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MLB Winter Meetings 2015 Day 3: Live Coverage of All the Latest Deals, Rumors

The second day of the MLB winter meetings ended with a bang Tuesday, with several moves closing out the night and even more rumors setting up what expects to be an exciting Day 3.

Several players took their talents elsewhere, as the Chicago Cubs snagged infielder Ben Zobrist from the Kansas City Royals before dealing infielder Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees for reliever Adam Warren and utility man Brendan Ryan.

The Arizona Diamondbacks also continued to make noise, even after bringing in Zack Greinke, by trading with the Atlanta Braves for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier in return for Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair and first-round draft pick Dansby Swanson.

There’s still plenty of players who could be on the move on Day 3 of the MLB winter meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, and we’ll have all the rumors and news right here in one convenient tracker.

Keep it locked here for all the latest in the world of baseball, and feel free to add your comments on the wheelings and dealings throughout the day.


Done Deals

Tuesday: Chicago Cubs sign former Kansas City Royal Ben Zobrist for four years, $56 million, as reported by’s Ken Rosenthal.

Tuesday: New York Yankees acquire infielder Starlin Castro from Chicago Cubs, per New York Post‘s Joel Sherman, for right-hander Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan.

Tuesday: Arizona Diamondbacks acquire pitcher Shelby Miller and pitching prospect Gabe Speier from the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Ender Inciarte, right-handed pitching prospect Aaron Blair and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, infielder Dansby Swanson, per’s Ken Rosenthal.

Wednesday: Seattle Mariners acquire Adam Lind from Milwaukee Brewers, as per’s Jon Heyman, for three prospects.

Wednesday: Oakland Athletics sign reliever John Axford for two years, $10 million, per New York Post‘s Joel Sherman.

Wednesday: New York Mets acquire second baseman Neil Walker from the Pittsburgh Pirates for left-hander Jon Niese, per New York Post‘s Joel Sherman.

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Dodgers vs. Mets NLDS Game 4: Live Score and Instant Reaction

FINAL SCORE: Dodgers 3, Mets 1

Trailing 2-1 in the National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers answered the call to force a final game with a 3-1 victory over the New York Mets in Game 4 at Citi Field on Tuesday night.

The Dodgers took an early lead by scoring three runs in the third inning off Steven Matz. Adrian Gonzalez hit a bloop single that scored Enrique Hernandez from third, and Justin Turner later followed with a double down the left field line that scored Howie Kendrick and Gonzalez.

Daniel Murphy put the Mets on the board in the fourth with a solo home run off Clayton Kershaw. It was his second homer off the lefty in this series.

That, however, was the only blemish on Kershaw’s line. He was dominant, allowing just three hits in seven innings while striking out eight batters. He didn’t come out for the eighth, but the Dodgers bullpen was able to shut the door after some drama at the end of the eighth, when the Mets managed two baserunners.

Kershaw was finally able to get through a seventh inning in the postseason without having disaster strike. On three days’ rest, he was pulled before the next inning, but he probably could have come out for one more.

Aside from the third, Matz did his job through five innings, allowing six hits while striking out four and walking two. The Mets bullpen, including starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, also did its job in holding the score at 3-1.

Now, it’s all hands on deck for Game 5. Both teams will feature their best pitcher in what could be their final game of the year. Jacob deGrom, the winner of Game 1, will start for the Mets, while Zack Greinke, who won Game 2, will start for the Dodgers. Both bullpens will be ready to go at any point in the game with almost all pitchers available.

The momentum seemingly will head back to Los Angeles with the Dodgers, who were able to string together some timely hits and hold New York’s bats in check. Based on the starting pitching, Game 5 could come down to which team is able to play small ball and take advantage of any mistake the opposition makes.

The winner of Game 5 will move on to the National League Championship Series to face the Chicago Cubs, who beat the St. Louis Cardinals in four games. Only one thing is for certain: Los Angeles is going to be rocking Thursday night.

You have to love October baseball.

Follow the writer on Twitter @lundinbridge.

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Blue Jays vs. Rangers ALDS Game 3: Live Score and Instant Reaction

FINAL SCORE: Blue Jays 5 – 1 Rangers

Troy Tulowitzki belted a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to help lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Sunday night.

With the win, the Blue Jays forced a Game 4 on Monday and put the pressure on the Rangers to try and end the series before having to go back to Toronto.

Before the sixth inning, Texas managed to turn four double plays to end some Toronto rallies and lessen the damage. The Blue Jays got on the board in the top of the third when Dioner Navarro came around to score after starting the inning off with a double.

Toronto added another run in the top of the fourth when Martin Perez walked three-straight batters to force in a run with the bases loaded against Tulowitzki, who finished the game with four RBI after not having a postseason hit.

Texas scored in the seventh with its first run when Rougned Odor grounded out and scored Elvis Andrus from third.

Game 4 will be played Monday night when the Blue Jays try to keep momentum and the Rangers try to wake up their bats.

40-year-old R.A. Dickey (11-11, 3.91 ERA) is slated to start the game for the Blue Jays. The knuckleballer will be taking the mound in his first career postseason start.

Derek Holland (4-3, 4.91 ERA) will toe the rubber for Texas. The lefty could have potentially started in Game 3, but a history of giving up home runs pushed his start back to Monday night with the hopes that he might not have to face a tough Toronto lineup.

It will be interesting to see if Adrian Beltre will be healthy enough to come back to the Texas lineup after missing two games with a back injury. He would definitely provide a much needed spark to a batting order that looked a little out of sorts on Sunday.

David Price also could make an appearance in relief for the Jays. If he does, will he be protecting a lead or trying to prevent more damage? The lefty is 0-6 as a starter in the postseason.

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Rangers vs. Blue Jays ALDS Game 1: Live Score and Instant Reaction

Two of the hottest lineups in baseball are slated for a showdown Thursday, as the Toronto Blue Jays host the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series starting at 3:37 p.m. ET.

The Jays used a consistent attack and a successful trade deadline as fuel to skyrocket themselves to the top of the AL East for the past several months. Toronto accounted for a 48-23 record in the second half. Its offense averaged 5.5 runs per game and led the majors in home runs (232).

The Rangers spent much of the season trailing the Houston Astros in the AL West but also used a strong second half to steal the division in the season’s final weeks. Texas won 46 games in the second half and finished as the third-best offense in the league, averaging 4.6 runs a game.

Each team brought in players at the trade deadline who have had significant impacts. One of those players, David Price (18-5, 2.45 ERA), will toe the rubber for the Jays today. Pitching Game 1 in a playoff series is exactly why Toronto brought him in, and Price will be looking to end his streak of five consecutive postseason losses.

The Rangers will send Yovani Gallardo (13-11, 3.42 ERA) to the mound with the hope of stealing one from Canada’s favorite baseball team. He allowed no runs in 13.2 innings and picked up two wins against the Jays this year.

The Blue Jays won the season series over Texas 4-2, taking three of four in two of those series—one in Toronto and one in Texas. Can the Rangers figure out a way to quiet Toronto’s offense? Can the Jays shut down the Rangers at the plate in front of Toronto’s raucous home crowd? We’ll soon find out. 

Starting Lineups


Delino DeShields CF

Shin-Soo Choo RF

Adrian Beltre 3B

Prince Fielder DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Josh Hamilton LF

Elvis Andrus SS

Rougned Odor 2B

Robinson Chirinos C

Yovani Gallardo P



Ben Revere LF

Josh Donaldson 3B

Jose Bautista RF

Edwin Encarnacion DH

Troy Tulowitzki SS

Justin Smoak 1B

Russell Martin C

Ryan Goins 2B

Kevin Pillar CF

David Price P

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Cubs vs. Pirates NL Wild Card Game: Live Score and Instant Reaction

FINAL SCORE: Cubs 4-0 Pirates

The Cubs are moving on.

In a game that had pitcher’s duel written all over it, Jake Arietta answered the call and helped lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday night.

Arrieta was masterful, twirling a complete-game four-hitter while striking out 11 Buccos. He worked through the game unscathed until the Pirates rallied the bases loaded in the sixth inning. However, Starling Marte ripped into a double play to end the threat.

Arrieta got some early help from the top of Chicago’s lineup, courtesy of Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler. After driving home Fowler with a single in the first inning, the lefty rookie slugger Schwarber blasted a 449-foot home run to right field that drove in Fowler again and put the Cubs ahead, 3-0, in the third.

Not to be outdone, Fowler added a solo shot in the fifth to put Chicago up, 4-0. It would prove more than enough for Arrieta, as the only drama he encountered after the sixth was a bench-clearing brawl in the seventh.

He was plunked in his at-bat and had some words with Tony Watson, which emptied both benches in the process. The lone ejection was Sean Rodriguez, who took out some frustration on the water cooler. Arrieta responded to the chaos by stealing second base and getting through the seventh inning with help from a nifty Kris Bryant double-play turn to end the threat. 

Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole finished the night having given up four runs on six hits and tallying four strikeouts in five innings. The two home runs proved to be the difference, with the Pirates unable to find an answer on offense.

For the second straight year, Pittsburgh was held scoreless on its home field in the Wild Card Game. In those two games combined, the Bucs had just eight hits, nine baserunners and struck out 21 times.

The Pirates end their season with 98 wins, the second most in the majors. That won’t make losing two years in a row feel any better, and winning the division becomes that much more important in 2016.

For Chicago, tonight marked 14 consecutive wins in games Arrieta has pitched. The victory also ended a nine-game postseason losing streak.

The Cubs will now travel to St. Louis to play the Cardinals, whom they’ve faced 19 times this year but never in the playoffs. Chicago went 8-11 against St. Louis this season.

First pitch is slated for Friday at 6:45 p.m. ET.

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MLB Playoff Predictions: Key Injuries Facing Playoff Contenders

The injury bug often rears its mighty head at the most inopportune times in Major League Baseball. The optimism of a team can quickly disappear when a key player goes down. And when the injury warrants a lengthy recovering timesometimesthat optimism is crushed completely.

With the 2015 MLB playoffs right around the corner, postseason contenders will have their fingers crossed that injuries will be avoided from here on out.

All teams have had to deal with injuries this season—some worse than others. Many of those teams were able to overcome their misfortunes to this point, while others face recent injuries without much time to recover.

When it comes to playoff successes, the healthier team seems to have the better shot at long-term success. That’s not always the case, but a key injury down the stretch can sometimes be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The slides ahead will focus on the key injuries that each playoff contender is currently facing this season and whether they can overcome said injuries in postseason competition. That’s not to say that every injury will be listed for each team, but key players will be noted as best as possible.

Teams that are listed would make the playoffs if the season ended as of Friday night.

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MLB Power Rankings: Teams Trending in the Right Direction in September

There’s nothing quite like September baseball, when it involves teams contending for a spot to play in the MLB postseason.

Some teams are slowly separating themselves from the pack, while others look to find themselves in a dogfight from here on out.

When taking a look at how your favorite team stacks up in this particular power ranking, there are a few things to keep in mind. Rankings will be based on the overall records of each team and how well or poorly they’ve been playing as of late, starting with the worst and moving to the best.

Some subjectivity will come into play as far as the order is concerned, but the main focus of decision-making is heavily weighted on a team’s overall record because of where we currently stand in the regular season. For example, though the St. Louis Cardinals have lost their last three games, they still have the best record in baseball.

As far as records are concerned, the rankings are updated as of late Saturday night. The descriptions for each team won’t be too long, but will include overall records, how many games back each teams is in the division and/or wild card and a brief blurb on how they’re doing. Though the list is slated to fluctuate slightly in the upcoming weeks, let’s take a look at where things currently stand.

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MLB Playoff Picture: Biggest Problem Facing Every Postseason Contender

As the hunt for October begins to gain steam, it’s time to take a look at some of the problems still facing MLB postseason contenders.

Now, some of the problems might be minor ones, but in a one-game playoff or five-game series, anything can happen in baseball. We saw what happened last season when two wild-card teams made it all the way to the World Series. All it takes is for a team to get hot at the right time and the dreams of a Fall Classic can quickly slip away.

Some teams have just about locked up a playoff berth—as long as they can avoid an epic collapse, especially in the National League. The American League has quite the wild-card race on its hands, however, and two divisions that are still up for grabs.

The following slides will take a look at the teams that can realistically make the playoffs, what problems the teams may have and how they might be able to fix them. The list is in order of the current wild-card standings as of Tuesday night, starting with the American League.

Excluded from the list are the Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays, who both sit three games below .500. The Indians are still a little too young, and the Rays have too many games remaining against other AL East teams.

The San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals have also been left off the list after some brutal losses of late.

The Giants lost seven straight entering the month before finally picking up a win on Sept. 5, and they are nine games back of the wild card.

The Nats have blown leads in their last four losses, including three straight 5-3 advantages that led to 8-5 losses. Most recently, Washington blew a 7-1 lead to lose 8-7 to the New York Mets on Tuesday night, which placed them six games back in the NL East. Brutal.

With that, let’s get started before Matt Harvey reaches his innings limit.

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MLB Playoff Picture: Slumping Teams That Won’t Make the Postseason

September baseball is right around the corner, and several teams still have excellent opportunities to make a playoff run. However, not all teams will be as lucky, and some recent slumps by the Washington Nationals, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays might be too much to overcome.

Only a handful of games separate teams vying for wild-card spots, and most of those teams play each other at least one more time the rest of the way. Look for the teams with the most consistencies slowly begin to make a move to the top.

The teams in this list have some of the more obvious flaws of the current wild-card contenders and also have difficult schedules for the rest of the season. Some of these teams have underperformed this year, while all have suffered difficult losses in recent weeks that have significantly hurt their chances of gaining ground.

The slides ahead will discuss the flaws of those teams and explain why each squad will be unable to right the ship in time to make the postseason.

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MLB Rumors: Why the New York Yankees Should Avoid Chasing Utley

The New York Yankees have had trouble finding consistency at second base all season.

There have been small sparks of offensive production and defensive flair from both Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan here and there, but overall, second base has been the biggest flaw in New York’s starting lineup this year.

While an infield upgrade would be nice for the Yankees, bringing in Chase Utley in 2015 is not the answer.

It’s been quite the whirlwind month for the Yankees. These games are finally beginning to really matter.

The Bombers woke up on July 29 with a seven-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. By Wednesday, Aug. 12, they were a half-game back.

That lead has since been rectified after the Yankees beat the Jays 4-3 on Friday night in what could only be described as a playoff-atmosphere game being played in August.

The 11-game winning streak that Toronto put together since signing David Price and Troy Tulowitzki led to some fans wondering why the Yankees remained mostly dormant during the trade deadline. New York’s only acquisition was reeling in Dustin Ackley, who played in just two games before landing on the disabled list.

With glaring holes in the starting rotation and trouble finding consistency at second base, it was a little surprising to some that the Yankees remained quiet. However, there’s still a little time to bring in a player or two.

General manager Brian Cashman helped out the pitching situation by calling up Luis Severino from Triple-A and stating that the 21-year-old has no innings limit to Ryan Hatch of Severino has had two solid starts so far in the big leagues against the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, in which he gave up one and two earned runs, respectively.

However, second base still remains a problem.

Stephen Drew belted a home run and scored a career-high four times in an 8-6 win against Cleveland on Thursday, but is still batting just .195 with a .263 OBP in 97 games this season.

He does have 15 home runs, which is more than the likes of Evan Longoria, Matt Kemp and the last superstar to play second base in New York, Robinson Cano. However, production has been lacking in between each home run.

Brendan Ryan hasn’t fared much better, batting .237 in his last 12 games.

So, by name alone, you would think Chase Utley would be a great pickup to help bring some life back to New York’s middle infield. And you wouldn’t be wrong—if it were seven years ago.

When the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series in 2008, Utley hit .292 that season with 104 RBI. He didn’t slow down the following year, belting more than 30 home runs for the third time in four seasons and leading Philly back to the Fall Classic.

Oh, he had five home runs in that World Series defeat against the Yankees, though Utley is just 6-for-24 at Yankee Stadium during the regular season.

If New York were going to get that Utley, there would be no question to try to bring him in. Of course, that Utley most likely would be staying in Philadelphia.

Instead, the current Utley is a shell of his former self, hitting just .196 in 70 games before Friday. He had more home runs in that ’09 World Series than he does now and is looking at career lows in just about every category since his rookie season.

Utley is and will forever be a beloved player in Philadelphia. His number will be retired and a street will probably be named after him. However, the Yankees have had their fair share of nostalgia while dealing with players from the past several years—they need production now.

Because of Utley’s past, the Phillies might try to bring in a big-name prospect in return for him, but New York has stood firm when it comes to its younger players.

Philly could certainly try to improve its case for a decent return after Utley went 4-for-5 on Friday night to push his average over .200. He now has 11 hits in 22 at-bats since returning from the disabled list last Friday. Funny how that can happen when a player is on the trading block.

Before being traded, Utley has the final say of which team he can be dealt to because of his 10-5 no-trade rights, which come after playing 10 years in the big leagues and five straight years with the same club.

The 36-year-old has also made it clear that he only wants to play for teams who will guarantee him playing time, as ESPN’s Buster Olney noted:

But as far as playing time is concerned, Cashman made it clear that he’s all-in on Drew at second base. Since he would remain on the team, there would be no place for Utley, according to’s Bryan Hoch:

Because of that, the Yankees’ best option appears to be in riding things out, much as they did during the trade deadline. Once the roster expands in September, New York can call back second base prospect Rob Refsnyder, who’s batting .275 in Triple-A.

As for Utley, the Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants seem to be the top three suitors. According to the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Bruce Jenkins, the Giants have even made an offer:

But according to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, Utley has narrowed his choices down to two:


It can be argued that Utley was one of the best second basemen of his generation. Now, the argument is if he has anything left in the tank to help out a ball club. For the Yankees, the answer is no.


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