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Logan Morrison has agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Minnesota Twins, a source told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

The deal includes a vesting option with escalators and performance bonuses and could be worth $16.5 million over two years, the source said.

Morrison, 30, hit .246 with a career-high 38 homers, 85 RBIs and 81 walks in his second season with the Tampa Bay Rays, where he arrived after being acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a six-player trade in 2016.

The slugging first baseman has also played for the Miami Marlins during seven seasons in the major leagues, compiling a .245 batting average with 122 homers and 382 RBIs.

Drafted in the 22nd round by the-then Florida Marlins in 2005, Morrison had a $2.5 million base salary last season.

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Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant not in Chicago Cubs lineup amid trade buzz

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CHICAGO — Social media platforms were abuzz after the Chicago Cubs announced their Thursday starting lineup, which did not include stars Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo — although manager David Ross said no one has been traded. At least not yet.

“I had this earmarked for Rizz for a while now,” Ross stated before the Cubs’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds. “First off-day after the All-Star break. That was normal.

“Looking at the length of the game last night and KB [Bryant] all over the place, and issues with his legs, just made some sense to me.”

Bryant saw his first action of the season at shortstop during Wednesday’s loss after starting the game in left field. He endured a 69-pitch ninth inning and had hamstring problems last week, so Ross decided a day off was needed.

Both players could be dealt before Friday’s MLB trade deadline as both are free agents after this season. Bryant has been tied to the New York Mets, and Rizzo could be moved to the Boston Red Sox.

Teams on the verge of a trade sometimes sit the player to keep him from getting injured. Ross was asked directly whether the moves were related to the looming trade deadline.

“They are not,” he said. “They are available off the bench. They’ll get a nice round of applause, I’m sure, when they get in there — if they get in there — to pinch hit. Everyone can hate me or blame me, but we have to take care of these guys. Nobody has been traded yet; let’s keep our heads about us.”

Bryant was drafted by the Cubs in 2013, winning Rookie of the Year and MVP in consecutive seasons. Rizzo came over in a trade with the San Diego Padres in 2012. Both are considered iconic Cubs after helping break a 108-year championship drought back in 2016.

“I’ve talked to both of them,” Ross said. “They know the situation; it could be their last home game and all that. Everyone is fine with what’s going on.”

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Toronto Blue Jays address bullpen issues by acquiring closer Brad Hand from Washington Nationals

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The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired three-time All-Star closer Brad Hand from the Washington Nationals for minor league catcher Riley Adams, the teams announced Thursday.

Hand is 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 21 saves this season.

Hand signed a one-year, $10.5 million contract with the Nats this past offseason. He was coming off another solid season as the closer for the Cleveland Indians in 2020, leading the major leagues with 16 saves, but was a victim of the team’s salary purge heading into 2021.

The Blue Jays have had a multitude of injuries in their bullpen, beginning with the team losing Kirby Yates to Tommy John surgery to start the season.

Also missing time has been Julian Merryweather (oblique), Tyler Chatwood (neck), Carl Edwards Jr. (oblique) and David Phelps, lost for the season after undergoing surgery on his right lat.

Adams, 25, is considered the best power hitter in Toronto’s system according to Baseball America. He joins the Nationals after hitting .239 with seven homers, 17 RBIs in 35 games for Triple-A East Buffalo.

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Aaron Boone says Joey Gallo will be with New York Yankees on Friday

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — All-Star slugger Joey Gallo‘s trade to the New York Yankees from the Texas Rangers was completed Thursday, giving the heavily right-handed Yankees a much-needed powerful lefty bat.

Manager Aaron Boone said he spoke with Gallo on Thursday and “welcomed him to the team.”

With switch-hitting center fielder Aaron Hicks hurt, second baseman Rougned Odor and outfielder Brett Gardner have been the only left-handed hitters to see substantial playing time.

“I think we’re a lot better today,” Boone said before the Yankees played Tampa Bay.

Boone said that Gallo will be with the Yankees for Friday’s series opener against the Marlins in Miami.

While he has played right field for Texas, Boone envisions Gallo playing a lot in left for the Yankees, who have Aaron Judge as their regular right fielder.

“We’re excited to add an All-Star,” Boone said.

The Rangers received right-hander Glenn Otto, second baseman Ezequiel Duran, shortstop Josh Smith and second baseman/outfielder Trevor Hauver from New York. Texas also sent pitcher Joely Rodriguez to New York.

New York’s left-handed hitters have struggled this season, ranking last in the majors in average (.197), 28th in home runs (22) and OPS (.633) and 29th in hard-hit rate (33%).

A two-time All-Star, Gallo ranks sixth in the AL this season with 25 home runs, to go with 55 RBIs and a .223 average. He had struggled mightily at the plate since the All-Star break, with no home runs and a .067 average in the 10 games following, before breaking out Tuesday with a three-run shot against the Diamondbacks.

Gallo, 27, is among just eight rostered major leaguers with multiple career 40-homer seasons (2017, 2018).

Gallo is owed $2.2 million from his $6.2 million salary. He is eligible for arbitration next winter and can become a free agent after the 2022 season.

The Yankees began the day 8½ games behind Boston in the AL East and trail Tampa Bay, Oakland and Seattle in the wild-card race for two spots.

Rodriguez, 29, is 1-3 with one save and a 5.93 ERA in 31 relief appearances this season, holding left-handed batters to a .176 average. He is 2-5 with a 5.05 ERA in 81 relief appearances over four seasons with Philadelphia (2016-17) and Texas (2020-21), and he was 3-7 with a 1.85 ERA over 90 relief appearances in 2018-19 for the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League.

Duran, 22, hit .290 with 15 doubles, six triples, 12 homers and 48 RBIs this season in 67 games with High-A Hudson Valley.

Hauver, 22, made his professional debut this season with Low-A Tampa, hitting .288 with 17 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBIs in 66 games.

Otto, 25, was 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance with Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.

Smith, 23, hit .324 with 12 doubles, nine homers, 24 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 39 games with Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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