While the Giants have some work to do in order to keep Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain for the long haul, they have at least locked up a key position player through his arbitration seasons.
The Giants just announced that they have agreed to a three-year contract with third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the deal is worth $17.15 million guaranteed and includes some performance-based incentives. He’ll make $3.2 million this season, $5.7 million in 2013 and $8.25 million in 2014.
Sandoval was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter after batting .315/.357/.552 with 23 home runs, 70 RBI and a .909 OPS over 117 games in 2011. The 25-year-old owns a .307/.356/.501 batting line over his first four seasons in the majors. If he can stay in shape and continue to produce similar numbers, he’ll be a tremendous bargain.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.