Yankees rule out Andy Pettitte for two months

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The initial word Wednesday was that Andy Pettitte would miss at least six weeks with the broken left fibula he suffered when hit by a Casey Kotchman liner. The Yankees, though, placed him on the 60-day DL today, suggesting that he’ll be put on a rehab plan to return right around Sept. 1.

The Bombers also officially placed CC Sabathia on the 15-day DL today. Called up to replace the injured pitchers were Adam Warren and Ryota Igarashi.

Warren, 24, will make his major league debut Friday, starting in Sabathia’s place. That was originally expected to be Freddy Garcia’s assignment, but he’ll start Monday in Pettitte’s place after pitching in relief yesterday.

Warren was 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA and a 59/27 K/BB ratio in 86 1/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was 3-2 with a 2.03 ERA in five starts this month.

Igarashi will join the pen. He made two appearances for the Jays and one for the Yankees earlier this season and allowed runs in all of them. Overall, he has a 6.21 ERA in 71 innings as a major league reliever.

Until Sabathia returns — something that should happen immediately after the break — the Yankees will use a rotation of Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Garcia and Warren. Both Garcia and Warren will apparently have two starts to show that they deserve to keep their spot once Sabathia is back.

Mariners agree to a six-year contract with prospect Evan White

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This is a rare one: the Mariners have signed first base prospect Evan White — a player who has yet to play a game above Double-A — to a six-year, $24 million contract. The deal has three club options as well that, if exercised, could make it max out at $55.5 million over nine years.

White was the M’s first round pick in the 2017 draft, going 17th overall out of the University of Kentucky. In 2019 he played at Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League, hitting .293/.350/.488 with 18 home runs, striking out 92 times and walking 29 times in 92 games. It’s a good line in a league that is pretty pitcher-friendly. Stuart also reportedly plays excellent defense at first base.

Clearly the Mariners consider White a part of their future, but unless White flames out early in his career, he’s leaving a lot of potential money on the table.

White turns 24 early next season, which means that, even if he begins the 2020 season in the majors, starting his major league service time clock on Opening Day, he wouldn’t reach free agency until he’s poised to begin his age-33 season, assuming the Mariners exercise those options. If the Mariners place him in Triple A for anything beyond a couple of weeks to start next season, that changes to his age-34 season. A full year of Triple-A action and even some modest service time manipulation by the M’s in 2021 would put it off even longer.

At the same time, a team is unlikely to want to pay a guy millions to toil in the minors — and the M’s are guaranteeing themselves as many as nine years of White’s services — so the threat of service time manipulation is greatly reduced. Which means that, if he hits, he plays. Of course, if he hits well and continues to do so, the Mariners will have a considerable bargain on their hands, with a potential franchise cornerstone locked up at an average of $6 million and change a year for nearly a decade.

As we’ve noted so often when discussing extensions with young players, that’s the tradeoff. After today, White could hit like Mario Mendoza, field like Dick Stuart and be drummed out of baseball before he’s 30 and, assuming he’s even moderately sensible, still have enough money to set himself up for life. If he turns into a real star he’ll make less than half of what he’s worth in his career. His alternative: wait at least four years and maybe five to reach arbitration and three more after that until he can be a free agent. Assuming arbitration and free agency exist after the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in 2021.

So, let’s check back in a few years before passing ultimate judgment.