Blue Jays officially sign Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria for $10 million

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In a deal that was first reported as done a month ago but not finalized until today because of visa issues, the Blue Jays have officially signed 21-year-old Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a four-year, $10 million contract.
Hechavarria gets about $1.75 million more than fellow Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias, who signed with the Red Sox last summer. Previous speculation had Hechavarria turning down the Yankees’ advances in part because he felt Derek Jeter’s presence would block his path to the majors.
Of course, some reports suggest that Hechavarria may not be able to stick at shortstop defensively anyway long term, but his offensive upside is generally considered good enough to make him a potential asset elsewhere too. Iglesias, on the other hand, is considered an elite defensive shortstop with some question marks offensively.

Padres announce Pat Murphy won’t return as manager in 2016

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Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Padres have announced that interim manager Pat Murphy won’t return as the team’s manager in 2016. Haudricourt adds that Brewres manager Craig Counsell tried to get Murphy on his staff, and says to look for Murphy to join the Brewers for the 2016 season.

Murphy led the Padres to a 42-53 record after Bud Black was fired in June. He had previously managed for two years with Single-A Eugene in 2011-12, and at Triple-A Tucson and El Paso in 2013-14.

Former major leaguer Phil Nevin is a candidate for the Padres’ vacant managing position, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.