Baseball is trying to cut out the junk food

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Don’t freak out — you’ll still be able to get  your Luther Burger at Gateway Grizzlies games — this is about the players eating better:

At baseball’s just-concluded winter meetings in Indianapolis, major
and minor league strength and conditioning coaches devoted 12 hours on
Saturday–about half of their total meeting time–to discussing matters
such as including edamame and snow peas in the postgame buffet to
whether teams should order “fun size” candy bars rather than the odious
regular-sized variety.

“There’s nothing wrong with a Reese’s peanut butter cup every now
and then,” says Perry Castellano, the Minnesota Twins’ strength and
conditioning coordinator. “The issue is when somebody eats eight at a
time.”

The article says that the trainers are trying to do things like introduce edamame to the post-game buffet and that the Phillies and Rays are
experimenting with the idea of giving players foods rich in antioxidant grains like “quinoa,” “teff” and “spelt,” whatever the hell that is.  This is dangerous territory, though: Ask yourself: if you’re a free agent, and team A is offering you $25 million and burgers and team B is offering you $25 million and “spelt,” who are you signing with?

Seriously though, it has always amazed me that big time professional
athletes are basically given boxes of free candy bars and cookies and
burgers and stuff right inside the locker room before and after games like baseball players are. 
No, there aren’t a ton of really out-of-shape ballplayers, but there
isn’t a team that doesn’t have at least one guy who ate his way out of
being a productive player in recent years. Why make it easier for them
by having garbage around?

So I agree with the article: teams should totally go the healthy route by replacing big candy bars with “fun size” candy bars and burgers with White Castle sliders.  You know, for the good of the players.

Mets trade Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers

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The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.

As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.

The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.

Corey Kluber exits game with right ankle sprain

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Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.

It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.

While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.