Matt Chapman gets a raise and A’s sign remaining arbitration eligible players — Marin Independent Journal

It wasn’t an extension, but the A’s star third baseman got a significant raise in his first year of arbitration. Matt Chapman, the A’s Platinum Glove third baseman, signed a one-year deal worth $6.49 million. Despite a tumultuous year and slow off season with few moves thus far, the A’s managed to avoid arbitration with…

Matt Chapman gets a raise and A’s sign remaining arbitration eligible players — Marin Independent Journal

Red Sox reportedly sign top Dominican OF to begin international signing period — Boston Herald

A year after they didn’t spend $1 million or more on any of their international free agents, the Red Sox dug deep into their pockets to grab one of the most athletic outfielders in this year’s international class. According to multiple reports, the Red Sox landed top international prospect Miguel Bleis from the Dominican Republic…

Red Sox reportedly sign top Dominican OF to begin international signing period — Boston Herald

Liam Hendriks says A’s ‘never reached out’ during free agency — Red Bluff Daily News

Liam Hendriks introduced himself to the South Side on Friday. True to form, Hendriks didn’t hold much back as he talked to reporters at his introductory Zoom press conference. The Chicago White Sox’s new $54 million closer wasn’t afraid to share his experience in this strange free agency market, saying the Oakland A’s weren’t in…

Liam Hendriks says A’s ‘never reached out’ during free agency — Red Bluff Daily News

Blue Jays sign Hernandez, Stripling

BLUE JAYS AGREE TO TERMS WITH HERNÁNDEZ AND STRIPLING

The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms on 2021 contracts with OF Teoscar Hernández (US $4,325,000) and RHP Ross Stripling (US $3,000,000). The Blue Jays have no remaining arbitration-eligible players on the 40-man roster.

Hernández, 28, won his first Silver Slugger Award in 2020 as he racked up 16 home runs in 190 at-bats, tying for fifth among all batters. The native of Cotui, Dominican Republic, also ranked seventh in the AL in slugging percentage (.579), seventh in OPS (.919), and tied for ninth in total bases (110) while tying for the Major League lead with seven outfield assists. Over five big league seasons, the right fielder owns a .245 batting average and an .801 OPS while recording 153 extra-base hits and 187 RBI in 377 games.

Stripling, 31, went 3-3 with a 5.84 ERA over nine starts and three relief appearances with the Dodgers and Blue Jays last season. The 6-3, 220 lb. right-hander joined Toronto in a trade deadline deal for two players to be named later and appeared in five regular-season games and one playoff contest for the club. The Texas A&M University product has pitched in 148 games across five Major League campaigns and owns a career 3.77 ERA while registering 417 strikeouts in 436.1 innings pitched.  

– BLUE JAYS –

MLB Rumors: How Possible Red Sox Target Corey Kluber Looked At Showcase — NESN.com

An important chapter in the Corey Kluber comeback story was written Wednesday at the Cressey Sports Performance facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Kluber, who totaled just eight starts (36 2/3 innings) over the past two seasons due to injuries, hosted a showcase that reportedly was attended by about 25 Major League Baseball organizations. The […]

MLB Rumors: How Possible Red Sox Target Corey Kluber Looked At Showcase — NESN.com

New Red Sox coach Bianca Smith has aspirations to be MLB manager — Boston Herald

Bianca Smith was the director of baseball operations as a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University when she ran into one of her first moments of being doubted. A high school coach was working with the team and was asking Smith what her responsibilities were. She was explaining what she did — as she…

New Red Sox coach Bianca Smith has aspirations to be MLB manager — Boston Herald

Report: Former Dodgers Pitcher Tommy John Hospitalized With COVID-19, His Son Says Virus Doesn’t Exist — CBS Los Angeles

The former MLB pitcher, whose name is widely known for the elbow surgery he was first to receive, has been hospitalized multiple times due to COVID, but his son still says the disease is fake according to the Daily Beast.

Report: Former Dodgers Pitcher Tommy John Hospitalized With COVID-19, His Son Says Virus Doesn’t Exist — CBS Los Angeles

Bianca Smith To Join Red Sox As Minor League Coach, Make Baseball History — NESN.com

Bianca Smith will blaze a trail once she reports for duty. The Boston Red Sox will hire Smith as a minor league coach, vice president of player development Ben Crockett confirmed to The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams on Thursday. Smith, whose hiring the Red Sox will announce in January, is set to become the the […]

Bianca Smith To Join Red Sox As Minor League Coach, Make Baseball History — NESN.com

Dodgers icon Tommy Lasorda remains hospitalized through the holidays — Orange County Register

Lasorda has been hospitalized since early November. His condition improved enough in early December to move out of intensive care, but he remains under doctor’s care.

Dodgers icon Tommy Lasorda remains hospitalized through the holidays — Orange County Register

La Russa resolves DUI case, feels ‘deep remorse and regret’ — MLB | NBC Sports

CHICAGO (AP) — White Sox manager Tony La Russa says he doesn’t have a drinking problem. He also says he has to prove that with his behavior. The 76-year-old La Russa pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge to resolve misdemeanor drunken driving charges stemming from his arrest nearly 10 months ago on a freeway

La Russa resolves DUI case, feels ‘deep remorse and regret’ — MLB | NBC Sports

BLUE JAYS SPRING TRAINING INVITEES

The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms with the following free agents on Minor League contracts with invites to 2021 Major League Spring Training:

  • INF Richard Ureña
  • OF Forrest Wall
  • INF Tyler White

Ureña, 24, returns to the Blue Jays after spending the 2020 season with the Orioles. The native of San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, took part in 11 Spring Training games for Baltimore but did not see any Major League action during the regular season. The 6-0, 195 lb. switch-hitter batted .243 in 30 games for Toronto in 2019. Ureña originally signed with the Blue Jays as a 16-year-old in 2012 and holds a career .253 batting average over 91 Major League contests.

Wall, 25, batted .304 in 14 Spring Training contests for the Blue Jays last season and was invited to Summer Camp at Rogers Centre before spending the regular season at the club’s alternate training site in Rochester, NY. The left-handed hitting outfielder spent time with Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo in 2019, combining to hit .268 with a .773 OPS. The Winter Park, FL, native was acquired from the Rockies in 2018 and has a career line of .274/.353/.413 across six Minor League seasons.

White, 30, played nine games for the SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2020, collecting a triple, a home run, and four RBI while posting a .685 OPS. The 5-11, 238 lb. first baseman split 83 contests between the Astros and the Dodgers during his 2019 campaign while also playing 70 games of Triple-A ball. Over the course of four Major League seasons, the native of Mooresboro, NC, holds a .236 batting average while registering 26 homers and 103 RBI in 256 games.

Alex Cora confident Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez will be better in 2021 — Boston Herald

Alex Cora seems pretty confident that J.D. Martinez will be back to his usual self in 2021. The Red Sox manager sat at home during his season-long suspension and watched Martinez fall to career-lows across the board over a 60-game sprint. The designated hitter was befuddled, his normal routine was taken away with a lack…

Alex Cora confident Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez will be better in 2021 — Boston Herald