Two seasons ago Evan Meek was an All-Star. Seriously, you can look it up and everything.
Today the Pirates designated him for assignment after Meek spent most of this season at Triple-A and posted a 6.75 ERA in 12 innings in the majors.
Meek was effective in the minors, throwing 46 innings with a 2.74 ERA and 41 strikeouts, although he also walked 26 batters.
In the two seasons since being an All-Star he’s logged a grand total of 33 innings for the Pirates thanks to shoulder problems and inconsistency, but Meek is still just 29 years old and could potentially help plenty of teams as a middle reliever who’s still under team control via arbitration through 2014.
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.