Roundup: Former ace, longtime pitching coach Stottlemyre dies at 77
NEW YORK — Mel Stottlemyre made his mark on the mound: He started Game 7 of the World Series, earned five championship rings as a pitching coach, wound up with a plaque at Monument Park.
But his most enduring impression might have come with the bat — more than a half-century later, he remains the last pitcher to hit an inside-the-park grand slam. Stottlemyre, the ace who later oversaw stellar staffs for both the New York Yankees and Mets, has died. He was 77.
The Yankees said Stottlemyre died Sunday. He had been living in the Seattle area and had multiple myeloma for nearly 20 years. A five-time All-Star and three-time 20-game winner, Stottlemyre went 164-139 with a 2.97 ERA in 11 seasons, all with the Yankees. Stottlemyre made his major league debut in August 1964, providing a big boost in the pennant race. The 22-year-old rookie started three times against St. Louis great Bob Gibson in the World Series, eventually losing Game 7 on two days’ rest.
Twins complete $1.8M deal with ex-Angels closer Blake Parker
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have completed a $1.8 million, one-year contract with right-handed reliever Blake Parker, the team’s first offseason addition to the bullpen.
Parker could make an additional $1.4 million in bonuses for days on the active roster: $400,000 for 130, $500,000 for 140 and $250,000 each for 150 and 160.
The Twins have an opening for closer after trading Fernando Rodney on Aug. 9, and Parker will be in the mix in spring training. Returners Addison Reed, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger and Trevor May could also be candidates for the ninth-inning role. Parker’s deal, which gives him the opportunity through incentives to earn as much as $3.2 million in 2019, was finalized on Monday.
The 33-year-old Parker had a breakout season for the Los Angeles Angels in 2017, with a 2.54 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings. Last year, Parker led the Angels with 14 saves in 17 opportunities and posted a 3.26 ERA, but he was not offered a contract for 2019 and became a free agent.
Infielder DJ LeMahieu, Yankees finalize $24M, 2-year deal
NEW YORK (AP) — Gold Glove-winning second baseman DJ LeMahieu and the New York Yankees have finalized a $24 million, two-year contract.
The deal, which would appear to eliminate New York as a destination for Manny Machado, was agreed to Friday subject to a successful physical. He will earn $12 million in each of the next two seasons.
The 30-year-old LeMahieu spent the previous eight seasons with Colorado at hitter-friendly Coors Field and won the NL batting title in 2016 with a .348 average. He hit .276 last year with 15 homers and 62 RBIs, and he won his second straight Gold Glove and third overall.
New York was seeking infielders in the absence of shortstop Didi Gregorius, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is not expected back until summer. The Yankees signed former Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki last week and said he will be their starting shortstop. LeMahieu likely will see time at second, third and possibly even first. Outfielder Tim Locastro for was designated for assignment to open a roster spot.
Yasmani Grandal, Brewers finalize $18.25M, 1-year contract
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Catcher Yasmani Grandal and the Milwaukee Brewers have finalized an $18.25 million, one-year contract.
The deal, agreed to last week subject to a successful physical, includes a $16 million salary this year and a $16 million option for 2020 with a $2.25 million buyout. Either side may turn down the option.
Grandal turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers in November. He is eligible for free agency again after this year’s World Series and cannot be given a qualifying offer by the Brewers.
Milwaukee forfeits its third-highest draft pick this year, which would be about No. 104. Los Angeles gets a compensation pick after competitive balance round B, about No. 79.
Now 30, Grandal was an All-Star in his first season with the Dodgers in 2015. He hit .241 this year with 24 homers and 68 RBIs as Los Angeles won its second straight NL pennant. He made $7.9 million.
Grandal has a .240 big league career average with 113 home runs in seven seasons. He would supplant Manny Pina and Erik Kratz, who combined to get the most games behind the plate for Milwaukee last season.
Dozier’s deal with Nationals includes $2M in deferred money
WASHINGTON (AP) — Free agent infielder Brian Dozier’s $9 million, one-year contract with the Washington Nationals includes $2 million in salary that is deferred without interest until Jan. 15, 2020.
Washington announced the deal Sunday, three days after it was agreed to subject to a successful physical. Dozier can earn additional award bonuses, such as for making the All-Star team, winning Gold Glove or Silver Slugger awards, finishing among the top three in MVP voting or earning the World Series of League Championship Series MVP award. Dozier, who played for the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers last season, fills Washington’s need for a starting second baseman and could help add some power to the lineup, particularly important if slugging outfielder Bryce Harper ends up leaving as a free agent.
By only committing to Dozier for one season, the Nationals leave open the possibility of turning to leading infield prospect Carter Kieboom at second base in 2020.
Dozier batted a career-low .215 with 21 homers and 72 RBIs last year. He averaged 35 homers over the preceding three seasons, with a career best of 42 for Minnesota in 2016. He was an AL All-Star in 2015.
In 2017, Dozier led AL second baseman in fielding percentage and won a Gold Glove.
While still waiting to find out what will happen with Harper, the Nationals’ additions have included lefty starter Patrick Corbin, catchers Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki, relievers Kyle Barraclough and Trevor Rosenthal, and backup first baseman Matt Adams.