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American League

Astros Sign Former Cubs Closer Hector Rondon To Two-Year Deal

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After losing Luke Gregerson to the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday and filling that hole with Joe Smith, the Houston Astros have added another right-hander in the bullpen, as Hector Rondon agreed to terms on Friday.

MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin reports, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, that Rondon’s deal is for two years worth $8.5 million.

Houston designated outfielder Preston Tucker for assignment, also on Friday, to make room for Rondon on the 40-man roster.

Rondon, 29, is coming off his fifth Major League season- all with the Chicago Cubs. He’s coming off a down year after posting a 4.24 ERA which was the highest since his rookie season in 2013 when it was 4.77 (2.44 from 2014-16). Despite allowing a career high 10 homers in 2017, Rondon posted the highest strikeout rate of his career, at 10.8 per nine innings.

A World Series winner in 2016 with the Cubs, Rondon is eager to win another with the defending champions.

“I’m blessed for this opportunity. I wanted to come here,” said Rondon on Friday, per MLB.com. “I’ve already won a championship, and I want to win another. I feel close to this group. After just a few hours, I already feel a connection with these guys.”

Rondon was at his best from 2014-15, saving 59 games in 67 chances with a 2.03 ERA in 136 games, allowing a combined six homers. In 2016, his ERA rose to 3.53 in 54 games with eight homers allowed, but did post a career-best 0.98 WHIP as he saved 18 games in 23 chances.

Brandon Taubman, Astros senior director of baseball operations, is excited to add Rondon to his emerging relief staff.

“He’s a really good pitcher,” said Taubman. “He has a high performance record. We have lost some of our veteran guys in the bullpen and we hope he can guide the other guys along.”

Overall, Rondon is 18-13 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 296 career games (all in relief), saving 77 games in 94 chances.

American League

Red Sox Designate Eduardo Nunez For Assignment

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Eduardo Nunez

The Boston Red Sox have designated infielder Eduardo Nunez for assignment, according to a team announcement on Monday.

Boston also optioned right hander Hector Velazquez to Triple A Pawtucket.

In corresponding moves, the Red Sox have called up right hander Ryan Weber and first basemen/outfielder Sam Travis from Triple A.

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American League

Royals Considered Likely to be Moving Billy Hamilton, Terrance Gore

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Billy Hamilton

As the trade deadline approaches, the Kansas City Royals may be ready to enter sale mode.

According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, the Royals may be moving both Billy Hamilton and Terrance Gore, who has already been designated for assignment.

Hamilton has been dropped to a backup role following the Royals call up of top prospect Bubba Starling, and hasn’t started a game since July 3rd.

Hamilton has posted a .217/.284/.271 slash line this season.

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American League

Orioles’ Mychal Givens Drawing Trade Interest

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Mychal Givens

The Baltimore Orioles are again going to be sellers at the trade deadline and it appears that closer Mychal Givens is available, and drawing interest, according to MASNSports’ Rock Kubatko.

Per the report, the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies have expressed interest in the pitcher.

Givens has posted a 4.50 ERA this season for Baltimore.

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