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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 1, Indians 0: Our season-long tribute to 1968 continued last night with four games in which the losing team was shut out. Here both teams posted goose eggs for nine innings and Eduardo Escobar’s 10th inning homer was the only offense.

Nationals 4, Dodgers 0: A three hour-plus rain delay chased Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann. Five Nats relievers finished what Zimmermann started, however, completing the shutout. Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa two-run homers bookended the scoring here.

Tigers 2, Astros 0: Max Scherzer gambled by not taking what was reported to be a huge long term contract offer from the Tigers this past offseason, but so far the gamble is looking pretty good. He’s 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA after shutting down the Astros for eight innings on three hits while striking out nine. Anthony Bass pitched an inning for the Astros. He’s from the Detroit area and pitched at Wayne State. His mom was in the stands and the Fox Sports Detroit crew interviewed her and had the camera trained on her. Then he gave up a homer to Victor Martinez. So that was an uncomfortable bit of narrative building gone awry.

Blue Jays 3, Phillies 0: Old friend J.A. Happ shut out the Phillies for five and the bullpen carried it home. Kyle Kendrick gave up three runs in the first two innings. A costly win for the Jays, as they lost Brett Lawrie with a hamstring injury.

Cardinals 4, Braves 3: Lucky number seven losses in a row for Atlanta. This one despite Fredi Gonzalez’s tribute to Tony La Russa via batting the pitcher eighth. Ninth hitter Ramiro Pena went 2 for 4 and homered so I guess that sorta worked, but Gonzalez can manage the hell out of a game and it’s all for naught if the Uptons and Chris Johnson go a collective 0 for 11 and you spot the opposition a 5-0 lead. In other news, on April 10, Freddie Freeman said “pitchers got nothin’ to get me out with.” He went 2 for 4 last night but since then he’s batting .258. In the past ten days he’s batting .225. Guess those pitchers found something.

Angels 4, Yankees 1: Jered Weaver allowed one run over eight and Ernesto Frieri, apparently restored to closing duties by Mike Scioscia, handled the ninth. Joe Girardi and Yankees pitcher Shawn Kelley were ejected in the eighth for arguing balls and strikes. I wonder if we’ll have a lot more of those this year. Managers can’t argue anything else anymore now that replay is here, so they have to channel that stuff someplace else, right?

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Stefen Romero’s first major league homer broke the tie in the fifth and put Seattle up for good. Chris Young allowed two hits over six strong innings to win his second straight start

Marlins 4, Mets 3: The Mets took a 3-0 lead into the eighth but the Fish rallied for three that inning and walked off in the ninth on a Casey McGehee RBI single. That eighth inning rally came while Dice-K was pitching for the Mets, ruining a Jon Niese gem, so I assume that bullpen experiment with him is nearing an end.

Giants 11, Pirates 10: If the shutouts were an homage to 1968 this one was an homage to 1999: a long game with crappy pitching which ended on a bad defensive play. Of course that run scored on a bunt by one pitcher to the opposing pitcher, so there was some element of small-ball at play here. The Giants win their sixth straight after being down by six runs after five innings. In other news, one of the Pirates’ pleasant surprises last year — Jeff Locke — made his first big league start of the season here and looked terrible. Then again the Pirates as a whole, at 12-20, are reminding us all that it’s not 2013 again.

White Sox 3, Cubs 1: Baseball used to pump up these big city crosstown interleague rivalries with P.R. and weekend starts. Guess we don’t do that anymore, because I didn’t hear a peep about this one until I looked at the scores before bed last night. Anyway, Jose Quintana freakin’ rolled, allowing only one hit and a sac fly over seven innings and Marcus Semien hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the top of the 12th. Jeff Samardzija deserved a better fate: he went nine, allowing only an unearned run on a sac fly in the first inning, but got no decision.

Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 3: Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff homer, walked three times, singled and drove in three. A lot of people say Gomez doesn’t respect the game. Who cares if he can play it this well. He’s at .291/.360/.567 on the season and is probably the best defensive center fielder in baseball. The game should respect him.

Rockies 8, Rangers 2: Troy Tulowitzki won the April Player of the Month Award yesterday then went out and hit two homers and drove in four. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles improved to 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA so, despite the guff the Rockies took for dealing Dexter Fowler, that trade is working out for Colorado so far.

Padres 6, Royals 5: Another 12-inning game, this one ending on a Will Venable two-run single. It was the second walkoff in a row for the Padres. And that wasn’t the only drama: Jedd Gyorko’s ninth inning homer forced extras.

2016 Winter Meetings Preview

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 26: The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is seen along the Potomac River February 26, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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The baseball world will descend on Washington D.C. — well, the Maryland suburbs of Washington, at the Gaylord Resort at National Harbor — this weekend for the 2016 Winter Meetings. There’s a lot of work to be done.

Twenty free agents from a class of 191 have signed thus far. Among the notable: Yoenis Cespedes, Edinson Volquez, Neil Walker, Josh Reddick, Bartolo Colon, and R.A. Dickey. That, of course, leaves a ton of notables left, including Edwin Encarnacion, Justin Turner, Jose Bautista, Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, Mark Trumbo, Mark Melancon, Rich Hill and a host of others. Here is our rundown of this offseason’s top free agents if you’re curious. As you have come to expect from us, we’ll have a writeup of everyone who signs, faster than almost anyone else will.

Despite the sheer number of available free agents, this is an historically thin free agent class in terms of talent. That means that, for a team to improve significantly, they may be better served by making a trade. We’ve seen a couple already, most notably the deals which sent Taijuan Walker to the Diamondbacks, Jaime Garcia to the Braves and Brian McCann to the Astros. Most experts believe there will be plenty more this winter, and the ball could really get rolling on that in the next week with guys like Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale, Chris Archer, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Brandon Phillips on the block.

Another major activity of the Winter Meetings is the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee vote. Except, this year, there is no Veterans Committee, at least in name. It’s now the “Today’s Game” committee. Here are links to breakdowns of the candidacies of all ten men on the ballot the new committee will consider:

Harold Baines
Albert Belle
Will Clark
Orel Hershiser
Mark McGwire
George Steinbrenner
Davey Johnson
Lou Piniella
John Shuerholz
Bud Selig

Trade deals, free agent negotiations and Hall of Fame votes take place behind closed doors at the Gaylord Resort. One of the major public activities of the Winter Meetings is when all 30 of the managers meet and greet the press. This year’s new faces are Torey Lovullo with the Diamondbacks, Rick Renteria with the White Sox and Bud Black with the Rockies. Brian Snitker, now the permanent manager of the Braves, will get his first go-around at the managerial cattle call. I’ll be in the scrum for a lot of these guys — they do them two at a time so I can’t see everyone — and will let you know if they say anything fun.

Outside of the transactions and the Hall of Fame stuff, we have the more mundane Winter Meetings business. And a lot of it. Indeed, the vast majority of the people at the Meetings aren’t there for transactions. They’re there to network, seek jobs and discuss the business of baseball like any other industry convention. Ever year we hear about a rule change or a proposal for future rule changes at the Meetings, though this year’s brand new Collective Bargaining Agreement should overshadow that. We’ve already discussed the major points of that and, yesterday, I speculated that, as time goes on, the way this agreement was reached could lead to some serious strife going forward, particularly on the union side. Expect to hear some anonymous rumblings about all of that in the next few days, from players, agents and other interested parties who may not be all that pleased with how it goes.

The final event of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at 8am on Thursday morning. You likely have no idea who most of the players who will be selected are, but here’s a good place to start your research on that. If your team takes someone in the draft, the most important thing to know is that he’ll either be on the big league roster all year or he’ll have to be returned to his original team. Well, they could be stashed on the disabled list with phantom injuries so they won’t have to be returned, but no team would ever do that, would they? Perish the thought.

So, yes, there’s a lot to be done. I’ll be on the scene at National Harbor, bringing you all the best hot stove business we have to offer and, as usual, some more fun odds and ends from baseball’s biggest offseason event. As they used to say in radio, tune in to us and rip off the dial. Or, at the very least, keep a tab open to us and refresh a lot.

The Padres non-tendered RHP Tyson Ross

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04:  Tyson Ross #38 of the San Diego Padres walks off the field as he's taken out of the game in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day at PETCO Park on April 4, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Per a report by MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell, the Padres non-tendered right-handed starter Tyson Ross on Friday, cutting loose their top ace after three seasons with the club.

Ross, 29, was sidelined for the bulk of the season with inflammation in his right shoulder and underwent thoracic outlet surgery in October. His injuries limited him to only 5 1/3 innings in 2016, during which he gave up seven runs and struck out five in a 15-0 blowout against the Dodgers.

Prior to his lengthy stint on the disabled list, the right-hander earned 9.5 fWAR and pitched to a 3.07 ERA and 9.2 K/9 rate in three full seasons with the Padres. He avoided arbitration with a one-year, $9.625 million deal prior to the 2016 season after leading the league with 33 starts and delivering a 3.26 ERA and career-best 4.4 WARP over 196 innings in 2015.

The Padres appear open to bringing Ross back to San Diego, reported Cassavell, albeit not at such a steep cost. Cassavell quoted Padres’ GM A.J. Preller, who was reportedly in trade talks involving Ross but unable to strike a deal, likely due to the right-hander’s recent health issues. Preller denied that those same health issues factored into the club’s decision to non-tender their ace.

With the move, Ross became one of 35 major leaguers to enter free agency on Friday.