Around the Horn: News & Notes 1/27
Welcome in! Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time in reading about everything that happened in the last week around the MLB. The news comes out every Wednesday for now until we get into spring training, and we may need to increase as we get into the spring. I recently had my "Why I Love Baseball" piece published with Authenticity Mags if you missed it. You can check that out here. Also, I will be publishing my future and present series, which was a huge hit last season, and my top fantasy baseball targets at each position. Today, we got league news, trade announcements and rumors, injury updates, and prospect buzz. To check out last week's news, click here.
The Hall of Fame results came out yesterday, and I quickly got out a post on my thoughts and some interesting thoughts from Curt Schilling. You can check out my full recap here.
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-"The Major League Baseball Players Association rejected the league's most recent proposal to implement a universal designated hitter. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported this morning(1/25) in a more comprehensive, broad-reaching look at the issues facing the two parties. MLB offered up a universal DH and a willingness to rule in favor of two players on a pair of service time grievances, per Rosenthal. Still, in exchange, they sought an agreement on expanded playoffs, the implementation of a pitch clock, and a Spring Training trial run with electronic strike zones, among other elements." Steve Adams did an excellent recap, which you can read here. TC Zencka from MLB Trade Rumors also wrote up another great piece on this issue, which you can find here.
-Season still starting on time; however, we got an update: Less than a month before players are set to report to Spring Training, Arizona's Cactus League has submitted a formal request to commissioner Rob Manfred asking that the start of Spring Training be delayed due to the Covid-19 infection rate in Maricopa County (Twitter link via Brahm Resnick of 12 News in Arizona). The Cactus League itself does not have the authority to delay Spring Training's start, but its formal request figures to elicit a response from the commissioner's office.
-On the morning of 1/22, the baseball world lost another all-time great, as Hall of Famer "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron passed away at 86. Steve Adams from Bleacher report perfectly recaps the life of Hank Aaron with the following: "Aaron was the model of consistency, durability, and excellence, annually ranking among the game's elite in nearly every major offensive category while rarely missing a day on the field. From his age-21 season in 1955 to his age-37 campaign in 1971 — all of them All-Star seasons — he averaged 153 games played and maintained an astonishing .315/.379/.574 output at the plate despite that Herculean workload. Great as Aaron's career on the field was, his legacy is rooted in far more than those mere numbers. Aaron overcame intense racism, hate mail, and death threats as he closed in on breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record of 714 — a hallowed mark in its own right that many thought would never be surpassed. His courage, perseverance, and grace throughout the ordeal has served as an inspiration to countless fans. The words "icon" and "iconic" are thrown around too often in today's vernacular, and yet both seem to fall shy of describing Aaron's status within the sport's history. The name "Hank Aaron" is emblematic of greatness. It will forever be woven into not only into the tapestry of baseball's rich history but into the history of the country itself. "Ball Boy Blog extends our deepest condolences to Aaron's family, friends, loved ones, former teammates, and fans around the world. RIP Legend!
-Cubs 3B Kris Bryant could be the MLB Andrew Luck. What I mean by this is what he said in an interview with Barstool Sports' Red Line Radio "It really got to me sometimes. The stuff I was hearing. The first trade rumors [in 2018] that started to pop up really got to me. I find myself [thinking,] 'Man, is this even fun anymore? Why did I start playing this game?' Because it was fun." With all the trade rumors, free-agency coming up, the Cubs moving in a different direction, Bryant could be ready to move on to early retirement.
-Former MLB OF Denard Span was hired as a special assistant in the Tampa Bay Rays' baseball operations department.
-Omar Minya will accept an ambassadorship with the Mets to be a public presence for the organization.
League News Updates:
-Spending is starting to pick up finally after the MLB owners were called out because of the lack of spending and slow market.
-Only the Rays have officially said they will have fans during the season.
-14 prospects. That's the number of prospects the Pirates have now acquired after trading RHP Jameson Taillon to the New York Yankees for MiLB RHP Migues Yajure, RHP Roansy Contreras, INF Maikol Escotto, and OF Canaan Smith. Drafted second overall in 2010, Taillon has posted a 3.67 ERA, 21.5K%, 15.5K-BB%, and a 48.2% grounder rate over his Major League career. Yajure is likely a #4/5 starter with top of the rotation upside. He has yet to pitch above the AA level. Contreras hasn't yet pitched up the A-ball level but owns a 3.25ERA over 249.1IP in 47starts. Smith is an average defender in LF, with average speed but a high IQ for stealing bases with 21/28 in attempts. He owns a .280/.389/.426 slash in 936PA in the lower levels of the minors. The ability to get on base will carry him through the minors. Escotto, 18yo, only has played in the Yankees DSL in 2019, where he hit .315/.429/.552 in 218PA. Escotto is versatile with the glove as he can play 2B, SS, 3B.
-For the first time in SEVEN YEARS, the Yankees and Red Sox agreed to a trade! The Red Sox acquired RHP Adam Ottavino and MiLB RHP Frank German for cash or a PTBNL. The move is strictly a salary dump move for the Yankees, who now clear up $8.15mil against the luxury tax. In 2020 Ottavina wasn't great as he has up 12ER, 20H, 9BB, 25K over 18.1IP in 24 appearances. He owns a career 5.89ERA/3.52FIP in his career.
-The Cincinnati Reds have acquired LHP Cionel Perez from the Houston Astros in exchange for C Luke Berryhill. The 24yo Perez has a 5.74ERA, 23.1K% over 26.2IP.
-The Cincinnati Reds have acquired RHP Hector Perez from the Blue Jays for a PTBNL or cash. The move cleared a 40-man spot for the signing of George Springer to go, official.
-The Mets and Blue Jays have spoken to the Chicago Cubs on 3B Kris Bryant.
-The Brewers are listening to offers for closer Josh Hader, but the asking price is "overwhelming."
-The Miami Marlins reached out to the Baltimore Orioles about OF Anthony Santander. The Marlins are looking to spend their wealth of prospects in trades instead of cash in free agency.
-FA SP Jake Arrieta will throw for interested teams on 1/29. The Twins are expected to attend the workout.
-FA RHRP David Robertson is planning to hold a showcase in early February for interested teams. He is looking to show he is ready to perform coming off the August 2019 Tommy John.
-In a piece by Outfield Fly Rule, they posted the top 50 Atlanta Braves prospects, and I want to highlight #51, Ethan Workinger. Ethan is the little brother of one of my long-time friends. The kid is incredible. As written by OFR, "Workinger is 6′-3″ and 185 pounds and looks to have plenty of room on his frame to add muscle. He had 11 extra-base hits in 90 PAs in his 19-game run with SDCCC, with two stolen bases. He has a classic slugger's swing and will likely add power as he matures. He's likely to start the season in extended training, working to Augusta before the end of the season." Keep your eyes open, Atlanta Braves fans. You can find the full piece here.
-The Tigers manager AJ Hinch said they could give regular playing time at 2B to Isaac Paredes after an excellent showing in his Rookie season.
Thank you guys for being with me today. I hope you enjoyed the blog today. Please stay tuned through the winter; we have more Around the Horn, Yearly Reviews, Ball Boy Talk, and of course, the Podcast. Don't forget to share with a friend and until next time Ball boys & girls.
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