Rays agree to a six-year contract with pitcher Chris Archer

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Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rays have agreed to six-year contract with pitcher Chris Archer “in the range of” $25 million. The deal begins this season and goes through 2019, with club options for 2020 and 2021. Marc Topkin reports that the specific amount is $25.5 million. Jeff Passan reports that the two club options total around $20M. Thus, if both options are exercised, the total deal will be for eight years and about $45M.

Archer, 25, is entering his third big league season and his second full one. He’s 10-10 with a 3.47 ERA with 137 strikeouts and 51 walks in 158 innings. Of his 29 career games, 27 have come as a starter.

Assuming Archer even comes close to his potential and stays reasonably healthy this will be a bargain for the Rays.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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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.