CARY, N.C. — Pitchers Homer Bailey, Edwin Jackson and David Robertson, catcher Matt Wieters, infielder Todd Frazier and outfielders Matt Kemp and John Jay were among 28 players announced Sunday for a U.S. training camp ahead of the Americans’ second chance to qualify for the Olympic baseball tournament.
Left-hander Clayton Andrews and right-hander Brandon Dickson are the only holdovers from the 28-man roster in November 2019, when the U.S. was three outs from qualifying for the Olympics at the Premier12 tournament in Tokyo before wasting a ninth-inning lead in a 3-2, 10-inning loss to Mexico.
Matt Clark hit a tying home run off Dickson leading off the bottom of the ninth inning, and Efren Navarro had a broken-bat single against Caleb Thielbar to drive in the winning run in the 10th.
Only players not on 26-man major league rosters and injured lists are eligible.
Mike Scioscia has taken over as U.S. manager from Scott Brosius, who managed the U.S. at the Premier12 after Joe Girardi quit and became manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The roster will be trimmed to 26 on May 30.
The U.S. opens the Americas qualifying tournament against Nicaragua on May 31 at Port St. Lucie, Florida, plays the Dominican Republic the next day at West Palm Beach and closes first-round play in Group A against Puerto Rico on June 2 at Port St. Lucie.
Canada, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela are in Group B.
The top two teams in each group advance to the super round on June 4 and June 5, and first-round results carry over. The top team from the super round joins Japan, Israel, Mexico and South Korea at the Olympic baseball tournament, to be played in Japan from July 28 to Aug. 7 in Fukushima and Yokohama.
Second- and third-place teams advance to a final qualifier in June in Mexico, which will include Australia, Netherlands and Taiwan.
Baseball is returning to the Olympics after being dropped for 2012 and 2016. Cuba won the gold medal in 1992, 1996 and 2004, the United States in 2000 and South Korea in 2008.
Baseball is likely to be dropped for the 2024 Olympics in Paris and then restored again for 2028 in Los Angeles.
Right-handed pitchers: Homer Bailey, Jonathan Bowlan (Kansas City), Brandon Dickson, Edwin Jackson, DJ Johnson (Cleveland), David Robertson, Joe Ryan (Tampa Bay), James Sherfy (San Francisco), Simeon Woods Richardson (Toronto)
Left-handed pitchers: Clayton Andrews (Milwaukee), Anthony Gose (Cleveland), Trevor Lane (N.Y. Yankees), Matthew Libertore (St. Louis), Drew Parrish (Kansas City), Marc Rzepczynski
Catchers: Tim Federowicz (L.A. Dodgers), Mark Kolozsvary (Cincinnati), Matt Wieters
Infielders: Nick Allen (Oakland), Eddy Alvarez (Miami), Triston Cases (Boston), Logan Forsythe (Milwaukee), Todd Frazier, Luke Williams (Philadelphia)
Outfielders: Jarren Duran (Boston), Eric Filia (Seattle), Jon Jay (L.A. Angels), Matt Kemp
Milwaukee Brewers acquire Eduardo Escobar from Arizona Diamondbacks for two prospects
Escobar, 32, has 22 home runs for the last-place Diamondbacks. He can play any infield position, and is likely to see time at third and first base. The Brewers have Willy Adames and Kolten Wong playing shortstop and second base, respectively.
The switch-hitting Escobar has a career .778 OPS in 11 seasons, the past four with Arizona. It’s the third in-season trade to net the Brewers an infielder, as they previously acquired Adames from the Tampa Bay Rays and first baseman Rowdy Tellez from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Milwaukee is sending back prospects Cooper Hummel and Alberto Ciprian to complete the deal.
Hummel, 26, was an 18th-round pick for Milwaukee in 2016 and is currently at Triple-A, where he’s slashing .254/.435/.508. He has played first base, catcher and the outfield for Nashville.
Ciprian, 18, signed as an undrafted free agent with Milwaukee in 2019 and is playing in the Dominican Summer League, averaging .378 while adding eight RBIs in his first 12 professional games.
Escobar was highly sought-after, with the Chicago White Sox also interested in his services, but Milwaukee has just as big a need for him. The Brewers rank last in batting in the National League, hitting 21 points lower as a team than Escobar’s .246 batting average.
New York Yankees set to acquire Joey Gallo from Texas Rangers, sources say
The deal is pending a medical review.
It wasn’t immediately known who New York was sending to Texas to complete the deal.
Gallo was a late scratch from the Rangers’ lineup ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Diamondbacks, with speculation that a trade was in the works.
Gallo has spent all seven of his major league seasons in Texas, but the Rangers — an AL West-worst 36-65 entering Wednesday — have been in sell mode, with Gallo their prized piece.
A two-time All-Star, the 27-year-old slugger ranks sixth in the AL this season with 25 home runs, to go with 55 RBIs and a .223 average. He had struggled mightily at the plate since the All-Star break, with zero home runs and a .067 average in the 10 games following, before breaking out Tuesday with a three-run shot against the Diamondbacks.
Gallo is among just eight rostered major leaguers with multiple career 40-HR seasons (2017, ’18).
But he’s also excelled in the outfield, winning a Gold Glove in right in 2020. He’s tied for second in the majors with 12 defensive runs saved this season (tied for most among outfielders) and joins Toronto’s Marcus Semien as the only players with 20 home runs and 10 defensive runs saved.
Gallo is also under team control through 2022.
Houston Astros bolster pen, deal for Miami Marlins closer Yimi Garcia
In exchange for Garcia, the Astros sent outfielder Bryan De La Cruz and right-hander Austin Pruitt to the Marlins.
It’s the second straight day the AL West-leading Astros have swung a trade to add bullpen help. On Tuesday, Houston acquired Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero from the Mariners.
Garcia, 30, has 15 saves for the Marlins this season and is 3-7 with a 3.47 ERA. He has struck out 35 and walked just five batters in 36⅓ innings pitched. He has a 3.41 ERA over seven major league seasons.
De La Cruz, 24, is hitting .324 with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs for Triple-A Sugar Land this season.
Pruitt, 31, is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two major league appearances for the Astros this season.
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