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American League

ICYMI: White Sox Acquire Relievers Joakim Soria, Luis Avilan In Three-Team Trade



Time for another ICYMI piece!

This particular news broke earlier this month on January 4– almost four full weeks ago. We apologize for posting about it so late, but figured it should’ve been done anyway!

For the Chicago White Sox, they’re looking at an improved bullpen in 2018 after acquiring relievers Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan in a six-player, three-team trade with the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Here’s the details:

CWS- 2B Jake Peter
KC- LHP Scott Alexander, RHP Joakim Soria
LAD- LHP Luis Avilan, SS Erick Mejia, RHP Trevor Oaks

CWS- Soria, Avilan
KC- Mejia, Oaks
LAD- Alexander, Peter

Chicago also received a combined $3 million in cash considerations from Kansas City and Los Angeles

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said the following in a conference call to

“Having some payroll flexibility, while other clubs are looking to create it, allowed us to perhaps minimize the amount of players that we had to give up in this deal. We still were able to receive some cash as part of the exchange, which obviously fits in sort of with our need to have the proper value on the players we are acquiring and not just simply absorb payroll for the sake of payroll.

“We’ve added some veteran options for the back end of the bullpen. It obviously provides us with some veteran depth, which allows us to protect and pace the development of some of our young players and provides us with some flexibility options over the course of the summer as things unfold.”

White Sox relievers posted a 4.28 ERA in 2017, fifth worst in the American League, while their 25 saves ranked last.

Soria, 33, posted a 3.70 ERA in 59 games for the Royals last year. In 11 Major League seasons since 2007, he’s posted a 2.86 ERA along with 204 saves (246 chances).

Avilan, 28, posted a 2.93 ERA in 61 games for the Dodgers in 2017, his sixth year in the league. Avilan’s best year came in 2013 for the Atlanta Braves, posting a 1.52 ERA in 75 games (fourth most in the National League).

Both Soria and Avilan have combined to appear in 902 games without making a start.

Alexander, 28, is the only other player in the deal with Major League experience. He’s pitched in parts of three seasons for Kansas City and is fresh off his best one, as he posted a 2.48 ERA in 58 games (79 career, since 2015) in 2017.

American League

2018 ALCS: Astros Aiming To Repeat, Red Sox Looking For Revenge




This year’s American League Championship Series won’t be an unfamiliar scenario for baseball fans, because it’s a rematch of last year’s American League Division Series. Defending World Champion Houston will square off with Boston for the second consecutive postseason, this time with one more game and a lot more at stake. Houston wants a second consecutive pennant, Boston wants second blood.

The Astros defeated the Red Sox three games to one in one half of last season’s ALDS. The Red Sox were on the cusp on forcing a decisive Game 5, but questionable managerial decisions from ex-skipper John Farrell ultimately led to the team’s demise. The Astros then defeated the Yankees and then Los Angeles (both in thrilling seven game series) to bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to Texas for the first time ever.

Image result for George Springer

Postseason homer machine George Springer will look to send his team to another Fall Classic (The Houston Chronicle).

Both teams have different looks this time around in converse ways. Houston traded for superstar RHP Gerrit Cole last offseason while Boston signed slugging free agent OF/DH JD Martinez. What’s interesting is that both moves paid massive dividends. Aside Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton, Cole helped make the Astros’ starting rotation the unquestioned best in the game. Martinez, on the other hand, rejuvenated the Red Sox’ previously dormant offense and made it a force to be reckoned with again, coming within inches of the Triple Crown in the process.

What’s even more interesting is the new dynamic the rematch presents. As previously mentioned, the Sox parted ways with John Farrell last fall after his controversial pitching decisions killed the team’s rally and got them bounced from the ALDS for the second straight year. Who did they hire almost immediately after?  Houston Bench Coach Alex Cora, who resigned from AJ Hinch’s staff after Game 7.  Though there doesn’t appear to be any hard feelings on Houston’s side, it’s safe to bet that it will still serve as motivation.

Image result for alex cora

Red Sox rookie manager Alex Cora finds himself opposite the team he helped lead win it all last season (The Boston Globe).

Boston’s motivation is quite simple, don’t lose to the same team two years in a row. To do this, the team will have to find a way to topple that lethal trio of Verlander, Keuchel and Cole, but also to shut down Houston’s relentless offense, led in the ALDS by Alex Bregman and George Springer. Though he was injured for a majority of the year, Jose Altuve still goes without saying as well.

Don’t get it wrong, though. The Red Sox are no slouches, featuring two MVP front runners in Martinez and Mookie Betts alongside Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts. Chris Sale anchors a rotation that fared quite well against the Yankees in the LDS (with the obvious exception of David Price). Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello were all excellent vs. New York’s powerful core, Cora will be hoping they can replicate that success. He has announced that Price will start Game 2 despite yet another disaster in ALDS Game 2, the reasoning behind this decision is anyone’s guess.

Game 1 is Saturday at 8:09 PM ET on TBS from Fenway Park. Each team will lead off with its ace, Verlander vs. Sale. Don’t miss it!

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American League

Orioles Part Ways with Buck Showalter



The Baltimore Orioles will be in search for a new manager as Buck Showalter will not return to his manager post in 2019 following a 9 year run with the organization, according to ESPN.

Showalter, 62, was at the helm for a nightmare 2018 that saw the team trade Mann Machado as they decided to start a massive youth movement, and the O’s went 47-115 to became just the fifth major league team since 1900 to lose 115 games or more in a season.

“Mr. Angelos’ family has been great to me and mine,” Showalter said on Sunday regarding the pending decision of owner Peter Angelos . “So whatever direction they decide to go, I’m at peace with it.”

“It’s about winning the game,” Showalter said at the conclusion of the season. “That’s one of the things I really feel like we need to get back to, the expectations of winning. That’s part of it. You’ve got to have expectations of winning, regardless of if you’re whatever they call it nowadays — building. I don’t believe in rebuild, the word rebuild. The first thing you have to accomplish, and one of the things I tried to do when I got here, is to raise the expectations of winning.”

Per the report, Showalter received official word in a meeting with brothers John and Lou Angelos on Wednesday morning.

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American League

White Sox Outright Dustin Garneau



The Chicago White Sox have outrighted catcher Dustin Garneau to Triple-A Charlotte, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen.

With the move the White Sox created an open spot on their 40-man roster.

Garneau posted a dreadful .194/.269/.321 over 280 plate appearances at the major league level, a far drop off from his production at the Triple-A level this season, where he posted a .252/.340/.468 line to go along with seven homeruns.


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