The Braves have announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jason Heyward by agreeing to a two-year deal. Jon Heyman reports that the deal is for $13.3 million.
In addition to being a smart move — Heyward is a key player and the sides were only $300K apart based on submitted arbitration numbers — it’s a somewhat surprising one. The Braves are one of the most notable “file and trial” teams in baseball, with a heretofore strict team policy that they will not negotiate once arbitration figures are submitted. They obviously negotiated here, much to their credit.
The next question is what this means for Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel, who also face arbitration hearings. Freeman and the Braves are not as far apart as are the Braves and Kimbrel, so I’d guess that, at best, Freeman gets locked up before next week’s hearings.
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.