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MLB officially announces next year’s Yankees-Red Sox series in London

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This has been the worst-kept secret in the world, but this morning Major League Baseball officially announced that the Yankees will meet the Red Sox in London for a two-game regular season series next year.

The will be played on June 29-30 at London Stadium, the site of the 2012 Olympic Games. The Red Sox will be the home team, not that it really matters. Estimated capacity of London Stadium for the series will be 55,000 mostly confused British people. The press release says the stadium will “take on a baseball configuration for the event,” which, well, I would hope so.

The series next year will not be a one-and-done, either. MLB and the London mayor’s office have agreed to a two-year deal that will include another series in London in 2020, with participating teams to be announced. The release notes that “other initiatives that will aim to establish a footprint in the city” will also be scheduled. Here’s hoping it’s not just another Train or Fall Out Boy concert. MLB has gone to that well too many times.

There were obligatory quotes from Rob Manfred, Tony Clark and the team owners, but you’ve heard them a million times. Here’s The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s comment:

“I am absolutely delighted that we have secured this historic agreement for Major League Baseball to come to London in 2019 and 2020. All the hard work has paid off. There is no better way to start the London Series and the first Major League Baseball fixture in Europe than a clash between two heavyweights of international sport – the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This is a major coup demonstrating, once again, that London is the sporting capital of the world and I am excited about a new partnership with MLB and the long term future of this sport in our great city.”

No word if, after he called London “the sporting capital of the world,” a bunch of Boston and New York fans clogged up talk radio to say they were being “disrespected.” But yeah, they probably did.

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.