Felix Hernandez commits a no-no in near no-no

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First, let’s focus on the good stuff. As you know, Felix Hernandez has dominated pretty much everyone he has faced this season, but entering last night’s action, he was 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in four starts against the first-place Rangers. No longer.

King Felix carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning in last night’s 2-1 victory over Texas. The no-hit bid was broken up by a screaming solo home run off the bat of Nelson Cruz to begin the top of the eighth inning. Hernandez would go on to allow just three hits over eight innings while striking out eight and walking just one. With the win, he improved to 12-11 with a 2.35 ERA on the year.

You’ll hear a lot about how this will boost his case for the American League Cy Young award — and I suppose that is true — but if you needed last night’s performance to tell you that he is deserving of the hardware, you’re probably doing it wrong. But hey, better late than never, right?

Okay, so why am I down on King Felix this morning? Well, unfortunately his brilliance on the mound doesn’t extend to his brain. Here’s what he told Kirby Arnold about Julio Borbon attempting to bunt during the sixth inning (!) of last night’s game.

“You shouldn’t do that,” Hernandez said. “Sixth inning and a guy is throwing a no-hitter, it’s disrespect.”

That’s right, Hernandez was offended by a bunt attempt during the sixth inning of a baseball game. I could find a place to defend him if we were talking about the ninth and perhaps the eighth, but geez, the sixth? That’s ridiculous. The Rangers had a ballgame to win, and if Derek Jeter has taught us anything, it’s that you try to get on base by all means necessary.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.