Yankees Kuroda pitches to Rangers in MLB game in New York

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


It was shutout Tuesday, apparently. Let’s tally the goose eggs:

Yankees 3, Rangers 0: Hiroki Kuroda with the two-hit shutout. He was masterful, but man, there were a lot of ill-advised Texas swings in the parts of this one I watched. Either Kuroda had them more fooled than someone on the foolingest day of his life if he had an electrified fooling machine, or else the Rangers were just hacking for the hell of it.

Dodgers 11, Pirates 0: L.A. is on fire. Chad Billingsley with eight shutout innings and an 11 run, 13 hit attack by L.A., all without the benefit of a homer. Five of six down for Pittsburgh. Pirates fans: panicking yet?

Braves 6, Padres 0: Tim Hudson shut out the Padres for six and a third and the pen took it the rest of the way. A Martin Prado three-run homer in the seventh put the game out of reach.

Phillies 1, Marlins 0: A first inning mistake to Jimmy Rollins was all that marred Josh Johnson’s night, but that’s all that was needed because Kyle Kendrick, Josh Lindblom and Jonathan Papelbon combined to shut out the Marlins. Philly has won four of five.

Reds 3, Mets 0: Tough luck for the Mets as they tried to join the shutout party, shutting out the Reds until Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer to win it in the bottom of the ninth.The Reds did join the party though. In fact, they were so unimpressed with the Mets bats in this one that they left Aroldis Chapman on the bench so as not to totally humiliate everyone. Mat Latos carried the laboring oar here for the Reds.

Royals 5, Athletics 0: Jeremy Guthrie, Tim Collins and Greg Holland do the honors here. Notice the sameness to these recaps? Shutouts are awesome if you’re rooting for the team doing the shutting out. They’re kind of boring for the rest of us, though.

Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 2: The Dbacks, just when they looked to be making a move in the West, have dropped four of six. Homers from Matt Holliday and Jon Jay.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 1: Two homers for Mark Reynolds. Another disaster of a start for Josh Beckett. I wonder if anyone is texting the front office to tell them that they won’t play with him anymore.

Astros 10, Cubs 1: Man, a Darwin Barney fielder’s choice deprived us of another shutout. Lucas Harrell was still pretty spiffy, though (8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER).  And he was staked to a lead even the Astros bullpen couldn’t blow.

Tigers 8, Twins 4: Doug Fister has been really strong of late. He’s won 3 of 4 and has helped stop the bleeding after bad Anibal Sanchez outings. He did it again here, going eight innings in which he allowed four runs, though none of them were earned. Miguel Cabrera becomes the first member of the 100 RBI club this year.

Rockies 8, Brewers 6: A 14-run, 28 hit game that took just over three hours. Not bad, actually, given all that carnage. A 4 for 4 night for Carlos Gonzalez, who I have decided is the most invisible superstar in baseball. There, I just called it.

White Sox 3, Blue Jays 2: After the game Robin Ventura said “It was good for us, a big win.”  I wish once a manager would say something like “Eh, we won. Whatever. No big deal. It’s not like it mattered or anything.”

Giants 6, Nationals 1: Like I said yesterday, “statements” in baseball last one day sometimes. Madison Bumgarner restores order with a five-hitter. Brandon Belt with two RBI singles and an RBI double.

Mariners 3, Rays 2: Facing a golden sombrero and down 0-2 to Fernando Rodney, Eric Thames avoided his fourth strikeout of the game in the ninth and, instead, hit a walkoff RBI single. This is fun:

“Casper (Wells) said to me in the seventh inning, ‘Hey, in the ninth, you’ll be the hero, don’t worry about it,'” Thames said. “It’s crazy how this game works.”

Hurm. And I was told you can’t predict baseball.

Angels 9, Indians 6: Zack Greinke wasn’t fantastic or anything, allowing four runs over seven innings, but he got his first win as an Angel. Thanks in part to Ubaldo Jimenez, who was much farther from fantastic. Albert Pujols doubled and homered and drove in four.

Wait, what is the non-tender deadline again?

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For the next day and a half you’ll hear a lot about the non-tender deadline and/or players being tendered or not tendered a contract. Here, in case you’re unaware, is what that means.

By midnight on Wednesday teams have to decide whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. If they do, the team retains control over the player. Now, to be clear, the team is not simply “tendering” the player the actual contract specifying what he’ll be paid. Think of it as more of a token gesture — a placeholder contract — at that point the team and the player can negotiate salary for 2016 and, if they can’t come to an agreement over that (i.e. an agreement avoiding arbitration) they will proceed to submit proposed salaries to one another and have a salary arbitration early in the spring.

If the team non-tenders a player, however, that player immediately becomes a free agent, eligible to sign anywhere with no strings attached.

Basically, the calculus is whether or not the team thinks the player in question is worth the low end of what he might receive in arbitration. Or, put differently, if the guy isn’t worth what he made in 2015, he’s probably going to be non-tendered.

MLB Trade Rumors has a handy “Non-Tender Tracker” which lists the status of the couple hundred arbitration eligible players and whether or not they’ve been tendered a contract. We’ll, of course, make mention of notable non-tender guys as their status for 2016 becomes known over the next day or two.

Mariners interested in free agent outfielder Nori Aoki

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New Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has kept pretty busy in his short time on the job and Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that free agent outfielder Nori Aoki could be his next target. The club recently pursued a trade for Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, but the asking price has them looking at alternatives.

Aoki, who turns 34 in January, has hit .287 with a .353 on-base percentage over four seasons since coming over from Japan. He was having a fine season with the Giants this year prior to being shut down in September with lingering concussion symptoms.

The Giants decided against picking up Aoki’s $5.5 million club option for 2016 earlier this month, but he should still do pretty well for himself this winter assuming he’s feeling good.

Report: Johnny Cueto is believed to be looking for a $140-160 million deal

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It was reported Sunday that free agent right-hander Johnny Cueto had turned down a six-year, $120 million contract from the Diamondbacks. He’s hoping to land a bigger deal this winter and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has heard some chatter about what he’s looking for.

Jordan Zimmermann finalized a five-year, $110 million contract with the Tigers today, which works out to $22 million per season. Arizona’s offer to Cueto checked in at $20 million per season. A six-year offer to Cueto at the same AAV (average annual value) as Zimmermann would put him at $132 million, which is still a little shy of the figure stated by Crasnick. Of course, Cueto owns a 2.71 ERA (145 ERA+) over the last five seasons compared to a 3.14 ERA (123 ERA+) by Zimmermann during that same timespan, so there’s a case to be made that he should get more. Still, he’s the clear No. 3 starter on the market behind David Price and Zack Greinke.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers, Giants, Red Sox, and Cubs are among the other teams who have interest in Cueto. One variable in his favor is that he is not attached to draft pick compensation, as he was traded from the Reds to the Royals during the 2015 season.

Report: Around 20 teams have contacted the Braves about Shelby Miller

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The rebuilding Braves have already been active on the trade market and they might not be done, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that right-hander Shelby Miller has been a very popular name. In fact, around 20 teams have checked in.

Nothing is considered close and the Braves have set a very high asking price, mostly centered around offense. They asked for right-hander Luis Severino in talks with the Yankees and would expect outfielder Marcell Ozuna among other pieces from the Marlins. The Diamondbacks and Giants are among the other interested clubs.

Miller is under team control through 2018, so there’s not necessarily a sense of urgency to move him, but anything is possible with the way the Braves are doing things right now. The 25-year-old is coming off a year where he went 6-17, but that was about really rotten luck more than anything else, as he had a fine 3.02 ERA and 171/73 K/BB ratio over 205 1/3 innings. The Braves gave him the worst run support of any starter in the majors.