It was the meme that spawned a team-wide trend. When Todd Frazier hit a home run in a Yankees-Rays game hosted at Citi Field due to the effects of Hurricane Irma in Florida last September, a fan in the stands was not pleased
That fan is a lifelong Mets fan, it'd later be discovered, and his dissatisfied reaction and delightfully deadpan facial expression gave the Yankees a new method of on-field communication. The meme took off, and various members of the Yankees mimicked it on the bases for the rest of the season.   
... but Frazier and the man (named Gary Dunaier) hadn't actually met until Saturday, when Frazier (now a free agent) appeared at an event at Steiner Sports in Long Island. It was a fun encounter: 
 
Todd Frazier and the thumbs-down Mets fan finally met and ... exchanged cheerful thumbs-downs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As quoted by the New York Daily News, Frazier had a good time:
"It was good," said Frazier. "He's a nice guy, to finally meet him and he looks good, he's playing the part off well. He looks like an upstanding gentleman and it was nice to finally meet him."
 Adrian Garro/MLB.com
 
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' potential Opening Day lineup received a little bit more clarity on Friday afternoon when Toronto acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk in a three-player trade with the Cardinals.
Right-hander Dominic Leone and prospect Conner Greene were sent to St. Louis as part of the deal. It marks the second move between these organizations this offseason, and comes on the heels of a December trade that saw infielder Aledmys Diaz join Toronto.
Grichuk immediately becomes the heavy favorite to replace free agent Jose Bautistaas Toronto's starting right fielder. The 26-year-old is coming off a season in which he hit 22 home runs over 412 at-bats for the Cardinals. While nothing is guaranteed, the Blue Jays envision using him as an everyday player.
"I think he'll have the best chance of our group to take that position over for us in right field," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said. "But the fact is, we have options and we'll have some balance. In today's game, asking someone to get 700 plate appearances is a lot. There are very few players who are doing it day in and day out. So where that number ends up, we'll see, but I think he has the best chance at the outset to be the regular for us."
Toronto's outfield appears somewhat set following the trade and the recent signing of Curtis Granderson. Grichuk is expected to start in right field with Kevin Pillar in center and a platoon of Granderson and Steve Pearce in left. That scenario would leave Ezequiel Carrera without a job and the prospect duo of Anthony Alford and Teoscar Hernandez beginning the year at Triple-A Buffalo.
Carrera recently avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal worth $1.9 million. He has spent the majority of the last two seasons as Toronto's fourth outfielder but there's no longer a clear path to playing time now. He could be shopped to fill a hole elsewhere or it's possible Carrera will stick as additional insurance during Spring Training.
"We have to stay open about all of the players on our roster," Atkins said when asked about a possible move. "If there's any way to make our team better, more fluid, provide more versatility, we'll look to do that."
If Grichuk becomes the final piece of significance the Blue Jays add this winter, the question will become whether Toronto did enough to improve its offense. The Blue Jays ranked last in the American League with 693 runs scored, and while the team undeniably has more depth following the additions of Grichuk, Diaz and Yangervis Solarte, most of the starters remain.
Instead of adding a big-name this winter, the Blue Jays are banking on a return to health as the primary way to improve. Full seasons from Josh DonaldsonTroy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis would certainly help but if the injuries become a problem once again, at least the Blue Jays are in a better position to handle them.
The Blue Jays still have some flexibility to make additional moves, but the focus now shifts to the pitching staff. Toronto remains in the market for a fifth starter and following the departure of Leone, another piece in the bullpen could be needed as well.
"I think at this point [it's] pitching," Atkins said. "If there's a way to improve our position player roster, we'll look to do that. At this point that would mean subtraction, or other players being optioned. We have a little bit of uncertainty around playing time for some of our players so we have to build as much depth as possible."
Gregor Chisholm MLB.com
 
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays shifted their attention to the outfield Monday night by reaching an agreement with veteran Curtis Granderson on a one-year deal worth $5 million.
Toronto has yet to officially announce the signing, but it was first reported by MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal and has since been confirmed by MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The deal is pending a physical and also includes incentives based on playing time.
Granderson is coming off a season in which he hit .212 with 26 home runs and 70 RBIs over 147 games with the Mets and Dodgers. The 36-year-old made a handful of appearances for Los Angeles during the postseason, but was left off the roster for the World Series.
The Blue Jays remain in the market for additional help in the outfield, but this signing makes it harder to envision the club adding a high-profile name to the mix. President Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins appear to have a clear strategy this offseason of spreading their available money around to multiple players instead of spending most of it on one player.
Toronto took that approach with the infield by acquiring Yangervis SolarteAledmys Diaz and Gift Ngoepe. It appears to be the strategy for the outfield as well with the focus on depth and complementary pieces. Granderson falls into that category, as he's expected to form a platoon with Steve Pearce in one of the corner outfield spots. Kevin Pillar remains the starter in center field, which leaves one job up for grabs.
Rookie Teoscar Hernandez is one internal candidate, and the Blue Jays also control Ezequiel Carrera, who recently avoided arbitration with a one-year deal worth $1.9 million. Toronto could use another big bat -- and someone like free agent Lorenzo Cain appears to be a perfect fit -- but the club also is starting to run out of funds.
Toronto has a projected payroll of $151 million after factoring in arbitration and pre-arbitration players on the roster. Per club policy, the Blue Jays do not publicly disclose payroll parameters, but the range for 2018 is expected to be the same as it was for '17, which was approximately $165 million.
That left the Blue Jays with a range of $10 million to $15 million to spend this offseason. In addition to another outfielder, the club is in the market for a fifth starter and possibly an additional lefty reliever. With multiple needs, that money will have to be divided up, so a big signing through free agency may prove difficult.
Granderson is entering the latter stages of his career, but he still possesses quite a bit of power. The 15-year veteran has at least 20 home runs in four consecutive seasons and can play either corner outfield spot. He also struck out 123 times in 449 at-bats last season, and six stolen bases showed Granderson is no longer a speed threat.
Gregor Chisholm MLB.com
 
The Giants' aggressive offseason objective of bolstering a power-starved lineup took another significant step on Monday, as the club has acquired longtime Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, along with cash considerations.
Pittsburgh received two of the Giants' Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline -- outfielder Bryan Reynolds (No. 4) and right-hander Kyle Crick (No. 16) -- and $500,000 in international bonus pool space.
McCutchen tweeted his thanks to the Steel City: Pittsburgh. My Home. My Fans. My City. The placed that raised me and helped mold me into the man I am today. You will 4ever be in my heart. A tip of the cap to all who have been on this journey with me. With Love and respect, Cutch.
November, when he was initially believed to be a backup option after they missed out on acquiring Giancarlo Stanton via a trade from the Marlins. In December, Stanton vetoed a trade to the Giants -- who had been as aggressive as any club in attempting to acquire him -- and was shortly after traded to the Yankees.
 
McCutchen, 31, has one year and $14.5 million remaining on his current contract, making him an affordable option that would require a limited commitment in terms of length. The Giants, who posted the worst record in the National League last year, are hoping to bolster a lineup that hit the fewest home runs in the Majors (128, 23 fewer than the Pirates, who had the second fewest) and posted the lowest slugging percentage (.380).
San Francisco addressed offense this offseason by acquiring longtime Rays third baseman Evan Longoria last month in exchange for three of its then-Top 30 prospects, as ranked by MLB Pipeline -- infielder Christian Arroyo (No. 1), left-hander Matt Krook (No. 25) and right-hander Stephen Woods (No. 29) -- as well as veteran center fielder Denard Span.
McCutchen is coming off an improved 2017 in which he slashed .279/.363/.486 with 28 home runs and 88 RBIs. Last week, Giants general manager Bobby Evans said the front office was focused more on corner outfielders than on a center fielder, though acquiring McCutchen -- who moved to left field last year, then back to center when Starling Marte was suspended 80 games -- doesn't necessarily preclude his move from center in San Francisco. The Giants currently have Jarrett Parker slated in left, Gorkys Hernandez in center and Hunter Pence in right.
The Giants had also been linked to Lorenzo Cain, though the free-agent center fielder would come with Draft-pick compensation since he received a qualifying offer from the Royals.  
On Saturday, the Pirates dealt ace Gerrit Cole in exchange for three players they believe are MLB-ready -- Joe MusgroveColin Moran and Michael Feliz -- as well as outfield prospect Jason Martin. The move hinted at a potential Pirates rebuild in the immediate future, but the deal also filled holes on their current roster.
After dealing Cole, the Pirates were believed to continue listening to offers on players nearing free agency, such as McCutchen, second baseman Josh Harrison and third baseman David Freese. Harrison is owed $10.25 million in '18 and has a $10.5 million team option or a $1 million buyout in '19. Freese is owed $4.25 million this season, and the Pirates have a $6 million team option or a $500,000 buyout on the veteran in '19.
For McCutchen and the Pirates, Monday's move marked the end of an era for their former first-round pick (11th overall) in 2005, who blossomed into the face of the franchise and will likely be included on any short list of the club's all-time great players.
From 2012-15, McCutchen was one of the game's top players, finishing in the top five in the National League MVP vote each of those four seasons and receiving the honor in '13, when he helped the Pirates snap a 20-year postseason drought, beginning a streak of three straight playoff seasons.
McCutchen was just as much acclaimed for his on-field prowess as he was for his relationship with the Pittsburgh community and his charitable contributions to a city he identified with. He named his son, Steel, who was born on Nov. 27, as an homage to the city in which he played his first nine seasons.
Daniel Kramer MLB.com
 
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have reached an agreement to bring back Howie Kendrick, the veteran utility man who became a valuable player off the bench after he was acquired midseason, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical and reportedly worth two years and $7 million.
Kendrick, 34, impressed the Nats after he was acquired in July. He slashed .293/.343/.494 with eight homers in 52 games for Washington while playing second base and the outfield, and serving as the team's best right-handed hitter off the bench.
 
 
Howie Kendrick, Nats agree on two-year, $7M deal
 
Kendrick was seen as a rental then, but the Nats will bring him back to join their other midseason acquisitions: Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson (who were already under contract), and Brandon Kintzler (whom the team re-signed last month).
Filling out the bench was a key priority for the Nationals entering this offseason, and Kendrick adds to the club's strong set of reserves. Kendrick is expected complement left-handed hitter Matt Adams, who replaces Adam Lind, to form the club's primary pinch-hitting options. Infielder Wilmer Difo, outfielder Brian Goodwin and catcher Pedro Severino are likely to round out the bench, which should be a strength for Washington again.
Kendrick also provides versatility for the Nats, and new manager Dave Martinez could find a way to keep him in the lineup if Kendrick continues to perform. He could also provide insurance at the start of the season, while second baseman Daniel Murphy is recovering from offseason knee surgery. The Nationals continue to be optimistic that Murphy will be ready for Opening Day, but Kendrick could give them another reason not to rush Murphy's progress.
"Love Howie Kendrick, love what he brought us in the clubhouse with the young players," general manager Mike Rizzo said at the Winter Meetings. "He's got a good skill set. He's a guy that did nothing but great things for us between the lines and in the clubhouse."
Jamal Collier MLB.com
 
of Fame umpire Doug Harvey passed away, his wife, Joy, told MLB.com's Barry Bloom. He died on Saturday afternoon of natural causes at 87.
Harvey was the ninth umpire elected to the Hall of Fame and one of the final Major League umpires who never attended an umpiring school. Over his 31 years in baseball, spent entirely in the National League, Harvey worked 4,673 games, which was the third most for any umpire at the time of his retirement in 1992.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 2010, Harvey umpired five World Series, nine NL Championship Series and six All-Star Games. He served as a crew chief for 18 years.
Harvey began umpiring for a living after his father's suggestion and worked games in the Class C Sunset League at 19. Eventually he would umpire in San Diego in a grueling five-month, 155-game schedule before making it to the professional ranks.
"I remember that while watching Don Larsen throw his perfect game on TV, I told the guys with me that I was going to go into professional umpiring, and someday they would be watching me on TV," Harvey said in his Hall of Fame speech. "They laughed me out of the room. Eleven years later, they were watching me on TV, working my World Series plate job."
Harvey was known for his silver hair that grayed in his 30s, and his style was hard to miss. His methodical-yet-authoritative signals and presence earned him the nickname "God" from players.
Doug Harvey spent all 31 of his years in the National League.
"You always respected him because he came out to his job and [did it] with a lot of class," Joe Torre, a Hall of Fame manager who became the first player Harvey ejected, said after Harvey retired in 1992. "He was very consistent, and that's the highest compliment you can pay anybody."
Harvey was named the second-greatest umpire in history by the Society for American Baseball Research in 1999, and Referee magazine named him among the 52 most influential figures in the history of sports officiating in 2007.
 Ben Weinrib MLB.com
 
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins agreed to terms with reliever Addison Reed on a two-year deal worth slightly less than $17 million, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi on Saturday.
The Twins, however, have yet to announce the move, as it's pending a physical. The move comes as a surprise, as the Twins had already signed Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke to one-year deals to fortify the bullpen this offseason. But Reed has a strong track record, coming off a solid season that saw him post a 2.84 ERA with 76 strikeouts and 15 walks in 76 innings with the Mets and Red Sox.
 
Addison Reed agrees to a two-year, $17M deal with Twins
 
 
Reed, 29, has closing experience with the White Sox, D-backs and Mets, totaling 125 career saves, but he is expected to be the club's top setup man to Rodney, who was told by the front office that he'll open the season as the closer. Reed joins sidearmer Trevor Hildenberger and lefty Taylor Rogers as primary relievers along with Duke.
Reed has a career 3.40 ERA with 425 strikeouts and 104 walks in 402 2/3 innings across seven big league seasons. He's worked to cut his walk rate the past two seasons after struggling with control early in his career.
Reed relies heavily on his slider, throwing it nearly a third of the time, while also leaning heavily on a fastball that averages 92.3 mph. His ability to generate strikeouts is a boost to a bullpen that struck out the fifth-fewest batters in baseball this past season.
The signing of Reed doesn't preclude the Twins from signing a frontline starter, which remains their top priority this offseason. It's been a slow-moving market for starters, but Minnesota still has interest in the top arms available, like Yu DarvishAlex CobbLance Lynn and Jake Arrieta.
Rhett Bollinger /MLB.com
 
AP
Keith Jackson, whose signature phrases like "Whoa, Nelly!" made him the down-home voice of college football during more than five decades as a sportscaster, has died. He was 89.
Jackson died Friday, according to a statement Saturday by ESPN, which consolidated with ABC Sports, Jackson's longtime employer. No cause or place of death was given. Jackson was a longtime resident of Sherman Oaks, California, and Pender Harbor, British Columbia.
Jackson covered many sports, but he was best known for college football. A native of rural west Georgia, his smooth baritone voice and use of phrases like "big uglies" for linemen gave his game calls a familiar feel.
He might be best known for his "Whoa, Nelly!" exclamation, but he didn't overuse it during games. Borrowed from his great-grandfather, a farmer, the phrase was also part of a commercial Jackson did for Miller Lite in the mid-'90s.
In a Fox Sports interview in 2013, Jackson said his folksy language stemmed from his rural upbringing and he became comfortable with the usage through the years.
"I would go around and pluck things off the bush and see if I could find a different way to say some things. And the older I got the more willing I was to go back into the Southern vernacular because some of it's funny," Jackson said.
Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive of The Walt Disney Co., said listeners "knew it was a big game" when they heard Jackson's voice.
"For generations of fans, Keith Jackson was college football," Iger said.
Jackson's death comes just three weeks after that of another sportscasting titan — Dick Enberg, known for his own excited calls of "Oh, my!" during a 60-year career.
Today's college football broadcasters paid tribute to Jackson on social media.
Kirk Herbstreit said in a tweet that Jackson was "everyone's favorite CFB broadcaster."
"Can close my eyes and think of so many of his special calls. Thank you Keith for all the memories and the grace in which you provided them," Herbstreit wrote.
Desmond Howard, who returned a punt for a touchdown at Michigan in one of Jackson's best-known calls, tweeted that he had a hard time expressing how much Jackson meant to him, his alma mater and college football.
"May his family find some comfort in knowing how much joy he brought us for so many years and that his legacy endures," Howard said.
After serving four years in the Marine Corps, Jackson broadcast his first college football game in 1952 as an undergraduate at Washington State. He worked in radio and television before joining ABC Sports in 1966.
Jackson first announced his retirement in 1998 but returned to work. He finally retired after the 2006 Rose Bowl and is a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Turi Ann.
Funeral arrangements were not announced.
 
HOUSTON -- The team with the deepest lineup in baseball may now lay claim to the deepest pitching rotation.
Less than a week after owner Jim Crane said the Astros were pursuing a high-end starter, the defending World Series-champion Astros reached a deal to acquire hard-throwing right-hander Gerrit Cole in a trade with the Pirates on Saturday. The Astros will send pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, infielder Colin MoranHouston's No. 5 prospect, and Minor League outfielder Jason Martin, Houston's No. 15 prospect, to the Pirates.
Cole, 27, was the Pirates' first-round Draft pick in 2011 (No. 1 overall) out of UCLA. An All-Star who won 19 games in 2015, Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA in 33 starts last year for the 75-win Pirates, allowing 55 walks and 31 homers while striking out 196 batters in 203 innings. He's 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA in 127 big league starts.
He'll join a rotation that includes former Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlanderand Dallas Keuchel, All-Star Lance McCullers Jr. and World Series hero Charlie Morton. The Astros acquired Verlander on Aug. 31 last year and now have him and Cole under contract for two more seasons.
The addition of Cole means Brad Peacock, who had a breakout year in 2017, could be moved to the bullpen full time after splitting time in the rotation last year. Veteran Collin McHugh, who missed the first 3 1/2 months last season with an arm injury, could now be a trade candidate.
Cole on Friday reached a deal with the Pirates for a $6.75 million contract for 2018 to avoid salary arbitration.