Outfielder Kyle Schwarber agreed to a four-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies worth “just under $20 million” US per season, The Athletic reported Wednesday.
The agreement is pending results of a physical.
Schwarber, 29, last season was selected to the all-star game for the first time, as a member of the Washington Nationals. The Boston Red Sox then acquired him before the trade deadline.
He finished the season with 32 homers, 71 runs batted in and a .266 batting average in 113 regular-season games.
He struggled for Boston in the loss to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series, batting only .120, with one homer and four RBI in six games.
Schwarber was a member of the Chicago Cubs when they won the World Series in 2016. He played in two Series games, going hitless in four at-bats, with a walk.
Schwarber’s best season was with the Cubs in 2019, when he had 38 homers, 92 RBI and a .250 batting average.
Back in NL Central
Andrew McCutchen is heading back to the National League Central after agreed to a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers announced they have finalized an agreement with the five-time all-star outfielder. McCutchen spent the first nine years of his career in the division with Pittsburgh and won the 2013 NL MVP.
McCutchen, 35, joins an outfield that already includes 2018 MVP Christian Yelich, two-time all-star Lorenzo Cain and Hunter Renfroe, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox before the lockout. The Brewers also return Tyrone Taylor, who had a .778 OPS in 93 games last season.
He batted .222 with 27 homers and 80 RBI while posting a .334 on-base percentage and .444 slugging percentage in 144 games with the Philadelphia Phillies last season. But he hit .293 with a .405 on-base percentage against left-handers.
McCutchen also has a history of performing well in Milwaukee. He has batted .289 with a .350 on-base percentage, 23 homers and 61 RBI at American Family Field.
Rib injury sidelines Red Sox ace
Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale will miss opening day with a stress fracture in his rib cage.
Red Sox general manager Chaim Bloom told reporters Wednesday that it would be “weeks, not days until we can get a ball back in his hand.”
Sale said an MRI revealed the fracture in what he believed to be the eighth rib. He suffered the injury during the lockout but wasn’t allowed to communicate it to the Red Sox until the new collective bargaining agreement was struck last Thursday.
Sale, 32, went 5-1 with a 3.16 earned-run average last season in his return from Tommy John surgery. The seven-time all-star missed nearly two years.
Sale is 114-74 with a 3.03 ERA in his career with the Chicago White Sox (2010-16) and Red Sox.
Cubs give Seiya Suzuki reported $85M US
Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki is set to join the Chicago Cubs on a five-year deal reportedly worth $85 million US.
Earlier reports put the value at $70 million. The $85 million will be on top of the $14.625 million posting fee, bringing the Cubs’ total all-in to nearly $100 million.
Suzuki also gets a full no-trade clause in the deal, The Athletic reported.
The 27-year-old is considered a middle-of-the-order bat, with his 38 home runs last season in Japan and a .319 batting average.
Suzuki won the 2019 Central League batting title and is a past Home Run Derby champion known for tape-measure shots as a right-hander who could pepper Waveland Avenue at Wrigley Field.
The four-time all-star is also a three-time Gold Glove winner.
After nine seasons with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Nippon Professional Baseball, Suzuki posted to be eligible to play Major League Baseball on Nov. 22. Teams were not able to recruit or meet with Suzuki during the 99-day lockout.
Judge rules minor leaguers are year-round MLB employees
A federal judge ruled that minor leaguers are year-round employees who work during training time and found Major League Baseball violated Arizona state minimum wage law and is liable for triple damages.
Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero in San Francisco also ruled MLB did not comply with California wage statement requirements, awarding $1,882,650 US in penalties.
Spero unsealed a 181-page ruling Tuesday night in a lawsuit filed eight years ago. He ruled minor leaguers should be paid for travel time to road games in the California League and to practice in Arizona and Florida.
“For decades, minor league players have worked long hours year-round in exchange for poverty-level wages,” the steering committee of Advocates for Minor Leaguers said in a statement. “Working as a professional baseball player requires far more than just playing baseball games. It also requires hours of year-round training, practice, and preparation, for which we have never been properly compensated.
“We are thrilled with today’s ruling, which is an enormous step toward holding MLB accountable for its longstanding mistreatment of minor league players.”
The suit was filed by first baseman/outfielder Aaron Senne, a 10th-round pick of the Florida Marlins in 2009 who retired in 2013, and two other retired players who had been lower-round selections: Kansas City infielder Michael Liberto and San Francisco pitcher Oliver Odle.
They claimed violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage and overtime requirements for a workweek they estimated at 50 to 60 hours.