The Phillies announced on Thursday that the club signed outfielder Odubel Herrera to a five-year contract extension which will take the two sides through the 2021 season. Per Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Herrera is guaranteed $30.5 million. The contract includes club options for the 2022 and ’23 seasons worth $11.5 million and $12.5 million, respectively, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.
Herrera, 24, would have been eligible for his first of three years of arbitration after the 2017 season. Brought up as a second baseman, the Phillies selected Herrera from the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft two years ago and moved him to center field. While he still needs some work on his routes, Herrera’s speed allowed him to make up for it and become a plus-defender. Over the last two seasons, he’s also hit .291/.353/.419 with 23 home runs, 90 RBI, 151 runs scored, and 41 stolen bases in 1,193 plate appearances.
Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative at the 2016 All-Star Game.
The rebuilding Phillies have very little money on the books. Herrera’s is the first of what should be a handful of contract extensions the club agrees to in the next couple of seasons.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.