As part of their trade acquiring Ryan Hanigan from the Reds earlier today the Rays announced a three-year, $10.75 million contract extension with the catcher.
The deal also includes an option for 2017, which means Hanigan is now under team control through age 36. He was arbitration eligible for the final time in 2014 and would have hit the open market as a free agent next offseason, so clearly being able to agree to the extension was a big part of the trade for the Rays.
Tampa Bay also picked up Heath Bell as part of the three-team swap with the Reds and Diamondbacks.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.