January 30, 2019 / 2:11 AM / 19 days ago

MLB notebook: D-backs extend Lovullo's contract

The Arizona Diamondbacks and manager Torey Lovullo agreed to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday.

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell (R) talks with bench coach Torey Lovullo (L) in the dugout during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida, September 11, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

Lovullo’s deal now runs through the 2021 campaign. USA Today reported last season that Lovullo had one of the lowest salaries for a manager at $900,000.

“Torey’s leadership and ability to connect with people, specifically our players and coaches, provides the foundation for the culture we continue to cultivate and grow in Arizona,” Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said in a news release announcing the extension. “This is an exciting day for Torey, his family and the D-backs. We can’t wait to get started at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in two weeks.”

Lovullo, 53, is entering his third season with the club and has a 175-149 mark. He was named National League Manager of the Year in 2017 after guiding Arizona to a 93-69 record and a wild-card victory before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series.

—Hall of Famer Frank Robinson is battling a life-threatening illness, according to multiple reports.

The Baltimore Sun reported that the 83-year-old Robinson is in the late stages of a long illness, and cited a “source with direct knowledge of the situation.” Robinson, who serves as a senior adviser to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, hasn’t appeared at a baseball event since July’s All-Star Game in Washington, according to the Sun.

Robinson ranks 10th in baseball history with 586 career homers and won MVP awards in both the National and American leagues. He also became the first African-American manager when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians in October 1974.

—Free agent infielder Neil Walker signed a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins, the team announced.

Walker, 33, entered the major leagues in 2009 with Pittsburgh and played with the Pirates until 2015, before moving on to the New York Mets (2016-17), Milwaukee Brewers (2017) and the New York Yankees (2018).

In 1,173 career games, Walker has a career average of .268 with 141 home runs, 568 RBIs and 216 doubles. A switch hitter, he has hit at least 10 home runs in nine of 10 seasons since 2010. He hit a career-high 23 home runs in 2014 and 2016.

—The Boston Red Sox signed right-hander Jenrry Mejia to a minor league deal, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Mejia, 29, last pitched in the major leagues in 2015 for the New York Mets and appeared in 113 games, all with the franchise.

In February 2016, Mejia was banned for life from the minors and majors after a positive test for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid. He was reinstated last July by Major League Baseball. The Mets released him in November.

The ban followed an 80-game suspension he received in April 2015 after testing positive for Stanozolol, a drug frequently used by bodybuilders. He pitched in just seven games upon his return, then was suspended in late July 2015 for 162 games after testing positive for both Boldenone and Stanozolol.

—Sandy Alderson is returning to the Oakland Athletics’ front office, where the former New York Mets general manager will work as senior adviser to baseball operations.

Alderson, 71, previously worked for the A’s over 17 seasons, starting with the title of general counsel in 1981. He was named executive vice president, baseball operations in 1983 and guided the team to three consecutive World Series (1988-90), with the team winning the title in 1989.

After his time with the A’s ended following the 1998 season, Alderson worked as an executive for Major League Baseball, and was the CEO for the San Diego Padres from 2005-09 before joining the Mets.

—Former National League Most Valuable Player and Philadelphia Phillies all-time great Jimmy Rollins is returning to the club as a special adviser. Rollins’ duties will run the gamut from coaching during spring training to meeting with sponsors and suite holders, the club said.

“It goes without saying that Jimmy was a huge part of the team’s success during the five-year run of division titles and he is one of the greatest players to wear our uniform,” executive vice president David Buck said in a statement. “His acumen for both business and baseball makes this a natural fit. We are excited to have him back.”

Rollins, 40, played 15 of his 17 major league seasons with the Phillies and is the franchise’s all-time leader in hits (2,306) and doubles (479). He earned the 2007 NL MVP, was selected to three NL All-Star teams and won four Gold Glove Awards.

—The Toronto Blue Jays signed veteran infielder Freddy Galvis to a one-year deal worth a reported $4 million for 2019.

The deal includes a club option for 2020 at $5.5 million, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported. With a $1 million buyout on the option, Galvis is guaranteed $5 million, according to Feinsand.

Galvis, 29, played in every game the past two seasons with the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies. Last year with the Padres, he hit .248 with 13 home runs and 67 RBIs. Galvis slugged a career-high 20 homers with the Phillies in 2016. He is a career .246 hitter over seven major league seasons.

—Field Level Media

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