According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Braves have signed third baseman Chris Johnson to a three-year extension with a club option for 2018. This confirms a report from Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors.
No word yet on the exact terms involved, but the deal will buy out his final two years of arbitration and at least one year of free agency. Johnson is making $4.75 million this season in his second year of arbitration. Because he was a Super Two player, he gets four years of arbitration as opposed to the usual three.
Johnson is hitting just .231 with one home run and a .590 OPS so far this season, but he owns a .286/.324/.433 batting line in the majors and had a career-high .321 batting average last year. The 29-year-old is just the latest player to be locked up by the Braves, joining Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran, and Craig Kimbrel.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.