Mariano Rivera gets his 600th save

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On the same night Tim Wakefield got his 200th win, Mariano Rivera got his 600th save.  As Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe observed last night, I guess that’s evidence that having a second pitch is overrated.

It was a usual night’s work for Rivera. A one run lead, an overmatched offense, and — while it wasn’t a 1-2-3- inning thanks to an Ichiro single — he was erased while trying to steal to end the game. You don’t get the sense that Rivera sweated it.

As we said the other day, the 600th save is a nice round number — and it means that he’s only two away from holding the all-time saves record himself — but it’s not that big a deal when it comes to Rivera. His greatness was cemented several hundred saves ago.  His status as the best closer in baseball history questioned only by those with a rooting interest that blinds them or a jones to argue any point just for its own sake.

I’m actually one of the latter types, but even this is a point I can’t argue.  Mariano Rivera is the best there ever was. And now he’s the second member of the 600 save club.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.