It has been an ugly day in Detroit so far. Jim Leyland was ejected early for arguing balls and strikes, and then starter Brad Penny — who was losing to the Angels 5-2 at the time — got into an argument with his catcher, Victor Martinez, in the top of the fourth inning. MLB.com doesn’t have the video up yet, but there’s a Gif of it up over at SB Nation.
Penny faced two more batters, giving up another run before being removed for Charlie Furbush (who allowed another run chargeable to Penny).
Penny has eaten a lot of innings this year, but he’s starting to unravel as the season wears on. But really, no matter how well you pitch, you tend not to go very far in this world by arguing with guys who are really well-respected and well-liked like Victor Martinez.
The Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.
The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.
Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.