Sam Fuld

And That Happened Express: Saturday’s scores and highlights

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White Sox 4, Rays 2: Holy crap, did Sam Fuld make a spectacular catch, or what?

Yankees 9, Red Sox 4: Two homers for Russell Martin. I’d say more, but apparently this game was force-fed to the nation by FOX, even in places where the other FOX regional games should probably have been going. Such as Macon, Georgia.  Really: Braves-Phillies are playing and Macon, Georgia gets the Yankees. That makes sense.

Orioles 5, Rangers 0; Rangers 13, Orioles 1: I did a Q&A over at the Orioles Hangout blog last night. In it I talked glowingly about the O’s young rotation, including Zach Britton, who pitched game 1, and Jake Arrieta, who pitched game 2.  I guess I was half right.

Brewers 6, Cubs 0: Prince Fielder had three doubles. I’m assuming he also had an oxygen treatment.

Rockies 6, Pirates 4: At 5-2, the Rockies are off to their best start since 1998.

Marlins 7, Astros 5: Hanley out with a bum leg moved Donnie Murphy to short and put Greg Dobbs in at third and he hit a big homer and had three RBI.  That’s how Wally Pipp lost his job, right?  Oh, wait, no, it was nothing like that at all.

Athletics 1, Twins 0: Gio Gonzalez is 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA in his first two starts.  BTW: how does a 1-0 game with only 11 total hits between the teams last three hours and five minutes?

Mets 8, Nationals 4: Two home runs for Carlos Beltran.

Phillies 10, Braves 2: In the 26 years I’ve been watching Braves baseball, I can’t remember a player who has abused the Braves more than Carlos Ruiz abuses the Braves. Chooch’s pinch hit grand slam put this one out of reach.

Royals 3, Tigers 1: Bruce Chen looked good. If you would have told me a few years ago that he’d still be in the league in 2011 I would have said you were insane.

Dodgers 4, Padres 2,Dodgers 4, Padres 3:  L.A. wins the resumption of the game that was suspended on Friday night. And of course it had to go 11 innings. Then Kuroda shut ’em down in the nightcap.

Giants 3, Cardinals 2: Colby Rasmus was a temporary hero via a go-ahead homer in the seventh and then Colby Rasmus, well, he wasn’t a goat, exactly, because get got close to the ball, but Miguel Tejada’s two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth just eluded his glove. La Russa probably needs a scapegoat right now, so maybe it will do.

Indians 2, Mariners 1: Cleveland is 6-2.  That is not a misprint. Although don’t book my seat on the bandwagon just yet.

Angels 6, Blue Jays 5: Dan Haren gets the win in relief. Really?  Yep: 14 inning games that occur on the day you’re scheduled to do between-starts throwing will do that for a guy. You don’t want to abuse this kind of thing, but I’ve often thought that a team could go with fewer than 12 freaking pitchers on the roster if they were willing to use an offday starter as an emergency bullpen arm. After all, that last arm in the pen doesn’t throw in any given game most of the time. It’s more of a security blanket thing for managers. I’d rather have the extra position player.

Reds 6, Diamondbacks 1: Not as close for most of the game as the Reds scored four in the ninth. Otherwise it was a nice matchup between Bronson Arroyo and Daniel Hudson.

Zach Britton settles with the Orioles for $6.75 million

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Zach Britton delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Boston. The Orioles won 6-4. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AP Photo/Steven Senne
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The Orioles and closer Zach Britton avoided an arbitration hearing, agreeing to a $6.75 million salary for the 2016 season, Jon Heyman reports. The club has now handled all of its remaining arbitration cases and won’t have to go to a hearing with any players.

Britton, in his second of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $7.9 million while the Orioles countered at $5.6 million. $6.75 million is exactly the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

The 28-year-old lefty saved 36 games in 40 chances last season for the O’s while putting up a 1.92 ERA with a 79/14 K/BB ratio over 65 2/3 innings.

The Blue Jays will also try to sign Josh Donaldson to a multi-year deal

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson gets up after being unable to handle an infield single by Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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Tacking onto Friday’s report that the Blue Jays will attempt to sign Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to multi-year deals, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the club will try to do the same with third baseman and defending American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that Donaldson’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for February 15, so the two sides will have 10 days to hammer out a contract.

Donaldson, 30, is entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. After earning $4.3 million last season, Donaldson filed for $11.8 million and the Blue Jays countered at $11.35 million. The $450,000 difference isn’t much compared to some of the other disparities among arbitration-eligible players and their respective clubs. Jake Arrieta and the Cubs, for example, had a gap of $6.5 million.

This past season, Donaldson let the league in runs scored and RBI with 122 and 123, respectively, while batting .297.371/.568 with 41 home runs and 41 doubles. He earned 23 of 30 first place votes in AL MVP balloting, with runner-up Mike Trout of the Angels grabbing the other seven votes.

Reds prospect Juan Duran suspended 80 games

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Juan Duran, a minor-league outfielder in the Reds’ farm system, has been suspended 80 games following positive tests for the performance-enhancing drugs Drostanolone, Stanozolol, and Nandrolone.

Duran is 6-foot-7 with big-time power, averaging 23 homers per 150 games since 2011, but he also strikes out a ton and struggles to control the strike zone. He spent last season at Double-A, missing a lot of time with injuries and hitting .256 with six homers and a .728 OPS in 59 games as a 23-year-old.

Duran is on the 40-man roster and is considered a quasi-prospect, but he’ll be ineligible to play until July and figures to head back to Double-A once reinstated.

The Blue Jays will talk long term deals with Jose Bautistia and Edwin Encarnacion

Jose Bautista Blue Jays
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Ever since Alex Anthopoulos resigned as Blue Jays’ GM and Mark Shapiro took over as team president, a distinct air of frugality has set in over Rogers Centre. The go-for-broke attitude that fueled Toronto’s fantastic second half last year was repudiated and long-term, sustainable building has seemed to be the order of the day.

But the Jays aren’t going to go crazy with that: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Blue Jays plan to have long-term extension talks with the agents of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion during spring training. This, combined with the still-remaining possibility that they can avoid arbitration with MVP Josh Donaldson and hammer out a long-term deal could mean some serious spending by the Jays before Opening Day.

Or this could just be talk from the front office designed to buoy the spirits of fans. Locking up all three of them to long-term deals may be hella expensive and may not be possible. It’s also the case that, given their ages — Bautista is 35 and Encarnacion is 33 — it may not be advisable to lock the both up. As always, it depends on the terms and how generous Rogers Communications plans on being with the Jays’ budget.

But the chatter is now out there and expectations are poised to be set.