Luke Scott and the Rays have finalized their one-year deal.
He’ll get $5 million in 2012 and the contract also includes a $6 million team option or $1 million buyout for 2013, which officially makes it a one-year, $6 million deal. There are also some undisclosed incentives built in that could raise the maximum value to $13 million for two years.
Shoulder problems that eventually required surgery limited him to just 64 ineffective games last season, but Scott hit .284 with 27 homers and a .902 OPS in 2010 and carries a very solid .843 career OPS.
He’s a good bounce-back candidate and if healthy would provide a much-needed boost to the middle of the Rays’ lineup, but $6 million in guaranteed money isn’t a particularly huge bargain for a 33-year-old first baseman/designated hitter who won’t be cleared to play the outfield until at least May or June.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.