8:00 AM ET There’s a self-awareness that kicks in with the very best hitters, Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long says, so that no matter the achievements and the adulation, they can feel they’re in trouble at the plate, vulnerable to the first flicker of a slump. They want to extinguish that as soon as possible,
12:29 AM ET A wild brawl erupted during the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League playoffs on Wednesday, after former major league outfielder Alex Romero struck the opposing catcher with his bat after being hit by a pitch. The incident occurred in the eighth inning, with Caribes de Anzoategui on the way to a 13-2 win over
4:25 PM ET ESPN News Services CLEVELAND — Francisco Lindor‘s status with the Indians has been slightly upgraded. Team president Chris Antonetti said Wednesday he’s more confident the All-Star shortstop will be in Cleveland’s lineup to start the season after the Indians didn’t receive a trade proposal to their liking over the past few weeks.
8:00 AM ET A small army of third basemen has been on the move this winter. Anthony Rendon got the biggest deal ever doled out by Arte Moreno and signed with the Angels. Josh Donaldson is weighing nine-figure offers from the Braves and Nationals. The Cubs have made it known they’re ready to deal Kris
10:27 PM ET Free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos and the Texas Rangers have agreed on a one-year, $6.75 million deal, sources tell ESPN. The deal includes a $5.75 million salary for 2020, with a club option for 2021 that is worth $6.5 million with a $1 million buyout. Chirinos spent six seasons with the Rangers
2:31 PM ET LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers, still hoping to acquire a star player on the trade market, made another low-risk, high-upside addition on Tuesday, agreeing to terms on an incentive-laden deal with Jimmy Nelson, sources confirmed to ESPN. Nelson, a 28-year-old right-hander who had spent his entire career with the Milwaukee Brewers, signed
6:07 PM ET The Cincinnati Reds have signed Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama to a three-year, $21 million contract. The Reds, who announced the contract Monday, reportedly agreed to the deal with Akiyama last week. Akiyama, 31, needed to travel from Japan to Cincinnati and take a physical before the Reds announced the deal, according to
5:36 PM ET The Washington Nationals and first baseman Eric Thames are in agreement on a one-year, $4 million contract, a source familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Thames, 33, batted .247 last season with 25 home runs and 61 RBIs for the Brewers. The left-handed-hitting Thames will likely share time at first
3:35 PM ET Shortstop Jose Iglesias and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract, a source confirmed to ESPN. The deal has a team option for the 2021 season, the source said. The news was first reported by MLB.com. Iglesias, 30, became a free agent when the Cincinnati Reds didn’t tender
2:55 PM ET Free-agent reliever Craig Stammen has elected to return to the San Diego Padres, agreeing to a two-year deal for $9 million, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Saturday. The source said the deal includes a club option for 2022 that would raise the total value to $12 million. Stammen has spent the
10:28 AM ET The Washington Nationals are re-signing Asdrubal Cabrera to a one-year, $2.5 million contract, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Cabrera joins a Nationals free-agency haul that includes Stephen Strasburg, Howie Kendrick, Starlin Castro and Will Harris. The switch-hitting Cabrera batted .260 in 131 games last season with the Texas Rangers and Nationals.
7:00 AM ET An agent recently recalled the halcyon days for free-agent relievers, when teams aggressively bid on bullpen pieces — and it really wasn’t so long ago, in this rapidly evolving sport. There was that winter, the agent fondly remembered, when Tommy Hunter got $18 million from the Phillies. At about the same time,
Jan 3, 2020 Call it the Frankenstein Plan for building a reliever. Teams will sort through the graveyard of pitching careers and see if there are any pieces especially usable. A failed starter with great curveball spin, perhaps. A waived reliever who might’ve relied too much on a flat sinker. The analysts will find these
8:33 PM ET It’s rarely boring with the New York Mets. The latest example: a wild boar and Yoenis Cespedes. The New York Post reported Friday that the fractured ankle Cespedes suffered in the spring came after a bizarre incident the injury-plagued outfielder had with the animal at his ranch in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
5:42 PM ET Free-agent second baseman Starlin Castro has reached a two-year, $12 million deal with the Washington Nationals, a source familiar with the deal confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Friday. The deal is pending a physical, the source said. The Athletic was the first to report the agreement. Castro had a .270 batting
1:52 PM ET Jeff PassanESPN Close ESPN MLB insiderAuthor of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports” Outfielder/pitcher Oscar Colás, one of the best baseball talents to emerge from Cuba in recent years, has left the island and intends to sign a contract with a major league team, sources
10:26 PM ET Former Astros reliever Will Harris has reached an agreement on a three-year deal with the Washington Nationals, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Harris should jump into an eighth-inning role and could get save opportunities, too. USA Today reports the deal is worth $24 million. Harris, 35, was one of manager
9:08 PM ET Catcher Jason Castro has agreed to a one-year, $6.85 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Thursday. The contract for the left-handed-hitting Castro is pending a physical. A nine-year veteran, Castro, 32, hit .232 with 13 homers and 30 RBIs in 79 games with the Minnesota