UPDATE: Make it 6-0. Delmon Young singled and Johnny Peralta homered. Then Andy Dirks doubled and Joe Girardi came and got Sabathia. There are still many innings to play here, but, it looks the Tigers are World Series bound.
5:41 PM: Make it 4-0: Miguel Cabrera just hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth.
5:33 PM: Like so many games this series a small lead in terms of runs feels like a bigger lead in terms of momentum. The Tigers are up 2-0 after three and a half innings, but the vibe of the game has them up by half a dozen.
Detroit scored their runs via a Delmon Young single in the first and a rally — if you can call one run a rally — in the third that could have easily led to more runs.
Prince Fielder singled, Delmon Young walked — like, he really walked — and then with two outs the Yankees put on the clownshoes: Mark Teixeira made a rather theatrical looking error on a bounding ball which loaded the bases for Andy Dirks. Dirks hit a chopper up the middle which CC Sabathia just missed. Eduardo Nunez fielded it deep behind the second base bag, but was twisting as he fielded it and ended up firing the throw into the dirt. He was lucky it didn’t get past Teixeira at first. Fielder scored.
We’re now in the top of the fourth. CC Sabathia has already thrown 73 pitches and doesn’t look like he has his best stuff at all. Max Scherzer, in contrast, has seven strikeouts while facing 14 batters through four innings of work. And not a one of them was A-Rod.
It’s not dark yet for the Yankees. But it’s getting there.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.
Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.
The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.
The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.
Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.
Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.
The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.
While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.