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Trout joins elite list with third AL MVP honor

Trout joins elite list with third AL MVP honor

Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout became the 11th player in baseball history to win at least three MVP awards, topping Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in results announced Thursday.

In voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, Trout received 17 first-place votes and 355 voting points. Bregman was the runner-up with 13 first-place votes and 335 points, and Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien was a distant third with 228 points.

Trout joins a list of players with three-plus MVPs that is headed by Barry Bonds, a seven-time winner. No one else has won more than the three won by Trout, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio and Jimmie Foxx.

"It's pretty incredible," Trout said on MLB Network. "My career so far has gone by so fast, and it's been unbelievable.

Trout, 28, also won the award in 2014 and 2016. His latest victory came despite the fact that he missed the last three weeks of the season due to a lingering foot injury.

Asked if he thought the early end to his year might cost him the MVP award, Trout said, "It definitely did. I was playing probably a month with (the injury), and it was to the point where I couldn't play anymore. And obviously Bregman, we play against him all the time, and Semien, just an unbelievable season they had. I was definitely following all of them. Every time we face Oakland or the Astros, they were doing something special."

Trout finished in the top two in AL MVP voting for the seventh time in eight full major league seasons. This year, he led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and the AL with a .645 slugging percentage while batting .291 with 45 homers (second in the AL) and 104 RBIs.

Bregman, 25, tied for third in the AL with 41 homers and came in fifth in the league with 112 RBIs. He batted .296 with a .423 on-base percentage (second) and a .592 slugging percentage (third).

Semien, 29, was an MVP finalist even though he has yet to make an All-Star team in his career. His key offensive numbers this year were all career highs: .285 average, .369 on-base percentage, .522 slugging percentage, 33 homers and 92 RBIs.

Bellinger beats out Yelich for NL MVP

Bellinger beats out Yelich for NL MVP

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player, topping the 2018 winner, Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich.

The results of voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America were announced Thursday.

Bellinger received 19 of the 30 first-place votes and finished with 362 voting points. Yelich got 10 first-place votes and wound up with 317 points. Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon received the other first-place vote and took third place with 242 points.

Arizona Diamondbacks utility man Ketel Marte came in fourth place, and Atlanta Braves center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. took fifth place.

When the announcement was made, Bellinger hugged his father, Clay Bellinger, who was a major-leaguer with the New York Yankees and then-Anaheim Angels from 1999-2002.

"It's absolutely incredible," Cody Bellinger said on MLB Network. "Little emotional. ... It's what you dream of, for sure."

Bellinger, 24, won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2017, and he captured his first Gold Glove this year. He batted .305 with a .406 on-base percentage, a .629 slugging percentage, 47 homers and 115 RBIs -- all career highs -- while leading the league with 351 total bases.

He is the first Dodger to win NL MVP since Clayton Kershaw in 2014. The last Dodgers position player to capture an MVP award was Kirk Gibson in 1988.

Yelich, 27, topped the league with a .329 average, a .429 on-base percentage and a .671 slugging percentage that also led the majors. He hit 44 homers and 97 RBIs before his season ended Sept. 10 due to a broken kneecap.

Rendon, 29, drove in a major-league-high 126 runs and tied for the NL lead with 44 doubles. He batted .319 with 34 homers in the regular season before leading the Nationals to their first World Series championship.

Braves sign closer Smith to 3-year, $39M contract

Braves sign closer Smith to 3-year, $39M contract

The Atlanta Braves signed All-Star closer Will Smith to a three-year, $39 million contract Thursday. The deal includes a 2023 club option for $13 million.

The 30-year-old left-hander was an All-Star with the San Francisco Giants in 2019, finishing 6-0 with 34 saves and a 2.76 ERA in 63 appearances.

Smith struck out 96 batters and walked 21 in 65 1/3 innings, holding opponents to a .196 average. Left-handed hitters batted just .157 against him with two extra-base hits.

Smith is 26-22 with a 3.53 ERA and 49 saves in 359 career games with the Giants (2016, 2018-19), Milwaukee Brewers (2014-16) and Kansas City Royals (2012-13). He missed the 2017 season after having Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.

Napoli to join Cubs as quality assurance coach

Napoli to join Cubs as quality assurance coach

Former major league catcher and first baseman Mike Napoli will join the Chicago Cubs' coaching staff, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Napoli, who hit 267 home runs over 12 seasons with the Los Angeles, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, will become the Cubs' quality assurance coach under new manager David Ross, according to The Athletic.

Napoli and Ross were teammates with the Boston Red Sox in 2013.

Napoli won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013 and was on the Indians team that advanced to the World Series in 2016. Cleveland was defeated in that series by the Cubs, the organization Napoli will now join.

In addition to his power, Napoli was known for a keen eye at the plate and his ability to drive up opponents' pitch counts. He averaged 4.37 pitches per plate appearance during his career, including a career-best 4.57 in both the 2013 season with the Red Sox and the 2016 season with the Indians.

Napoli, 38, was a career .246 hitter and drove in 744 runs, with a .475 slugging percentage. He made his only All-Star Game appearance in 2012 as a member of the Rangers.

Yankees officially tab Blake as pitching coach

Yankees officially tab Blake as pitching coach

The New York Yankees made it official Thursday, announcing Matt Blake as their new pitching coach after reports of his hiring surfaced last week.

Blake served as the Cleveland Indians' assistant director of player development for three seasons before being promoted to be the team's director of pitching development.

The 34-year-old Blake will replace Larry Rothschild, who had served as the Yankees' pitching coach since 2011 before he was fired on Oct. 28.

Last season, the Indians saw five young starters who worked with Blake contribute at the major league level. Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, Adam Plutko and Aaron Civale were developed in Cleveland's farm system.

Prior to joining the Indians, Blake was associated with Cressey Sports Performance, which has Florida and Massachusetts locations. A Holy Cross graduate, Blake was an area scout for the Yankees in 2010.

Despite a rash of injuries this year, New York finished in the middle of the pack (14th) in the major leagues with a 4.31 regular-season ERA. The Yankees' 2.87 ERA in the postseason ranked second among the 10 playoff teams.

New York wound up losing the American League Championship Series to the Astros, with Jose Altuve's ninth-inning homer off Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 sending Houston to the World Series.

Rothschild had previous experience as manager of the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998-2001) and as pitching coach of the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, then-Florida Marlins and Chicago Cubs -- a resume far different than the one Blake brings to the role.

Mets' deGrom repeats as NL Cy Young Award winner

Mets' deGrom repeats as NL Cy Young Award winner

New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom ran away with the voting for the National League Cy Young Award, winning for the second consecutive season Wednesday.

DeGrom went 11-8 with a 2.43 ERA in 32 starts, striking out an NL-best 255 in 204 innings.

He earned 29 of 30 first-place votes.

"I said it was a dream to win one, but to win back-to-back, honestly, I'm kind of speechless right now," he said on MLB Network.

DeGrom, 31, is the first Mets pitcher to win in back-to-back seasons and the second in franchise history to win multiple times, joining Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, 1975). He started this season with a 3-6 record, but from that point in early June, he dropped his ERA from 3.45. He went at least seven innings in 19 starts over the season.

"Last year, it was kind of smooth sailing all year," deGrom said. "But this year, I had to kind of recover from that little rough patch and figure out a way to get it done and go out there and fix some mechanical things."

DeGrom becomes the 20th pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards and the 11th to win in consecutive years, the last being Washington's Max Scherzer in the National League in 2016 and 2017.

Scherzer tied for second in this year's voting with the Los Angeles Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu, who picked up the other first-place vote in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Scherzer's teammate on the World Series champion Nationals, Stephen Strasburg, tied for fourth with the St. Louis Cardinals' Jack Flaherty.

Piazza to manage Italian national team

Piazza to manage Italian national team

Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza will manage the Italian national team in the European Baseball Championship and World Baseball Classic.

Piazza made the announcement Wednesday morning, and will coach the team in the EBC in 2020 and the 2021 WBC.

"Excited to announce I have reached an agreement to manage the Italian National Baseball team," Piazza wrote. "This will include a European Tournament next year and the 2021 @WBCBaseball Classic."

Piazza retired from baseball in 2008 having spent a total of 16 seasons between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, along with brief stays with the Oakland Athletics, the then-Florida (Miami) Marlins and San Diego Padres. He won 10 Silver Slugger awards as a catcher and was a 12-time All-Star.

Inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016, Piazza has never managed or coached. But there is managerial success in the family bloodlines. Tommy Lasorda is a distance cousin of Piazza's father, Vince.

Piazza was briefly the majority owner of third-tier Italian soccer team AC Reggiana. The franchise folded relatively soon after Piazza took control in 2016, ceasing operations at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Italy was runner-up at the European World Baseball Championship in 2019.

Giants hire Kapler to be next manager

Giants hire Kapler to be next manager

Coming off their third straight losing season, the San Francisco Giants are once again turning to a former Los Angeles Dodger to fill a huge vacancy.

The team announced Tuesday night it has hired Gabe Kapler to be its next manager, replacing three-time World Series winner Bruce Bochy.

Kapler, 44, managed the Philadelphia Phillies the last two seasons, compiling a 161-163 record before getting fired in October. Prior to that, he was the director of player development for the Dodgers for three seasons. While in Los Angeles, Kapler reported to Farhan Zaidi, the current president of baseball operations for the Giants.

Our top priority in the next manager was to find someone who can build strong relationships with our players, coaches, front office and fans, and someone who has the drive and desire to win," Zaidi said in a statement. "After an exhaustive and comprehensive search, we are delighted to welcome Gabe Kapler as the next manager of the San Francisco Giants.

"In my personal experience in working with Gabe, there is no one who works harder and is more committed to getting the best out of the people around him. This was also echoed in the feedback we received around the baseball community. I look forward to working with Gabe to help return the Giants to its winning tradition."

Kapler also played in parts of 12 seasons in the majors, batting.268 with 176 doubles, 82 home runs and 386 RBIs in 1,104 career games with Detroit, Texas, Colorado, Boston, Milwaukee and Tampa Bay.

The Giants finished last season 77-85, but they have actually improved their win total in each of the last two seasons (from 64 to 73 to 77) while simultaneously finishing one spot better in the standings (from fifth to fourth to third).

Bochy led the team to World Series titles in 2010, '12 and '14. He retired last season after compiling a 1,052-1,054 record in 13 seasons with the team. Bochy has a career 2,003-2,029 record and sits 11th in career managerial wins.

Along with finding a new manager, San Francisco also entered this offseason with veteran lefty Madison Bumgarner and All-Star closer Will Smith entering free agency.

Angels add La Russa to front office

Angels add La Russa to front office

Hall of Famer Tony La Russa was hired by the Los Angeles Angels as senior adviser for baseball operation on Tuesday.

The 75-year-old La Russa will assist in all areas of baseball operations, including evaluations of major league baseball and development of minor leaguers, Angels general manager Billy Eppler said in a news release.

"I've admired Tony for a very long time," Eppler said. "As our paths have crossed over the years, Tony and I discussed the potential of working together and we're excited to finally get that opportunity. Adding his knowledge and experience will be an invaluable piece to the success and continued development of our baseball operations efforts both on and off the field."

La Russa is the third winningest manager in baseball history with 2,728 victories and won three World Series titles, one with the Oakland Athletics (1989) and two with the St. Louis Cardinals (2006, 2011). Since retiring as a manager in 2011, he has worked in front offices of the Arizona Diamondbacks (2014-17) and Boston Red Sox (2018-19).

La Russa was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

Twins' Baldelli named AL Manager of Year

Twins' Baldelli named AL Manager of Year

Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins was named American League Manager of the Year, it was announced Tuesday on the MLB Network.

The 38-year-old Baldelli is the youngest person to win the top manager honor. The Twins went 101-61 and won the AL Central title under Baldelli in his first season on the job.

"What I can say is nobody takes on the responsibility of working in baseball or doing a job like this for personal accolades," Baldelli said in an interview after the announcement. "I do everything that I can but it doesn't matter necessarily. You need an entire group."

Baldelli and runner-up Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees each received 13 first-place votes. But Baldelli also received 13 second-place votes for 106 points to outdistance Boone by 10.

The Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Cash (33) received three first-place votes while finishing third. Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics was fourth with 19 points and the Houston Astros' A.J. Hinch had 12 points. Hinch received one first-place vote.

Minnesota smacked a major league record 307 homers in Baldelli's debut season.

It was just the second 100-win campaign in the franchise's 59-season Minnesota era behind the 1965 Twins (102-60). Baldelli's win total was 23 higher than the team's 2018 output.

He joins Tom Kelly (1991), Ron Gardenhire (2010) and Paul Molitor (2017) as Twins managers to win the honor.

Boone guided the Yankees to a 103-59 record and the AL East crown while winning 100 or more games for the second straight season. He worked around a number of injuries throughout the season, a list that included lengthy stints for outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, third baseman Miguel Andujar, starting pitcher Luis Severino and reliever Dellin Betances among several others.

New York slugged 306 homers, one behind Minnesota.

Cash led the Rays to a 96-66 record and an AL wild-card berth. The club flirted with 100 wins despite being without 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell for nearly two months due to elbow surgery.

Report: Astros stole signs electronically in 2017

Report: Astros stole signs electronically in 2017

The Houston Astros are alleged to have stolen signs electronically throughout the 2017 season, The Athletic reported on Tuesday.

Major League Baseball rules prohibit MLB teams from using electronics to see a catcher's signs to the pitcher.

The Athletic talked to four people associated with the Astros in 2017, the year they won their only World Series. Among them was pitcher Mike Fiers, who reported the team used a camera stationed in the outfield at Minute Maid Park to steal signs during home games.

The report said the feed from the camera appeared on a television monitor that was located steps from the Astros' dugout. Players and team employees would look at the monitor and when they figured out what pitch was coming, they would relay it by banging on a trash can. A bang on the trash can typically indicated a changeup or breaking ball was coming, The Athletic said.

Fiers pitched for the Detroit Tigers (2018) and Oakland Athletics (2018-19) and told those teams about the Astros' alleged sign stealing.

"I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they're going in there not knowing," Fiers said.

"I had to let my team know so that we were prepared when we went to go play them at Minute Maid."

The Astros aren't the only team accused of stealing signs, MLB said in a statement to The Athletic.

"As a result of those concerns, and after receiving extensive input from the General Managers, we issued a revised policy on sign stealing prior to the 2019 season," Major League Baseball said. "We also put in place detailed protocols and procedures to provide comfort to Clubs that other Clubs were not using video during the game to decode and steal signs. After we review this new information we will determine any necessary next steps."

The Astros declined to comment to The Athletic.

MLB already is investigating the Astros and their team culture after former assistant general manager Brandon Taubman made inappropriate remarks to three female reporters in October.

Wainwright, Cardinals agree to one-year deal

Wainwright, Cardinals agree to one-year deal

Adam Wainwright has agreed to a one-year contract to return to the St. Louis Cardinals for a 16th season.

The team announced the signing Tuesday, but the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are excited to have Adam returning for 2020 and look forward to watching him continue to add to his tremendous career legacy with the Cardinals," said John Mozeliak, the team's president of baseball operations, in a statement.

The 38-year-old Wainwright enters the 2020 season fourth all-time in Cardinals history in wins (162), second in strikeouts (1,776) and sixth in innings pitched (2,103 2/3).

He trails only Hall of Fame members Jesse Haines (1920-37) and Bob Gibson (1959-75) in longevity among pitchers in Cardinals history.

Wainwright had a 1.62 ERA in the 2019 postseason for the Cardinals and a 2.56 ERA at home last season.

Wainwright, a three-time All-Star, has won two World Series with the Cardinals. He is the Cardinals all-time leader in postseason games pitched (27) and strikeouts (115).

He has a career record of 162-95 with a 3.39 ERA in 383 games (316 starts). Last season, Wainwright was 14-10 with a 4.19 ERA in 171 2/3 innings

Rays' Neander selected MLB executive of year

Rays' Neander selected MLB executive of year

Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander, whose team reached the playoffs despite having the lowest payroll in baseball, was named as Major League Baseball Executive of the Year on Monday.

The award capped a bountiful year for Neander and the Rays. Tampa Bay finished the regular season 96-66 for the seventh-best record in the majors, captured an AL wild-card berth, then knocked out the Oakland Athletics in the wild-card game. The Rays took the Houston Astros to a decisive Game 5 before losing in the American League Division Series.

Neander shaped the playoff contender with a bevy of signings and trades over the past couple seasons. He brought in right-hander Charlie Morton and outfielder Avisail Garcia via free agency, and he turned to the trade market to grab infielder Yandy Diaz and relief pitcher Emilio Pagan.

The Rays improved during the season by acquiring catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who hit 16 homers in 92 games for Tampa Bay, and right-hander Nick Anderson, who struck out 41 batters in 21 1/3 innings for his new team. The Rays also acquired first baseman Jesus Aguilar and infielder Eric Sogard to position themselves for a postseason run.

The 36-year-old Neander also made an impact over the previous couple seasons. He pulled off a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018 that brought in right-hander Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Austin Meadows, and he seized a chance to acquire Tommy Pham from the St. Louis Cardinals' crowded outfield.

Neander, a Virginia Tech graduate, has worked in the Rays' organization for the past 13 seasons.

"I am both humbled and honored to be recognized by Major League Baseball and the executives who voted on the award," Neander said in a statement released by the team. "This recognition deserves to be shared across our entire staff, as well as the players who left it all on the field. It's our collective commitment that allows something like this to be possible. While we fell short of our ultimate on-field goal in 2019, I am proud of our progress and we'll do all we can to build upon that in the coming years."

The New York Yankees' Brian Cashman finished second to Neander in the Executive of the Year voting while 2018 winner Billy Beane of the A's and Derek Falvey of the Minnesota Twins tied for third.

Astros' Alvarez wins Rookie of the Year in unanimous fashion

Astros' Alvarez wins Rookie of the Year in unanimous fashion

Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez won the American League Rookie of the Year award in unanimous fashion on Monday.

Alvarez received all 30 first-place votes and 150 points to easily outdistance the runner up, pitcher John Means (53) of the Baltimore Orioles, and third-place infielder Brandon Lowe (27) of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Alvarez fit in well with the Astros' powerful lineup by contributing 27 homers and 78 RBIs in 87 games. He batted .313 and slugged .655.

"He wants to appreciate all the help that everyone has taught him during the season, especially his teammates and the fans who follow him," Alvarez said through a translator on the MLB Network.

The left-handed Means went 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA in 31 appearances (27 starts). The 26-year-old All-Star had a solid 1.14 WHIP and struck out 121 in 155 innings.

Lowe, 25, batted .270 but was limited to 82 games due to injuries. The All-Star smacked 17 homers and drove in 51 runs.

Giants tab Harris as general manager

Giants tab Harris as general manager

The San Francisco Giants named Scott Harris as their new general manager on Sunday.

Harris spent the last seven years in the front office of the Chicago Cubs. He was assistant general manager the past two seasons.

"We're thrilled to be able to bring in an executive of Scott's caliber to help lead our Baseball Operations group," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said in a statement. "The combination of his breadth of experience, contributions toward building a championship-winning perennial contender in Chicago and his Bay Area roots made him an ideal fit for our General Manager position and I'm looking forward to executing our vision together."

Harris, who grew up in the Bay Area suburb of Redwood City, was chosen over Pittsburgh Pirates assistant general manager Kevan Graves and Astros director of player development Pete Putila.

"I am so appreciative and honored to join the San Francisco Giants, a storied franchise with a loyal, passionate and deserving fan base," Harris said in a statement. "I'm humbled by the opportunity to help bring the next world championship to Giants fans and San Francisco, a city that has always held a special place in my heart. I'm excited to get to work with Farhan, our baseball operations staff and the rest of the Giants family."

The Giants haven't yet filled their managerial position, which is open after Bruce Bochy's retirement.

San Francisco has reportedly narrowed down that search to three finalists: former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. Espada is reportedly the favorite, according to MLB.com.

Reports: Padres hire Rothschild as pitching coach

Reports: Padres hire Rothschild as pitching coach

Former New York Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild will assume the same role with the San Diego Padres, according to multiple reports Friday.

While the team did not confirm the move, longtime Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley told The San Diego Union-Tribune that his role is changing.

"I've been really fortunate," Balsley said Friday. "Hardly anybody hangs around 17 years in the same job. I've been treated with nothing but respect by all the general managers, the owners. I can't complain. ... A little bit melancholy, but (stuff) happens."

Balsley, a San Diego-area product, became pitching coach in May 2003 and worked under Bruce Bochy, Bud Black and Andy Green. The 55-year-old, who has a year left on his contract, said he expects to move into a role as a special assistant working with minor league pitchers.

New manager Jayce Tingler is putting together a new staff, which the newspaper said likely will be finalized next week.

The Yankees and Rothschild parted ways on Oct. 28. He had been with the club since the start of the 2011 season.

While dealing with multiple injuries in 2019, New York finished 14th in the majors with a 4.31 team ERA. The Yankees compiled a 2.87 ERA in the postseason, which ended with a six-game loss to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.

Before joining the Yankees, Rothschild managed the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998-2001 and served on the Chicago Cubs' coaching staff from 2002-10. He has been a player coach or manager with a major league organization for 45 seasons.

According to multiple reports Thursday night, the Yankees will hire Matt Blake, 33, for the role. He has worked with the Cleveland Indians for three years.

Reports: Yankees set to hire Blake as pitching coach

Reports: Yankees set to hire Blake as pitching coach

The New York Yankees, who fired veteran pitching coach Larry Rothschild last month, reportedly are adding a youthful replacement.

Matt Blake, 33, is set to land the job, multiple media outlets reported Thursday night.

Blake was the Indians' assistant director of player development for three years -- until Tuesday, when he was promoted to be Cleveland's director of pitching development.

Before joining the Indians, Blake was associated with Cressey Sports Performance, which has Florida and Massachusetts locations. A Holy Cross graduate, Blake was an area scout for the Yankees in 2010.

According to the New York Post, other candidates to become the Yankees' pitching coach included YES broadcaster David Cone, University of Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter and University of Arkansas pitching coach Matt Hobbs.

Rothschild, 65, had been on the job since 2011, but he was fired Oct. 28. Despite a rash of injuries this year, New York finished in the middle of the pack (14th) in the major leagues with a 4.31 regular-season ERA. The Yankees' 2.87 ERA in the postseason ranked second among the 10 playoff teams.

New York wound up losing the American League Championship Series to the Astros, with Jose Altuve's ninth-inning homer off Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 sending Houston to the World Series.

Rothschild had previous experience as manager of the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998-2001) and as pitching coach of the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, then-Florida Marlins and Chicago Cubs -- a resume far different than the one Blake brings to the role.

Trout wins seventh Silver Slugger

Trout wins seventh Silver Slugger

Mike Trout became the sixth outfielder to receive seven Silver Slugger Awards as the Los Angeles Angels center fielder headed the list of honorees announced Thursday.

The Silver Slugger is given to the top offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League. Three outfielders are selected from each league, regardless of whether they play left field, center field or right field.

The voting is done by major league managers and coaches.

Trout, 28, has captured his seven Silver Sluggers in a span of eight years. The only other outfielders to receive the award at least seven times were Barry Bonds (12), Manny Ramirez (eight), Ken Griffey Jr. (seven), Vladimir Guerrero (seven) and Tony Gwynn (seven).

Trout topped the AL in on-base percentage (.438) and slugging percentage (.645) while hitting .291 with 45 homers and 104 RBIs. He missed most of the season's final month due to a foot ailment.

The Atlanta Braves had three players win Silver Sluggers: outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., first baseman Freddie Freeman and second baseman Ozzie Albies.

Three teams had a pair of honorees: the AL champion Houston Astros (outfielder George Springer and third baseman Alex Bregman), the Boston Red Sox (outfielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts) and the Minnesota Twins (catcher Mitch Garver and designated hitter Nelson Cruz).

The Silver Slugger for the top-hitting NL pitcher went to a player who ended the year in the AL: Zack Greinke. The right-hander hit .271 (13-for-48) with three homers and eight RBIs for the Arizona Diamondbacks before getting traded to the Astros on July 31.

SILVER SLUGGER WINNERS (number of career wins in parentheses)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

--Outfield: George Springer, Houston Astros (2); Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox (3); Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (7)

--First base: Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians (1)

--Second base: DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees (1)

--Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox (3)

--Third base: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (1)

--Catcher: Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins (1)

--Designated hitter: Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins (3)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

--Outfield: Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves (1); Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers (1); Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers (3)

--First base: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves (1)

--Second base: Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves (1)

--Shortstop: Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies (2)

--Third base: Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals (2)

--Catcher: J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies (2)

--Pitcher: Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks (2)

Reid Ryan, Nolan Ryan out of key positions with Astros

Reid Ryan, Nolan Ryan out of key positions with Astros

The Houston Astros shook up the front office on Thursday, removing Reid Ryan as team president of business operations and installing the owner's son in the role.

Later in the day, Hall of Fame member Nolan Ryan -- Reid's father -- said he was vacating his position as executive adviser to the team.

The younger Ryan, who assumed the team president job in May 2013, instead was given the title of "executive advisor, business relations." In a team statement, the Astros said the change would give Ryan "more opportunities to focus on his other business ventures while remaining an important part of the Astros organization."

Taking his spot will be Jared Crane, the son of Astros owner Jim Crane, the team said.

Ryan, who turns 48 on Nov. 21, founded teams at Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Corpus Christi and remains the owner of the Round Rock team, the Astros' affiliate. He also is a founding board member of R Bank, a Texas community bank.

"Jim Crane has been a great owner for the city of Houston, and I thank him for the opportunity to lead the Houston Astros organization," Ryan said in a statement. "Thank you to the many employees, fans, and partners that have supported this team during my tenure as president. Baseball is about bringing joy to people's lives and I take pride in knowing that we have made so many memories for our fans. While my role has changed, I will remain with the Astros and look forward to another great season in 2020."

But Nolan Ryan, who sat behind home plate at Minute Maid Park during every game of the Astros' postseason run, won't remain.

"I will not be back with the club and will leave it at that," Ryan, who pitched for the Astros from 1980-88, wrote in a text message to Mark Berman, sports director of the Fox affiliate in Houston.

The Astros won the American League pennant but lost the World Series to the Washington Nationals in seven games.

Indians C Perez named Wilson top defensive player

Indians C Perez named Wilson top defensive player

Cleveland Indians catcher Roberto Perez was selected the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday as the glove supplier announced its defensive player awards.

Perez, who is one of four first-time honorees on the all-defensive team, threw out an American League-best 40.8 percent of base steals (20 of 49) this season.

Also claiming their first Wilson team honor are three other position players: St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta and New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge.

The Houston Astros, named Defensive Team of the Year, also received an award for the first time.

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons won for the sixth time, Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain earned his fourth award and Diamondbacks/Astros pitcher Zack Greinke won for the third time.

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman each won for the second time. Chapman was the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year.

Wilson began picking a top defensive player in 2012 and added the team award in 2014.