The Mariners have reportedly agreed to a two-year, $14 million contract with reliever Fernando Rodney, but it sounds like their eventful winter isn’t over yet:
We have heard the Mariners connected to Cruz for most of the offseason, so this isn’t a big surprise. A match has almost seemed inevitable at times. While the Mariners could certainly use his right-handed power bat for the middle of their lineup, his market has been slow to develop this winter for a number of reasons. In addition to him being attached to draft pick compensation, there are concerns about his age, defense, and injury history, as well as how he’ll perform following his PED suspension.
The Mariners have already added Robinson Cano, Corey Hart, and Logan Morrison this offseason. Bringing in Rodney and Cruz wouldn’t guarantee them anything, but it would sure make them more interesting. And heck, after giving a barrel of money to Cano, they might as well go for it.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.