And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 4, Rangers 0: Alfredo Simon with the evening’s first one-hit shutout of a Texas team. He needed 116 pitches to do it, but the Rangers never got a runner past second base and were never in it. Best performance by a guy who owns an all-chrome car in baseball history.

Rays 1, Astros 0: Chris Archer not only tossed a one-hit shutout, but it was a Maddux as well, requiring only 98 pitches. Which is amazing given that he struck out 11 dudes. It’s almost like the Astros had to get to the airport to get on a plane to fly to California or something rather than have the Dodgers come in to face them tonight.

Pirates 4, Giants 0: Another shutout, this one a six-hitter and one which required three pitchers — Charlie Morton and two relievers — but a shutout all the same. Neil Walker hit a two-run homer. The Pirates gained a half game on the idle Cardinals and the Giants lost a half game on the idle Dodgers.

Rockies 3, Nationals 2: Yohan Flande allowed two runs over seven innings and also singled twice, driving in a run and scoring. Best performance by a guy named like a spy handler you meet in a cafe in Switzerland before being dropped into an operation in East Berlin in baseball history.

Twins 15, Orioles 2: Tyler Duffey took a shutout into the eighth inning, and by that time he had a two-touchdown lead. Speaking of touchdowns, I was at a bar last night that had two TVs. Both were showing the Cleveland Browns preseason game instead of baseball games which actually counted. If you elect me as president I will send bartenders who do that sort of thing to reeducation camps. This is my promise to you, my fellow Americans.

Diamondbacks 5, Reds 4: The Reds had a 4-0 lead after two innings and lost. I suppose I’ll make an exception regarding that reeducation camp thing for bartenders in Cincinnati who turn off Reds games in favor of Bengals preseason games. You really don’t want people who are drinking to watch something as depressing as the Reds. A.J. Pollock drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth to put the Diamondbacks over.

Indians 3, Yankees 2: Josh Tomlin, in his second start after coming back from shoulder surgery, was effective again, allowing one run over seven innings. A-Rod hit a homer for that one run. He also stole a base in the ninth as the Yankees tried to rally. Someone make sure he didn’t break a hip.

Red Sox 4, Royals 1: Wade Miley allowed one run in seven and a third innings as the Sox win their fifth of seven games since Torey Luvollo stepped in to manage. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit an RBI triple. His last nine hits have been for extra bases. Travis Shaw, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts each had two hits. It’s all about the kids these days in Boston.

Marlins 9, Phillies 7: Miami scored eight runs early and held on for a 9-7 win. Martin Prado homered and drove in three and Marcell Ozuna had a two-run homer. Ozuna’s homer was a bomb that hit the top of the foul pole.

Cubs 7, Braves 1: Jake Arrieta pitched six scoreless innings for his major league-leading 15th win. Fun fact: not one of the outs he recored was on a fly ball: 11 grounders and seven strikeouts.

White Sox 8, Angels 2: The Sox avoid a sweep thanks to a five-run fifth inning. Adam LaRoche had an RBI single and a two-run homer. Jose Abreu drove in three. Jose Quintana allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings. That creep can roll, man.

Mariners agree to a six-year contract with prospect Evan White

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This is a rare one: the Mariners have signed first base prospect Evan White — a player who has yet to play a game above Double-A — to a six-year, $24 million contract. The deal has three club options as well that, if exercised, could make it max out at $55.5 million over nine years.

White was the M’s first round pick in the 2017 draft, going 17th overall out of the University of Kentucky. In 2019 he played at Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League, hitting .293/.350/.488 with 18 home runs, striking out 92 times and walking 29 times in 92 games. It’s a good line in a league that is pretty pitcher-friendly. Stuart also reportedly plays excellent defense at first base.

Clearly the Mariners consider White a part of their future, but unless White flames out early in his career, he’s leaving a lot of potential money on the table.

White turns 24 early next season, which means that, even if he begins the 2020 season in the majors, starting his major league service time clock on Opening Day, he wouldn’t reach free agency until he’s poised to begin his age-33 season, assuming the Mariners exercise those options. If the Mariners place him in Triple A for anything beyond a couple of weeks to start next season, that changes to his age-34 season. A full year of Triple-A action and even some modest service time manipulation by the M’s in 2021 would put it off even longer.

At the same time, a team is unlikely to want to pay a guy millions to toil in the minors — and the M’s are guaranteeing themselves as many as nine years of White’s services — so the threat of service time manipulation is greatly reduced. Which means that, if he hits, he plays. Of course, if he hits well and continues to do so, the Mariners will have a considerable bargain on their hands, with a potential franchise cornerstone locked up at an average of $6 million and change a year for nearly a decade.

As we’ve noted so often when discussing extensions with young players, that’s the tradeoff. After today, White could hit like Mario Mendoza, field like Dick Stuart and be drummed out of baseball before he’s 30 and, assuming he’s even moderately sensible, still have enough money to set himself up for life. If he turns into a real star he’ll make less than half of what he’s worth in his career. His alternative: wait at least four years and maybe five to reach arbitration and three more after that until he can be a free agent. Assuming arbitration and free agency exist after the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in 2021.

So, let’s check back in a few years before passing ultimate judgment.