Red Sox, Angels fail to agree to Mike Napoli trade

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The Red Sox claimed Mike Napoli off waivers from the Angels last week, but a deal was unable to be agreed to prior to the Monday afternoon deadline, WEEI’s Alex Speier reports.
The only real surprise about the turn of events that gave Boston a chance to make an offer for Napoli was that the one of the game’s top offensive catchers made it past eight American League teams on waivers. Of course, it’s doubtful the Mariners could have made a deal for Napoli either, but it wouldn’t have hurt to try.
Napoli, 28, is hitting .249/.317/.478 with 21 homers in 370 at-bats this season. He has a career OPS of 837 since entering the league in 2006, which is nearly a match for Victor Martinez’s 838 mark over the same timeframe, and he’s not going to be eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season.
The Angels probably weren’t inclined to move Napoli now, but they’ll almost certainly deal one of their three catchers this winter and Napoli could be the favorite to go. He’s due a raise to $4.5 million-$5 million in arbitration, and that might be too rich for the Angels, considering how little Mike Scioscia thinks of his defense.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.