What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday’s action

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The AL Central is starting to get interesting again. The Indians have lost six of their last nine games while the Tigers have won seven in a row. That means that the Indians, who led by 7.5 games as recently as July 20, now have only a three-game lead in the division.

The Indians have been hammered in back-to-back games against the Twins, losing 12-5 on Monday and 10-6 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ offense has been red-hot, reaching double-digit runs in three of the last four games. And the Tigers haven’t done it against the dregs of the league; they swept the Red Sox and the Astros in back-to-back series.

On Wednesday evening, the Indians will send Trevor Bauer to the hill to try to stop the bleeding. He’ll square off against the Twins’ Tyler Duffey in a 7:10 PM EDT start.

The Tigers host the White Sox, with Michael Fulmer taking on Chris Sale in a 7:10 PM EDT start.

The rest of Wednesday’s action…

New York Mets (Steven Matz) @ New York Yankees (Chad Green), 7:05 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Phil Klein), 7:05 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Cole Hamels) @ Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman), 7:05 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi), 7:10 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke) @ Atlanta Braves (Rob Whalen), 7:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha) @ Cincinnati Reds (Cody Reed), 7:10 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada) @ Houston Astros (Collin McHugh), 8:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Brock Stewart) @ Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson), 8:40 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman) @ Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver), 10:05 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 10:10 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.