The last week in MLB was about a team in the National League retiring the number of a former pitcher who was tremendous, a club signing a starting pitcher to a multi-year contract, and a player in the American League agreeing to a contract extension.
Los Angeles Dodgers Retiring Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34
El Toro. pic.twitter.com/RQsgLMRw6C
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 4, 2023
The Los Angeles have decided they will retire legendary left-handed pitcher Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this upcoming summer as part of a weekend-long “Fernandomania” celebration from Aug. 11-13, per a team announcement.
Fernando's No. 34 will be retired on 8/11 to kick off a weekend of promotions honoring his legacy. For tickets, visit https://t.co/36IUWLzvoH. pic.twitter.com/IONs0jMaHk
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 4, 2023
There has not been a Dodgers player that has worn No. 34 since Valenzuela left the club in 1990.
'Fernando, the No. 34 is yours. It will always be yours. No other Dodger will ever wear it again.'
The iconic Fernando Valenzuela kept a special secret all week. It was let out at FanFest — his No. 34 will be retired by the Dodgers in 2023.
Story 🔗https://t.co/CH4Ztp1iEU pic.twitter.com/wk7CfI29rM
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) February 4, 2023
However, the number was not officially retired due to a team policy only to honor Dodgers players in the Hall of Fame.
The only prior exception to the rule was No. 19, worn by Jim Gilliam, which the club retired following his death.
Valenzuela might be the best Mexican player in MLB history, as he had a legendary rookie campaign in 1981 for the Dodgers.
The year was called “Fernandomania” as the pitcher utilized an unhittable screwball and unique delivery to catapult the Dodgers to a World Series title in that memorable season.
He became the first National League rookie to win the strikeout title and was also the first in either league to win the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.
In 11 seasons with the Dodgers, Valenzuela made six All-Star teams, won two World Series titles, and threw a no-hitter on June 29, 1990.
The Dodgers released Valenzuela just before Opening Day in 1991, and he returned to the organization as a Spanish-language broadcaster in 2003.
Valenzuela’s number will be the 12th officially retired by the Dodgers.
Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Starting Pitcher Tony Gonsolin to Two-Year Contract
The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed All-Star starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin to a two-year contract through 2024 for $6.65 million, per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic.
Tony Gonsolin’s contract breakdown, per source:
2023: $3.25 million
2024: $3.4 million
The deal has escalators for 2024’s base salary based off starts in 2023: $500K each for 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 28 games starts.
Deal also includes Cy Young bonuses. https://t.co/yeYRVhJnLt
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) February 1, 2023
The deal includes escalators for the 2024 base salary based on the number of starts in 2023.
The contract also includes Cy Young bonuses.
Gonsolin was arbitration eligible and projected to earn about $3.5 million for the 2023 season before signing the new deal.
The right-handed pitcher authored the best season of his career in 2022.
He compiled a 16-1 win-loss record in 24 starts across 130 1/3 innings pitched with a 2.14 ERA, 119 strikeouts, 35 walks issued, 11 home runs yielded, a 196 ERA+, 3.28 FIP, and 0.87 WHIP.
He is expected to be fully healthy entering spring training after he was sidelined with a forearm strain that reduced his workload at the end of the season.
Seattle Mariners Sign Utility Player Dylan Moore to Three-Year Extension
The Seattle Mariners have signed utility player Dylan Moore to a three-year, $8.875 million extension, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Superutilityman Dylan Moore and the Seattle Mariners are in agreement on a three-year, $8.875 million extension, sources tell ESPN. No options in deal to avoid arbitration, which includes escalators to $9M+, buys out one FA year. Moore had .368 OBP, played seven positions in ‘22.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 2, 2023
The extension allowed the Mariners to avoid arbitration with Moore.
The deal contains various escalator clauses that can increase the contract’s total value above $9 million, says Passan.
The contract buys out his last two years of arbitration and delays his free agency by one season.
Moore had a breakout season for the Mariners last year as he posted a . 224 batting average and .753 OPS in 104 games with 41 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 24 RBIs, 21 stolen bases, and a 122 OPS+.
He was one of the most versatile players in MLB, as he started games at six different positions last year.
Moore appeared at every spot on the field except catcher at least once.
- 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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