Rangers 3B Beltre Retiring Following 21 Seasons – After 21 seasons and over 3,000 hits, Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has announced his retirement. In a statement in which he thanked his family, fans, agents and former teams, and former Los Angeles Dodgers executive Tommy Lasorda, Beltre said it’s simply “time to call it a career.” “After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, I have made the decision to retire from what I’ve been doing for my whole life, which is playing baseball, the game I love,” Beltre, who will turn 40 in April, said in a statement released by the Rangers. The native of the Dominican Republic is a strong candidate to make the Hall of Fame. His 3,166 hits rank 16th all time and are the most among foreign-born players, as he passed Ichiro Suzuki for that distinction this past season. Beltre, a four-time All-Star selection, won six Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards while also compiling 477 home runs, 1,707 RBIs and a career .286 batting average. He did not win a World Series ring. He batted .300 (9-for-30) during the 2011 World Series, which Texas lost to St. Louis.
Yankees Trade Top Prospect For Mariners’ Paxton – The Mariners and Yankees completed a trade Monday that sends ace left-hander James Paxton to New York for three prospects, including top-rated lefty Justus Sheffield. The other two prospects going to Seattle are outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams and right-handed pitcher Erik Swanson. Paxton, who turned 30 this month, has spent his entire career with Seattle. He went 11-6 in 28 starts last season with a 3.76 ERA. His 208 strikeouts ranked ninth in the American League. He threw a no-hitter against the Blue Jays on May 8. Paxton made $4.9 million last season and is eligible for salary arbitration. He can become a free agent after the 2020 season. Sheffield, a first-round pick of the Indians in 2014, is the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and made his major league debut in September with three relief appearances. Swanson, the Yankees’ No. 22 prospect according to MLB.com, was promoted to Triple-A last season, where he went 3-2 with a 3.98 ERA in 13 starts with 78 strikeouts and 14 walks. The Yankees picked Thompson-Williams in the fifth round in 2016. The 23-year-old hit .299 with 22 home runs and 20 stolen bases in A-ball with Tampa and Charleston this year.
Astros Acquire IF Diaz In Trade With Blue Jays – The Houston Astros acquired infielder Aledmys Diaz in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, giving up minor league pitcher Trent Thornton on Saturday. Diaz played both at shortstop and third base for the Blue Jays last season, hitting .263 with a career-high 18 home runs, 26 doubles and 55 RBIs in 130 games. His production improved after the All-Star break, with a .290 batting average and OPS of .856 in the second half. Prior to joining the Blue Jays, the 28-year-old Diaz played two seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals. He has a .275 career average with 42 home runs and 140 RBIs while also playing at second base and in the the outfield.
Dodgers’ Jansen Set For Heart Surgery Nov. 26 – Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen will have heart surgery on Nov. 26, with recovery expected to take from two to eight weeks. The surgery, to correct Jansen’s irregular heartbeat, had been expected. Jansen had a similar procedure after the 2012 season. He is expected to be recovered and ready in time for spring training. Jansen experienced a recurrence of his irregular heartbeat on Aug. 9 before the start of a four-game series in Colorado, with Jansen calling 911 when an accelerated heartbeat would not subside. His heart had to be shocked back into rhythm at a Denver hospital. Increased elevation can exacerbate an irregular heartbeat.
Red Sox Bring Back Series MVP Pearce For 2019 – The Boston Red Sox are bringing back World Series MVP Steve Pearce for the 2019 season, the team announced Friday. The one-year deal is worth $6.25 million, Yahoo Sports reported. Pearce, a grinder who has bounced from team to team, was an improbable World Series MVP, hitting .333 with three homers and eight RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Each of his four hits went for extra bases, and he drew four walks without striking out, posting a .500 on-base percentage. The 35-year-old first baseman had been a valuable role player for the Red Sox after being acquired in a June 28 trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. He batted .279 for Boston, with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 50 regular-season games.
Red Sox’s Betts, Brewers’ Yelich Win 2018 MVP Honors – Mookie Betts of the Red Sox was named the 2018 American League Most Valuable Player, while Christian Yelich of the Brewers won National League MVP honors, MLB announced Thursday night. On the AL side, Betts topped fellow finalists Mike Trout of the Angels and Jose Ramirez of the Indians. In the NL vote, Christian Yelich beat out Javier Baez of the Cubs and Nolan Arenado of the Rockies. In the AL, Betts garnered 28 first-place votes with Trout and his Red Sox’s teammate, J.D. Martinez, taking the other two. Trout finished second with 24 second-place votes. Betts is only the second player in history to win MVP, a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger and the World Series in the same season. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt also did it with the 1980 Phillies. Yelich received 29 of the 30 first-place votes in the NL, with the other going to Mets pitcher/Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. Baez finished second with 19 second-place votes. Yelich is the eighth player to win MVP in his first season with his team and only the second NL player to do it. Bob Elliot with the 1947 Braves is the other.
Pick A Color: MLB Eases Restrictions For Spikes – Major League Baseball and the players’ association ended a footwear flap Thursday, agreeing to loosen restrictions on the colors of spikes that may be used. Ben Zobrist, Kyle Schwarber and Steve Cishek of the Chicago Cubs wore black spikes in May despite a warning from the commissioner’s office that they were violating a regulation requiring that at least 51 percent of the exterior of a player’s shoes be the club’s designated primary shoe color. For the Cubs, that color is blue. The majority requirement was eliminated under the new agreement. Players may now wear shoes with black, white, any colors on the team’s uniform and additional colors approved by the team. “We believe that this agreement strikes the appropriate balance between the shared goal of permitting players to express their individuality while maintaining reasonable restrictions on shoe colors and designs,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. The new rules take effect for next season.
- New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom won his first Cy Young Award on Wednesday, taking home the National League edition after leading the majors in ERA. A ninth-round pick of the Mets in 2010 and a former Rookie of the Year, deGrom’s major-league-leading 1.70 ERA was two-thirds of a run lower than the next closest NL hurler, Philadelphia‘s Aaron Nola (2.37), and the second best by any starter this century.
- Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell was named the American League Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday, capping a breakout season in his first full year in the majors. The 25-year-old lefty was 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA, and he led all major league starters with a .178 batting average allowed — the fifth lowest ever for a starter and lowest since Pedro Martinez’s record .167 average in 2000.
- Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani became the fourth Japanese born player to win Rookie of the Year for the American League.
- Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was named National League Rookie of the Year.
- Brian Snitker has been named NL Manager of the Year after guiding the Atlanta Braves to the team’s first winning season, postseason berth and division title in five years.
- Oakland Athletics skipper Bob Melvin was named American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday after guiding the team with the lowest Opening Day payroll in baseball to a 97-65 record and its first playoff berth in four years.