NL MVP Freeman WIll Be Late to Camp
Spring training camps are opening throughout Florida and Arizona, but the reigning National League Most Valuable Player will be a no-show, with good reason. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and his wife Chelsea announced the arrival of two sons and the team gave their star permission to show up a couple of days late.
Chelsea posted the family news on Sunday to her Twitter account announcing the birth of son Brandon on Dec. 30 and the addition of son Maximus via surrogate on Feb. 14. The new sons join 4-year old Charlie to give the Freeman’s a family of five.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said the team supported the late arrival and will also have Freeman spend a couple days away from his teammates without reporting due to coronavirus protocols.
Freeman won the MVP award in 2020 with all but two of the 30 first-place votes. In the shortened season he hit .341 with 13 homers, 53 RBI and 23 doubles while leading the Braves to Game 7 of the NLCS.
Freeman is +1200 to win the 2021 MVP award, the sixth best odds. Mookie Betts and Juan Soto are the favorites at +750 with Cody Bellinger at +800. Freeman’s teammate Ronald Acuna Jr. is at +850 as is Fernando Tatis Jr.
The Braves are +1000 to win their first World Series since 1995 and +500 to win the National League. They are also +120 to win the NL East and their over/under win total is 91.5.
Nationals Sign Jeffress
The Washington Nationals continue to rebuild their bullpen as they signed former Chicago Cubs reliever Jeremy Jeffress on Monday. The Nationals have also signed Brad Hand, Daniel Hudson, Will Harris and Tanner Rainey this off-season.
Jeffress, 33, was a first-round pick in 2006 and has spent 11 seasons in the majors with five teams. Last year he was 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA in Chicago while saving eight games in 10 opportunities. His bese season came in 2018 with Milwaukee when he posted a 1.29 ERA in 73 games with 15 saves while making the All-Star team.
The Nationals are +130 to return to the playoffs after missing out last season.Their win market is at 84.5 wins and they are +600 to win the NL East. The Nats are +2000 to win the National League and +3300 to win their second World Series in three years.
Clippard, Cabrera to the Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks made a pair of moves on Monday as they signed veteran right-hander Tyler Clippard and infielder Asdrubal Cabrera. The deal will pay Clippard $1.75 million in 2021 with a $3.5 million mutual option for 2022 while Cabrera will make $1.75 million on a one-year deal.
Clippard pitched for the Minnesota Twins in 2020 with a 2.77 ERA in 26 outings. He has made the All-Star team twice in a 14-year career with 777 appearances and a 3.13 ERA. Clippard pitched in 40 games for the Diamondbacks in 2016 before finishing the season with the New York Yankees.
Cabrera can earn an additional million dollars in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. Last year the 35-year-old played in 52 games for the Nationals batting .242 with eight homers and 31 RBI. In 14 seasons he has a career .268/.330/426 line with 188 home runs, 827 RBI and 852 runs scored in 1712 games.
The Diamondbacks are a +10000 long shot to win the World Series and +8000 to win the National League. They are +5000 to win the NL West and their win market is set at 74.5.
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