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American League

Cardinals Trade 2016 All-Star Rookie Shortstop Aledmys Diaz To Blue Jays

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The Toronto Blue Jays have added to their infield, as shortstop Aledmys Diaz was acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday for Minor League outfielder J.B Woodman.

Diaz, 27, made the National League All-Star squad as a rookie for St. Louis in 2016. Overall that season, he hit .300/.369/.510 with 17 homers and 65 RBIs in 404 at-bats, finishing fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

Woodman, 22, was a second-round pick for Toronto in 2016. He was the organization’s No. 28 prospect prior to the trade, MLB.com reported per MLBPipeline.com. In 96 games for the class-A Lansing Lugnuts in 2017, Woodman posted a less-than-impressive .699 OPS.

This past season, Diaz regressed from his impressive rookie campaign, hitting .259/.290/.392 with just 24 extra-base-hits in 79 games. Midway through the year, he was demoted to the minors after rookie Paul DeJong’s offensive production landed him the starting job at shortstop.

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins listed a versatile infielder (Diaz made appearances at second base, third base, and even left field in 2017) as a top priority during last month’s general manager meetings.

“Our priority is complementing our infield in some way with versatility. Someone not that can just play when needed, but someone who could potentially get 600 plate appearances across our infield in some form or fashion,” said Atkins at the time.

Diaz, who signed a four-year, $8 million deal with the Cardinals out of Cuba prior to 2016, is excited to begin fresh with Toronto.

“I want to be an everyday player in the big leagues. That’s why I wanted to get work at second base and third base. It gives me more options, and hopefully an organization will give me a chance to play every day. That’s what I want to do,” said Diaz, who’s under control with Toronto through 2022.

The signing of Diaz came one day after the Blue Jays announced that infielder Ryan Goins wouldn’t be returning in 2018. Goins appeared in 87 games at shortstop in 2017 out of his 143 totals games.

Diaz is expected to make starts consistently throughout the middle-infield for the Blue Jays next year, with an occasional outfield start if needbe.

American League

Angels Closing in on Historic Extension with Mike Trout

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The Los Angeles Angels are nearing a historic contract extension with superstar outfielder Mike Trout that would set the record for the largest contract in professional sports.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Angels and Trout are working towards a new 12-year pact that could be worth more than $340 million, nullifying his current contract.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin, Trout’s new potential deal includes a $36 million salary in each new year.

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American League

Yankees Sign Gio Gonzalez

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The New York Yankees have bolstered their rotation, which has been hit hard by injuries this spring, and have agreed to terms on a contract with veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

According to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, Gonzalez’s new deal is likely a minors deal.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Gonzalez would make $3 million in the majors via a games-started incentives outline that could elevate his earnings, and the deal comes with an opt-out for April 20th if Gonzalez doesn’t make the team out of spring training..

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American League

Rangers’ Yohander Mendez Diagnosed With UCL Sprain

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Texas Rangers left hander Yohander Mendez has been diagnosed with a grade one sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.

Mendez, who avoided having to undergo Tommy John surgery, is expected to miss half of the 2019 season as he recovers.

Mendez, 24, could return as early as mid-June, if all goes well in his rehabilitation.

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