All That Glitters is Gold
Major League Baseball handed out some hardware on Sunday night with the announcement of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.
Here’s the complete list of winners as well as how many times each player has won the award:
C - Roberto Perez, CLE (1)
1B - Matt Olson, OAK (2)
2B - Yolmer Sanchez, CHW (1)
SS - Francisco Lindor, CLE (2)
3B - Matt Chapman, OAK (2)
LF - Alex Gordon, KC (7)
CF - Kevin Kiermaier, TB (3)
RF - Mookie Betts, BOS (4)
P - Mike Leake, SEA (1)
C - J.T. Realmuto, PHI (1)
1B - Anthony Rizzo, CHC (3)
2B - Kolten Wong, STL (1)
SS - Nick Ahmed, ARI (2)
3B - Nolan Arenado, COL (7)
LF - David Peralta, ARI (1)
CF - Lorenzo Cain, MIL (1)
RF - Cody Bellinger, LAD (1)
P - Zack Greinke, ARI (6)
Athletics’ third baseman Matt Chapman led all MLB third baseman in defensive runs saved (18), total chances (466), putouts (146), fielding percentage (.981), and zone rating (.834). He’s an unbelievably-talented defender and should probably be considered the favorite to take home his second consecutive Platinum Glove in the American League -- representing the top overall defender at any position.
In the National League, Nolan Arenado has taken home the Platinum Glove in each of the last two seasons -- and is strongly positioned to make it three in a row. Arenado has now taken home the award during each of his first seven seasons at the big league level. His seven Gold Gloves are the most in Rockies’ franchise history. Only Brooks Robinson (16), Mike Schmidt (10) and Scott Rolen (8) have won more Gold Gloves at the position in big league history.
Like many baseball fans, I’ll admit that I was stoked to see Brewers’ center fielder Lorenzo Cain take home his first Gold Glove. He has been one of the top defensive outfielders in all of baseball or the last eight seasons and routinely makes spectacular highlight-reel plays and home run-saving catches -- yet he had never been able to secure the much-deserved award.
Beltran to Manage Mets
Mets’ general manager Brodie Van Wagenen made his long-awaited decision on Friday -- naming Carlos Beltran to replace Mickey Callaway as the team’s manager.
Beltran will be getting a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth season. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. The 42-year-old will be formally introduced at a press conference in New York on Monday.
Beltran spent 6 1/2 years of his playing career with the Mets from 2005-2011. While he doesn't have any managerial experience, the Mets believe he's the perfect person to lead their clubhouse.
Beltran becomes the 22nd manager in franchise history. He'll inherit a team that went 86-76 during a disappointing 2019 season, so expectations will be high right out of the gate for the first-time manager.
According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, while the Mets have not yet approached former manager Terry Collins about serving as the bench coach for Carlos Beltran, that doesn't mean it won't happen.
Collins, 70, managed the Mets from 2011-2017 before Mickey Callaway replaced him. He's still on the Mets' payroll working in the front office and has a good relationship with Beltran. Beltran even met with Collins before his second interview with the Mets’ front office.
The move would make plenty of sense, as Beltran has no managerial experience, so having someone with Collins' wealth of knowledge and experience as his right-hand man would be a nice asset. Even if they don't approach Collins about the job, expect the Mets to ultimately have a well-seasoned coach as Beltran's bench coach.
Strasburg Opts Out
While it had been expected for quite some time and didn’t come as a major surprise, Stephen Strasburg -- fresh off of being named the World Series MVP -- opted out of his contract with the Nationals on Saturday.
The right-hander had four years and $100 million remaining on his contract with the Nationals. He’ll have no problem exceeding that amount on the open market, especially after a dominant 2019 campaign in which he went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 251/56 K/BB ratio over a National League-leading 209 innings during the regular season. He followed that up with an epic postseason in which he won five of his six starts with a 1.98 ERA and 47/4 K/BB ratio.
There is definitely mutual interest between Strasburg and the Nationals to bring the star right-hander back to Washington -- and by all accounts they’ll begin negotiations very soon. The Nationals also indicated that they’re willing to give Strasburg a “nice annual raise” from the $25 million average annual value of the contract that he just opted out of.
Meanwhile, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune has reported that multiple people in the Padres' organization have indicated to him that the team "will be in position to make a run" at Strasburg. Strasburg grew up in the San Diego area, went to college at San Diego State and both his and his wife's parents live there.
Strasburg and former Astros’ hurler Gerrit Cole are the top two arms available on the free agent market, and there should be several teams willing to break the bank to land either of them. It should be an exciting hot stove season.
Chapman Staying in Pinstripes
News broke on Saturday that Aroldis Chapman was leaning toward opting out of the final two years and $30 million remaining on his contract with the Yankees -- unless the two sides could come to an agreement on an extension.
Less than 24 hours later, the deal was done. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported early Sunday that the team will add another year and $18 million onto Chapman’s contract, keeping the closer in New York for the next three seasons.
Chapman, who turns 32-years-old in February, is fresh off another terrific season where he posted a 2.21 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 85/25 K/BB ratio across his 57 innings of work. He recorded 37 saves for the Yankees and was named the American League Reliever of the Year.
He’ll head into the 2020 fantasy draft season again as one of the elite options at the top of the closer ranks.
American League Quick Hits: The Twins exercised their 2020 option ($12M) on Nelson Cruz ... The Indians exercised their 2020 option ($17.5M) on ace right-hander Corey Kluber… The Tribe declined their options on Jason Kipnis ($16.5M) and Dan Otero ($1.5M)... The Royals declined their 2020 option ($23M) on long-time face of the franchise Alex Gordon… The Rangers declined their $8 million option on Welington Castillo… The Mariners claimed Phillips Valdez off of waivers from the Rangers… The Angels claimed Mike Mayers off of waivers from the Cardinals… The Angels announced the hiring of Mike Gallego as their new bench coach… The Athletics purchased the contract of Jonah Heim, protecting the 24-year-old switch-hitting backstop from the Rule-5 draft… Sam Dyson elected free agency after refusing the Twins’ outright assignment to Triple-A Rochester.
National League Quick Hits: The Reds exercised their 2020 option ($5.5M) on Freddy Galvis… The Phillies released Jose Pirela… The Marlins declined their $16 million option on Starlin Castro for 2020… The Brewers are losing two key bats, as both Yasmani Grandal ($16M) and Mike Moustakas ($11M) each declined their options for 2020… The Nationals declined their options on Matt Adams ($4M), Ryan Zimmerman ($18M) and Yan Gomes ($9M).... The Nats exercised their options on Sean Doolittle ($6.5M) and Adam Eaton ($9.5M)... Tyler Austin and Cory Spangenberg each elected free agency after refusing outright assignments to Triple-A… The Mets decided against picking up Juan Lagares’ option ($9.5M) for 2020… Joe Panik and Donnie Hart each elected free agency after refusing the Mets’ outright assignments to Triple-A Syracuse… The Padres announced the hiring of Bobby Dickerson as their new bench coach… Kyle Barraclough elected free agency after refusing the Giants’ outright assignment to Triple-A Sacramento… The Braves declined their mutual option on speedster Billy Hamilton… The Brewers purchased the contract of Angel Perdomo from Triple-A San Antonio… The Cubs exercised their 2020 options on Anthony Rizzo ($16.5M) and Jose Quintana ($10.5M) while declining their option on Derek Holland ($6.5M)... Giants’ southpaw Tony Watson exercised his $2.5 million option for 2020...The Giants declined their option on Fernando Abad… The Nationals have expressed a strong desire to bring back Ryan Zimmerman -- at a much cheaper rate… Jake Arrieta chose not to use his opt-out, exercising his $20 million option for the 2020 season.