket7 days ago
Clive Lloyd to West Indies team in Bangladesh