Angels general manager Billy Eppler was in bed Sunday morning when his 4-year-old son climbed onto the mattress, wiggled himself between his parents, placed his head on a pillow and coughed and sneezed in his father’s face.
It was the day before baseball’s winter meetings officially started in Las Vegas. Eppler knew in the moment the encounter with his son would throw a wrinkle in his plans for the week.
A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Tuesday that all-star outfielder Andrew McCutchen and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a $50-million, three-year contract.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement, which includes a club option for 2022, is subject to a successful physical.
McCutchen was an all-star each season from 2011 to 2015 and spent nine years with Pittsburgh before he was traded to San Francisco last winter. He was dealt to the New York Yankees on Aug. 31 and hit .255 with 20 homers and 65 RBIs in 155 games overall this year.
Right-hander Ivan Nova has been acquired by the Chicago White Sox from the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league pitcher Yordi Rosario and $500,000 in international signing bonus pool allocation.
A 31-year-old right-hander, Nova was 9-9 with a 4.19 ERA in 29 starts last season, striking out 114 in 161 innings. He is 78-64 with a 4.26 ERA in nine seasons with the New York Yankees (2010-16) and Pirates (2016-18).
Nova has an $8.5-million base salary next year in the final season of a $26-million, three-year contract, then can become a free agent.
The Dodgers’ suite at the Delano Las Vegas looked the part on the first full day of baseball’s winter meetings. Their contingent was packed in a room. A projector and screen were set up. Activity and discussion ceased once the media showed up for their daily briefing.
In that room, the Dodgers will decide whether to make a run at slugger Bryce Harper in free agency, or catcher J.T. Realmuto or pitcher Corey Kluber via trade. They have the means — the money to sign high-end free agents and the resources to acquire premium talent from other teams — to make a splash and leave the meetings a different ball club. But the objective isn’t to win the week.
In this era of tanking and belt-tightening, a team such as the Philadelphia Phillies stands out this offseason for two qualities: They are actually trying to win in 2019 and they are actually willing to spend to compete.
This combination, once commonplace but now increasingly rare as teams grow wary of albatross contracts and the competitive balance tax, positions the Phillies as a centrifugal force at the winter meetings. The conventional wisdom of the agents and executives huddled in suites and cluttering the casino floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas is that Philadelphia will probably net one of the two prizes on the free-agent market: outfielder Bryce Harper or infielder Manny Machado.
Don Mattingly says he’s not dwelling on whether he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
A day after Harold Baines was a surprising choice for the Hall, Mattingly says he’s content knowing what he accomplished on the field.
The Miami manager was a six-time All-Star, won nine Gold Gloves at first base for the Yankees and hit .307 lifetime. Mattingly was the 1985 AL MVP and four times finished in the top seven of the MVP voting.
As baseball's winter meetings got underway Monday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, the Angels relinquished control of one of their former first-round draft picks to a division rival.
Switch-hitting infielder Kaleb Cowart, picked 18th overall in the 2010 draft, was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners.
Cowart, 26, made his major league debut in 2015, but offensive struggles dimmed his stock. He batted only .177 with a .241 on-base percentage in 162 games over parts of four seasons for the Angels, for whom he primarily played at second and third base.
Speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton is running to the Kansas City Royals.
A person familiar with the negotiations says the Royals and Hamilton have agreed to a $5.25-million contract for next season that includes up to $1 million in incentives. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical.
Hamilton made $4.6 million with Cincinnati last season, when he was their everyday center fielder. The Reds didn't offer him a contract for next year.
In the months after the 2015 season, Major League Baseball teams doled out nine-figure free-agent contracts like they were bats and balls, essential items needed to field a team, rather than time bombs that ticked closer to detonation with each passing day.
The deals only look astounding in retrospect. At the time, they seemed reasonable. Arizona lured Dodgers ace Zack Greinke with a $206.5-million package. Boston topped that by investing $217 million in pitcher David Price. The Cubs landed outfielder Jason Heyward for $184 million. Baltimore paid $161 million to re-sign first baseman Chris Davis. The list of $100-million men included Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto, Tigers outfielder Justin Upton and Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmerman.
The eight-figure spending was just as exorbitant: The pitching quartet of Jeff Samardzija, Wei-Yin Chen, Mike Leake and Ian Kennedy made a combined $320 million. Even the small-market Kansas City Royals completed a franchise-record $72-million deal to retain outfielder Alex Gordon.