The Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers big offseason acquisitions — Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo, respectively — came into play today with zero homers and slugging percentages of .315 and .358, respectively. Each has remedied that to some degree this afternoon as both Choo and Cano have hit their first homers of the year in the Rangers-Mariners game. In the second and third innings, respectively. That raises Cano’s slugging percentage to .358 as of the top of the sixth inning this afternoon and Choo’s to a hefty .411.
Cano is being paid for ten years, of course so less than three weeks’ production is not something to worry about. Choo is being paid to get on base and he’s been doing that quite well even if he hasn’t been hitting the ball with any authority before today.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.