Lucas Giolito tosses 19th no-hitter in White Sox history

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Larry Brown | Last updated 8/25/20

Lucas Giolito made history on Tuesday night, throwing a no-hitter in the Chicago White Sox’s 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 26-year-old right-hander was nearly perfect. He walked Erik Gonzalez on four pitches in the fourth inning but retired every other batter he faced. Gonzalez nearly spoiled the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning by hitting a scorching line drive to right field. Luckily Adam Engel was able to make the catch.

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10 MLB prospects who will make an impact in 2020

It’s fair to say the 2019 MLB season has been the year of the rookie. All around the league, first-year players have burst onto the scene to make immediate impacts, and in some cases have become instant stars. Just look at what some of these guys have done:

The Mets’ Pete Alonso currently leads the majors with 47 home runs.

Before he got hurt, San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. was hitting .317 with 22 homers and 53 RBI in only 84 games.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez has crushed 22 long balls in only 240 at-bats.

Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hasn’t quite dominated the way he did in AAA, but he’s shown immense power and potential, and the show he put on at the Home Run Derby will be talked about for years.

Atlanta’s Mike Soroka is a legitimate NL Cy Young candidate.

The Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds is hitting .328 and could well win the batting title.

The list goes on and on. Keston Hiura, Christian Walker, Eloy Jimenez, Austin Riley, among others look like cornerstone everyday players in the big leagues.

This unprecedented wave of talented players making their debuts all around the same time got us thinking. Let’s take a look at 10 players who could make a similar rookie impact in 2020.

1. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox

The White Sox system has been strong for several years now, and while Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and the above-mentioned Jimenez have already thrived in the big leagues, Robert figures to join them in the near future. The native Cuban dominated three separate minor league levels in 2019, hitting .328 with 32 homers and 92 RBI while stealing 36 bases and adding 31 doubles and 11 triples. He was recently named the minor league Player of the Year by USA Today, and it’s a reasonable assumption that he’ll be patrolling center field at Guaranteed Rate Field very early next spring.

2. Gavin Lux, IF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Lux’s status on this list is a bit tenuous, as he was just promoted to the big leagues this week, and it’s likely going to be close whether or not he accumulates 130 at-bats and loses his 2020 rookie status. Provided he doesn’t, he should be the hands-down favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year next season. In the minor leagues this season the 21-year-old slashed an astounding .347/.421/.607 while crushing 26 homers and driving in 76 runs. He’s a natural shortstop who has played second in his early exposure in the big leagues, a position that may become his ultimate home given the presence of Corey Seager. Regardless at what side of the second base bag he lines up defensively, Lux can flat out hit, and it’s no surprise the Dodgers wanted to give him a look down the stretch to see if he can make a push for a postseason roster spot.

3.  Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros

Houston has been waiting for the talented left-handed slugger to go from dominant minor leaguer to dangerous middle-of-the-order bat in the big leagues, and it seems fair to assume that transition will finally occur next season. With AAA Round Rock in 2019, Tucker hit .266 with 34 homers and 97 RBI — the third consecutive minor league season he drove in over 90 runs. Perhaps even more impressive is the 30 stolen bases he racked up, as no matter what level you’re playing in, it’s incredibly difficult to produce 30/30 seasons. Tucker’s blend of power and speed have long made him desirable to other teams in trade discussions, but the Astros have consistently hung up the phone before talks could get off the ground. His organization’s belief in him hasn’t been deterred, however, and it’s time for the 22-year-old to reward its patience.

4. Carter Kieboom, IF, Washington Nationals

The Nationals took Kieboom in the first round out of high school three years ago, and he’s done nothing but shoot through their system since. In 412 at-bats in AAA this year, the young infielder hit an impressive .303 with 16 homers and 79 RBI while also tallying 24 doubles and 203 total bases. Injuries necessitated a brief big league promotion in late April, and while he did hit his first two big league homers during that 39 at-bat stint, Washington shipped him back to Fresno when it got some veterans back. Next season, however, the Nats figure to have an opening at second base, as Brian Dozier signed only a one-year free agent pact last winter, and his performance has not warranted Washington doubling down, especially given the presence of Kieboom, who conceivably will team with shortstop Trea Turner to form this team’s long-term double play combination.

5. Casey Mize, SP, Detroit Tigers

Mountcastle is far from a perfect prospect, but his power potential is simply hard to ignore. In a little over 500 at-bats for Baltimore’s AAA affiliate in Norfolk, the 22-year-old hit .312 with 25 long balls and 35 doubles. His .527 SLG percentage finished sixth in the International League, and it’s easy to see why the Orioles are high on his bat. That said, Mountcastle does have things to work on. For starters, he doesn’t really have a defensive position. He played third base in 2018 and predominantly first this season while also mixing in some work in left field. A future as a big league DH could very well be in the cards. Plate discipline is also of some concern as the big right-handed slugger walked only 24 times all year, making his .344 OBP simply remarkable. All told, while Mountcastle is raw, the O’s are in no position to not take a flier, and if he gets consistent at-bats in 2020 it may just become too difficult to get him out of the line-up.

8. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

The son of longtime major league third baseman Charlie Hayes, Ke’Bryan has blossomed into quite the hot corner prospect. In 110 games in AAA this season the Pittsburgh’s first-round pick from back in 2015 hit .261 with 10 homers and 55 RBI, but those numbers only tell some of the story. His 31 doubles, 13 steals and renowned defense at an important position help paint the picture of a solid player who can do just about everything on a baseball diamond. The Bucs have started Colin Moran or Jung-Ho Kang most nights at third base this season, and while Kang is no longer in Pittsburgh, Moran is not someone who should block the team’s best position player prospect. Hayes doesn’t profile as a can’t-miss star, but he should be an above-average everyday third baseman for a long time, potentially beginning as soon as next opening day.

9. Justin Dunn, SP, Seattle Mariners

Dunn came to Seattle in the much-discussed winter trade with the Mets that netted the Mariners outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic, and while that alone would seem to make the deal a heist for the M’s, the righty has the potential to make this one of the most one-sided trades of all time. In 25 starts in AA in ’19, the Boston College product worked to a strong 3.55 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP while punching out 158 hitters in 131.1 innings and limiting the opposition to a .236 batting average. Scouts don’t look at Dunn as a future big league ace or even a No. 2, but a strong showing in spring training would put him in discussion for a rotation spot, and it’s certainly feasible he could become a key cog in Seattle’s starting five sometime in 2020.

10. Nate Pearson, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto is a team to buy stock in, as with youngsters Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio already contributing to the parent club, the organization’s farm system has more talent coming. Pearson paces that group. In 25 minor league starts this season the right-hander posted a 2.30 ERA in 101.2 innings while delivering an 0.89 WHIP and a .176 batting average against. He struck out well over a batter/frame while issuing only 27 free passes all season. And on a team with little to be excited about on the mound, particularly after Marcus Stroman was traded for New York, Pearson is quickly going to become a name to know among baseball fans in Canada.

By: Justin W Mears

11 MLB players in contract years who will crush it in 2019

Athletes in any sport wants to perform at their best the year before they’re eligible to hit free agency, and baseball players are certainly no different. This winter alone has shown how much money can be gained or lost in a contract year, with high-profile names standing out on both sides of the spectrum. Manny Machado used the best season of his career to secure a $300 million long-term guarantee from the Padres, while longtime Astros’ lefty Dallas Keuchel struggled in his walk year and finds himself still unsigned with two weeks to go until Opening Day.

Impending free agents on losing teams always deal with a degree of uneasiness around the trade deadline, when clubs hope to bring back something before letting a player leave for nothing, and it takes a certain level of professionalism to block out the noise and perform. In 2019 several players jump off the page as candidates to enjoy a big walk year. Let’s examine the list.

1. Justin Smoak 1B Toronto Blue Jays

Two years ago the switch-hitting Smoak hit .270 with 38 home runs and 90 RBI while adding 29 doubles and making the All-Star Team. Unfortunately he was unable to come close to replicating that success a year ago. In 505 at-bats, the veteran watched his stat line dip to .242 with 25 homers and 77 RBI, still a solid season but not nearly as eye-opening as his prior campaign. Entering 2019 both the Blue Jays and Smoak would benefit from a renaissance, as Toronto is exceedingly unlikely to be in the mix in a difficult AL East and would love to move him to a bat-needy team at the deadline. Smoak understands the monetary difference between his ’17 and ’18 seasons is massive.

2.  Jose Abreu 1B Chicago White Sox

Abreu has spent his entire career in the Windy City after defecting from Cuba prior to the 2014 campaign, and during his first four years in the big leagues he was one of the best run producers in the entire sport. From 2014-17 the right-handed slugger hit over .290 with 25-plus homers and 100-plus RBI in each season, but last year didn’t go nearly as swimmingly. A lower abdominal injury limited the 32-year-old to a career-low 128 games, and his .265 average, 22 homers and 78 RBI were evidence of just how bothered he was by the discomfort. Now back and healthy, Abreu is a prime candidate for a huge year, as he is a proud man who fancies himself as one of the most productive hitters in the American League. A big winter payday is quite the carrot at the end of the proverbial stick.

3. Zack Wheeler SP New York Mets

After spending the majority of his career taking two steps forward and one step back, the right-hander finally arrived in a big way in 2018. In 29 starts, Wheeler dominated for much of the year, turning in a 3.31 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP in 182.1 innings while striking out 179 men and holding the opposition to just a .225 batting average. There had been some minor chatter of New York trying to extend the 28-year-old during camp, but Wheeler spoke candidly about understanding he and Gerrit Cole are the top two free agents to be starting pitchers, and it’s clear he has his eyes on the prize heading into the new season.

4. Gerrit Cole SP Houston Astros

Speaking of Cole, the former Pirates first-round pick landed in Houston as part of an offseason trade prior to last year, and while he often found himself overshadowed by teammate Justin Verlander, he was one of the best pitchers in the American League in his own right. In 32 outings the veteran turned in a 2.88 ERA with a career best 1.03 WHIP while holding the opposition to a sub .200 batting average for the first time and eclipsing the 200 innings pitched plateau for the third time in four years. His 276 strikeouts finished second to only Verlander in the AL, and the UCLA product earned a selection to his second All-Star Team. Entering 2019 Wheeler was 100 percent right that he and Cole will be the two most sought-after pitchers next winter, and provided Cole avoids serious injuries moving forward, his bank account can expect to expand by several zeroes.

5. Josh Donaldson 3B Atlanta Braves

Perhaps no offensive player is more motivated at the outset of 2019 than the 2015 AL MVP, who struggled through a miserable injury-plagued 2018 season and ultimately settled for a high value one-year, prove-it deal in Atlanta. The Braves could be getting themselves a steal as they attempt to win their second consecutive division crown, as from 2015-17 Donaldson launched 111 homers and drove in 300 runs while consistently hitting around .280 and getting on base at close to a .385 clip. Taking the pillow contract was a strategic play for the veteran, as he understood he would be overshadowed by Machado and Bryce Harper on the free-agent market this season. And if he can re-establish himself as a premier run producer in 2019, he just may break the bank next winter.

6. Scooter Gennett 2B Cincinnati Reds

In just two seasons in western Ohio, Gennett has transformed himself from a solid role player in Milwaukee to one of the best offensive second basemen in the league. Last year the 28-year-old hit .310 with 23 homers and 92 RBI while setting a new career high with a .357 OBP and eclipsing 30 doubles for the third time in his career. By all accounts the veteran is someone the Reds should want to keep around for the long haul, but in mid-February he expressed frustration over not receiving a contract extension, a potential rift to pay attention to as the summer unfolds.

7. Marcell Ozuna OF St. Louis Cardinals

When the Marlins were selling off everyone and everything that wasn’t nailed down prior to last season, the Cardinals were happy to swoop in and take the right-handed-hitting Ozuna off their hands. The Dominican Republic native had just completed a season that had watched him hit .313 with 37 homers and 124 RBI while earning a trip to his second straight All-Star Game, taking home his first Silver Slugger award and even winning his first Gold Glove. St. Louis fantasized about adding that type of production to the middle of its lineup, but unfortunately it took the veteran some time to get used to his new surroundings. When all was said and done, Ozuna’s numbers slid to .280 with 23 homers and 88 RBI, still solid but not what the Cardinals were expecting. Entering Year 2 in Missouri, this lineup is now home to slugging first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who will take pressure off Ozuna to be the premier right-handed bat and, in theory, add a substantial amount of RBI opportunities. It should come as no surprise if the 28-year-old delivers a monster season.

White Sox have made eight-year offer to Manny Machado

The White Sox have offered an eight-year contract to free agent infielder Manny Machado,’s Jeff Passan reports. We heard last week that Chicago had formally put an offer on the table for Machado, as per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, though it isn’t known if this eight-year pact is that same deal, or if the Sox have upped their offer. That previous deal was “likely closer to $200 million than $300 million” in Nightengale’s words.

The eight-year threshold seemingly represents a new step in the ongoing talks between Machado and the White Sox, as 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine had previously reported that the Sox were only willing to hand out seven-year deals to either Machado or Bryce Harper. The White Sox now seem to be a bit closer to Machado’s desire for at least a decade-long contract, though if he is “sitting on” Chicago’s offer, as Passan writes, it indicates that Machado is still holding out to see if another team can top the White Sox with a longer and more expensive offer.

There seem to be at least three suitors in play for Machado at this time, as Passan notes that the White Sox and Phillies (who are “still engaged” with Machado) have been told that a mystery team is also interested. The Yankees have been linked to Machado this winter, though they might not be the third suitor, as recent reports seem to indicate a waning interest in Machado’s services.

If the Yankees are indeed out, and the Phillies have now become the favorites to land Bryce Harper, Machado could find himself down to just two suitors.

It’s anyone’s guess, of course, about who the mystery team could be or what they might be willing to offer (or if the team exists at all, and isn’t just a negotiating tactic by Machado’s camp). While Passan suggests that Chicago’s willingness to go to eight years could indicate some flexibility to add a ninth or even a 10th year to an offer, the White Sox might not feel such pressure if they perceive that they already have the highest bid. The White Sox have already sailed well above their financial comfort zone in bidding on Machado — an eight-year deal in the $200 million-plus range dwarfs the previous largest deal in franchise history: Jose Abreu’s six-year, $68 million pact.

Original Article

By: Mark pollshuk

Report: Manny Machado expected to sign with Yankees

The New York Yankees came into the offseason wanting to land one of the game’s best players, and they will reportedly do it. After careful consideration, Manny Machado is reportedly going to sign with the Yankees.

According to Dan Clark, Machado received final offers from the Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox recently. As expected, the official announcement isn’t slated until early January, but the All-Star shortstop is reportedly going to sign with New York.

If Machado indeed signs with New York, it marks a major haul for the Yankees as they try to compete for their 28th World Series title and make it back to the World Series for the first time since 2009.

While it isn’t known which position Machado would play in New York, his flexibility would give the team plenty of options.

In addition to being an outstanding hitter coming off a 2018 season with a .297/.367/.538 slash line with 37 home runs, Machado is also one of the game’s best defenders at third base.

If Machado signs with New York and moves back to his original position at third base, it could open the door for the Yankees to trade rookie Miguel Andujar and add a high-end starting pitcher.

By: Matt Johnson

Original Article

Andujar hit, Gray aid raise Yankees over White Sox in 13

CHICAGO (AP) – A few expensive errors at third base over the weekend contributed to Miguel Andujar being the designated hitter the final two video games.

There’s no situation with the 23-year-old’s bat, although.

Andujar homered and singled within the go-ahead run within the 13th inning, Sonny Gray gained in his first aid outing since 2013 and the New York Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox 4-Three on Tuesday evening.

Andujar had three hits, and Giancarlo Stanton added a two-run shot as New York gained its second straight following a five-game skid that included 4 losses at AL East-leading Boston.

Whether it’s third base or DH, Andujar stated it doesn’t matter so long as he’s within the lineup.

“I’m going to play whatever position the manager decides to put me in,” he stated via a translator.

Gray (9-8) pitched three scoreless innings in his first look since shedding his spot within the beginning rotation. He allowed a success and a stroll whereas putting out 4. Gray hadn’t come out of the bullpen since his rookie season with Oakland.

“It’s been a tough couple of days for me, but everyone in this clubhouse has had my back,” he stated. “It was nice to come in in a situation and pitch well enough to get a win there.”

After Stanton’s homer made it 3-1 within the 10th, Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer towards Zach Britton within the backside of the inning.

Didi Gregorius began the 13th-inning rally with a one-out stroll towards Luis Avilan (2-1). After Gleyber Torres struck out, Luke Voit singled to place runners on first and second. Andujar then singled to left, scoring Gregorius.

Abreu’s homer was his 20th this season, making him the 18th participant with least 20 homers in every of his first 5 seasons.

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White Sox Call Up Top Prospect Yoan Moncada

Written by Matt Snyder at CBS

The big news in Major League Baseball on Tuesday night was the seven-player trade involving the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. The headline would be the Yankees getting three players who should greatly help their big-league club at the moment, while the White Sox continue to stockpile prospects for the long-term future.

White Sox fans will catch a glimpse of the future immediately, though. In the aftermath of the trade, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn announced that top prospect Yoan Moncada would join the big-league club on Wednesday.

Not only Moncada he the top prospect the White Sox have — and he was the main piece in the Chris Sale trade over the winter — but he’s considered by most outlets to be the top prospect in all of baseball.

To great fanfare, the Red Sox signed Moncada after he defected from Cuba in 2015 to a $31.5 million signing bonus, shattering their bonus pool allotment. In fact, they had to pay a 100 percent tax for the deal, so it actually cost the Red Sox $63 million. Again, they dealt Moncada to the White Sox as part of the deal that sent Sale to Boston this past winter.

Moncada, 21, hit .285/.381/.452 with nine doubles, three triples, 12 homers, 36 RBI, 57 runs and 17 stolen bases in 79 Triple-A games before Tuesday night. While those numbers aren’t necessarily overwhelming, keep in mind his limited experience since defecting from Cuba and that he was almost five years younger than the average Triple-A player.

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Yankees Acquire Todd Frazier and Others From White Sox

Written by Joel Sherman at New York

The Yankees were determined to improve their 2017 playoff chances and 2018 roster all while not devastating 2019 and beyond.

They believed they threaded that needle Tuesday by obtaining Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox for Blake Rutherford, their first-round pick last year, plus lefty prospect Ian Clarkin, outfield prospect Tito Polo and Tyler Clippard.

So what does it mean:

1. The Yankees have had among the majors’ worst production at first and third base this season. Frazier is hitting just .207, but his .214 average on balls in play is low enough to suggest he has hit into bad luck, particularly because his 18.9 line drive percentage is similar to the 19.3 for his career. In the last big deal between these teams, in November 2008, the Yankees obtained Nick Swisher despite his poor 2007 stats, in part, because they believed his low ball-in-play numbers made him a strong rebound candidate.

No matter what Frazier’s 16 homers add heft at third in place of Chase Headley or at first rather than the revolving door that formed because of Greg Bird’s ankle injury.

2. Robertson would join Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances to give the Yanks a version of what they had when Andrew Miller joined Chapman and Betances. That Robertson has experience closing, in general, and for the Yankees, in specific, means he can do that when Chapman needs a breather while allowing Betances to be more aggressively used before the eighth inning.

But don’t overlook Kahnle. He has been one of the majors’ best relievers this season. The Yankees did not protect him on the 40-man roster after the 2013 season, in part because of wildness. In his first three major league seasons, the righty continued to be beset by the problem, averaging 5.5 walks per nine. But this year it is 1.8 and he is striking out 15 batters per nine innings. Kahnle, Betances, Chapman and Robertson are among the foremost strikeout relievers in the sport.

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Potential MLB Trades That NEED To Happen

Written by Chris Bahr at

The Implications Of The Chris Sale Trade

Written by Ben Reiter at

When it is said that something is priceless, it doesn’t really mean that there exists no sum at which it can be bought. It means that the asset is so rare that it is virtually incomparable, so while one can imagine its price to be extraordinarily high there is no real way of precisely determining how exorbitant it might turn out to be.

Such was the case with Chris Sale—before Tuesday, anyway. The 27-year-old lefthander, a perennial AL Cy Young candidate for the White Sox, seemed a priceless commodity for four main reasons. The first was the five-year extension he signed with Chicago in 2013 that will pay him a total of $38.5 million over the next three years; based on current WAR exchange rates of approximately $8 million per win above replacement, he’s making about one-third of what he is worth.

The second was the sorry state of a free agent market in which there was no starting pitcher approaching Sale’s quality. The market is so weak that its top option was a soon-to-be 37-year-old, Rich Hill, who is a decade removed from the last time he exceeded 110 innings in a season. On Monday the Dodgers signed Hill to a three-year deal that will pay him an average of $16 million a season—significantly more than will be earned over that period by Sale, a five-time All-Star who has averaged 203 innings pitched over the past five years and, by the way, is nine years younger.

The third reason reason is how incomparable Sale is, both in style and performance. He is a lanky lefty who uses his 6’6” height, upper-90s heat, cyclonic windup and sidearm delivery to fool hitters who have no way of preparing to face someone like him, because there is no one else like him. Of pitchers who appeared in each of the past five seasons, only Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner had cumulative ERAs better than Sale’s 3.04—which he achieved while pitching in a bandbox of a park on the South Side of Chicago and in front of some dreadful defenses. Only Max Scherzer and Kershaw whiffed more than the 1,133 batters Sale did.

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