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- With a 4-1 loss to the Astros in Game 1 of their Wild Card Series on Tuesday, the Twins’ playoff losing streak reached an incredible 17 games. The unfortunate streak, which stretches back to 2004, is now the longest postseason losing streak in the history of major North American professional sports.
- The Yankees, Rays, White Sox, and Astros were victorious in the first games of their respective series as the postseason officially got underway on Tuesday.
- Just hours before beginning their Wild Card Series with the Twins, the Astros announced that they’ve signed first baseman Yuli Gurriel to a one-year extension with a club option for 2022. They’ll be hoping he bounces back during a more normal season next year after struggling during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.
- Here’s everything you need to know about a 2020 postseason that will be unlike any we’ve ever seen before.
- The Nationals have signed manager Dave Martinez to an extension. This extension will keep him in Washington past 2021 when his first contract was set to run out.
- In a less fun new bit for managers, the Angels have fired general manager Billy Eppler, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported. Eppler had one year left on his contract after being given an extension last year. He joined the team during the 2015 offseason and was a part of many of the team’s major moves, such as signing Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon and locking down Mike Trout for an extension. While replacement talks may not start in earnest until this weird postseason is done, it will be interesting to see who owner Arte Moreno has on his mind to replace him.
- Alex Gordon has been a critical part of the Royals over the last 14 seasons. While Father Time has really caught up with him in recent seasons, Gordon was one of main reasons that the Royals reached back to back World Series in 2014 and 2015. Now, after a long and successful career, he has decided to retire.
- Nolan Arenado recently underwent a battery of tests to get to the bottom of his sore left shoulder and was consequently placed on the injured list, ending his 2020 season. Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the third basemen has been dealing with this issue all season, an injury stemming from his A/C joint in his left shoulder. This clear discomfort shone through in Arenado’s slash line this year, an out of the ordinary .253/.303/.434 for the veteran slugger.
- News that comes as a shock to no one and was pretty much just a matter of time: Astros’ Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery. This officially ends his 2020 season after making just one start, and the poor timing will almost certainly put a kibosh on his 2021 season as well, which, oh you guessed it, is the end of his contract with the Astros.
- In an announcement that had been expected for several weeks, MLB announced that the final three rounds of this year’s postseason will be held at neutral sites in Texas and California, with the World Series being held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The biggest twist in the plan? There will be no off days for the first three rounds, meaning that teams’ pitching depth will be tested in the playoffs like never before.
- The Mets, for several years, have been a bundle of drama and disappointment and the faces of those struggles has been, without question, their owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon who have have been widely panned for their mismanagement of the team on both financial and personnel levels. Now, after a lengthy and drama-filed period of time where they sought a buyer for the team, it appears to be set that billionaire and minority owner Steve Cohen will purchase the Mets,
- Matt Chapman underwent season-ending hip surgery, a significantly different outcome from what was first looked at as mild inflammation that wouldn’t land him on the IL. It should have been a red flag to everyone that something was wrong when the third baseman, who we now know was dealing with a strained hip, put up the worst strikeout rate and batting average of his career. Chad Pinder and the newly-signed Jake Lamb will soak up the vacated playing time at the hot corner.
- Despite the fact that he was elected to a new four-year term last year, Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner announced that he’ll be retiring after the season. This seems like bad news for the future of MiLB as we know it, as there’s a strong possibility that his position will be eliminated upon his departure as part of Rob Manfred’s “One Baseball” plan — one that would give the commissioner’s office much more authority over MiLB and calls for massive contraction in the minors. While O’Conner played a major role in the growth and development of Minor League Baseball, his legacy is tainted by the fact that he very publicly advocated against minor leaguers having a right to a living wage.
- The trade deadline came and went, and the biggest move of the day was without question the Padres’ trade for Mike Clevinger. San Diego has very clearly made a huge play for a deep playoff run this year as they sent six players, a mix of MLB talent and prospects, to Cleveland for the talented young starter’s services.