The Orioles and right-hander Jason Hammel have agreed on a one-year, $6.75 million deal to avoid arbitration, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The deal includes $300,000 in possible incentives.
Hammel requested $8.25 million and was offered $5.7 million by the Orioles when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, so the two sides settled a little under the midpoint of $6.975 million, but he could make out ahead if he reaches the incentives. Either way, it’s a nice raise for the 30-year-old, who earned $4.75 million last season while posting a solid 3.43 ERA and 113/43 K/BB ratio over 118 innings. This was his final go-around in arbitration, so he is due to hit free agency next winter.
Now that the Orioles have deals in place with Hammel and Jim Johnson, that leaves reliever Darren O’Day as the lone member of the Orioles at risk of going to an arbitration hearing. It probably won’t be necessary, though, as MASN’s Roch Kubatko reported earlier tonight that it looks like something will get done.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.