Nothing Livens Up the Winter More Than a Blockbuster Trade.

by John Perrotto

 The groundwork for trades was laid during the General Mangers meetings in Orlando from Nov. 13-15. Thus, there figure to be a fair number of deals consummated when the sport’s top decisionmakers get together again from Dec. 11-14 at Orlando for the Winter Meetings.

Here are three traded we would make:

The Miami Marlins send right fielder Giancarlo Stanton to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-handers Walker Buehler and Jordan Sheffield and middle infielder Omar Estevez.

Stanton is on the block despite winning the National League MVP award because new owners Bruice Sherman and Derek Jeter want to cut the payroll and rebuild. However, the Marlins’ options are limited because Stanton has a full no-trade clause.

However, he would likely waive it to play in his native Southern California. While Miami wouldn’t have much leverage, they should at least be able to acquire a top-notch prospect such as Buehler, who would step into their rotation, as well as two younger players with upside.

The Toronto Blue Jays trade third baseman Josh Donaldson to the San Francisco Giants for right-hander Chris Stratton and outfielder Chris Shaw.

Donaldson is eligible for free agency after this season and the Blue Jays don’t want him to walk without getting more than draft pick compensation. The Giants need to appease their fan base following a last-place finish in the NL West.

Donaldson would give the Giants’ offense a major boost and be a huge upgrade over Pablo Sandoval. Adding two promising major league-ready players in Stratton and the left-handed hitting Shaw would help the Blue Jays contend in 2018 and beyond.

The Pittsburgh Pirates trade right-hander Gerrit Cole to the New York Yankees for right-handers Chase Adams and Luis Medina and third baseman Miguel Andujar.

The Yankees are poised to make a World Series run after reaching Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. Adding a pitcher like Cole, who has two years of contractual control remaining, could put them over the top.

Meanwhile, Adams and Andujar could help the Pirates being a rebuilding process as they are ready for the majors but blocked on the Yankees’ depth chart. The 18-year-old Medina is a lottery ticket at this stage of his career but could pay off big.

John Perrotto, an independent sports journalist, based in Beaver Falls., Pa., has covered Major League Baseball since 1988, and he is a regular contributor to USA TODAY Sports Weekly. You also can catch him at


Cleveland Indian’s Terry “Tito” Francona Named the Chuck Tanner MLB Manager of the Year

Terry Francona, the Chuck Tanner MLB Manager of the Year, 2017

Terry Francona, the Chuck Tanner MLB Manager of the Year, 2017

Terrence Jon Francona, nicknamed “Tito,” has been the manager of the Cleveland Indians since 2013, and by his fourth season there, he led them to an American League pennant and to the 2016 World Series.

He previously was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox in 2004. He led the team to their first World Series championship since 1918 which ended the franchise’s 86-year-old championship drought. He won another World Series with Boston in 2007 and continued to manage the team until the end of the 2011 season.

Francona grew up in New Brighton, PA, and he attended the University of Arizona, where he played for the Wildcats who won the 1980 College World Series. Francona was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, and he won the 1980 Golden Spikes Award. The previous year, he represented the United States at the 1979 Pan American Games.

Francona was drafted in the first round in 1980 by the Montreal Expos. After briefly playing in the minor leagues, Francona made his major league debut as an outfielder with Montreal in 1981. As the seasons went by, Francona shifted to first base, where he ultimately played 100 games more than he had in the outfield.

After the Expos, Francona went on to play for the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds, the Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers. In 10 seasons and 708 games, he posted a .274 career average, with 16 home runs and 143 RBIs. He also made an appearance as a pitcher with Milwaukee in 1989, throwing 12 pitches and striking out one batter on three pitches.

After retiring as a player, Francona began coaching, spending several years in the Chicago White Sox organization. He managed the Sarasota White Sox, the South Bend White Sox and the Birmingham Barons, where he won three distinctions: Southern League Manager of the Year and Baseball America‘s Minor League Manager of the Year in 1993 and Top Managerial Candidate by Baseball America in 1994. He managed in the Dominican Winter League and won the championship and the Serie del Caribe in 1995–96.

Francona became third-base coach for the Detroit Tigers in 1996. After the season ended, he was hired as manager of the Phillies, and he spent the following season as a special assistant to the general manager with the Cleveland Indians, which was followed by two one-year terms as a bench coach for the Texas Rangers in 2002 and Oakland Athletics in 2003.

The Red Sox hired Francona to manage their club in 2004. Francona led the Red Sox to a 98–64 record that year, the second-best record in the American League behind their biggest rival, the New York Yankees. The club rallied in the second half and won more games than any other team in the American League after the All-Star break. As the American League wild card, the Red Sox swept the AL West champion Anaheim Angels, three games to none, in the division series. In the 2004 American League Championship Series, the Red Sox fell behind the Yankees, three games to none, including a 19–8 loss in game three at home in Fenway Park. However, the club regained its composure and won the last four games of the series, the first time in Major League Baseball history that a team rallied from an 0–3 deficit to win a playoff series. The Red Sox were only the third team to even make it as far as game six, and the only team to even force a game seven after trailing a series three games to zero. The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals 4–0 in the 2004 World Series. The long-awaited victory ended 86 years of frustration for Red Sox fans.

Two years later, the Sox won the AL East Division, finishing two games ahead of the Yankees. Under Francona’s leadership, the Sox swept the Angels in the division series before dropping three of the first four games to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. The Sox, facing elimination, went on to win their next three games, defeating Cleveland to advance to the 2007 World Series, where they swept the Colorado Rockies in four games. Terry Francona is the only manager in Major League history to win his first eight consecutive World Series games and just the second manager to guide two Red Sox clubs to World Series titles.

Francona came to Cleveland in 2012, and under him, the Indians finished the 2013 regular season with a record of 92-70, which was a 24-game improvement over the previous year. In 2013, Francona was named as the American League Manager of the Year, and he has led Cleveland to a 177-147 record since then.

He managed the Indians to the American League Central Division title in 2016. His team swept his former club, the Boston Red Sox, in three games in the divisional series, clinching a berth in the ALCS with a win at Fenway Park. In October of 2016, Francona’s Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays to move on to the World Series. That year, Francona was named American League Manager of the Year for the second time in his career.

Cleveland turned in another successful season in 2017. The highlight was a 22-game win streak of historic proportions. The streak placed second in American League history and the longest without ties in MLB history.

Terry Francona is the Chuck Tanner MLB Manager of the Year for 2017.

Each year the Pittsburgh Rotary Club holds its Chuck Tanner Awards Banquet in Pittsburgh. The highlight of the event is the presentation of the Chuck Tanner MLB Manager of the Year Award, as selected by a distinguished group of baseball professionals from around the country, which have included Roland Hemond, Tal Smith, Hal Bodley, Murray Chass and Pete Pterson. Previous winners of the Chuck Tanner MLB Manager of the Year award have included Joe Torre, Joe Maddon, Ron Gardenhire, Charlie Manuel, Jim Leyland Bob Melvin, Davey Johnson, Clint Hurdle, Buck Showalter, Jeff Banister and Dusty Baker.

The awards presentation takes place each year at a banquet in November in downtown Pittsburgh. This charitable event and its silent auction of sports memorabilia and other items is used to support Pittsburgh Rotary Club charitable programs, including global humanitarian relief, such as polio inoculation and shoes for Nicaraguan children, as well as post-high school scholarships and an annual high school ethics symposium, which is attended annually by more than 400 students.

KeepScore Baseball/Softball Scorebooks is a contributor on the Chuck Tanner Banquet committee.

Texas Rangers Manager Jeff Banister Named 2015 Chuck Tanner MLB Manager of the Year

Beaver Falls, PA, November 12, 2015… On November 14, 2015, the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh will host the ninth annual Chuck Tanner Awards Banquet at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh.Jeff Banister Photo copy

Texas Rangers Manager Jeff Banister will be awarded the 2015 Chuck Tanner Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award.

Banister was chosen by a national selection committee, which includes baseball executives Roland Hemon and Tal Smith, sports journalists Hal Bodley and Murray Chass and author Pete Peterson. Before joining the Rangers, Banister spent 29 years within the Pittsburgh Pirate organization as a player and coach in both the Pirates’ major and minor league system.

The Rangers hired Banister as their manager during the 2014–15 off-season, and he led the Rangers into post-season play with an 88 – 74 record.

Banister spent the last four seasons as the major league bench coach under Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle. Pittsburgh went to the National League playoffs as a wild card entry in each of his last two years.

Banister was drafted by the Pirates in 1986, and he ended his professional playing career (over 500 games in the minor leagues) after the 1993 season.

Previous winners of the Tanner MLB Manager of the Year Award include Buck Showalter (2014, Baltimore Orioles), Clint Hurdle (2013, Pittsburgh Pirates), and Jim Leyland (2011, Detroit Tigers).

This year the Chuck Tanner Awards Banquet committee is pleased to welcome Pittsburgh Pirates legend and World Series champion Kent Tekulve as honorary chairman. Tekulve, will help recognize the accomplishments of this year’s Tanner award winners, including:

  • Kevin McClatchy – past owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates (Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • Ray Searage – Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach (Chuck Tanner Memorial Award)
  • Judy Carpenter Barada, director of Major League Baseball administration for St. Louis Cardinals (Sally O’Leary Distinguished Women in Baseball Award)
  • Chase Rowe, Head Coach, La Roche College baseball (Collegiate Coach of the Year)

The co-masters of ceremonies for the event will be Dan Zangrilli of 93.7-FM “The Fan” and Joe Klimchak of the Pirates on-field broadcast team.

With this year’s theme of “Celebrating 15 years of PNC Park,” nationally recognized celebrity sports artist and Disney Master Artist, Kevin-John, will return to create a special limited edition print for everyone in attendance and will be present to personally sign this beautiful piece of artwork. Kevin-John’s artwork has been showcased on ESPN, Spike TV, NBC, at several Super Bowls and the PGA Tour. Kevin-John’s art also can appear on specially customized  editions of the KeepScore Baseball/Softball ScorebookTexas Rangers Manager Jeff Banister.

Kevin Lane, managing partner of KeepScore, served on the Chuck Tanner Awards committee. To purchase tickets to the banquet or to learn about how to support the event, please go to or call (412) 471-6210.

Banquet Details:

When: November 14, 2015
Where: Rivers Club, Downtown Pittsburgh
Time:  5:30pm
Tickets: $195 per ticket/$1,800 per table of ten

The Chuck Tanner Awards Banquet is a charitable event, proceeds of which support Rotary Club of Pittsburgh operations and its charitable programs, including:

  • Annual High School Ethics Symposium (400+ Student Attendees per year)
  • Rotary Youth Post High School Scholarships
  • Polio Plus Worldwide

You can find out more about the Pittsburgh Rotary at www.PittsburghRotary.orgJeff Banister Photo copy

KeepScore on “Our Region’s Business” on WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh Featuring an Interview with KeepScore Co-founder Kevin Lane with Host Bill Flanagan

2014 Baseball Trade Show and Winter Meetings

The Baseball Trade Show and Winter Meetings is the largest annual gathering of baseball executives in the world. Held in San Diego this year, it is managed under the auspices of Minor League Baseball, but the show features vendors to both the MLB and MiLB. And KeepScore was there. Pictured here is the eastern section of the KeepScore booth, which was one of the largest of the first-time exhibitors.

The Baseball Trade Show and Winter Meetings is the largest annual gathering of baseball executives in the world. Held in San Diego this year, it is managed under the auspices of Minor League Baseball, but the show features vendors to both the MLB and MiLB. And KeepScore was there. Pictured here is the eastern section of the KeepScore booth, which was one of the largest of the first-time exhibitors.

KeepScore Baseball Trade Show Booth, Center Section

Center section of the KeepScore trade show booth. The laptop presented a continuous loop of the "how-to" video found on the KeepScore Web site. The video was narrated by Lanny Frattare, voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates for 33 years.

Center section of the KeepScore trade show booth. The laptop presented a continuous loop of the “how-to” video found on the KeepScore Web site. The video was narrated by Lanny Frattare, voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates for 33 years.