Guardians place catcher Hedges on IL with concussion

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND – Cleveland Guardians catcher Austin Hedges was placed on the 7-day injured list with a concussion, forcing the team to acquire veteran Sandy Leon in a trade with Cincinnati.

The Guardians made the deal – and several other roster moves – before a day-night doubleheader against the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins.

Hedges took a foul tip off his protective mask last weekend and was showing concussion-like symptoms despite passing all neurological tests. He didn’t play in the series opener.

“He just wasn’t himself,” manager Terry Francona said.

Catcher Bryan Lavastida wasn’t an option because he’s dealing with a hamstring injury at Triple-A Columbus, so the Guardians sent cash to the Reds and brought back Leon, who played in 25 games with Cleveland in 2020.

Francona said his familiarity with the team’s pitching staff made him an obvious choice.

“Most likely this is short term,” Francona said. “We’ve all seen things change. So we felt like getting somebody our pitchers know hopefully will be kind of seamless. Sandy was here in spring training. He was here the year with COVID 2.0. There’s a lot of familiarity there.”

The well-traveled Leon started Game 1 of the doubleheader.

The Guardians also recalled reliever Anthony Castro and rookie left-hander Konnor Pilkington from Triple-A Columbus. Pilkington is starting the second game of the doubleheader.

Right-hander Ian Gibaut was designated for assignment.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.