What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday’s action

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Baseball is already under way this Wednesday afternoon, but there’s still plenty of action this evening. Notably, two players will be making debuts for different reasons.

Jameson Taillon will be making his major league debut for the Pirates at PNC Park against the Mets, opposing Noah Syndergaard. Taillon missed the 2014-15 seasons due to Tommy John surgery, but has pitched quite well at Triple-A Indianapolis in 10 starts this season, meriting the call-up. Even while he was injured, Talilon rated high on prospect rankings, including #26 overall going into last season by Baseball Prospectus. That Taillon will be facing Syndergaard, whose fastball regularly hits triple digits and whose change-up is the speed of other pitchers’ fastballs, will only make it more exciting.

James Shields will be making his White Sox debut at U.S. Cellular Field tonight against the Nationals, opposing Max Scherzer. The Sox acquired Shields from the Padres this past Saturday in exchange for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis, Jr. Though Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have been excellent, the White Sox haven’t won a game either pitcher started since May 19. Behind them, Carlos Rodon, Mat Latos, and Miguel Gonzalez have been some degree of mediocre. Though Shields himself was struggling with the Padres, posting a 4.28 ERA in 11 starts, about one-third of the earned runs he’s allowed (10 of 32) on the season came in his May 31 start against the Mariners. He should, in the long run, serve as a useful upgrade in the starting rotation.

Wednesday’s action…

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Baltmiore Orioles (Chris Tillman), 7:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver) @ New York Yankees (Nathan Eovaldi), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon), 7:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Jaime Garcia) @ Cincinnati Reds (Alfredo Simon), 7:10 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Doug Fister) @ Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish), 8:05 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen) @ Minnesota Twins (Ricky Nolasco), 8:10 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Jesse Hahn) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson), 8:10 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer) @ Chicago White Sox (James Shields), 8:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Carlos Carrasco) @ Seattle Mariners (Taijuan Walker), 10:10 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Chris Rusin) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Kenta Maeda), 10:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (David Price) @ San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner), 10:15 PM EDT

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster 11-year, $280 million contract, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.