Jason Hammel scratched Thursday with sore right knee

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From MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli comes word that the Orioles have scratched Jason Hammel from his scheduled Thursday start against the Rangers with what is being termed “right knee soreness.”

An MRI taken Wednesday on Hammel’s knee revealed only inflammation and fluid buildup — with no structural damage. So the Orioles are confident that he’ll be able to avoid the 15-day disabled list.

A replacement for Thursday hasn’t been named.

Hammel, 29, has posted a fantastic 2.09 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 38/11 K/BB ratio through 38 2/3 innings this year. Baltimore enters Wednesday night’s action with a 19-11 record, which is tied for first in the AL East.

Report: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach 9-year, $360M deal

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SAN DIEGO — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.