And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 18, Red Sox 3: The Rangers were definitely physically and emotionally into this game. In fact, they did a Gashouse Gorillas-style conga line around the basepaths. Josh Hamilton drove in five, Mike Napoli drove in four.

Rockies 5, Padres 3:  Jamie Moyer wins and thus becomes the oldest pitcher to ever win a game. And it wasn’t a cheapie, either: Moyer allowed no earned runs in seven innings while scattering six hits. Doing that with 78 m.p.h. “heat” is one of the more astounding things you’ll ever see on a baseball diamond. Congratulations Old Sport.

Marlins 5, Cubs 2: Ozzie returns and … the world goes on. No protests. One fan kept yelling insulting stuff at Guillen from the crowd, but that was probably a good 10-15 fewer fans doing that in this one than in most games. As for the baseball: the return of an effective Josh Johnson (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) was way more important than the return of Guillen.

Nationals 1, Astros 0: This one ended in 2:12. Everyone has someplace to be, I guess. Well, not the offenses, because they weren’t going anywhere. Gio Gonzalez, Tyler Clippard and Brad Lidge combine for the shutout. Wandy Rodriguez was almost as good, giving up a couple of bloop hits to allow a run.

Braves 9, Mets 3: Atlanta finally beats New York. Johan Santana — who at times looked like he was bending in his first two starts — finally broke. The Braves roughed up Santana, knocking him out in the second inning, though they had the help of some ugly Mets defense in the process. It was the shortest start of Santana’s career.

Orioles 3, White Sox 2: Every season the Orioles begin at the top of the standings by virtue of being first alphabetically. It’s strange to see them in first place via their actual record, but there they are. Homers from Nolan Reimold and J.J. Hardy.

Blue Jays 7, Rays 3Jose BautistaAdam Lind and Brett Lawrie all hit homers. Two-time Gold Glove winner Evan Longoria had three (3)(III)(tres) errors. The Rays have lost six of eight.

Yankees 8, Twins 3: CC Sabathia and the Yankees were down 3-1 in the third, but the big man tightened up. Russell Martin got the night off, allowing backup Chris Stewart to rack up three RBI.

Tigers 3, Royals 1: Miguel Cabrera snapped an 0 for 22 streak with a single and later added another single, this time of the RBI variety.

Brewers 5, Dodgers 4: A see-saw battle, with the Brewers taking the lead, losing it on an Andre Ethier homer in the eighth and then getting it back in walkoff fashion via a two-run George Kottaras double.

Cardinals 2, Reds 1: A helluva pitching duel between Johnny Cueto and Kyle Lohse goes 10 thanks to Mitchell Boggs being unable to hold a 1-0 lead in the eighth. But never fear, Matt Carpenter is here hitting a sac fly after Reds pitchers loaded the bases with walks in the bottom of the 10th.

Giants 4, Phillies 2: Three hits for Buster Posey and Nate Schierholtz. A stolen base for Posey, which is yet another encouraging thing regarding his recovery from injury. Madison Bumgarner gave up two runs over six.

Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 4: Pittsburgh lost starter Jeff Karstens after one inning due to some shoulder trouble, but as Clint Hurdle said after the game, they got it done with “duct tape and chicken wire.” Which, while people normally refer to that as some crazy, lucky half-ass way of fixing a problem on the fly, does suggest a lot of planning. Who the hell has chicken wire laying around these days? That requires an incredible amount of forethought, frankly.

Indians 9, Mariners 8: A seven-run fifth by Cleveland erased an 8-1 deficit and then Jason Donald hit a tie-breaking single in the seventh. Donald also took a ball to the mouth in the ninth, after which he said “Hopefully my girlfriend still wants to date me after getting smoked in the mouth like that.” That’s what she said.

Athletics 5, Angels 3: Yoenis Cespedes went two for four and drove in two. He only hit singles, though, and only struck out once which is kind of sad given that I was sort of cottoning to the idea of him being the next Rob Deer.

Report: Qualifying offer to be in the $18 million range

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According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, teams have been told that the qualifying offer to free agents this offseason will be in the $18 million range, likely $18.1 million. The value is derived by taking the average of the top 125 player salaries.

At $18.1 million, that would be $900,000 more than the previous QO, which was $17.2 million. This will impact soon-to-be free agents like Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Yu Darvish, among others. That also assumes that the aforementioned players aren’t traded, which would make them ineligible to receive qualifying offers. We’ve seen, increasingly, that teams aren’t willing to make a QO to an impending free agent and that trend is likely to continue this offseason.

The QO system was modified by the newest collective bargaining agreement. The compensatory pick for a team losing a player who declined a QO used to be a first-round pick. That was a penalty to both teams and players, which is why it was changed. Via MLB’s website pertaining to the QO:

A team that exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season will lose its second- and fifth-highest selections after the first round in the following year’s Draft as well $1 million from its international bonus pool. If such a team signs multiple qualifying offer free agents, it will forfeit its third- and sixth-highest remaining picks as well.

A team that receives revenue sharing will lose its third-highest selection after the first round in the following year’s Draft. If it signs two such players, it will also forfeit its fourth-highest remaining pick.

A team that neither exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season nor receives revenue sharing will lose its second-highest selection after the first round in the following year’s Draft as well as $500,000 from its international bonus pool. If it signs two such players, it will also forfeit its third-highest remaining pick.

Additionally, if a player who rejected a QO signs a guaranteed contract worth at least $50 million and came from a team that receives revenue sharing, that previous team will receive a compensatory pick immediately following the first round in the ensuing draft. If the contract is less than $50 million, that team will get a compensatory pick after Competitive Balance Round B. If the player’s team is over the luxury tax threshold, that team will receive a compensation pick following the fourth round. If that team neither exceeded the luxury tax nor receives revenue sharing, the compensation pick will come after Competitive Balance Round B.

Yeah, it’s a bit convoluted, but you do the best you can with a flawed system.

The Astros’ pursuit of Sonny Gray is “heating up”

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Jon Morosi of MLB Networks reports that talks are “heating up” between the Astros and Athletics on a Sonny Gray trade. Gray, obviously, would represent a big upgrade for the Astros’ rotation. He has a 3.66 ERA and has struck out 85 batters while walking 28 in 91 innings.

Morosi adds that Gray is not the only option for the Astros, as they are also talking to the Tigers about a potential acquisition of Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson. That would obviously be a much tougher deal to negotiate given Verlander’s 10/5 rights giving him veto power over any trade, not to mention the massive amount of money he’s still owed on his contract.

Also: I’m pretty sure that it’s in the MLB rules that any trade between the Tigers and the Astros has to involve Brad Ausmus, C.J. Nitkowski and Jose Lima, and that’s not possible given their current occupations and/or their deaths in 2010.