UPDATE: Mark Sheldon reports that the deal is done. Six years, $105 million with a mutual option for a seventh.
1:05 PM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Homer Bailey extension with the Reds is “all but done.” The deal is for six years and between $100 million and $110 million according to Rosenthal and Jon Heyman. This deal will avoid an arbitration hearing and prevent Bailey from hitting the open market next winter.
Bailey has pitched seven years for the Reds. He’s come on much more strongly the past two, however, putting up ERA+ of 110 and 112 and starting 32 and 33 games, respectively. While he has not yet put together a totally superior season, the kind of performance he has shown is now getting guys contracts in excess of $50 million pretty routinely. If Bailey has a year everyone has long thought he was capable of, that $100 million would likely be easily eclipsed if he were to hit the free agent market before the 2015 season.
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.