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Athletics Reunite With Brandon Moss After Trade With Royals

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The Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics completed a trade on Monday, as the most notable name in the deal was outfielder Brandon Moss.

Moss, left-handed pitcher Ryan Buchter, and cash considerations were acquired by Oakland in exchange for right-handed pitchers Heath Fillmyer and Jesse Hahn.

Moss, 34, played for the Athletics from 2012-14. His three years with Oakland saw him hit a career-high 30 home runs in 2013, and be named to his only All-Star team a year later.

Buchter, 30, is coming off another solid season in the pen. In 71 games- 29 of them coming with the Royals after being acquired¬† by the San Diego Padres- he posted a 2.89 ERA (2.67 with Kansas City). It was his second straight impressive campaign, as he recorded a 2.86 ERA in 67 games a year prior for San Diego with additional career-highs in WHIP, BAA, and strikeouts (made Major League debut with one game in 2014, didn’t appear in 2015).

Fillmyer, 23, went 11-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 games/starts in 2017 for the Midland RockHounds of the Texas League, the Athletics’ double-A affiliate.

Hahn, 28, is 18-20 with a 4.19 in 53 games (50 starts) in four Major League seasons since 2014, the last three coming with the Athletics. This past season, he went 3-6 with a 5.30 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). His best campaign was 2015, going 6-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 16 games/starts.

In 11 Major League seasons (since 2007) for seven teams, Moss is a .237/.314/.452 hitter with 160 homers and 473 RBIs. This past year for the Royals, he hit .207 with 22 homers and 50 RBIs in 362 at-bats, mainly as a designated hitter.

Moss has five career 20-homer seasons, all coming since 2012. In order since then, his home run totals each year have been 21, 30, 25, 19, 28, and 22.

An additional fact about Moss is that his batting average has decreased each year since 2012. After hitting .291 that season, he’s proceeded to post marks of .256, .234, .226, .225, and .207.

Moss replaces Ryon Healy- who was traded to the Seattle Mariners in mid-November– as Oakland’s DH. Last year, Healy belted 25 home runs in 149 games for the A’s.

American League

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

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NBC.

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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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