Cubs cut Frazier, put Stroman on injured list

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NEW YORK — Rather than getting set to face his former team this weekend, Clint Frazier is out of a job.

The outfielder was designated for assignment in a surprise decision by the Chicago Cubs, who also placed pitcher Marcus Stroman on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation as part of a flurry of roster moves Friday.

Wade Miley was activated from the IL to start the opener of a three-game interleague series against the major league-leading New York Yankees. The left-hander had been sidelined since May 26 with a shoulder strain.

Chicago also reinstated catcher Yan Gomes (left oblique strain) and infielder Jonathan Villar (mouth injury) from the 10-day injured list. Right-hander Michael Rucker and infielder Alfonso Rivas were optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

In addition, Cubs reliever Chris Martin was reinstated from the restricted list after spending more than the maximum seven days on the bereavement list. His return meant the club needed to make room for him on the 40-man roster, so Frazier was cut to clear a spot.

The 27-year-old Frazier, once a highly rated prospect, was given only 37 at-bats by the Cubs following his rocky tenure with the Yankees. Signed to a $1.5 million, one-year contract, he was batting .216 with three doubles, one RBI and a stolen base in 19 games.

The emergence of rookie center fielder Christopher Morel and a crowded outfield made Frazier the odd man out in Chicago.

Selected fifth overall by Cleveland in the 2013 amateur draft, Frazier was shipped to the Yankees at the July 2016 trade deadline in a blockbuster deal for reliever Andrew Miller.

Frazier’s progress in pinstripes was slowed by a concussion and some defensive deficiencies. He displayed his impressive power at the plate at times – but also raised eyebrows with some comments that may have contributed to him falling out of favor with the Yankees.

Frazier set career highs with 12 homers and 38 RBIs in only 246 plate appearances over 69 games in 2019. Then he put up terrific numbers during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, batting .267 with eight homers, 26 RBIs and a .905 OPS in 160 plate appearances over 39 games.

But he plummeted to .186 with five homers, 15 RBIs and a .633 OPS in 66 games last year and was released by New York in November. He signed with the Cubs on Dec. 1, just before the Major League Baseball lockout.

Stroman went on the IL retroactive to June 7. The right-hander is 2-5 with a 5.32 ERA in nine starts during his first season with the Cubs after signing a $71 million, three-year contract as a free agent.

Stroman was scheduled to start Wednesday night in Baltimore, but the game was rained out. He has been managing the shoulder issue for a while, the Cubs said, and skipper David Ross said the right-hander probably hasn’t been completely right since returning from the COVID-19 list.

Seiya Suzuki remained on the injured list with a sprained left ring finger, but Ross said the rookie outfielder could still be activated this weekend. Suzuki was set to take full batting practice and is day to day.

Chicago began the night 23-33 and riding a three-game losing streak.

MLB sells share of BAMTech to Walt Disney Co. for $900M

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NEW YORK – Major League Baseball has sold its remaining share of a streaming service technology company to the Walt Disney Co. for $900 million.

The sale was disclosed Tuesday in Walt Disney Co.’s annual filing report through the SEC. MLB received the $900 million in exchange for the 15% stake it still had in a company called BAMTech, which originally started as MLB Advanced Media in 2000.

The technology helped MLB become a leader in sports streaming in the 2000s.

Walt Disney Co. has been buying chunks of BAMTech for the past five years and now owns 100% of the company. The National Hockey League sold its 10% share of BAMTech to Walt Disney Co. for a reported $350 million in 2021.