Russell Martin
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Blue Jays trade Russell Martin to Dodgers

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Arash Madani is reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays are trading Russell Martin to the Los Angeles Dodgers. No word yet on the return. It is presumed, however, that the Blue Jays will be eating a good portion of Martin’s $20 million salary for 2019.

Martin, who will turn 36 next month, played in 90 games last year and hit .194/.338/.325 with ten homers. This year will be the last year of the five-year, $82 million deal he signed with the Blue Jays. In Los Angeles — where he started his career back in 2006 — look for him to be a backup catcher and, if recent form holds, an occasional fill-in at third base, and a clubhouse guy.

UPDATE: The Dodgers are sending two minor leaguers to Toronto: starting pitcher Andrew Sopko, who had a 3.52 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, 9.3 K/9 in 117.2 IP between Double-A Tulsa and Hi-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2018, and shortstop Ronny Brito, who posted an .841 OPS with 11 HR in 244 PAs with Rookie Level Ogden.

Bryce Harper is pandering hard to Philly fans

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Bryce Harper hadn’t even addressed his new hometown fans before his Phillies jersey started selling like hotcakes. Since then, he’s said all the expected things. Talking about joining the Phillies, he said, “From day one, it felt right … I always talk about family and being a family, being one unit, and I get that from this team. Every guy has your back and vice versa. I’m very excited to go into battle with these guys.”

Harper is continuing to pander hard to Phillies fans. Behold his latest Instagram post:

Has anyone ever really longed to see the Liberty Bell?

Harper also famously recreated that Chase Utley scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with actor Rob McElhenney on Twitter:

In Harper’s next post, he will talk about alternating bottles of You-eng-ling beers with glasses of “wooder.” He’ll add that every so often he will treat himself to a steak sandwich with cheese on it, then go home to watch all of the movies in the Rocky series.