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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, December 02, 2017 1:00 am


Report: Yanks to hire ESPN's Boone

Associated Press

The Yankees have chosen Aaron Boone to replace Joe Girardi as manager, the New York Daily News has learned.

Boone, who catapulted the Bombers to the World Series in 2003 with his iconic walk-off homer in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Red Sox, is said to have been the pick due to his “polish.”

Brian Cashman had been intrigued by Boone, who has been serving as a TV analyst at ESPN. He has no previous managerial or coaching experience, but impressed team brass during his interview.

Cashman recommended Boone to Hal Steinbrenner, picking him from a pool of six interviewees that included Carlos Beltran, Hensley Meulens, Rob Thomson, Chris Woodward and Fort Wayne native Eric Wedge.

The pick of Boone ends a search process that took more than a month to complete.

MLB approves Japan deal

Major League Baseball owners voted unanimously Friday to approve a new posting agreement with their Japanese counterparts, a move that allowed bidding to start for coveted pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani.

Following the deal with Nippon Professional Baseball, Ohtani was put up for bid by the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. That opened a window for the 23-year-old to reach agreement on a contract with an MLB team until 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 22.

Under MLB's new collective bargaining agreement, Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract subject to a team's signing bonus pool. Texas has the most available at $3,535,000, followed by the Yankees ($3.5 million), Minnesota ($3.07 million), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1,557,500), Miami ($1.49 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($1,315,000).

Ohtani was the 2016 Pacific League MVP and was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year for the Fighters, limited because of thigh and ankle injuries. He hit .332 in 65 games with 16 doubles, eight homers and 31 RBI.

A right-hander, Ohtani has a 42-15 record with a 2.52 ERA and 624 strikeouts in 543 innings over five seasons, and a .286 batting average with 48 homers and 166 RBI.

Cubs moves

The Cubs non-tendered right-hander Hector Rondon, parting with one of the most accomplished closers in franchise history.

Rondon is sixth on the team's career saves list with 77, all from 2014-16. The 29-year-old Venezuelan struggled in 2017 with a 4.24 ERA in 571/3 innings. He would have been due a raise on the $5.8 million he made this year.

The Cubs also tendered contracts to six arbitration-eligible players: infielders Kris Bryant, Tommy La Stella and Addison Russell; right-handers Justin Grimm and Kyle Hendricks; and left-hander Justin Wilson. Right-hander Matt Carasiti was granted his release, and catcher Taylor Davis was also non-tendered.

Chicago also agreed to a one-year deal with left-hander Dario Alvarez. The 28-year-old Dominican was 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in 20 relief appearances with the Texas Rangers last season, striking out 17 in 161/3 innings.

Extra bases

Free-agent catcher Welington Castillo agreed to a $15 million, two-year contract with the White Sox. ... Colorado closer Greg Holland was voted NL Comeback Player of the Year, and Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas was selected AL Comeback Player of the Year. ... Major League Baseball boosted its drug test total 25 percent in the year ending with the World Series. The sport's new independent public administrator said there were 10,237 tests of players on 40-man major league rosters, including 8,235 urine samples for performance-enhancing substances, stimulants and the drug DHEA and 2,002 blood samples for human growth hormone. That was up from 8,281 tests over the previous year, which included 6,634 urine samples and 1,647 blood samples.