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American League

2018 MLB All-Star Game Rosters Unveiled

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The favorite night of the summer for baseball fans is coming up rapidly. The 2018 MLB All-Star Game is a week from Tuesday in Washington DC. Before this week’s edition of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, the All-Stars of both leagues were revealed. Whether by fan, player or managerial vote, the following players have earned the honor of going to the Midsummer Classic:

National League

Manager: Dave Roberts- Dodgers

Starting lineup:

  • C- Willson Contreras- Cubs (first appearance)
  • 1B- Freddie Freeman- Braves (third appearance)
  • 2B- Javier Baez- Cubs (first appearance)
  • SS- Brandon Crawford- Giants (second appearance)
  • 3B- Nolan Arenado- Rockies (fourth appearance)
  • OF- Nick Markakis- Braves (first appearance)
  • OF- Matt Kemp- Dodgers (third appearance)
  • OF- Bryce Harper- Nationals (sixth appearance)

Notable: LA’s Matt Kemp, who is singled-handedly keeping the Dodgers in contention, is back for the first time since 2012, the longest stretch between appearances for any All-Star this year.

Starting pitchers:

  • Jacob deGrom- Mets (second appearance)
  • Mike Foltynewicz- Braves (first appearance)
  • Patrick Corbin- D-Backs (second appearance)
  • Aaron Nola- Phillies (first appearance)
  • Miles Mikolas- Cardinals (first appearance)
  • Max Scherzer- Nationals (sixth appearance)
  • Jon Lester- Cubs (fifth appearance)

Notable: Arizona’s Patrick Corbin returns tfter being tagged with the loss in 2013 at New York’s Citi Field. Jacob deGrom is the sole representative of the aforementioned Mets and is the favorite to get the starting nod at this point, but don’t rule out Lester.

Bullpen:

  • Brad Hand- Padres (second appearance)
  • Sean Doolittle- Nationals (second appearance)
  • Kenley Jansen- Dodgers (third appearance)
  • Felipe Vazquez- Pirates (first appearance)
  • Josh Hader- Brewers (first appearance)

Notable: Doolittle, Jansen and Hand are amongst the game’s best closers, while Vazquez and Hader are quickly approaching that conversation. Bullpen advantage goes to the NL.

Reserves:

  • C-Buster Posey- Giants (sixth appearance)
  • C- JT Realmuto- Marlins (first appearance)
  • 1B- Paul Goldschmidt- D-Backs (sixth appearance)
  • 1B- Joey Votto- Reds (sixth appearance)
  • 2B- Ozie Albies- Braves (first appearance)
  • 2B- Scooter Gennett- Reds (first appearance)
  • SS- Trevor Story- Rockies (first appearance)
  • 3B- Eugenio Suarez- Reds (first appearance)
  • OF- Charlie Blackmon- Rockies (third appearance)
  • OF- Lorenzo Cain- Brewers (second appearance)
  • OF- Christian Yelich- Brewers (first appearance)

Notable: Six players on the NL’s bench make their debuts this year, while Posey, Votto and Goldschmidt each make their sixth appearance.

Final Vote candidates:

  • Jesus Aguilar- Brewers (no appearances)
  • Brandon Belt- Giants (one appearance)
  • Max Muncy- Dodgers (no appearances)
  • Trea Turner- Nationals (no appearances)
  • Matt Carpenter- Cardinals (three appearances)

Turner is the odds-on favorite to be the last man on the Senior Circuit side. His Washington Nationals are this year’s hosts and their fans will vote in troves to get him there so they’ll have one more guy to go crazy for when Joe Buck does his traditional introductions.

American League

Manager: AJ Hinch- Astros

Starting lineup:

  • C- Wilson Ramos- Rays (second appearance)
  • 1B- Jose Abreu- White Sox (second appearance)
  • 2B- Jose Altuve- Astros (sixth appearance)
  • SS- Manny Machado- Orioles (fourth appearance)
  • 3B- Jose Ramirez- Indians (second appearance)
  • OF-Aaron Judge- Yankees (second appearance)
  • OF- Mike Trout- Angels (seventh appearance)
  • OF- Mookie Betts- Red Sox (third appearance)
  • DH- JD Martinez- Red Sox (second appearance)

Notable: The American League’s starting lineup is almost identical to last year’s. Judge and Betts will once again patrol the outfield, joined by Trout, whom Betts replaced in 2017 due to a thumb injury.

Starting pitchers:

  • JA Happ- Blue Jays (first appearance)
  • Corey Kluber- Indians (third appearance)
  • Justin Verlander- Astros (seventh appearance)
  • Trevor Bauer- Indians (first appearance)
  • Luis Severino- Yankees (second appearance)
  • Blake Treinen- Athletics (first appearance)
  • Chris Sale- Red Sox (seventh appearance)
  • Gerrit Cole- Astros (second appearance)
  • Jose Berrios- Twins (first appearance)

Notable: AL skipper Hinch is Verlander’s manager, and he has already announced that his ace will not play in the game, Bauer is his replacement. Verlander was the favorite to start; now that his participation is ruled out the choice will likely come down to Luis Severino or Gerrit Cole, who has been a revelation.

Bullpen:

  • Joe Jimenez- Tigers (first appearance)
  • Edwin Diaz- Mariners (first appearance)
  • Aroldis Chapman- Yankees (fifth appearance)
  • Craig Kimbrel- Red Sox (seventh appearance)

Notable: Chapman and Kimbrel find themselves on the AL side this time after being teammates for the NL from 2012 to 2014. They are the AL’s best, but the NL boasts one more reliever and Hinch will have to choose wisely should the American League have the lead late.

Reserves:

  • C- Salvador Perez- Royals (sixth appearance)
  • 1B- Mitch Moreland- Red Sox (first appearance)
  • 2B- Gleyber Torres- Yankees (first appearance)
  • SS- Francisco Lindor- Indians (third appearance)
  • 3B- Alex Bregman- Astros (first appearance)
  • OF- Michael Brantley- Indians (third appearance)
  • OF- Mitch Haniger- Mariners (first appearance)
  • OF- George Springer- Astros (second appearance)
  • OF- Shin-Soo Choo- Rangers (first appearance)
  • DH- Nelson Cruz- Mariners (sixth appearance)

Notable: A feel-good moment comes here for Texas’ Choo, who gets his first selection at the age of 35 after being in the game for 13 years. According to ESPN, he is the first Korean batter selected to the MLB All-Star Game. Former Ranger Moreland is a similar case, getting his first selection at 32.

Final Vote candidates:

  • Eddie Rosario- Twins (no appearances)
  • Jean Segura- Mariners (one appearance)
  • Andrelton Simmons- Angels (no appearances)
  • Andrew Benintendi- Red Sox (no appearances)
  • Giancarlo Stanton- Yankees (four appearances)

Based on name value alone, Stanton is the favorite here. But Simmons, Benintendi, Segura and Rosario all have worthy numbers, Yankee fans will have to vote aggressively to get their prized acquisition to his fifth appearance.

Information on injury replacements and pitching fill-ins to come. Which side is more stacked in your opinion? Be sure to let us know and check back to HR Daily as the Midsummer Classic gets closer and closer!

American League

2019 Trade Deadline Highlights

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In a shocking, last-minute deal, Zack Greinke has a new home (CBS Sports).

This year’s Trade Deadline in the MLB wasn’t as boisterous as previous seasons and might rank as one of the less-exciting ones in history. There was still a good number of high-profile moves, however, and a few big names went on to new homes. Here’s a look at the more notable acquisitions of July 31, 2019 and how they will impact the teams that got the big returns.

Blue Jays trade RHP Marcus Stroman to Mets in exchange for RHP Anthony Kay, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson

The move that unofficially kicked off trading season was a bit of a head scratcher. It had long been rumored that Toronto was shopping ace Marcus Stroman, but the team he ended up with isn’t exactly a contender. The Mets are currently four games under .500 and may not be vying for the postseason in 2019. The move is likely another part of the Mets rebuilding process, and since Noah Syndergaard stayed put, New York may have a formidable rotation next season.

Indians acquire LHP Scott Moss, OF Yasiel Puig from Reds and OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen and IF Victor Nova from Padres, Padres acquire OF Taylor Trammell from Reds, Indians acquire Reds acquire RHP Trevor Bauer from Indians

The literal biggest trade of the day was a this three-team blockbuster. Trevor Bauer firing the ball over the center field wall on Sunday after he was pulled in the fifth inning ended up being the last pitch he threw in an Indians uniform. A day later the Tribe rid itself of his petulance and pulled off a massive trade with intrastate rival Cincinnati as well as San Diego that saw Bauer go to the Reds and Reds top prospect Taylor Tramell go to the Friars. Cleveland received a host of players from both teams, most namely Yasiel Puig, who is ironically also known as a prima donna.

Though Bauer is undeniably talented when he keeps his act together and bolsters the Reds attempts to trend upward, San Diego may have won the trade with Tramell, MLB’s no. 30 overall prospect.

Rays acquire 1B Jesus Aguilar from Brewers in exchange for RHP Jacob Faria

Milwaukee was certainly brewing before the Deadline and made a commendable effort to improve its pitching. GM David Stearns’ most notable move was a straight swap with the Rays that brought back righty Jacob Faria in exchange for power hitting 1B Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar is having a down year but has proven many times that he can be deadly. He gives the Rays the big bat they’ve been seeking in their hunt for a Wild Card berth.

It’s a good move for both sides because it clears Milwaukee’s infield logjam and gives the team another quality starter. Faria never quite broke out in Tampa Bay but a change of scenery always has potential to pay dividends. After having already gotten Jordan Lyles from Pittsburgh on Monday, the Brewers made another move and got Drew Pomeranz from San Fransisco later on Wednesday. Though none of the returns are big name guys, Milwaukee is serious about making another run after coming so close last year.

Cubs acquire OF Nicholas Castellanos from Tigers in exchange for RHP Alex Lange and RHP Paul Richan.

The Cubs made their chances of taking the NL Central back even better with this move. Nicholas Castellanos has been one of the MLB’s more underrated players in recent years, largely because he was on the Tigers after the team’s glory days of the early 2010s ended. Adding him to a lineup that already includes Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez gives the Cubbies even more firepower, especially given Castellanos success vs. lefty pitchers. It’s also a great move for him personally as he gets to join a contending team at last. The Cubs are vying to appear in the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, and their chances look pretty good.

Astros acquire RHP Zack Greinke from Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Corbin Martin, RHP JB Bukauskas, IF Josh Rojas and IF Seth Beer

If Houston was scary good before this trade, they’re terrifyingly good now. The Astros just added Zack Greinke to a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in a last-minute deal that wasn’t announced until after the deadline officially passed. Arizona received a package of four minor leaguers in return as the team is now officially in the rebuilding process.

Like Verlander, Greinke is in the second half of his thirties but has not declined at all and owned a 10-4 record with a 2.90 on a sub-par Diamondbacks team at the time of his departure. The six-time All-Star’s presence gives Houston the best rotation in baseball by far and should get the knees of any upcoming opponent knocking. The MLB said it best on Instagram today, “Facing Houston? You have a problem.”

Notable non-moves:

  • After being heavily rumored as top targets, Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard and Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner are still members of their longtime teams.
  • The Boston Red Sox, whose bullpen has blown 18 saves, made no moves to improve its relief core, to the amazement of the team’s fanbase.
  • The New York Yankees were thought to be Syndergaard’s top suitor, but the team did not acquire any starting pitching to aid Aaron Boone’s struggling rotation.

What was the biggest move of the deadline this year? Be sure to let us know on Twitter @HomeRunDaily.

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American League

Athletics Acquire Tanner Roark

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Tanner Roark

The Oakland Athletics have acquired right hander Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder Jamerson Hannah will be heading to Cincinnati, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, the Reds will pick up $2.1 million of Roark’s remaining salary.

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American League

Astros Acquire Martin Maldonado

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Martin Maldonado

The Houston Astros have acquired veteran catcher Martin Maldonado from the Chicago Cubs, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder/second baseman Tony Kemp will be heading to the Cubs, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome.

Maldonado has posted a .217/.285/.349 slash line this season.

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