Rangers GM Jon Daniels named Baseball America’s Executive of the Year

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Fresh off the franchise’s first ever World Series appearance, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was named as Executive of the Year by Baseball America earlier today.

Here’s the man himself, via T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com:

“It’s really an organizational award — this is a huge operation involving the efforts of so many people,” Daniels said. “I’m just honored to be part of a really talented, creative group, and to accept this on behalf of everyone who works here. Hopefully this is just the beginning. Now we’ve got to find a way to get a little better, to get back there next year, and find a way to win those last three games.”

You won’t find any objections here. Of course, his signature move was swooping in and acquiring Cliff Lee from the Mariners when just about everybody thought he was going to the Yankees. It was a bold and surprising move which immediately transformed the Rangers into legitimate World Series contenders. But remember that he also operated under the uncertainty of bankruptcy and new ownership. Rangers fans should feel very encouraged about the direction of the franchise, regardless of whether they are able to keep Cliff Lee this winter.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.