Russell Martin’s contract is backloaded

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Russell Martin’s five-year, $82 million deal ain’t flat. Indeed, it’s pretty backloaded:

One interpretation: there are dumb corporate reasons at Rogers which makes doing it this way please some pencil-pusher. Another interpretation: the Jays plan to do more this season — really load for bear in a winnable A.L. East — and got Martin to agree to a backloaded deal to make that happen.

Now, to be less optimistic, one could note that Mark Buehrle and his $19 million come off the books next year and that, barring the team picking up his option for 2016, Jose Bautista’s salary does as well. If one thinks that way, one could conclude that this is just a means of keeping payroll as flat as can possibly be maintained.

But it’s November, so maybe Jays fans can hope a bit more about the team making more moves.

White Sox shut down Lucas Giolito for remainder of season

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The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that the White Sox are shutting down starter Lucas Giolito for the remainder of a season. An MRI revealed a mild lat strain, which typically comes with a three- to four-week recovery timetable. The third-place, 65-84 White Sox have nothing left to play for, so it makes sense to play it safe with their prized young hurler.

Giolito, 25, had a breakout season. He went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 228/57 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He made his first All-Star team and will likely earn a few downballot votes for the AL Cy Young Award.

Giolito was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins. Ross Detwiler will start in his place opposite Martín Pérez.