Michael Saunders has new representation with Meister Sports Management, Brandon Meister announced on Twitter.
A player switching representation isn’t normally newsworthy, but in Saunders’ case, it is. Last month, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik publicly criticized Saunders for missing so much time during the 2014 season due to injuries (an inflamed A/C joint in his right shoulder and a strained left oblique). That didn’t sit well with Saunders’ former agent, Mike McCann, who returned the salvo.
The whole situation appeared to be headed towards a divorce between the Mariners and Saunders. Instead, Saunders procured a new agent. Previous reports indicated that the Mariners were going to heavily shop Saunders, but this could be a sign that Saunders could stick around in Seattle.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.