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MLB Weekly Digest 2/27/17

The previous week in MLB was about a rule change being approved, a club in the National League filling a need and a reliever signs an extension.

MLB Approves Change To Intentional Walk

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has been looking to improve pace of play within the sport, and a new rule will take place during the upcoming season.

Teams will now utilize a signal from the dugout to indicate they would like to intentionally walk someone, per Howard Bryant of ESPN The Magazine.

This replaces the usual four-pitch walk that we’ve grown accustomed over the past several seasons.

It remains to be seen if this will have any impact on the length of MLB games as there was just an intentional walk every 2.6 games last year.

Nationals Sign Wieters to Two-Year Contract

The Washington Nationals have added a key player to their roster by signing catcher Matt Wieters.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post provided details about the signing:

It’s a two-year contract worth $21 million, and it includes an opt-out after the first year.

Wieters had a productive season for Baltimore Orioles in 2016. The backstop compiled a .243 batting average and .711 OPS in 124 games with 17 home runs, 66 RBI and 48 runs scored. It marked the fifth time in eight seasons that he reached double-digit homers.

He threw out 35 percent of would-be base stealers, which was slightly above his career average of 33 percent.

Wieters is a solid bat to have in the lineup and is a significant upgrade over Derek Norris, who the Nats acquired earlier in the offseason.

The Nationals do have a surplus of catchers with Wieters, Norris, Pedro Severino and Jose Lobaton.

It’s a strength for a team to have depth in a particular area as injuries can happen at any point in the season.

The Nats haven’t named a closer for their team and could deal Norris, Severino or Lobaton to acquire a reliever for those three crucial outs in the ninth inning.

Cubs Ink Strop to Extension

The Chicago Cubs have signed reliever Pedro Strop to an extension, per Patrick Mooney of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

The deal continues through 2018, and it includes a team option in 2019, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN. Mooney also mentioned that Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and his option year is valued at $6.25 million, including a $500,000 buyout.

The Cubs already had Strop under contract for the 2017 campaign as they avoided arbitration earlier in February when he signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract.

Strop staying with the Cubs for at least two more seasons adds some stability to their bullpen. He posted a 2.85 ERA in 54 games (47.1 innings) and surrendered just four home runs last season.

The right-hander has been a tremendous asset for the Cubs since being acquired from the Orioles in 2013 as he has accumulated a 2.68 ERA in four seasons with the Cubs.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at@aecanada12.

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