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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 7, Angels 1: Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer, Jarred Cosart allowed one run on seven hits in seven and two-thirds and the Angels dropped back into a tie with the A’s for first place in the west. Wade LeBlanc — taking his first turn in rotation as Garret Richards’ replacement — gave up six runs on seven hits in three and a third. In other news, someone please needs to tell me why the Angels did not put a waiver claim on Bartolo Colon or Scott Feldman.

Athletics 8, Astros 2: The A’s gain ground behind Jeff Samardzija, who struck out ten in eight innings and Josh Donaldson, who was back in action, and drove in three on two doubles and a single. It was close until the top of the ninth, but the Astros bullpen decided not to show up.

Orioles 9, Rays 1: Five homers for the most homer-happy team in baseball. Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis homered back-to-back-to-back in the fifth. Delmon Young’s post-game “everyone needs to stop panicking” quote was odd:

“It’s good because it seemed like y’all went in panic mode when we got swept in Chicago,” Young said. “We weren’t scoring many runs, but it happens and then we’re back in our division at home facing a guy we’ve seen before, a team we play, we know their tendencies and everything. And we’ve got better facilities here than Wrigley.”

Is he really saying a crappy locker room in Wrigley Field is part of why they got swept by the Cubs?

Rangers 2, Mariners 0Miles Mikolas tossed eight scoreless innings, allowing only three hits. After the game he gave credit to his catcher, Tom Telis. To which I say: “wait, who are these guys again?”

Rockies 3, Giants 2: Tyler Matzek struck out seven in seven innings and the Rockies took their third in a row. Fourth overall at AT&T Park. The Giants hit into four double plays. Or you can say the Rockies turned four if you don’t want to be all negative about it, man. The Rockies scored two in the fourth thanks to two throwing errors by Brandon Crawford and a balk by Jake Peavy. It’s hard not to spin that negatively.

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Yoenis Cespedes singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th to help end the Sox’ eight-game losing streak. They almost helped extend it by blowing a 3-0 lead in the ninth. That’s when Clay Buchholz — working on a shutout — put three runners on base with only one out before John Farrell went and got him. Koji Uehara allowed all three to score, however. It’s the sort of bad inning that kills a team, but when you’re playing a team that does a good job of killing itself like the Jays do, you can sometimes get away with it.

Brewers 10, Padres 1: Kyle Lohse allowed a run and four hits over six innings and Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez homered. Ramirez and Gerardo Parra had three RBI, while Braun, Ramirez and Carlos Gomez each had three hits.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2: A three-run seventh inning sends the Pirates to their seventh loss in ten games. John Lackey allowed one run over seven.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: A.J. Burnett allowed one run over seven innings and struck out 12, after which he walked back his “I’ll probably retire after this season” talk from his last start. The Phillies have won four of five.

Yankees 8, Royals 1: The fifth straight win for the Yankees, this one coming behind Michael Pineda who allowed only one run while pitching into the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury was 3 for 5 with a two-run homer and three driven in. He also picked up his 1,000th career hit.

The Yankees are paying $86 million for a one-inning reliever

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OXON HILL, MD — The Yankees signing of Aroldis Chapman late Wednesday night came as something of a surprise. And the money — $86 million — was something of a shock. Yes, we knew that Chapman was going to break the bank and likely set a record as the highest paid relief pitcher in history, but seeing it in black and white like that is still rather jarring.

In the coming days, many people who attempt to analyze and contextualize this signing will do so by pointing to the 2016 playoffs and the unconventional use of relievers by Terry Francona and the Indians and Joe Maddon of the Cubs. They’ll talk about how the paradigm of bullpen use has shifted and how relief pitchers have taken on a new importance in today’s game. Chapman’s astronomical salary, therefore, will be described as somehow more reasonable and somewhat less shocking than it first seems.

Don’t buy that jive for a second.

Yes, Andrew Miller and, to some extent, Chapman himself were used unconventionally in the 2016 playoffs, but not long into the 2017 season we will see that as an exception, not the rule. And not just because Chapman showed himself unable to hold up to that level of use in the playoffs. It will be the excaption because the Yankees have shown no inclination whatsoever to deviate from traditional bullpen usage in the past and there is no reason to expect that they will do so with Chapman in the future.

As you no doubt remember, the Yankees had Chapman, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller for the first half of 2016. Such an imposing back end of a bullpen has rarely been seen in recent history. All of them, however, were used, more or less, as one-inning-a-piece guys and no real effort was ever made to break any bullpen usage paradigms or to shorten games the way many applauded Terry Francona for doing in the playoffs.

Miller pitched 44 games for the Yankees, totaling 45.1 innings. He pitched more than a single inning on only three occasions. Chapman pitched 31 games for the Yankees, amassing 31.1 innings. He was used for more than one inning only twice. Betances worked in 73 games, totaling 73 innings. On 11 occasions he pitched more than one inning.  It was unconventional for a team to have three relievers that good, but they were not, in any way, used unconventionally. Nor is there any reason to expect Chapman to be used unconventionally in 2017, especially given that Miller is not around and Chapman has shown no real ability to be stretched for multiple innings for a sustained period.

None of which is to say that having Chapman around is a bad thing or that he is any less of a closer than his reputation suggests. It’s merely to say that the Yankees paying Chapman unprecedented money for a closer should not be justified by the alleged new importance of relief pitchers or that changing role for them we heard so much about in the playoffs. Indeed, I suspect that that changing role applies only to pitcher use in the playoffs. And I do not suspect that this transaction alone pushes the Yankees into serious playoff contention, making that temporary unconventionality something of a moot point in New York for the foreseeable future.

It is almost certain that the Yankees are paying $86 million for the same one-inning closer Aroldis Chapman has been for his entire seven-year career. His contract may or may not prove to be a good one for New York based on how he performs, but don’t let anyone tell you now, in Decemeber 2016, that it’s better than you think because Chapman will somehow transform into a 1970s-style relief ace or something.

Report: Yankees sign Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million deal

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Update (12:02 AM EST): Rosenthal adds that Chapman’s contract includes an opt-out clause after three seasons, a full no-trade clause for the first three years of the contract, and a limited no-trade clause for the final two years.

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees have signed closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. Mark Melancon recently set the record for a contract earned by a reliever at $62 million over four years. Chapman blew that out of the water and many are surprised he didn’t fetch more.

Chapman, 28, began the 2016 season with the Yankees but he was traded to the Cubs near the end of July in exchange for four prospects. The Cubs, of course, would go on to win the World Series in large part due to Chapman. The lefty finished the regular season with a 1.55 ERA, 36 saves, and a 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings between the two teams.

Chapman was the best reliever on the free agent market and, because he was traded midseason, he didn’t have draft pick compensation attached to him.

The Yankees don’t seem to be deterred by Chapman’s domestic violence issue from last offseason, resulting in a 30-game suspension to begin the 2016 regular season.