As first suggested by FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi and now confirmed by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mariners have reached agreement on a one-year, $1 million major league contract with free agent catcher John Buck. The deal is only pending a physical and should be finalized at some point later this week.
Buck struggled to attract a healthy market this winter after batting .219 with a .285 on-base percentage in 431 plate appearances last season between the Mets and Pirates, but the 33-year-old has some power and won’t be asked to handle much of a load in Seattle behind starting catcher Mike Zunino.
Buck has averaged 22 home runs per 162 games since the beginning of the 2010 season.
The right-handed hitter has a .727 career OPS against left-handed pitching.
Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.
Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.
Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.
Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.