Sorry, Mike, but you’re a bit late on this one. The mob formed three minutes after the first report dropped. Check out the court Lupica and the guys at the Daily News convened. The boiler on The Conclusion Train has been burning for a few weeks now and it’s ten stations down the line. But it’s nice to hear someone say it at least:
Baseball union head Michael Weiner says reporters should refrain from jumping to conclusions about media reports linking players to a Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs … “The players understand that what’s happening in Miami at this point remains to be seen in terms of fairness and judging things on the evidence …”
Meanwhile, in newsrooms across America:
Baseball Media: “Your guilt has been determined. This is merely a sentencing hearing. Now, what will it be? Death or Exile?”
Biogenesis Players: “If you think we’re going to walk out on that ice willingly, you got another thing coming!
Baseball Media: “So it’s death then?”
Biogenesis Players: “Looks that way.”
Baseball Media: “Very well then. Death! [gavel smash] … By exile!”
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.