Boston Globe

Nick Cafardo named winner of 2020 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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SAN DIEGO — The Baseball Writers Association of America has named the late Boston Globe columnist, Nick Cafardo, the winner of the 2020 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown next July. Cafardo died suddenly last February at the age of 62 while covering the Red Sox at spring training in Fort Myers.

Cafardo, who covered baseball in New England for 35 years, received 243 votes from the 427 ballots cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years’ service. He becomes the 71st winner of the award since its inception in 1962. Jim Reeves, an award-winning columnist and baseball writer in a 40-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, received 108 votes. Patrick Reusse, who has covered the Twins for decades, got 76.

Cafardo worked at the Brockton Enterprise and the Quincy Patriot-Ledger before joining the Boston Globe as baseball columnist in 1989, where he inherited the Sunday notes column, founded by Peter Gammons. Cafardo covered more than 30 World Series, All-Star Games and Winter Meetings. He wrote four baseball books and won the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year Award in 2014 and the Boston Baseball Writers’ Dave O’Hara Award in 2017.

Cafardo becomes the first posthumous winner of the award since his Boston Globe colleague, Larry Whiteside, in 2008.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.