As expected the Phillies offered arbitration to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson, but surprisingly they also did the same with Raul Ibanez.
Ibanez is 39 years old and was paid $12 million this season to hit just .245 with a .289 on-base percentage and .419 slugging percentage in 144 games, which along with sub par defense in left field made him one of the worst regulars in the league.
He seems highly unlikely to get a multi-year offer on the open market, in which case accepting the Phillies’ arbitration offer and locking them into a one-year deal for a significant salary would seem like a no-brainer for Ibanez.
However, it’s possible that the Type B free agent has some sort of agreement with the Phillies to decline the arbitration offer as a favor and basically give them a free draft pick (assuming he signs elsewhere). If not, then the decision by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. just doesn’t make any sense.
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.