Looking at MLB’s least productive positions to date

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Nationals left fielders, “led” by Xavier Nady, have amassed an MLB-low .406 OPS in 101 at-bats to date, hitting just .119 with no homers and six RBI.

Here’s the list of the worst OPSs by team and position so far, along with the player most responsible for the poor showing.

LF Nationals – .406 (.119/.237/.168) – Nady
3B Athletics – .424 (.133/.186/.238) – Josh Donaldson
3B White Sox – .435 (.178/.217/.218) – Brent Morel
2B Tigers – .436 (.148/.208/.227) – Ryan Raburn
SS Padres – .439 (.138/.248/.191) – Jason Bartlett
CF Cubs – .469 (.183/.248/.221) – Marlon Byrd
C Pirates – .473 (.156/.240/.233) – Rod Barajas
SS White Sox – .476 (.196/.217/.259) – Alexei Ramirez
1B Indians – .484 (.150/.234/.250) – Casey Kotchman
RF Twins – .492 (.156/.221/.271) – Clete Thomas
2B Athletics – .493 (/165/.229/.264) – Jemile Weeks
DH Tigers – .497 (.183/.218/.279) – Delmon Young
1B Mets – .503 (.182/.231/.273) – Ike Davis
DH Mariners – .504 (.184/.223/.281) – Jesus Montero
SS Angels – .506 (.211/.259/.248) – Erick Aybar
SS Pirates – .507 (.172/.204/.303) – Clint Barmes
SS Phillies – .516 (.214/.268/.248) – Jimmy Rollins
3B Twins – .515 (.198/.219/.297) – Danny Valencia
2B Giants – .520 (.235/.275/.245) – Ryan Theriot
SS Mariners – .525 (.174/.275/.250) – Brendan Ryan
2B Twins – .532 (.228/.260/.272) – Alexi Casilla
C Padres – .538 (.171/.252/.286) – Nick Hundley
C Athletics – .540 (.217/.257/.283) – Kurt Suzuki
CF Brewers – .540 (.205/.246/.295) – Nyjer Morgan
SS Twins – .542 (.208/.304/.238) – Jamey Carroll

– It’s pretty hard to believe, but in Chase Utley’s absence, Phillies second basemen have still outproduced the shortstops and third basemen. That’s because Pete Orr has been a nice surprise with a .714 OPS in nine games. Freddy Galvis has a .571 OPS in 26 games at second base.

– The Pirates’ big winter signings both appear on the list, as Barajas and Barmes have really brought the offense down. They were picked up more for their gloves, of course, but they’ve made it really tough for the Pirates to get anything going towards the bottom of their lineup.

– If I had a better feeling who to blame among Ron Gardenhire and Terry Ryan for the Twins’ right field mess, I would have listed him instead of Thomas. Minnesota’s original plan was to play Josh Willingham in right and Ben Revere in left, but Willingham was moved to left late in the spring and right field has been a disaster area since. Revere wouldn’t have been anything special either, but he almost surely would have been better than this.

Report: Astros extend Justin Verlander for two years, $66 million

Justin Verlander
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The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”

While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.

The deal has not been confirmed by the team.