Yankees release Ben Francisco

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Ben Francisco went unclaimed on waivers after being designated for assignment last week and the Yankees have released the 31-year-old outfielder.

Francisco signed with the Yankees after being released by the Indians in spring training, but hit just .114 in 21 games. He was a solid part-time player early in his career, but Francisco has a .230 batting average and .664 OPS in 203 games since 2011.

Wherever he winds up, at this point it seems likely that he’ll have to hit his way back to the majors with a good stint at Triple-A.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.