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American League

ICYMI: Rays Trade Jake Odorizzi To Twins, Acquire C.J. Cron From Angels

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The Tampa Bay Rays have been busy as of late, as they traded left fielder Corey Dickerson to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the 22nd of February, as well as right fielder Steven Souza Jr. to the Arizona Diamondbacks two days prior to that as part of a three-team trade.

Right before both of those deals, the Rays were involved in an additional two that we forgot to cover here as they both went down on the 17th.

First, Tampa Bay received first baseman C.J. Cron from the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named. Immediately following the trade, the Rays designated Dickerson for assignment, as he was traded to Pittsburgh five days later.

The second deal involved right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi, as he was traded to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for shortstop Jermaine Palacios, the Twins’ No. 27 prospect via MLB Pipeline.

Cron, 28, has hit 16 homers in each of the last three seasons for the Angels, averaging 59 RBIs and 110 games played in those campaigns. This past season, he appeared in 100 games, the fewest since his 2014 rookie season in which he appeared in 79.

With 42 RBIs after the 2017 All-Star break, Cron finished second on the Angels in that category to Albert Pujols who had 47.

“One of the things that we have been on the lookout for was a right-handed hitter,” said Rays general manager Erik Neander. “When Cron became available at the price he was available for us, we felt like he was a better fit for our club moving forward, to balance us out. Going forward, we’re hoping (to have) similar offensive capabilities (from Cron), but from the other side of the plate.”

Odorizzi, 27, leaves the Rays after being with the team for the last five seasons. Prior to being dealt, Odorizzi defeated the Rays in an arbitration hearing, as the righty is due to make $6.35 million this year.

This past season, Odorizzi went 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 28 games/starts across 143 1/3 innings, the fewest he’s had in his four full seasons as a starter (since 2014). In those four years, Odorizzi went 40-36 with a 3.81 ERA in 120 games/starts, averaging 167 innings pitched and 154 strikeouts per year.

With Odorizzi out of the rotation mix, the Rays are looking at an Opening Day rotation of Chris Archer, Blake Snell, Jake Faria, Matt Andriese, and Nathan Eovaldi.

Palacios, 21, was signed by the Twins out of Venezuela in 2013. In 2017, he hit .296/.333/.454 with 13 homers, 10 triples, and 67 RBIs in 124 games across two different single-A levels.

“There comes a point in time where you have to make some decisions and move some things forward,” said Neander. “That’s just on a general level. We felt this was the best time to (trade Odorizzi), and we felt like this was the best offer.

“This (Palacios) is somebody that, by our own work and by our own information, what we see here is a lean, wiry Venezuelan shortstop who has had plenty of offensive success,” added Neander. “Carries the position defensively well. Very good arm. Very good hands.”

The Rays finished 2017 with an 80-82 record, an improvement from their 68-94 record in 2016. The team is in somewhat of a rebuilding phase, as owner Stu Sternberg has put a payroll reduction into place for the upcoming year. Cron and Palacios are two solid additions in my opinion, and time will tell who the Rays will eventually send to Minnesota in exchange for Cron.

American League

Yankees’ Luis Severino Alters Diet to Improve Late-Season Energy

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New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino will be entering an important season as he tries to prove that he is a legit ace for a team that bolstered it’s starting rotation this offseason.

And that means a change in his diet.

Severino has altered his diet, cutting a number of snacks, including his favorite twice-fried plantains, out of his diet in an effort to avoid late-season fatigue.

“It’s not easy, it’s tough” Severino said, according to ESPN’s Coley Harvey.

“When you are at the finish line and you feel like you need a little bit more than five days to be ready, you know that something’s going on,” Severino said.

Severino made the decision to change his diet following the Yankees’ Divisional Series lost to World Series Champions the Boston Red Sox.

“Even though I feel like he was certainly healthy, he probably dealt with some fatigue issues with being a young pitcher in this league, and for the second consecutive year kind of getting around that 200-inning standpoint,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

“But in a lot of ways, we saw the normal progression of a young star pitcher. And even though he had some struggles in the second half, he had some flashes where he pitched really well for us, righted the ship a little bit.”

Severino still could be the starter on Opening Day.

“I would say there’s a very good chance of that,” Boone said. “We hadn’t had those kind of conversations exactly yet. But my expectation is that he would be that guy.”

Severino noted that the diet change was hard.

“I hate eating vegetables,” Severino said.


Where I came from, we just eat anything we see in the fridge, fried and fast food,” Severino said. “But we’re eating more vegetables and stuff like that, and get your body going faster and then recover fast. So that’s my main stuff, focusing on my workouts and avoiding doing a lot of weights that maybe make me a lot more tired.”

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American League

Yankees Keeping Tabs on Manny Machado

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Don’t completely count the New York Yankees out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes just yet, because they are simply playing the waiting game.

According to SNY.tv’s Andy Martino, the Yankees are keeping tabs on Machado with the hopes that a golden opportunity arises.

While they aren’t interested in Machado at shortstop, they would play him at third base and move Miguel Andujar to first base should they be able to haul in Machado.

While nothing is imminent, and even though the report states that a deal is unlikely, there is no counting the Yankees out of it just yet as Spring Training approaches.

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American League

Athletics Sign Brett Anderson

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The Oakland Athletics have agreed to terms with left hander Brett Anderson, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.

Anderson is taking a physical on Tuesday.

Anderson pitched to the tune of a 4.48 ERA for the A’s last season.

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