After a 10-year career in Japan shortstop Munenori Kawasaki became a free agent last month and publicly stated that he only wanted to play for the Mariners.
That obviously limited his bargaining power considerably, but ultimately Kawasaki got his wish and revealed yesterday that he’s agreed to a minor-league deal with the Mariners that includes an invitation to spring training.
Kawasaki is an eight-time All-Star and career .294 hitter in Japan, but has never hit more than four homers in a season and will likely be competing for a utility man role in camp.
Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.
DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.
After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.
With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.