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Dodgers decline option on RHP Nelson

Dodgers decline option on RHP Nelson

The Los Angeles Dodgers parted way with right-hander Jimmy Nelson on Friday, declining his $2 million option and making him a free agent.

Nelson signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers last offseason to help the bullpen, but he never got a chance to play after undergoing lower-back surgery in early July.

The Dodgers still owe him a $500,000 buyout.

Nelson, 31, went 12-6 with a 3.49 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 29 starts with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017 but he missed all of 2018 following right shoulder surgery and he pitched just 22 innings over 10 appearances (three starts) in 2019 because of elbow issues.

Indians decline options on three, retain C Perez

Indians decline options on three, retain C Perez

The team also announced it exercised the option of catcher Roberto Perez, who will make $5.5 million in 2021.

Hand, a three-time All-Star, had a $10 million option for next season. He led the majors with 16 saves in 2020 and the team placed him on outright waivers on Thursday, hoping another club would claim him and keep the Indians from having to pay a $1 million buyout.

The 30-year-old Hand was perfect on save opportunities in 2020 while going 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 23 appearances. He recorded 58 saves in 2 1/2 seasons with Cleveland after being acquired from the San Diego Padres along with right-hander Adam Cimber for catcher Francisco Mejia.

Overall, he has 105 career saves and a 26-43 record in 396 career appearances (43 starts) with the Florida/Miami Marlins (2011-15), Padres (2016-18) and Indians.

Carlos Santana's option was for $17.5 million and the Indians instead paid a $500,000 buyout.

Carlos Santana, 34, batted just .199 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 60 games this season. The switch-hitter hit .281 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs in 2019 as he began his second stint with Cleveland.

Overall, he has a .248 career average with 240 homers and 796 RBIs in 1,495 games over 11 seasons. Ten of those seasons were with the Indians and he also played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018.

Cleveland paid Domingo Santana a $250,000 buyout after declining his $5 million option. He batted just .157 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 24 games, his first with the club.

Overall, the 28-year-old has a .255 career average with 77 homers and 244 RBIs in 516 games with the Houston Astros (2014-15), Milwaukee Brewers (2015-2018), Seattle Mariners (2019) and Indians.

Perez, 31, is known for his defense and will enter the 2021 season with a 126-game error-less streak. He also has gone 158 games with allowing a passed ball dating back to Sept. 4, 2018.

Perez batted just .165 with one homer and five RBIs in 32 games in 2020. In seven seasons, all with the Indians, he has a .212 average with 46 homers and 167 RBIs in 446 games.

White Sox decline options on OF Encarnacion, LHP Gonzalez

White Sox decline options on OF Encarnacion, LHP Gonzalez

The Chicago White Sox declined a pair of contract options on Friday, including the $12 million one-year choice to retain outfielder Edwin Encarnacion.

The White Sox also took a pass on a $7 million option for left-hander Gio Gonzalez, electing on a $500,000 buyout instead. Encarnacion's option did not come with a buyout.

In other White Sox moves, the club did exercise a one-year, $3.5-million option with utility man Leury Garcia.

Right-hander Michael Kopech was reinstated from the restricted list after opting out of the 2020 season, right-hander Jimmy Lambert (forearm strain) was reinstated from the 60-day injured list and infielder Yolmer Sanchez was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.

Encarnacion, 37, was signed as a free agent January and delivered 10 home runs with 19 RBIs in 44 games. He also played 44 games for the New York Yankees in 2019 after he was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners and hit 13 home runs with 37 RBIs.

The 16-year veteran is a career .260 hitter with an .846 OPS and has 424 home runs with 1,261 RBIs in 1,960 career games with the Cincinnati Reds (2005-09), Toronto Blue Jays (2009-16), Cleveland Indians (2017-18), Mariners (2019), Yankees (2019) and White Sox.

Gonzalez, 35, was a former first-round draft pick by the White Sox in 2004, who was traded twice by the club before finally making his major league debut. He was 1-2 in 12 appearances (four starts) with a 4.83 ERA with the White Sox in 2020.

In 344 career appearances (328 starts), the two-time All-Star is 131-101 with a 3.70 ERA for the Oakland Athletics (2008-11), Washington Nationals (2012-18), Milwaukee Brewers (2018-19) and White Sox.

Angels lose Bedrosian, Barnes after roster moves

Angels lose Bedrosian, Barnes after roster moves

Some postseason roster housekeeping led the Los Angeles Angels to lose a pair of right-handed relievers.

Jacob Barnes was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets, while Cam Bedrosian cleared waivers but elected free agency instead of accepting an outright assignment to the minor leagues.

Barnes, 30, was 0-2 for the Angels this past season with a 5.50 ERA in 18 appearances out of the bullpen. In 200 career appearances over five seasons with the Angels, Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers, the former 14th-round draft pick is 4-13 with a 4.36 ERA.

Bedrosian, 29, is leaving the only organization he has ever known. He was a first-round draft pick by the Angels in 2010 and spent the past seven seasons with the club. He had a 2.45 ERA in 11 appearances in 2020 and is 17-13 with a 3.70 ERA in 285 appearances (seven starts) lifetime.

In other moves, the Angels reinstated right-hander Justin Anderson (Tommy John surgery) from the 60-day injured list, while catcher Jose Briceno and infielder Elliot Soto cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Report: MLB considering staggered spring training

Report: MLB considering staggered spring training

Intent on having a minor-league baseball season in 2021 after the 2020 slate was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball will address the situation with a plan to alter spring training, The Athletic reported Friday.

In an attempt to reduce the number of players on hand at one time at spring training sites, MLB's tentative plan calls for major leaguers and a select number of high-level minor leaguers to participate in spring training on schedule.

After the initial wave of top-level players complete spring training, lower-level minor leaguers would then come to camp to begin preparations for a season. At that point, most minor leaguers will have gone a year and a half without playing a game for their club affiliates.

While MLB returned to a 60-game regular season in late July, the minor leagues never came back on line and minor league parks around the country were quiet.

The tentative spring training plan could delay the start of the minor league season until May instead of its typical early-April opening. While the intention is for minor league teams to play in their own stadiums, the 2020 plan of keeping players at alternate training sites has not been ruled out.

Minor league players will have to take a wait-and-see approach as a plan, and a possible vaccine for the coronavirus, is developed.

"You're talking about the future of the game here and you're talking about players' careers, they should have a say in all of this, but they don't," Garrett Broshuis, an attorney who co-founded the nonprofit Advocate for Minor Leaguers, told The Athletic. "The length of the minor league season, whether there will be a minor league season - the minor league players themselves are impacted by that as much as anyone and they deserve a say in that matter."

Rangers decline $18M option on RHP Kluber

Rangers decline $18M option on RHP Kluber

The Texas Rangers on Friday declined an $18 million team option for 2021 on right-hander Corey Kluber.

Acquired in a trade with Cleveland last December, the two-time Cy Young Award winner only pitched to three batters in a Rangers uniform.

Making his Texas debut in a July 26 start against Colorado, he exited after one scoreless inning with a torn muscle in his right shoulder.

The Rangers will owe Kluber, 34, a $1 million buyout and he becomes a free agent.

The three-time All-Star was 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA and 1,461 strikeouts in 208 games (203) starts with the Indians from 2011-19.

Texas also outrighted right-hander Luke Farrell to the minors and sent right-hander Ian Gibaut to the Minnesota Twins on a waiver claim.

MLB cancels in-person owners, Winter Meetings

MLB cancels in-person owners, Winter Meetings

Major League Baseball canceled the upcoming in-person owners meetings and Winter Meetings on Friday.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the agendas of both meetings will be conducted remotely instead.

The owners meetings had been scheduled for Nov. 17-19 in Arlington, Texas, followed by the Winter Meetings in Dallas from Dec. 7-10.

MLB owners approve Mets sale to Cohen

MLB owners approve Mets sale to Cohen

The purchase of the New York Mets by billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen was approved Friday by Major League Baseball owners.

The vote of existing owners was conducted via conference call with final approval contingent on the closing of the sale transaction, which MLB expects to happen in within 10 days.

"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Mr. Cohen on receiving approval from the major league clubs," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "Steve will bring his lifelong passion for the Mets to the stewardship of his hometown team, and he will be joined by highly respected baseball leadership as well. I believe that Steve will work hard to deliver a team in which Mets fan can take pride."

Cohen's proposed purchase of 95 percent of the Mets had already been approved by MLB's ownership committee. The 64-year-old needed 23 of the 30 clubs to agree to deal for it to be completed.

The $2.4 billion deal is the highest price tag paid for a North American sports team. Forbes estimated a net worth of $14 billion for Cohen, who becomes baseball's wealthiest owner.

The last potential hurdle was also cleared on Friday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio signing off on the New York City Law Department's review of the deal.

"The New York City Law Department has completed its legal review of the proposed sale of the @Mets. New York City has no objections and the Mets can now proceed with the transaction," de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

Cohen, who initially bought a minority stake (eight percent) in the Mets in 2012, reached an agreement to purchase the team on Sept. 14.

Cohen is CEO and president of Point72 Asset Management.

The Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz families will keep five percent of the Mets.

The club, which made its debut in 1962, has won two World Series titles (1969, 1986) and lost three other times. It has not made the playoffs since 2016, delivering just one winning season in the last four years.

Rays decline contract options on RHP Morton, C Zunino

Rays decline contract options on RHP Morton, C Zunino

After falling two victories short of a World Series title, the Tampa Bay Rays began working on the 2021 roster by declining club contract options on right-hander Charlie Morton and catcher Mike Zunino.

There were no buyouts on either contract option and the duo will head into free agency without any further compensation.

Morton, who signed a two-year deal with the Rays before the 2019 season for $30 million, was in line to make $15 million in 2021 before the club declined.

Set to turn 36 on Nov. 12, Morton was 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA in 2019, finishing third in American League Cy Young Award voting. He slipped to 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA in nine starts in 2020, but was 3-1 in four postseason starts with a 2.70 ERA. He was the losing pitcher in Game 3 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Morton is 93-89 with a 4.08 ERA in 259 appearances (258 starts) in 13 seasons with the Atlanta Braves (2008), Pittsburgh Pirates (2009-15), Philadelphia Phillies (2016), Houston Astros (2017-18) and Rays (2019-20).

Zunino, 29, was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a trade after the 2018 season and was on consecutive one-year deals with the Rays. His 2021 club option was worth $4.5 million.

Valued more for his defense, Zunino batted .147 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 28 regular-season games in 2020 but helped the Tampa Bay pitching staff to a 3.56 ERA, second best in the American League. He then batted .170 in the postseason, starting all six games in the World Series.

Zunino is a career .200 hitter with 108 home runs and 283 RBIs in eight seasons with the Mariners (2013-18) and Rays (2019-20).

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Rays general manager Erik Neander has interest in bringing both players back on new deals.

Tigers name Hinch manager

Tigers name Hinch manager

The Detroit Tigers named A.J. Hinch as the 39th manager in franchise history on Friday, just days after his one-year suspension ended for his role in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

Hinch, 46, agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with the Tigers and replaces Ron Gardenhire, who retired in mid-September.

"I'd like to thank (owner) Chris Ilitch and (general manager) Al Avila for giving me a chance and the opportunity to get back in the dugout to lead this historic ballclub," Hinch said in a press release.

"The last year was the most difficult of my life. It gave me time to reflect, which was such a big part of this process. Everything that has transpired over the past year, personally and professionally, has put so much in perspective for me, and re-enforced how important it is to do things with integrity and honesty."

Hinch led the Astros to a World Series championship in 2017 and another World Series berth in 2019, but he was fired by the club in January after Major League Baseball's investigation into sign-stealing allegations.

MLB ruled that the Astros illegally stole signs in 2017, and it issued one-year bans for Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The club terminated both shortly after the punishments were announced.

The Tigers weren't dissuaded from talking to Hinch despite the stain on his resume.

"Coming into this managerial search we already knew that A.J.'s diverse baseball acumen, knowledge of analytics and passion for the game were second to none," Avila said. "However, we also knew there were some important conversations to have about A.J.'s time in Houston. Throughout that dialogue he was clearly remorseful and used that time to reflect on the situation, and we believe he will emerge as a better leader because of it."

Added Ilitch: "Throughout the interview process it was clear that A.J. had learned from his situation in recent months, and it has changed him in profound ways. Quite frankly, it's exactly what we wanted and needed to hear."

Hinch produced a 481-329 record in five years leading the Astros after compiling an 89-123 mark in part of two seasons as the Arizona Diamondbacks' manager (2009-10). Between the two managerial gigs, he worked in the San Diego Padres' front office.

A catcher during a playing career that saw him compete for the Oakland A's, the Kansas City Royals, Detroit and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1998-2004, Hinch served as minor league operations manager and director of player development for the Diamondbacks prior to his first managerial job.

The Tigers finished in last place in the American League Central in 2020 with a 23-35 record. They have not been to the playoffs since 2014.

"My feelings towards baseball are the same that so many Detroiters have for this team," Hinch said. "Through thick and thin you always care about it and rely on it to be there as a part of your life, and I'm so proud to play a role in growing that tradition here with the Tigers.

"Having a talented young core of players, dedicated leadership group and passionate fan base was exactly what I was looking for in a team, and it's clear we have that here in Detroit. It's time to start playing winning baseball, and I am confident this organization is positioned to make that happen."

Report: Angels' GM search includes seven candidates

Report: Angels' GM search includes seven candidates

One month after Los Angeles Angels fired Billy Eppler, who spent five seasons as the club's general manager, the team reportedly has a list of candidates to fill the position.

Sources told ESPN on Thursday that the Angels' target group includes:

--Oakland Athletics assistant GM/director of player personnel Billy Owens

--San Diego Padres senior adviser/director of player personnel Logan White

--Washington Nationals special assistant to the GM Dan Jennings

--Chicago Cubs senior vice president for player personnel Jason McLeod

--Ex-Miami Marlins GM and president of baseball operations Michael Hill

--Arizona Diamondbacks senior vice president/assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye

--Arizona Diamondbacks senior vice president/assistant GM Jared Porter

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that four of those seven candidates have already been interviewed: Owens, White, Sawdaye and Porter. Among the seven reported targets, only Hill and Jennings have held a GM role in the majors. Hill had that job with the Marlins from 2008-13 and 2006, with Jennings guiding Miami from 2013-15.

Other media reports stated that the Angels also asked the Cubs for permission to speak with the team's vice president of scouting Dan Kantrovitz.

The Angels were 26-34 this season, extending their run of missing the postseason to six seasons. The franchise has made the playoffs just one time, in 2014, in the past 11 years.

In five seasons with Eppler as the GM, the Angels did not have a winning record, going 332-376 over that stretch. The Angels also had three managers in those five seasons, going from Mike Scioscia to Brad Ausmus to Joe Maddon.

Reports: Yanks retain Britton, part with Gardner, Happ

Reports: Yanks retain Britton, part with Gardner, Happ

The New York Yankees will pick up Zack Britton's 2022 contract option while declining the 2021 options on Brett Gardner and J.A. Happ, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

Britton, a 32-year-old left-handed reliever, had a clause in his contract that required the Yankees to decide on his 2022 option right after the 2020 World Series. If the team had declined the 2022 option, Britton had the right to opt out of his deal, leaving behind his scheduled $13 million salary for 2021.

Instead, Britton reportedly is now tied to the club for the next two years. The Yankees paid him $13 million in both 2019 and 2020.

While the team didn't make an official announcement, Britton tweeted Thursday night, "Very excited to continue the pursuit of a championship with the @Yankees"

Britton went 1-2 with eight saves and a 1.89 ERA in 20 appearances for the Yankees in the 60-game 2020 schedule. He gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings during four postseason outings.

A two-time All-Star, Britton pitched for the Baltimore Orioles from 2011-18 before joining the Yankees in a July 2018 trade. In 417 career appearances (46 starts), he is 35-25 with 153 saves and a 3.04 ERA.

Gardner, 37, will receive a $2.5 million buyout with the team reportedly deciding against exercising his $10 option. He hit .223 with a .354 on-base percentage, a .392 slugging percentage, five homers and 15 RBIs in 49 games this year. In the playoffs, he went 7-for-19 (.368) with a homer and three RBIs in six games.

An All-Star in 2015 and a Gold Glove winner in 2016, Gardner has spent his entire 13-year career with the Yankees. In 1,548 games, he has a .259/.343/.401 batting line with 129 homers, 539 RBIs and 270 stolen bases.

Happ had a $17 million vesting option for 2021, but he didn't reach the pro-rated threshold of 10 starts to have the money guaranteed. He finished 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA in nine regular-season starts, then yielded four runs in 2 1/3 innings in his lone postseason outing.

Happ, who turned 38 earlier this month, owns a career 123-92 record with a 3.98 ERA in 324 games (298 starts).

Reports: Hinch emerges as favorite for Tigers' managerial job

Reports: Hinch emerges as favorite for Tigers' managerial job

Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch, whose one-year suspension for his role in the team's sign-stealing scandal ended this week, has emerged as the leading candidate to be the Detroit Tigers' new manager, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

According to MLB Network, Hinch interviewed with the Tigers on Thursday.

Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire retired in mid-September, and the Tigers wound up with a 23-35 record, last place in the American League Central.

Hinch led the Astros to a World Series championship in 2017 and another World Series berth in 2019, but he was fired by the club in January after Major League Baseball's investigation into sign-stealing allegations.

MLB ruled that the Astros illegally stole signs in 2017, and it issued one-year bans for both Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The club fired both shortly after the punishments were announced.

The Tigers weren't dissuaded from talking to Hinch despite the stain on his resume. Detroit general manager Al Avila acknowledged earlier this month that both Hinch and Alex Cora would be given consideration. Cora, Houston's bench coach in 2017, was fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox in January after MLB's ruling regarding the Astros' misdeeds.

MLB subsequently suspended Cora for a year based on his actions with the Astros. The Red Sox also were found to have stolen signs illegally in 2018, when Cora managed them to a World Series title, but he wasn't given any additional punishment for his possible involvement in those misdeeds.

Hinch, 46, produced a 481-329 record in five years leading the Astros after compiling an 89-123 mark in part of two seasons as the Arizona Diamondbacks' manager (2009-10). Between the two managerial gigs, he worked in the San Diego Padres' front office.

A catcher during a playing career that saw him compete for the Oakland A's, the Kansas City Royals, Detroit and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1998-2004, Hinch served as minor league operations manager and director of player development for the Diamondbacks prior to his first managerial job.

Brewers decline option on ex-MVP Braun

Brewers decline option on ex-MVP Braun

The Milwaukee Brewers declined a mutual option on the contract of former National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun on Thursday, potentially putting an end to his career.

Instead of paying Braun's scheduled $15 million salary in 2021, the Brewers bought out the deal for a $4 million.

Braun, who turns 37 next month, has enjoyed a decorated tenure, winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2007, NL MVP in 2011 and earning six trips to the All-Star Game.

However, the franchise leader in home runs is coming off arguably the worst of his 14 major league seasons. Braun posted career lows in batting average (.233) and OPS (.769), though he did hit eight homers and drive in 26 runs in 39 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. He was limited because of nagging back issues and often limited to designated hitter duty after playing mostly third base and the corner outfield spots during his career.

His career also was marred by links to illegal performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Braun had a positive drug test in 2011 overturned due to a technicality, when he called into question the actions of the test collector. Two years later, he was implicated in the Biogenesis scandal and eventually admitted to using PEDs. He wound up serving a 65-game suspension.

Braun's plans for 2021 and beyond are unclear. In January he hinted that the 2020 season may be his last, but with such a reduced season because of the coronavirus pandemic, he spoke multiple times in the regular season about possibly putting off retirement.

"I'll take my time in making a decision," Braun told reporters in September. "I'll sit down with my family and see where we're at in a couple of months. It's not a decision that I anticipate making right away. I'll take some time to see where I'm at physically, see where things stand baseball-specifically and in the world at large before I make a decision about that."

Milwaukee's first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2005 draft, Braun owns 352 career home runs while ranking second in club history with 408 doubles, 1,154 RBIs and 809 extra-base hits in 1,766 games. He is third all time for the Brewers with 1,080 runs, 1,963 hits and 216 stolen bases.

Mariners bring back RHP Graveman

Mariners bring back RHP Graveman

The Seattle Mariners re-signed right-hander Kendall Graveman to a one-year deal, the team announced Thursday.

The move comes one day after the Mariners declined Graveman's $3.5 million option for 2021.

Graveman signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the ability to earn an additional $2.5 million in performance bonuses, according to multiple reports.

The 29-year-old Graveman went 1-3 with a 5.79 ERA in 11 appearances (two starts) during the 2020 season. He missed time with neck issues and revealed in mid-August that he has a benign bone tumor in his cervical spine.

That led to a joint decision to use Graveman as a reliever -- he made nine September appearances in that role -- and that will again be the case in 2021.

Graveman is 24-32 with a 4.44 ERA in 94 appearances (80 starts) with the Toronto Blue Jays (2014), Oakland Athletics (2015-19) and Mariners. He didn't pitch in 2019 due to Tommy John surgery and signed with the Mariners as a free agent following the season.

White Sox announce La Russa as new manager

White Sox announce La Russa as new manager

Tony La Russa is back with the team he started with as the Chicago White Sox tabbed the Hall of Famer as their new manager on Thursday.

La Russa, four-time Manager of the Year, is the third-winningest manager in baseball history and three-time World Series champion.

La Russa brings his 2,728-2,365 career record back to Chicago, where he began his managerial career in 1979 at age 34. The 76-year-old has not managed a major-league team since retiring after winning the 2011 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The White Sox parted ways with Rick Renteria in mid-October.

La Russa managed 33 years with Chicago (1979-86), the Oakland Athletics (1986-99) and St. Louis (2000-11). He has won three World Series titles, one with the Athletics (1989) and two with the Cardinals (2006, 2011). La Russa went 522-510 in eight seasons with the White Sox.

Since leaving the dugout, he has worked in front offices of the Arizona Diamondbacks (2014-17), Boston Red Sox (2018-19) and most recently the Los Angeles Angels, where he was a senior adviser.

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

Report: Indians place closer Hand on outright waivers

Report: Indians place closer Hand on outright waivers

The Cleveland Indians have put closer Brad Hand on outright waivers with the intention of declining his $10 million option if he goes unclaimed, The Athletic reported Thursday.

If the 30-year-old is claimed, the Indians won't be on the hook for the $1 million buyout.

Hand racked up a league-best 16 saves this past season to go with a 2.05 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. The three-time All-Star struck out 29 against four walks in 22 innings.

Hand started his career as a starter. He has a 26-43 career record with a 3.65 ERA and 105 saves in 10 seasons with the Indians, San Diego Padres (2016-18) and Florida/Miami Marlins (2011-15).

Hand was drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2008 amateur draft. The Indians acquired Hand - along with right-hander Adam Cimber -- from the Padres in 2018 for catcher Francisco Mejia.

World Series sets new ratings low

World Series sets new ratings low

The Los Angeles Dodgers' run to the championship was the least-watched World Series in history, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research.

The six games on Fox averaged a 5.2 rating and 9.8 million viewers, down 32 percent from the previous low. That came in 2012 when an average of 12.7 million people watched the San Francisco Giants sweep the Detroit Tigers. That series drew a 7.6 rating.

The clinching Game 6 on Tuesday night drew 12.6 million viewers, the high of the series. The Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1.

Despite the low viewership, Fox easily won the night on Tuesday, with the World Series drawing more viewers that NBC's tandem of "The Voice" and "This Is Us."

Rockies decline INF Murphy's $12M option

Rockies decline INF Murphy's $12M option

Veteran infielder Daniel Murphy is headed to free agency after the Colorado Rockies declined his $12 million mutual option on Wednesday, paying him a $6 million buyout.

Murphy signed with the Rockies as a free agent in December 2018, and he made $24 million over his two years in Colorado, including the buyout.

A longtime second baseman with the New York Mets (2008-09, 2011-15), the Washington Nationals (2016-18) and the Chicago Cubs (2018), Murphy moved to first base with Colorado.

He hit .279 with 13 homers and 78 RBIs over 132 games in 2019, then batted .236 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 40 games during the abbreviated 2020 season. Murphy, 35, lost his starting job to rookie Josh Fuentes in September.

A three-time All-Star, Murphy was the runner-up for National League MVP in 2016, when he led the league with 47 doubles, a .595 slugging percentage and a .985 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. He hit .337 with 25 homers and 104 RBIs for Washington that year, all three figures representing career highs.

In 1,452 career games over 12 major league seasons, Murphy has a .296 average, a .341 on-base percentage, a .455 slugging percentage, 138 homers and 735 RBIs.

Murphy was a 13th-round pick of the Mets in the 2006 draft out of Jacksonville University.

Mets decline options on vets Ramos, Frazier, Chirinos

Mets decline options on vets Ramos, Frazier, Chirinos

The New York Mets, expected to be a potential major player during free agency this offseason, declined team options for three players on Wednesday, officially ending the tenures of catchers Wilson Ramos and Robinson Chirinos along with infielder Todd Frazier.

None of the departures came as surprises, with all three 30-something veterans aging further from their career primes on a team that finished tied for last place in the National League East, missing MLB's expanded 2020 playoff field.

Ramos, an offensive-minded catcher originally from Venezuela, suffered through the worst season of his career. In 45 games the 33-year-old hit .239 with five home runs and 15 RBIs after hitting .260 or better in nine of his prior 10 seasons, notching 10 or more homers eight times.

The 34-year-old Frazier, who returned to the Mets in a trade from Texas on Aug. 31 after posting 39 homers over two seasons (2018-19) with the club, hit just .224 (11-for-49) with a pair of longballs and five RBIs in 14 games after returning to New York.

The former 40-home run hitter has 218 homers, 636 RBIs and a .242 career batting average over 10 big league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees along with the Rangers and Mets.

Chirinos, 36, also came to the Mets in a separate Aug. 31 trade with Texas in hopes of helping a position of weakness as New York tried for a final playoff run. The nine-year veteran, also a Venezuela native, batted just .219 after the deal (7-for-32) with one homer and five RBIs in 12 games down the stretch.

Chirinos, who owns a .231 career batting average, has reached double figures in home runs five times in his nine seasons.

The moves were announced by the team as the organization awaits a league decision on the approved franchise sale to billionaire Steve Cohen, with a vote expected possibly by Friday, per the New York Daily News. The city of New York is also believed to reveal whether or not it approves of the sale "at some point in the next few days" according to mayor Bill de Blasio, per reports.

The Mets have been mentioned as a possible suitor for catcher J.T. Realmuto, a two-time All-Star who will be a free agent after spending the past two seasons with the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies.