February 7th

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Photo Credit – Las Vegas Review-Journal

MAJOR NEWS

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson, the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win MVP in both leagues, has died at age 83, MLB said Thursday. An outfielder and first baseman, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 in his first year of eligibility. A fearsome hitter, Robinson ranks 10th on the career home run list with 586. He won the Triple Crown with the Orioles in 1966 and became the first black manager in MLB history in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians. – ESPN

J.T. Realmuto

Finally after all this talk, the man has a home. As reported by MLB Trade Rumors: One of the winter’s biggest storylines has finally drawn to a close, as the Phillies and Marlins have agreed to a deal that will send star catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia, according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic (Twitter links). A four-player package will go to Miami in return, headlined by young backstop Jorge Alfaro and top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez. Southpaw Will Stewart is one of the other pieces in the deal. The Marlins also acquire an international signing slot worth $250K, per ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman (Twitter links).

Rule Changes

Major League Baseball confirmed to ESPN on Thursday that it’s changing the name of the “Disabled List” to the “Injury List.” The genesis of the rule? Disability advocates asked Major League Baseball to change the name because so people wouldn’t confuse “disabilities” and “injuries” and further the thinking that a disability means someone can’t play a sport. – Mike Oz, Yahoo! Sports

Brad Boxberger

As yesterday’s rumor suggested, Brad Boxberger has signed a one year deal with the KC Royals. he’ll receive $2.2MM along with $1MM in possible incentives, as reported by Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Twitter link. At times, Boxberger has been quite an effective late-inning reliever. In his 284 1/3 total MLB innings, he carries a 3.42 ERA with 11.6 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9. – MLB Trade Rumors

MINOR NEWS

Hunter Pence

The Rangers announced Thursday that they’ve signed outfielder Hunter Pence to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training. It’s a

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Photo Credit – MLB.com

homecoming of sorts for Pence, a native of Fort Worth who attended high school in Arlington. Pence, 36 in April, was long one of the game’s more productive right fielders but has seen his production at the plate wane over the past two seasons. Dating back to the 2017 season, he’s mustered just a .249/.297/.368 slash with 17 homers, 24 doubles and six triples in 792 plate appearances with the Giants. He’ll look to rediscover some semblance of his peak form — .282/.341/.463 from 2011-16 — in his new deal with Texas. The veteran has been open about the work he’s been doing to make alterations to his swing in an effort to bounce back at the plate. – MLB Trade Rumors

Josh Tomlin

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Milwaukee Brewers have signed Josh Tomlin to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training. Tomlin will receive $1.25MM in the major leagues and can earn up to an additional $2.25MM in incentives, maxing out at 150 IP. Tomlin, 34, was part of the Cleveland Indians organization for more than decade but saw his effectiveness take a sharp downturn last season. A starter for much of his career, he was moved to the bullpen to make room for Adam Plutko in the rotation after struggling through the early part of 2018. He didn’t fare much better in relief, and finished the year with a 6.14 ERA in 32 appearances. Those appearances were marked by 5.9 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 rates, each the worst totals he had posted in several years. More notably perhaps were the 25 home runs he allowed in just 70.1 IP, a rate that will have to come down considerably for him to be effective in the major leagues. – MLB Trade Rumors

Ryan Flaherty

Flaherty, 32, spent six seasons in Baltimore before playing 2018 with the Atlanta Braves. He appeared in two postseason games for Atlanta after starting 23 of the team’s first 29 games. A versatile defender, Flaherty has played all four infield positions as well as both corner outfield spots in his career. Flaherty is a lifetime .216 hitter in the big leagues with 37 home runs and 141 RBI and an OPS of .633. – Cleveland.com

Nate Karns

Right-hander Nathan Karns, who hasn’t pitched in the regular season since May 2017, has agreed to a one-year, MLB deal worth a guaranteed $800,000. He can make another $200,000 in performance bonuses – $50,000 at 25-inning intervals, capping at 100 innings pitched. The 31-year-old Karns, a former 12th round pick of the Washington Nationals out of Texas Tech in 2009, is 16-11 with a 4.37 ERA in 63 games (54 starts) in parts of five big-league seasons. He was 2-2 with a 4.17 ERA in nine games with the Kansas City Royals in 2017, before he had season-ending thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. – Dan Connolly, The Athletic

Devin Mesoraco

Per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, the New York Mets have re-signed catcher Devin Mesoraco to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Mesoraco, 30, hit .221/.303/.398 with 11 home runs, 33 RBIs, and a 0.7 bWAR across 84 games with the Reds and the Mets in 2018. He hit 10 home runs in 229 plate appearances for the Mets after being acquired via trade for Matt Harvey. – Metsmerizedonline.com

For the rest of the minor league deals, Check out MLB Trade Rumor’s article: Minor MLB Transactions: 2/7/19

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