Dodgers seek bullpen help, trade for Rays' Peralta

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the National League's best starting pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, and a good supporting cast. Yesterday the team dealt for veteran relief pitcher Joel Peralta in trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. The trade was the first big move since Andrew Friedman left the Rays after ten years to become president of baseball operations for the Dodgers. Along with Peralta, the Dodgers get minor league left-hander Adam Liberatore and give up minor league right-handers Jose Dominquez and Greg Harris. In 2014, the Dodgers bullpen ranked 12th in the National League, with an ERA of 3.80. The Rays also designated 39-year old catcher Jose Molina for assignment. Molina is the brother of St. Louis Cardinals all-star catcher Yadier Molina and former major league Benji Molina.

Heyward dealt to Cardinals for pitcher Shelby Miller

For the second day in a row, the Atlanta Braves have announced a trade. This time, it's a big one. The Braves dealt right fielder Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Shelby Miller. Jordan Walden also goes to the Cardinals, and minor lealgue pit cher Tyrell Jenkins comes to Atlanta along with Miller. The move could be a good one for Heyward, the McDonough resident who was one of the bright spots in a stagnated Atlanta offense last season. The Cardinals were looking for an outfielder after the untimely death of their top outfield prospect Oscar Tavares in a car crash last month hi his native Dominican Republic. Miller, one of the Cardinal's top pitching prospects, is expected to fill a void left by the departure of veterans Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang, both signed to one-year deals last year. The trade would also appear to open up left field for Evan Gattis, with Justin Upton moving to right field, his natural position, with Christian Bethancourt taking over fulltime as catcher. Then again, there are those rumors that the Braves would trade both Gattis and Upton, who becomes a free agent after next season.

Stanton, Marlins agree to 13-year, $325 million deal

Giancarlo Stanton is 25 years old. The Miami Marlins feel he will be playing baseball until he is 38 at least. Yesterday, the team and Stanton announced the signing of a new deal that borders obscene. The once penny-pinching Marlins will fork out $325 million over the next 13 years to the All-Star right fielder. The contract also includes a no-trade clause, and Stanton can opt out of the contract after six years. The deal is a history-making one, topping the 10-year, $292 million Miguel Cabrera signed with the Tigers in March. The largest deal prior to that was the 10-year, $275 million contract the Yankees signed with Alex Rodriguez.

Braves trade LaStella to Cubs for relief pitcher Vizcaino

The Atlanta Braves have traded second baseman Tommy LaStella to the Chicago Cubs for relief pitcher Arodys Vizcaino. The move would appear to be further indications that the Braves are now trying to built toward for the future. Jose Peraza is the Braves second baseman of the future, if you believe press hype, but the team wants the young prospect to play at least one more year in the minor leagues. Phil Gosselin played second base late in the year, but the Braves reportedly could be shopping for a veteran to play the position next season as Peraza continues to develop in the minor leagues.

Trout unanimous AL Most Valuable Player

Mike Trout of the Angels finally won his first American League Most Valuable Player award. The 23-year old outfielder finished second in each of the past two years to Detroit's Miguel Cabrera. He is the youngest player to win the award unanimously, and the fifth youngest overall. He also joins Mickey Mantle of the Yankees as the only players to finish second two straight years then win the award the next. Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez finished second in this year's balloting.

Kershaw adds MVP Award to Cy Young

Clayton Kershaw became the first pitcher to win the National League Most Valuable Player award in 46 years, and becomes the first in the league since Bob Gibson of the Cardinals to win both the Cy Young Award and the MVP in the same year. Gibson did it in 1968. Kershaw beat out Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the MVP award after winning the Cy Young over Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto earlier in the week. Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen finished third in the MVP balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The last Dodger to win the MVP was Kirk Gibson in 1988.

Dodgers Kershaw, Indians Kluber Cy Young winners

Cy Young Award winners were announced yesterday by the Baseball Writers Association of America. In the American League, Cleveland's Corey Kluber edge Seattle's Feliz Hernandez for the award, receiving 17 of the 30 first place votes and 169 points to beat Hernandez by ten points. In the National League, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers was a unanimous choice for his third Cy Young Award in the past four seasons and second in a row. Kershaw led the majors in wins and ERA and threw a no-hitter as good measure. Kershaw is the ninth pitcher to win the award at least three times, joining Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton, Greg Maddux, Sandy Koufax, Pedro Martinez, Jim Palmer and Tom Seaver. He is the sixth to win the award three times in a four year span. The others are Johnson, Maddux, Koufax, Martinez and Palmer.

Williams top manager, Series winner Bochy third in NL manager of year voting

Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams is the National League Manager of the Year, as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Williams led the Nationals to a National League high 96 wins during the regular season, and becomes the fourth manager to win the award in his first season as a major league manager. The others are Hal Laniaer of Houston in 1986, Dusty Baker of the Giants in 1993 and Joe Girardi of the Marlins in 2006. Girardi is now manager of the Yankees. Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle finished second, with Bruce Bochy of the Giants finishing third in the balloting.

Showalter AL manager of the year, Yost third

Baltimore's Buck Showalter has been named American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. In winning the award, Showalter received 25 of the 30 first place votes and a total of 132 points to beat out Mike Scioscia of the Angels and Ned Yost of Kansas City, who finished a surprising third despite leading the Royals to the World Series for the first time since 1985. Showalter has won the MOY award two other times, interestingly enough, in ten-year intervals. He won with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. He is also the third Orioles manager to win the coveted award, joining Frank Robinson in 1989 and Davey Johnson in 1997.

Santana says no to Braves offer, team signe free agent outfielder

The Atlanta Braves announced that pitcher Ervin Santana has declined the team's $13.5 million qualifying offer and will remain a free agent. All twelve Braves who were made such qualifying offers have declined. Santana was 14-10 with an ERA of 3.95 in his only season with the Braves, who said after Santana's decision that the team won't pursue him or any other high-tier free agent pitcher. The Braves also announced the signing of free agent outfielder Zoilo Almonte, a former New York Yankee who agreed to a one-year contract. Almonte, who is 25 years old, hit .211 with two home runs and four stolen bases in limited playing time with the Yankees last season.

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