Dec 19, 2014 9:27 PM
Things to know about Friday's baseball news
The Associated Press
There was a flurry of news around Major League Baseball on Friday as teams worked to retool before the holiday break. Here are some things to know about all the player moves and other changes:
SAN DIEGO PADRES
New general manager A.J. Preller and the Padres were in the middle of all the action. They took a break Friday from a dizzying series of blockbuster trades to introduce one of their new sluggers, Matt Kemp.
"This is unbelievable. He's a GM rock star right now, moving in and out and doing so many things," Kemp said at a Petco Park news conference. "Every day there's something different."
In just more than a week, Preller has worked a five-player deal with the division rival Los Angeles Dodgers to get Kemp; an 11-player deal with Tampa Bay and Washington to get outfielder Wil Myers, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year with the Rays; a six-player deal with Atlanta for slugger Justin Upton; a four-player trade with Oakland that landed All-Star catcher Derek Norris; and a straight-up trade with Boston to get third baseman Will Middlebrooks for catcher Ryan Hanigan, who came over from Tampa Bay.
It's a stunning haul for a team that was starved for offense last season and has had only two winning campaigns since its last playoff appearance, in 2006.
Preller said the Padres are taking a "win now and win later attitude."
Los Angeles finalized its trade for All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins, sending right-hander Zach Eflin and left-hander Tim Windle to the Phillies for Rollins and $1 million to cover part of his $11 million salary in 2015.
The Dodgers had to wait to unveil their acquisition until Kemp's trade to the Padres was finished Thursday.
After a 14-year tenure in Philadelphia, the 36-year-old Rollins agreed to waive his no-trade clause. He said the Dodgers were his top trade destination.
"I don't feel I have to re-prove myself at all," Rollins said. "It's sort of a fresh start. It's hard to (get) a fresh start going into your 15th season."
Los Angeles also introduced new second baseman Howie Kendrick, putting a blue cap on the longtime Angels infielder. Kendrick is just one element of a thorough makeover for the NL West champions under new top executive Andrew Friedman.
Since Friedman took over from Ned Colletti, Los Angeles has parted ways with Kemp, Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Haren and Brian Wilson. The Dodgers have acquired Kendrick, Rollins, catcher Yasmani Grandal and Brandon McCarthy in their place, stabilizing their defense and addressing several possible problem areas from the plate to the clubhouse.
The New York Yankees made a five-player swap that helped their rotation get younger and healthier, acquiring right-hander Nathan Eovaldi from the Marlins for versatile Martin Prado and righty David Phelps.
The Yankees also received first baseman-outfielder Garrett Jones and minor league pitcher Domingo German from Miami.
Eovaldi, who turns 25 in February, throws up to 98 mph and was 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA in 199 2-3 innings last season. He helps shore up a rotation that includes Masahiro Tanaka (torn elbow ligament), CC Sabathia (knee surgery) and Michael Pineda (shoulder muscle), all pitchers who lost time to injuries last season.
Prado, 31, was obtained by the Yankees from Arizona at the July 31 trade deadline and hit .316 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 133 at-bats for New York. An All-Star in 2010, he plays second, third and the outfield.
The Yankees also acquired right-handed reliever Gonzalez Germen from the Mets for cash.
After reviving his career in San Francisco, the 33-year-old righty is returning to the World Series champions.
Peavy agreed to a $24 million, two-year contract with the Giants, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
San Francisco also found a replacement for departed third baseman Pablo Sandoval, obtaining Casey McGehee from Miami for minor league right-handers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo.
McGehee became expendable once the Marlins acquired Prado from the Yankees.
A three-time All-Star and the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner, Peavy was 1-9 with Boston before being traded to San Francisco in late July. He went 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 12 starts for the Giants.
Always animated and intense on the mound, Peavy went 0-2 in the World Series. He had a chance to clinch the crown in Game 6, but lasted just 1 1-3 innings against Kansas City.
Alex Rios signed an $11 million, one-year deal with the Royals that includes a mutual option for the 2016 season. Rios will take over in right field for Nori Aoki, who departed in free agency. ... First baseman Corey Hart and the Pirates agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract. The deal, which includes $2.5 million in performance bonuses, gives Pittsburgh a right-handed option at first base to join left-handed slugger Pedro Alvarez, who is moving from third to first. ... Reliever Jason Motte and the Chicago Cubs finalized a $4.5 million, one-year contract that allows the former St. Louis closer to earn $2.5 million more in performance bonuses. ... David Ross and the Chicago Cubs agreed on a two-year contract worth $5 million, reuniting the catcher with frequent batterymate Jon Lester. ... Left-handed reliever Wesley Wright and the Baltimore Orioles completed a $1.7 million, one-year contract.
After trading away Kendrick, the Los Angeles Angels acquired second baseman Johnny Giavotella from Kansas City for minor league pitcher Brian Broderick.
At 80, Selig is set to take a new title baseball commissioner emeritus.
Selig has led MLB for 22 1/2 years. His time as commissioner ends when Rob Manfred takes over Jan. 25.
"This role will allow the game to benefit from his unmatched institutional knowledge, experience and relationships," Manfred said in a statement. "I could not ask for a finer mentor."
The Dodgers have taken over as MLB's biggest spenders, a distinction held by the Yankees for the previous 15 years. That spot at the top comes with a price: Los Angeles owes more than $26.6 million in luxury tax.
The Dodgers finished with a record payroll of $257,283,410, according to final calculations made by MLB and obtained by the AP. That's more than $20 million over the previous high set by the Yankees last year.
The luxury tax was put in place as a slowdown on spending by high-revenue teams. Three of the five biggest spenders missed the playoffs last season the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies.