Tracy a free agent after Arizona picks $1 million buyout over $7 million option

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When the Diamondbacks signed Chad Tracy to a long-term contract in May of 2006 he was a 26-year-old lifetime .296/.354/.484 hitter who had emerged as the team’s starting third baseman following a hugely productive minor-league career.
Buying out his three seasons of arbitration eligibility for $13.25 million and getting a $7 million team option for his first season of free agency seemed like a shrewd investment, but since signing the deal Tracy has hit just .265/.327/.424 while playing fewer than 100 games in each of the past three seasons because of injuries.
This afternoon the Diamondbacks declined their $7 million option on Tracy for 2010, choosing to make him a free agent with a $1 million buyout. When healthy Tracy was a high-average hitter with 20-homer power who could play passable defense at third base, but he’s batted just .256 with a total of 23 homers in 262 games over the past three seasons and is no longer a realistic option defensively at the hot corner.
At this point in his career Tracy will likely be competing with guys like Eric Hinske for jobs as a left-handed bench bat. Tracy should have no trouble finding work despite his bad knees leaving him with even less defensive versatility than Hinske, but may have to put together a healthy, productive season as a part-time player before anyone views him as an everyday option again.

Steven Matz homers in back-to-back starts

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Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.

Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).

Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.

Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.