What’s Happening in Baseball Today

The First Pitch: December 9, 2022

The Padres continue to be aggressive in building an All-Star roster with the intent of knocking the Dodgers off the NL West podium. They take in shortstop Xander Bogaerts on an 11-year, $280 million deal after 10 years with the Red Sox—where he batted .292 with 1,410 hits including 156 home runs and 308 doubles, tied for the 10th highest total in Boston franchise history. 

Bogaerts’ signing will bump Ha-Seong Kim to second and Jake Cronenworth to first; when natural shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. returns from his steroid suspension early next year, he’ll assume right field, bumping Juan Soto to left.

It’s hard to say whether anyone offered anything near the type of package the Mets give outfielder Brandon Nimmo to stay in New York. The 29-year-old Nimmo agrees to an eight-year deal worth $162 million—an impressive payday for one who owns a career .269 average, wields fair power at best and, although he’s speedy, hasn’t leveraged such dash into an abundance of stolen bases. (He swiped only three bags this past season.) But owner Steve Cohen has tons of money, the Mets are happy to have him back, and so there you are.

The Atlanta Braves, relatively quiet this past week while the divisional-rival Mets and Phillies bulked up and/or reloaded, consummate a trade they had been seeking for months as they acquire power reliever Joe Jimenez from Detroit for two minor leaguers. The 27-year-old right-hander, after five difficult years with the Tigers, finally put together a nice campaign in 2022 with a 3.49 ERA and 77 strikeouts over 56.2 innings.

It Was Whatever-Something Years Ago Today

1965: The Reds send star hitter Frank Robinson, who the team claims is an “old 30,” to Baltimore in exchange for pitchers Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson. Robinson will go on to win the Triple Crown of hitting and AL MVP the next season, leading the Orioles to their first-ever world title.

Shameless Link of the Day

It’s time to look at an old ballpark. How does the Polo Grounds suit you?

You Say It’s Your Birthday

2010s pitcher Mat Latos is 35; infielder of 221 career home runs Tony Batista is 49; 1980s Phillies speedster Juan Samuel is 62; 124-game winner Doc Medich is 74; 15-year outfielder Del Unser is 78; 20-game winner from 1970 Jim Merritt is 79. Born on this date is heralded call-up Bob Hazle (1930), 11-year shortstop and TGG interview subject Joe DeMaestri (1928), two-time triples leader Mike Mitchell (1879), collector of 1,724 hits and 61 pitching wins Cy Seymour (1872) and Hall-of-Fame outfielder/manager Joe Kelley (1871).

To Whom It May Concern

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