AP Photo/Bill Boyce

Report: Mariners sign Steve Cishek to a two-year contract


Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is at it again, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the club has signed veteran reliever Steve Cishek to a two-year contract. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is worth $10 million and carries incentives which could push it to $17 million.

The Mariners traded for Joaquin Benoit earlier this offseason, but Crasnick hears that Cishek is expected to be the team’s new closer.

Cishek has plenty of closing experience from his time with the Marlins, but he lost his job early on in 2015 and was eventually traded to the Cardinals in July. The 29-year-old had better results down the stretch, posting a 2.31 ERA over 27 appearances, though his 20/13 K/BB ratio in 23 1/3 innings wasn’t overly impressive.

Cishek made $6.65 million in 2015 and was projected for another raise via arbitration this winter, so the Cardinals recently non-tendered him.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”