King Felix’s extension is obviously the biggest news in advance of today’s deadline for signing arbitration eligible players, and we’ll update that story with the details of the deal as they become available. We’ve also already filled you in on Dan Uggla, Jody Gerut and Shaun Marcum.
In the meantime, here’s a rundown of some of the more minor arbitration-avoidance signings that have been coming pretty fast and furious in the past 24 hours:
- Ryan Spilborghs, Rockies, $3.25 million with $1.15 million in incentives;
- Chad Gaudin and Boone Logan, Yankees, $2.95 million and $590,000, respectively. Their real payment, however, is going to come in the form of a lot of free beers for telling hilariously off color Derek Jeter stories no one has heard before;
- C.J. Wilson, Rangers, $3.1 million. Wilson is on the Twitter, you know. According to a tweet last night, he’s not going to use his new dough to by a car, though, because he’s “already rollin hard on a Vespa.”
- Chad Durbin, Phillies, $2.125 million;
- Jared Burton, Reds, no details on the money, so I assume they’re paying him in Gold Star Chili coupons and boxes of JTM burgers;
- Chad Qualls and Aaron Heilman, Diamondbacks, $4.185 million and $2.15 million, respectively. Pfun Pfact: if you took the money Heilman will make providing slightly above average relief pitching for the Dbacks and put it in a San Jose redevelopment municipal bond, you’d realize $129,000 in income this year!
- Anibal Sanchez and Renyel Pinto, Marlins, $1.25 million and $1.075 million, respectively. I had these guys as Mariners earlier, if that tells you how much mental energy I’m spending following this stuff.
- Tony Pena, White Sox, $1.2 million. No, he’s not the converted shortstop Pena.
We’ll do our best to update this list as the day goes on, but really, it’s a crazy day for these kinds of signings, so lay off if we miss some random 23-25th roster spot fodder, OK?
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.