One of the greats of the era announced he was hanging up his spikes on Tuesday. Long-time Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre will finish with 477 home runs and over 3,000 hits. He is the only third baseman to ever clear 400 homers and 3,000 hits. The fact that he did so while playing excellent defense well into his late 30s earns him a unique place in baseball history, and, down the road, should earn him a place in Cooperstown as well.
Of course, the only thing better than Beltre’s play was the sense of humor and quirks he brought to the field. SB Nation’s own Grant Brisbee has an appreciation for who Beltre was, while Emily Jones of FOX Sports West looks back at Beltre’s brilliance as a player balanced against the lightness with which he carried those gifts onto the playing field. We’ll miss you, Adrian.
[Elvis Andrus sees Adrián Beltré]— Cut4 (@Cut4) November 20, 2018
Don’t touch it
Don’t touch it
Don’t touch it
Don’t touch it
The James Paxton deal has the sharks circling the Mariners
It didn’t come as a complete surprise when the Seattle Mariners dealt James Paxton to the New York Yankees. The Mariners had already conceded that their current track was untenable. With a relatively barren farm system, they had to take a step back and deal some veteran talent away. General manager Jerry Dipoto had already moved catcher Mike Zunino to the Tampa Bay Rays two weeks ago.
Still, the Paxton deal sent ripples through the rumor mill on Tuesday, with the San Diego Padres now reportedly in pursuit of shortstop Jean Segura and righthander Mike Leake, with Wil Myers the piece potentially heading back to Seattle. Dipoto is presumably right where he likes to be during the offseason: at the heart of the action and fielding a stream of inquiries on his other players. Meanwhile, the Yankees will no doubt pursue further pitching depth. But after snatching Paxton so quickly, they free themselves from the need to pursue one of the top starters on the free agent market.
Little moves in abundance
Teams are still putting the final touches on their 40-man rosters, so a host of relative unknowns were swapped, signed to minor league deals, or released on Tuesday. The Oakland A’s acquired Tanner Anderson from the Pirates. The Padres sold third baseman Christian Villanueva’s rights to the Yomiuri Giants, which was a bit out of left field.
There wasn’t much news involving notable players, but the one surprise was the release of first baseman C.J. Cron by the Tampa Bay Rays. At first glance, you might think designating a guy who hit 30 home runs last season is madness, but you can trust that the Rays have a plan.
Coaches and front office personnel have also been on the move in recent weeks.
Tuesday, it was Chicago Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey who made news, announcing his resignation after just one season in Chicago. Hickey cited undisclosed personal reasons for the decision. This leaves the Cubs in a bit of a tight spot, searching for their third pitching coach in as many years. Hickey spent the previous decade with the Rays, and his reunion with Joe Maddon was expected to be a lasting partnership. The Cubs had already declined to renew Chili Davis’s contract after his one year as their hitting coach.
Around the horn
The Ringer tries to assess Bryce Harper’s true value. James Paxton is a Yankee now, which isn’t good for anyone else. FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan investigates what a duo of Paxton and Luis Severino means for the American League over the next two seasons. FanGraphs’ David Laurila, friend of BYB, has a great interview with Giants reliever, Ray Black. Finally, pitchers discuss the terror of the comebacker.
Oh yeah, there isn’t any Tigers news of note.
You can read Lynn Henning’s column in The Detroit News, in which he forecasts a long dry spell before a return to prominence, but it will only aggravate you. Fortunately, Kurt Mensching is here to save you with some good reasons the Tigers shouldn’t just tank the next few seasons.
Also, we are happy to report that Leonys Martin has a clean bill of health and should be ready to go in the spring.
Leonys Martin was in Cleveland today and underwent scheduled follow up testing with doctors at the Cleveland Clinic.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) November 20, 2018
He was given full clearance to resume all activity with an unrestricted strength & condition program in preparation for Spring Training.
Welcome back, Leonys! pic.twitter.com/EogpnPqqDR