The last week in MLB was about a team in the National League acquiring a young pitching prospect, a player in the American League sets record for arbitration deal, and a player in the NL receives a substantial raise in salary.
St. Louis Cardinals Acquire Pitching Prospect Matthew Liberatore from Tampa Bay Rays
The St. Louis Cardinals have added a talented pitcher to their farm system by making a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, per a team announcement.
We have also acquired the Rays Compensation B draft pick (66th overall) in exchange for our Compensation A draft pick (38th overall).
Today’s trade reduces our 40-man roster to 38 players.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) January 10, 2020
The Cardinals sent first baseman Jose Martinez, outfielder Randy Arozarena, and a Compensation A pick to the Rays in exchange for pitcher Matthew Liberatore, catching prospect Edgardo Rodriguez, and a Compensation B pick.
The highlight of the deal is the Cardinals acquiring Liberatore.
The left-hander was the fourth-ranked prospect in the Rays’ system. He was taken 16th overall by the Rays in the 2018 MLB draft.
He posted a 3.10 ERA in 78 1/3 innings pitched with 76 strikeouts in Single-A last year.
If you’re wondering why the Rays would make this type of move, it’s because they were looking for outfield depth.
Martinez and Arozarena will help the club in that area.
Martinez posted a .269 batting average and .751 OPS in 128 games with 13 doubles, 10 home runs, and 42 RBIs last season with the Cardinals.
In 2018, he compiled a .305 average and .821 OPS in 152 games with 30 doubles, 17 home runs, and 83 RBIs.
He’s shown power and provides versatility, as he can play first base and the outfield.
Arozarena had a .344 average and 1.003 OPS with 25 doubles, 15 home runs, 53 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases in 95 games last year in the minors.
The Rays used their farm system to acquire two players who should allow them to remain competitive for several seasons.
This isn’t a normal trade that teams make, as they would prefer to keep young pitchers.
However, the Rays are typically at the bottom in MLB in terms of payroll and must get creative to make improvements.
The Cardinals have a young arm, who should rise fast in their farm system and could possibly make an impact when he reaches the majors.
Boston Red Sox Sign Outfielder Mookie Betts to Record Arbitration Deal
The Boston Red Sox and outfielder Mookie Betts have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract, per a team announcement.
The #RedSox today agreed to terms with five players on one-year contracts for the 2020 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration: Matt Barnes, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Heath Hembree, and Brandon Workman.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) January 10, 2020
Betts has signed a deal worth $27 million, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Mookie Betts gets $27 million from the Red Sox, source tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 10, 2020
This deal breaks the record for an arbitration-eligible player as Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado signed a one-year, $26-million contract last year.
Arenado later agreed to an eight-year, $260-million contract with the Rockies in spring training.
The Red Sox probably won’t be signing Betts to a long-term deal as he’s been mentioned in trade rumors during the offseason.
Betts had a solid 2019 campaign as indicated by a .295 average and .915 OPS in 150 games with 40 doubles, five triples, 29 home runs, 80 RBIs, 16 stolen bases, and 176 hits.
He led the American League for the second consecutive season in runs scored with 135.
Betts was also selected as an All-Star, won a Gold Glove Award, a Silver Slugger Award, and finished eighth in the AL MVP voting last season.
Betts might get moved before the regular season begins as the Red Sox are trying to trim payroll to get under the luxury-tax threshold.
Los Angeles Dodgers Outfielder Cody Bellinger Breaks First-Year MLB Arbitration Record
The Los Angeles Dodgers avoided arbitration with outfielder and National League MVP Cody Bellinger a couple of days ago, by agreeing to a one-year, $11.5-million deal, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
Bellinger's deal breaks Kris Bryant's $10.85-million first-year arbitration-eligible deal. https://t.co/mhZYpj8iij
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) January 10, 2020
The deal breaks the $10.85-million contract that Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant signed when he was first eligible for arbitration.
Bellinger had a fantastic 2019 season with the Dodgers as he compiled a .305 batting average and 1.035 OPS in 156 games with 34 doubles, three triples, 15 stolen bases, 121 runs scored, 47 home runs, and 115 RBIs.
The outfielder is receiving a massive increase in salary as he made just $605,000 in 2019.
Bellinger is the best player on the Dodgers’ roster and is a significant reason the club will be a favorite to win the NL West in the upcoming season.
- Chris is a 29-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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