Runner-up Blue Jays bid more than $50 million for Yu Darvish

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Texas secured exclusive negotiating rights to Yu Darvish with a $51.7 million bid and apparently Toronto finished runner-up for the Japanese ace, as Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reports that the Blue Jays submitted a bid in excess of $50 million.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos predictably declined to give any details about the Blue Jays’ pursuit of Darvish, but given how many sources expected them to land him the fact that their bid topped $50 million makes sense.

Texas’ bid of $51.7 million establishes a new recording for the posting process, topping the $51.1 million bid by Boston for Daisuke Matsuzaka. And whichever Rangers staffer came to the conclusion that $51.7 million was the right number–as opposed to, say, $50 million or $51.2 million–did a pretty great job if the Blue Jays’ bid was truly above $50 million.

Angel Hernandez made a great call on a tough play

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Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.

With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.

The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:

Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game with pulled hamstring

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The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.

First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:

The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.

Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.