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Pirates trade Markel to Angels

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates traded right-handed pitcher Parker Markel to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for cash considerations Thursday.

Markel went 0-1 with a 5.71 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 15 relief appearances in 2019 with the Pirates.

Royals hire Matheny

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mike Matheny walked through the doors of Kauffman Stadium a year ago to take a job as a special adviser with the Kansas City Royals, an out-of-the-spotlight position that allowed him to take stock of his career and his shortcomings.

He had been fired by the Cardinals earlier in the summer, ending a six-year tenure highlighted by a World Series trip and lowlighted by a three-year swoon that cost him his job.

“When I left,” Matheny recalled, “I went home to my wife and my five amazing kids and I said, ‘I don’t know how to explain it but this is where I’m meant to be.”

Turns out he’ll be calling the K his office for a while.

Ned Yost decided to retire near the end of the season, and the Royals finally made official what many expected: They were handing the job to Matheny, who had spent the year working side-by-side with people throughout the organization, from the farm clubs to the scouting staff.

“He has interacted with leadership of all levels. He’s spent time in our rookie league, with the medical staff, evaluating people for the draft,” general manager Dayton Moore said Thursday. “As Mike interacted with all those people, to a man, they were amazed by his leadership.”

Rangers trade for Castillo

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have traded catcher Welington Castillo to the Texas Rangers, who might not exercise an $8 million option for next season and allow him to become a free agent.

Texas also got an international signing bonus pool slot worth $250,000 in the deal while sending minor league infielder and outfielder Jonah McReynolds to the White Sox.

Castillo’s deal includes a $500,000 buyout for 2020. The 32-year-old catcher hit .209 over 72 games last season — his second with the White Sox and 10th in the majors.

Yanks option Encarnacion

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees have declined their 2020 option for Edwin Encarnacion, making the veteran slugger a free agent.

New York announced the move Thursday. Encarnacion was due $25 million in 2020, but the Yankees bought out the remaining year of his contract for $5 million.

The Yankees acquired the three-time All-Star from Seattle in June to bolster a lineup sapped by injuries. Cash from the Mariners in the trade meant the deal cost New York just $8 million of what he was owed, including the buyout.

Encarnacion led the AL with 21 homers at the time, but a strained left oblique limited the 36-year-old down the stretch. He hit .249 with 13 homers, 37 RBIs and an .856 OPS in 44 regular-season games with New York.

Encarnacion hit .308 while the Yankees pounded Minnesota in the AL Division Series, but he slumped badly in the AL Championship Series against Houston.

New York also said outfielder Aaron Hicks’ Tommy John surgery went as expected Wednesday. Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache operated in Los Angeles.

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