Jerry DiPoto

It’s official: Angels announce Jerry Dipoto as general manager

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Confirming what was reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com yesterday, the Angels just announced that they have hired Jerry Dipoto as general manager. He’ll receive a five-year contract to replace Tony Reagins, who resigned from his post as GM at the end of September.

Here’s Dipoto, as quoted in a release from the team:

“What a thrill this is,” said Dipoto. “I am excited and honored to be part of one of the premier franchises in baseball. The club’s success in the last 10 years isn’t just notable, it has catapulted the Angels into one of the top organizations in baseball.”

“We want to continue the success here with an increased focus on scouting and player development. We will always have championship expectations,” added Dipoto.

Dipoto, who pitched eight seasons in the big leagues with the Indians, Mets and Rockies, was the Diamondbacks’ vice president of scouting and player development this season under new general manager Kevin Towers. He impressed many around baseball when he served as Arizona’s interim general manager last season, including a bold trade that sent Dan Haren to, you guessed it, the Angels.

UPDATE: Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dipoto’s contract is not five years, but three years guaranteed with two option years.

Report: Braves sign Kurt Suzuki

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Kurt Suzuki #8 of the Minnesota Twins hits against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.

Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.

The team has yet to confirm the deal.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.