Pedro Alvarez’s deal with Orioles worth up to $7 million

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Pedro Alvarez and the Orioles made their one-year deal official today in a press conference. Alvarez will get $5.75 million in guaranteed money, plus another $1.25 million in potential incentives based on playing time that start accumulating once he surpasses 350 plate appearances.

Given that Alvarez figures to be platooned at least somewhat and may not start interleague games in NL ballparks a reasonable projection of 500 plate appearances would earn him $6.55 million in total. Not a bad payday considering Alvarez made $5.75 million with the Pirates last season and was non-tendered because Pittsburgh didn’t want to pay him an estimated $8 million via the arbitration process.

Alvarez is expected to serve as Baltimore’s starting designated hitter, bringing his 30-homer power to a lineup that projects as perhaps the most powerful in all of baseball this season. In fact, if Alvarez, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, and company simply produce like they have in past seasons the Orioles might be the first MLB team since 2010 to hit 250 homers.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.