MLB notebook: ROY awards announced
|Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (L) and relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (C) during an MLB National League baseball game at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia on Sept. 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Tami Chappell)
A pair of pitchers captured the MLB rookie of the year awards announced Monday.
Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was the unanimous choice in the National League, while Tampa Bay Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson claimed American League honours.
Kimbrel, 23, set an MLB record for saves by a first-year pitcher with 46, tying the Milwaukee Brewers' John Axford for the NL lead.
The right-hander, who was 4-3 with a 2.10 earned-run average, received all 32 first-place votes cast by two Baseball Writers' Association of America members in each league city to score a perfect 160 points. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was runner-up and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Vance Worley was third.
Hellickson, 24, went undefeated against American League East opponents in September as the Rays earned the wild-card playoff berth.
The right-hander, who posted a 13-10 record with a 2.95 ERA, was listed first on 17 of the 28 ballots submitted.
Los Angeles Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo got five first-place votes and was the runner-up, ahead of Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
CARDS INTRODUCE MATHENY
Former catcher Mike Matheny was introduced Monday as the new manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.
He replaces Tony La Russa, who retired just days after guiding the Cardinals to their 11th World Series title.
La Russa had been the Cardinals skipper since 1996.
"Today we begin a new chapter in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals and trust the managerial duties to Mike Matheny," general manager John Mozeliak said. "His leadership, his passion, his intelligence and his work ethic, all of these traits will add to his success at the major league level."
Matheny played in the majors from 1994 through 2006, including a 57-game stint with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1999.
He has no prior managing experience, but had been a minor league instructor with the Cardinals.
EXTRA $58 FOR PAPELBON
The Philadelphia Phillies officially signed closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50,000,058-million contract Monday.
The deal has a vesting option for the fifth year.
The extra $58 reflects Papelbon's uniform number -- 58 -- and his unofficial nickname, "Cinco Ocho."
Papelbon, who will turn 31 on Nov. 23, has been Boston's closer for the past six seasons.
DODGERS DUO SET TO SIGN
The Los Angeles Dodgers and outfielder Matt Kemp have reached agreement on a franchise-record eight-year, $160-million contract extension, according to multiple reports.
The 27-year-old outfielder hit .324 in 2011 with 39 home runs and 126 RBI.
The Dodgers also are close to completing a two-year, $8.75-million deal with free-agent infielder Mark Ellis, sources said.
Ellis, 34, played for Oakland and Colorado last season, hitting .248 with seven homers and 41 RBIs.
HILL STILL IN DESERT
The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed second baseman Aaron Hill to a two-year contract worth up to $11 million.
The deal will be finalized when Hill completes a physical, the Arizona Republic reported.
Hill, 29, hit .315 with 16 extra-base hits in 124 at-bats after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays.