Trade deadline season is heating up and on Friday night another top reliever got shipped across the league to a playoff contender hoping for a boost in the second half.
The Boston Red Sox reeled in nine-year veteran Brad Ziegler for minor league pitcher Jose Almonte and infielder Luis Alejandro Basabe, as they hope to close a a slim deficit in the AL East. Ziegler is expected to be the setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel in Boston.
Ziegler joins the Red Sox with 18 saves and a 2.20 ERA. He is the latest name to go off the bullpen trade market, following Fernando Rodney who went from the San Diego Padres to the Miami Marlins.
The Nationals are among several teams expected to add bullpen help with the Aug. 1 deadline coming up. But with Jonathan Papelbon's recent resurgence, they may not need someone of Ziegler or Rodney's ilk.
Then again, the Nats could agruably use someone to fill the role Ziegler will now play in Boston: a setup guy who can also provide an insurance policy for Papelbon with experience as a closer.
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It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.