Add Major League Baseball to the list of professional sports leagues partnering up with gaming operators.
The league announced Tuesday a multi-year partnership with MGM Resorts International, the same company with whom the NHL struck a similar deal in June and the NBA partnered with in October.
The deal, which designates MGM Resorts as the first “Official Gaming Partner of MLB” and first “Official Entertainment Partner of MLB,” will give MGM Resorts access to MLB intellectual property (such as logos) to use in advertising and at its sportsbooks, will allow MGM Resorts to advertise across MLB broadcast and digital platforms, and will give MGM Resorts exclusive access to MLB enhanced statistics.
Leagues and gaming houses have been partnering since the U.S. Supreme Court in May overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which limited state-sponsored sports betting primarily to Nevada.
—Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall agreed to a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team announced. The contract is for a reported $2.75 million and includes up to $3 million in incentives based on plate appearances, according to The Athletic.
Pittsburgh was in need of a short-term right fielder with Gregory Polanco likely to miss the start of next season while rehabbing from left shoulder surgery in September.
Chisenhall, 30, was limited to 29 games for the Cleveland Indians last year, sitting out much of the season with a left calf ailment. He hit .321 with an on-base percentage of .394 to go with a .452 slugging percentage. Chisenhall hit one homer and drove in nine runs.
—Pirates right-hander Chris Archer underwent hernia surgery, the team announced.
The Pirates said it was a bilateral hernia that Archer had repaired. His estimated recovery time is six weeks, and the team anticipates him to be on or close to a regular schedule for the 2019 season.
Archer, 30, went 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 10 starts for the Pirates after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31. Overall, he was 6-8 with a 4.31 ERA in 27 outings.
—The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a one-year deal with left-hander Matt Moore, according to multiple reports.
The deal will be worth between $2.5 million and $3 million guaranteed, according to MLB.com.
Moore, 29, is coming off a porous campaign in which he went 3-8 with a 6.79 ERA in 39 appearances (12 starts) for the Texas Rangers. He is 54-56 with a 4.56 ERA in 179 career appearances (149 starts) over parts of eight seasons.
—MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the league will change its protocols on political donations moving forward in the wake of its financial support of a controversial candidate in Mississippi.
Manfred, speaking at an event in Manhattan, vowed changes after the league made a $10,000 contribution to Republican Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith, who recently made controversial public comments about attending a public hanging and sitting “on the front row.”
Manfred said that comment was “completely at odds with the values that Major League Baseball has always, always embraced.” Though MLB on Monday requested that the $10K be returned, Manfred expressed regret for not making that request sooner. The donation to Hyde-Smith was made by a lobbyist on MLB’s behalf.