No fantasy league results for this Sunday, thanks to the All-Star break matchups are running an extra few days once the MLB season resumes June 19. But it’s not like we’re lacking in news and rumors. A few talking points to get you started.
• Milwaukee 1B Jesus Aguilar and Seattle SS Jean Segura were the winner’s of the MLB All-Star Game final vote and will be making the trip to DC this week for the All-Star Game. Undoubtedly a few of the other players who were in the running are gonna end up there anyways as well as there’s almost always a good number of players who would rather use the 3 days to rest up for the season’s second half.
• The Manny Machado trade watch remains on. As of Sunday night, the Orioles had reportedly narrowed their list of possible trading partners to the Dodgers, Phillies and Brewers though the Yankees are still trying to stay involved (their reluctance to include a top pitching prospect though is a strike against their chances). Reportedly Baltimore is very intent on completing a Machado trade as soon as they can.
• Major League Baseball and Korean Baseball Organization reportedly agreed to a new posting system this week. Most aspects of the system will mirror the agreement MLB previously made with Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. MLBTR has a full report here.
• Dodgers infielder Chase Utley has announced that he’ll be retiring at the end of the 2018 season in a Friday press conference. Utley, a 16 year veteran, made 6 All-Star teams in his career and won 4 Silver Sluggers while garnering MVP votes over the course of multiple seasons. He’s best known for his 12+ seasons as the Phillies primary second baseman and was a key lineup cog in their 2008 World Series championship run.
• In a move the surprised some, the St. Louis Cardinals fired manager Mike Matheny on Saturday night after a loss brought them to just one game over the .500 mark. Hitting coaches John Mabry and Bill Mueller were also sent packing that night as well. Matheny’s managed the team for 6 and a half seasons at this point, bringing them to the World Series in 2013 where they lost to the Boston Red Sox, and making the playoffs the first four of those seasons before missing them in ’16 and ’17. With the Cardinals currently 7.5 games back of the NL Central lead, and 4 games out of a very tight NL Wild Card race. Matheny has found himself in some hot water in the media and among the fanbase though this season. Dexter Fowler has disappointed (and publicly been called out by team president John Mozeliak), bullpen management issues, and rumors of rookie (Jordan Hicks) being “ridden hard” by veteran reliever Bud Norris (some have described the behavior as bullying though Hicks denies it) with Matheny’s past comments about younger ballplayers being too soft being seen as an indicator that he endorses the behavior. For the time, bench coach Mike Schildt has been named interim manager in the hopes of turning the team’s fortune around and avoid a 3rd straight season without a spot in the playoffs. It’s expected he’ll manage the team through the end of the season with a full on search for a manager commencing in the off-season. Some rumors have already connected former Yankees and Marlins manager Joe Girardi to the job but it’s probably too early to say.
• Sunday night the 2018 Futures Game was played with the traditional USA vs the World rosters. For the 2nd straight year the USA won, 10-6 as the two teams combined for 8 home runs. Yusniel Diaz of the Dodgers homered twice, Taylor Trammel of the Reds was the game’s MVP as he went 2 for 2 with a home run and a triple. Fellow Reds prospect Hunter Greene made jaws drop over his 27 pitch outing. Nineteen of his pitches were fastballs, all of them registering on the radar gun at 100 MPH or higher, the highest one being 103.1 MPH. Torii Hunter was the manager of the USA team while David Ortiz managed the World team. The full recap and highlights are here.
What else is out there that’s caught your eye? Are you excited for the All-Star Game? The Home Run Derby? Or just taking a 3 day respite because you’re only concerned about competitive games?