Joe Saunders’ deal with Mariners worth $6.5 million

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UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Saunders will make $6.5 million and could earn an additional $1 million with incentives. The deal includes a mutual option for 2014.

4:49 PM: It’s not official yet, but Joe Saunders has agreed to a one-year deal with the Mariners and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’ll be worth “around $7 million” in guaranteed money.

That’s basically the same contract Brett Myers got from the Indians and a step above one-year deals secured by guys like Shaun Marcum, John Lannan, Jeff Karstens, Mike Pelfrey, Scott Baker, and Jason Marquis this offseason.

Saunders had his sights set on a multi-year deal after throwing 175 innings with a 4.07 ERA for the Diamondbacks and Orioles last season and the 32-year-old left-hander was linked to a fair number of teams, but ultimately none made him a priority.

Saunders will basically replace Jason Vargas in the rotation after the Mariners traded him to the Angels for Kendrys Morales.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.