Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins, of all people, saves the Mariners from total humiliation

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The Mariners fanned 18 times against CC Sabathia, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera while being held to one hit in a 4-1 loss Tuesday.  It was their 17th straight loss.

The only Mariner to play the whole game without striking out was .182-hitting Chone Figgins, who actually fanned three times in his last start Thursday against the Blue Jays.  Figgins also drove in the club’s lone run on a fielder’s choice.

Everything else was simply hideous.  Miguel Olivo struck out four times.  Ichiro Suzuki and Brendan Ryan whiffed three times apiece.  The only starter besides Figgins not to K was Greg Halman, who went 0-for-2 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.  That pinch-hitter, Adam Kennedy, struck out.

In all, it was the 36th 18-strikeout game of nine-innings of less in major league history.  The Yankees tied their team record.  Ron Guidry fanned 18 all by himself back against the Angels on June 17, 1978.  Sabathia, who had his outing interrupted by a rain delay, fanned 14 of the 25 batters he faced tonight.

Of course, the Mariners were on the losing end of the first ever 20-strikeout nine-inning game.  Boston’s Roger Clemens was responsible for that massacre on April 29, 1986.  There have been two more 20 strikeout games since.  If not for Figgins, there might have been a fourth tonight.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.