Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and outfielder Kevin Kiermaier are close to an agreement on a six-year, $50-plus million contract extension.
Kiermaier, 26, avoided arbitration back in January in his first year of eligibility, agreeing to a $2.975 million salary for the 2017 season. He has three more years of arbitration eligibility remaining, so this extension would cover all four of those years plus two years of free agency eligibility.
Kiermaier has won a Gold Glove award in each of the past two seasons as well as the 2015 American League Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, given to the overall best defender in each league. This past season, Kiermaier hit .246/.331/.410 with 34 extra-base hits, 37 RBI, 55 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 414 plate appearances. He missed time last season with a fractured left hand and has been dealing with a stiff neck thus far in spring training, but is expected to be fully healthy for the start of the regular season.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.