Red Sox and Rangers quickly sign first rounders

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Last year’s No. 10 overall pick Drew Storen signed with the Nationals for $1.6 million before the draft was even over (and is already in the majors), and a pair of first rounders selected last night have followed in his footsteps by already agreed to terms.
No. 20 overall pick Kolbrin Vitek said last night that he already has a “verbal agreement” with the Red Sox, with Alex Speier of WEEI.com reporting that the Ball State infielder will receive the MLB-recommended “slot” amount of around $1.4 million. Boston was awarded the 20th pick as compensation for losing Billy Wagner as a free agent, which shows the brilliance of the Red Sox picking him up from the Mets down the stretch last season.
No. 22 overall pick Kellin Deglan has agreed to a $1 million signing bonus from the Rangers, who’re also said to be nearing a deal with No. 15 pick Jake Skole. Texas choose Skole at No. 15 in large part because he was considered an easy sign, as the pick is compensation for their not signing last year’s first rounder and isn’t eligible for the same compensation this time around.
Expect similarly quick signings for many of the top picks over the next few days, or at least many of the top picks who aren’t represented by Scott Boras.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.