Like we said earlier: tons of signings today. We’ve been highlighting the bigger names, but many, many more players are avoiding arbitration. Among the more notable ones:
- Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox, $2.4 million;
- J.J. Hardy, Orioles. $5.5 million;
- Carlos Quentin, White Sox, $5.05 million;
- Kevin Kouzmanoff, Athletics, $4.75 million;
- Martin Prado, Braves, $3.1 million;
- Boone Logan, Yankees, $1.2 million;
- Phil Hughes, Yankees, $2.7 million;
- Andy Sonnanstine, Rays, $912,500;
- Kendry Morales, Angels, $2.95 million;
- Joba Chamberlain, Yankees, $1.4 million;
- Matt Garza, Cubs, $5.95 million.
There are a lot of things to say about some of these guys, but one observation I think is worth making right now: for the past several years we’ve witnessed the disappearance of baseball’s so-called middle class. There are lots of top end deals, and lots of low-dollar deals, but not much in between. While that remains true of the multi-year deals, it does seem like there are more higher-priced single-year deals this year than in arbitration filing deadlines past.
We’ll wait for them to all come in and see if that holds up, but it’s the sense I have just from eyeballing it this afternoon.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.