No. 4 overall pick Kevin Gausman broke the news himself via Twitter right at the 5:00 p.m. signing deadline, as the LSU right-hander announced that he agreed to a last-second deal with the Orioles.
Earlier this week Gausman’s hometown New Orleans Times Picayune reported that he’d be turning down the Orioles and going back to LSU for his senior season, but they quickly backtracked on that story and he ended up getting $4.32 million compared to the slot value of $4.2 million.
The top pitcher taken in the draft after position players Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, and Mike Zunino went 1-2-3, Gausman should move quickly through the Orioles’ farm system and projects as a potential top-of-the-rotation starter with a mid-90s fastball and plus changeup.
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.