The Sox offered Mariano Rivera two years and $30 million

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I was skeptical about the Red Sox making a serious offer to Mariano Rivera, but Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that it was legit: a two-year deal at $15 million per.  If Mo had accepted it, the Sox would have non-tendered Jonathan Papelbon.

I had made a comment this morning asking why the Sox would sign Rivera, who would have the effect of blocking Daniel Bard from the closer’s role for which he seems destined. Reader Ari Collins made a good point: it’s not really a block seeing as how the eighth inning guy typically gets more innings and pitches in higher-leverage situation.  Having Rivera close (or Papelbon) and Bard pitch in the seventh and/or eighth actually maximizes Bard’s value while keeping his salary-inflating save total down to boot.

In any event, I guess the real question is this: did the Red Sox actually think they’d get Rivera with that offer, or did they know/suspect that he’d sign with the Yankees anyway?  Maybe it doesn’t matter. If you make an offer you have to be prepared that the other side will accept it. Still, part of me still thinks that there was a bit more theater to the Sox’ offer to Rivera than you see in most free agent pursuits.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.