Heyman: Yankees eyeing Carlos Beltran, Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, others

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The Yankees already made waves this off-season with their recent signing of free agent catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal (the largest ever for a catcher going by average annual value). However, they are still pursuing some of the biggest names still available in the free agent market, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman writes that the Yankees have their eyes on outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Shin-Soo Choo, starter Hiroki Kuroda, and shortstop Stephen Drew.

Heyman also notes that the Yankees are trying to pressure Robinson Cano to get a deal done sooner rather than later. The two sides are reportedly far apart on a deal, with Cano asking for ten years and more than $300 million, while the Yankees have been more comfortable in the seven-year, $160 million area. The market for Cano has been slow-moving, but the second baseman recently said he would be willing to wait until as late as January to ink a deal.

Braves’ prospect Ronald Acuna wins AFL MVP, helps clinch AFL Championship Game

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The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.

At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.

Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.

From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.

Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.