Indians set all-time strikeout record for a pitching staff

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Corey Kluber’s eighth-inning strikeout of Rays DH David DeJesus notched his third consecutive double-digit strikeout start and it helped the Indians set the all-time record for strikeouts in a season by a pitching staff at 1,429, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. The Tigers pitching staff set the previous record last season. Kluber added another strikeout in the eighth and Cody Allen struck out one in the ninth inning as well, bringing the total up to 1,431.

Kluber finished with eight shutout innings, allowing just five hits and a pair of walks along with the 11 strikeouts. As Bastian also noted with a mid-game tweet, Kluber also climbed up the Indians’ leaderboard for strikeouts in a season by a pitcher, taking sixth place at 269. He trails Bob Feller, who struck out 348 in 1946, and four Sam McDowell seasons.

Kluber has a serious case for the American League Cy Young award. Following Friday night’s win, he’s 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 269/51 K/BB ratio. Mariners starter Felix Hernandez — Kluber’s fiercest competitor for the award — will start on Sunday against the Angels as he will get one last shot to pad his resume. King Felix is currently 14-6 with a 2.34 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and a 241/46 K/BB ratio.

Rays’ Yandy Díaz gets three-year, $24 million deal to avoid arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.