Rockies sign Iannetta for three years, $8.3 million

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The Denver Post’s Troy Renck reports that the Rockies and Chris Iannetta have agreed to terms on a three-year, $8.3 million contract that will cover the catcher’s arbitration years.
The deal also includes a $5 million club option for 2013, Iannetta’s first season of free agency.
While indications were that this was coming, it’s still surprising to see the 26-year-old Iannetta sign after a season in which he lost his job down the stretch. He could have earned considerably more during his arbitration years.
Iannetta was regarded as one of the game’s top young catchers after hitting .264/.390/.504 in 333 at-bats during a breakthrough 2008. Jim Tracy, though, didn’t seem to think so much of him after replacing Clint Hurdle as Colorado’s manager. Yorvit Torrealba started over him in September, and Iannetta finished the year with a .228/.344/.460 line in 289 at-bats.
Of course, the 804 OPS is still very good for a catcher, as were the 16 homers and 52 RBI in such a modest number of at-bats. The Rockies were smart to lock him in at such a reasonable salary since he was willing. They very likely just saved themselves at least $4 million for the next three years, plus a few million more from what he would have received in his first year of free agency.

The Red Sox start is ridiculous

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The red-hot Red Sox completed a sweep of the previously red-hot Angels last night, outscoring them 27-3 in their three-game series. Last night’s game was, relatively speaking, a close one, with the Sox winning “only” by six runs. They did manage to strike out Shohei Ohtani three times, though, so some style points help make up for the “squeaker.” Also worth noting that they held Mike Trout of all people to a 3-for-11 line in their three-game series. He did not score a single time and drove in no runs.

That series win puts the Sox at 16-2 on the year. They dropped their Opening Day game to the Rays, but then won their next six games against Tampa Bay, which I’d say makes up for it. In between those two series they swept a two-game series from the Marlins and afterwards they took two of three from the Yankees and three in a row from the Orioles. The only thing that even threatened to slow this juggernaut down is the weather, resulting in a postponement of Monday morning’s Patriot’s Day game. Somewhere in here we should notice that they’re doing this with their starting shortstop and starting second baseman on the disabled list.

As we’ve noted many times, their 16-2 record is the best start in the Red Sox’ 118-year history. It’s also the best start for any team since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers began 17-1 (let us just forget, for the time being, that those Brewers lost 18 of 20 in May of that year). They are the fourth team since 1961 to win 16 of its first 18 games.

The Sox aren’t simply getting lucky here. They’ve scored 116 runs and have allowed only 50, which is a Pythagorean record of 15-3. They lead all of baseball in offense, scoring 6.44 runs a game, leading individually in average, on-base percentage and slugging. They are only three one hundredths of a run behind the Astros from leading all of baseball in pitching, allowing only 2.78 runs a game. They’re winning all of these games because, in the early going, they’ve simply been that dang much better than everyone they’ve played.

No, the Sox are not going to go 144-18, as they are currently on pace to do. Yes, they are going to find a lot more trouble in their schedule once they play the Orioles, Rays and Marlins less, play a healthier Yankees team more and face off against the Astros, the Blue Jays, the Indians, the Twins and some tougher interleague opponents. This is baseball, obviously, and no one makes it through a season without rough patches, long, short and numerous.

Still: this has been one whale of a start for Boston. Those wins are in the bank. It’s been quite the thing to see.