Matt Stairs set to become a Padre

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that 41-year-old outfielder Matt
Stairs has agreed to a minor league contract with the Padres.  From Jerry’s Twitter account, a must-follow for any baseball fan:

“[Padres GM] Jed Hoyer was
very aggressive in trying to bring Matt into a young team to have a
veteran presence,” said Stairs’ agent, Bob Garber.

Stairs will serve as a left-handed pinch-hitter for the Friars this season if he’s able to land a roster spot during spring training.  He hit just .194/.357/.379 last season in a similar capacity with the Phillies, but he’s dropped over 30 pounds this winter and claims to be in the best shape of his life.  We shall see.

Marco Estrada signs a one-year, $13 million deal for 2018

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Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year, $13 million extension with the Blue Jays, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Last night Morosi reported that the sides were near a deal.

This extension is, functionally, like adding a year on to his old deal, which paid him $26 million for the 2016-17 seasons. As Bill noted last night. while the 34-year-old right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176.2 innings this year and has improved in the second half.

The Red Sox will air anti-racism PSA before games beginning next week

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Adrian Walker of the Boston Globe reports that the Boston Red Sox will air an anti-racism public service announcement at Fenway Park before their game on September 28. This is part of a large campaign backed by the Sox, the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots and New England Revolution “featuring athletes calling on fans to take a stand against racism and hate speech at sports venues.”

This comes in the wake of a group of protesters hanging an anti-racism banner in Fenway Park last week which, in turn came a few months after Adam Jones, like many visiting players of color before him, claimed that racial epithets were hurled at him by fans in the Fenway bleachers.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy tells the globe that the Jones incident is what inspired the PSA campaign:

“When the incidents in May occurred, one of the first things we recognized was sports teams are high-profile, and we have the opportunity to help lead a high-level discussion around this,” he said. “We wanted to take the lead in taking a stand against racism.”