Seattle has been quiet on the free agent and trade front so far this offseason, but the Mariners made a big splash in the international prospect market yesterday by signing 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero for $2.9 million.
According to Ben Badler of Baseball America that represents the highest signing bonus given to an international prospect this year, topping the $2.8 million Venezuelan pitcher Adonis Cardona received from the Blue Jays in July, and is the fourth-highest total of all time behind Michael Ynoa, Miguel Sano, and Gary Sanchez.
Seattle previously handed out a $2.2 million bonus to Dominican outfielder Phillips Castillo in July, so while their major-league team disappointed in a big way this year the Mariners are making a huge effort to beef up their farm system.
Badler reports that Peguero is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop with “good bat speed” who’s likely to move to second or third base eventually. He also offers up some video of Peguero in action and Baseball America has a more in-depth scouting report as well.
Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …
Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.
Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.
Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.
He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.
Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …
The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.
Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.