And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights, Part 1

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Gardenhire argues.jpgBecause I’m running late with these, let’s break them up into two installments. Here’s the AL edition. The NL edition will follow later this morning.  Thanks for bearing with me.

Tigers
11, Twins 6
: Interesting play in the sixth, when Johnny Damon hit a
deep drive to center. Denard Span caught it after a very long run, but
dropped it after taking a couple of steps. The umps
ruled that Span hadn’t held the ball long enough for an out, and it
ended up being scored a two-base error, after which the floodgates
opened. Gardenhire got ejected arguing the call, but the
replay seems to back him up
. Looks like he simply dropped it tryin
to take it out of his glove for the throw.

Rays 10, Athletics 3: James Shields was dealing — fanning 12 — and Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena each went long, giving the Rays their 13th win in 15 games.  Bad day for Dallas Braden, who said after the game: “Someone apparently didn’t tell the Rays that [batting practice] was
over when they took the cage off the field.” Braden’s pretty good at telling opposing players to knock it off. You’d think he would have said something.

Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0: Jon Lester allowed only one hit and struck out 11 in seven innings as the Sox, winners of seven of nine and Jays, losers of nine of 12, each begin to return to expected form after some early season tomfoolery.

Angels 4, Indians 3: I can’t count how many times I’ve been in a ballpark and overheard some half-drunk, uninformed guy say “dude should totally lay a bunt down here. They’d never expect it” when it’s clearly not a bunting situation. I think there was even a law requiring that in Cincinnati when Adam Dunn was still around. Grinds my gears every time I hear it, because it evinces a profound ignorance of the game and winning strategy.  In other news, Howie Kendrick laid down a bunt with two out in the ninth inning “driving” in Torii Hunter to win the game. I’d give credit to Mike Scioscia for creative thinking, but he had been ejected seven innings earlier.

Rangers 6, White Sox 5: Jake Peavy walked five and gave up six runs on six hits. Guess he didn’t have it figured out after all.

Mariners 6, Royals 5: Gil Meche gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings. He’s now 0-2 in four starts with a 10.13 ERA. Opponents are batting .338
against him. And he’s only owed another $25 million or so.

Yankees 8, Orioles 3: The O’s got 11 hits of CC Sabathia, who was pitching with a big lead for much of the game and apparently just daring the O’s to hit it, but they couldn’t do much with all of those baserunners.
 

 

Athletics acquire Khris Davis in trade with Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers' Khris Davis swings on a home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash
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The Brewers’ rebuild continues, as the club announced on Twitter the trade of outfielder Khris Davis to the Athletics in exchange for catcher Jacob Nottingham and pitcher Bubba Derby. MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that the A’s have designated pitcher Sean Nolin for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Davis.

Davis, 28, was the Brewers’ most valuable remaining trade chip. He blasted 27 home runs while hitting .247/.323/.505 in 440 plate appearances this past season in Milwaukee. Adding to his value, Davis won’t become eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season and can’t become a free agent until after the 2019 season. In Oakland, Davis will give the Athletics more reliability as Coco Crisp was injured for most of last season and is now 36 years old. Though he doesn’t have much of a career platoon split, Davis split time in left field with the left-handed-hitting Gerardo Parra last season. It’s unclear if the A’s will utilize him in a platoon as well.

With Davis out of the picture, Domingo Santana is a leading candidate to start in left field for the Brewers, GM David Stearns said, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Nottingham, 20, started the 2015 season in the Astros’ system but went to the Athletics in the Scott Kazmir deal. He hit an aggregate .316/.372/.505 at Single-A, showing plenty of promise early in his professional career. With catcher Jonathan Lucroy on his way out of Milwaukee, the Brewers are hoping Nottingham can be their next permanent backstop.

Derby, 21, made his professional debut last season after the Athletics drafted him in the sixth round. Across 37 1/3 innings, he yielded seven runs (five earned) on 24 hits and 10 walks with 47 strikeouts. He’s obviously a few years away from the majors, but the Brewers are looking for high upside.

Yankees, Aroldis Chapman avoid arbitration at $11.325 million

Aroldis Chapman
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees and closer Aroldis Chapman have avoided arbitration, settling on an $11.325 million salary for the 2016 season. It is the lefty’s third and final year of arbitration eligibility.

Chapman had filed for $13 million while the Yankees countered at $9 million, so he gets slightly more than the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

With the Reds this past season, Chapman posted a 1.63 ERA with 33 saves and a 116/33 K/BB ratio over 66 1/3 innings. The Reds have opted to rebuild, so they traded him to the Yankees this offseason in exchange for four minor leaguers. Chapman, who turns 28 at the end of February, will make for a fearsome 1-2-3 punch in the back of the Yankees’ bullpen along with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.

Indians sign reliever Tommy Hunter to $2 million deal

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Tommy Hunter throws to the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Miami, Friday, May 22, 2015. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
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Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that right-hander Tommy Hunter has agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Indians. It’s a major-league deal, so Hunter gets a spot on the 40-man roster and will be in the Opening Day bullpen if he’s fully recovered from core muscle surgery.

Hunter split last season between the Orioles and Cubs, totaling 60 innings with a 4.18 ERA and 47/14 K/BB ratio. He had a sub-3.00 ERA in both 2013 and 2014, and has generally been a setup-caliber reliever since shifting to the bullpen full time.

He has good control and a mid-90s fastball, but Hunter has never missed many bats despite the big-time velocity and often struggles to keep the ball in the ballpark. He’ll likely fill a middle relief role in Cleveland initially.

“YER OUT!” Jenrry Mejia permanently suspended for a third positive PED test

Jenrry Mejia
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You knew someone would be dumb enough to do this eventually, you just didn’t know who. Now we do: MLB just announced that reliever Jenrry Mejia has been permanently suspended after testing positive for Boldenone. That was his third positive test and under the Joint Drug Agreement that means his career is more or less over.

Mejia’s three strikes came in pretty rapid succession. On April 11, 2015 it was announced that Mejía had been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for use of stanozolol. On July 28, 2015 it was announced that Mejia had failed a test for Stanozolol again and Boldenone to boot, giving him a 162-game suspension, which he’d still be serving at the beggining of the season. Now this third test.

Mejia has played five seasons in the big. He started with so much promise, looking like a great prospect coming up. His performance only matched the promise in fits and starts, however, resulting in a 9-14 record with a 3.68 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 162/76 in 183.1 innings, all with the Mets.

Per the rules of the Joint Drug Agreement, Mejia can apply for reinstatement after being banned for two years. But it would obviously require him to spend two years doing a lot of smart things he hasn’t been doing in the past year. And it would also represent a near-unprecedented comeback. It could happen, I suppose, but it’s a far safer bet that his career is over.