Assuming the Yankees don’t make a run at the postseason, Mariano Rivera’s Hall of Fame career will come to an end September 27-29 against the Astros in Houston. And a familiar face will be there to pay tribute to the all-time saves leader.
According to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, Roger Clemens has agreed to be a part of a pre-game ceremony for his former teammate. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has a personal services contract with the Astros and served as an instructor during spring training earlier this year. Each team has given Rivera a special present as he makes his farewell tour around the majors and the Astros and Clemens plan to do the same.
Rivera and Clemens were teammates with the Yankees from 1999-2003, winning two World Series titles. Rivera notched the save in Clemens’ 300th career victory on June 13, 2003.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.