What’s on Tap: Previewing Sunday’s action

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Sunday’s slate features a twin billing at 1:10 PM EDT, when J.A. Happ and Chris Archer will face off at Tropicana Field and Carlos Martinez and Tim Adleman will go head-to-head at the Great American Ball Park. Archer’s win-loss record is nothing to sniff at, especially as he’s just three outings away from a 20-loss season, but his stuff has appeared solid over the last month with a 3.03 ERA and a jaw-dropping ten-strikeout performance against the Astros last weekend.

While the Rays have been all but ousted from the wild card race, the Blue Jays are relying on Happ to reclaim first place in the AL East. It’s not the worst idea they’ve had, since the left-hander appears to be in the running for the American League Cy Young Award this autumn, but the Blue Jays will need to step up their offensive production if they want to stay ahead of the Red Sox. Toronto’s offense has taken three losses in the last five games, averaging just 4.2 runs per game behind some solid starts from the rotation.

In the evening, Nationals’ right-hander Reynaldo Lopez will take on the Mets’ Seth Lugo at 8:08 PM EDT in another division showdown. Like the Rays, a first-place finish is out of sight for the Mets, but they still stand an excellent chance of overtaking the Cardinals to secure a postseason berth. Lopez is starting in place of Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer, who will be getting an extra day of rest on Sunday before he headlines a ten-game homestand on Monday afternoon.

Lugo, meanwhile, slotted in for an injured Steven Matz halfway through August and has been outstanding ever since. He posted a 2.55 ERA through three starts with five runs, five walks, and 12 strikeouts scattered over 17 2/3 innings. Matz reportedly experienced irritation in his shoulder prior during a bullpen session last week, and with a speedy return to the rotation in doubt, there’s no question that the Mets will continue to look to Lugo as the playoff bracket solidifies.

You can find more from Sunday’s action below.

Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jake Thompson), 1:35 PM EDT, Citizens Bank Park

Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Steven Brault), 1:35 PM EDT, PNC Park

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley), 1:35 PM EDT, Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Chicago White Sox (Anthony Ranaudo) @ Minnesota Twins (Andrew Albers), 2:10 PM EDT, Target Field

Detroit Tigers (Daniel Norris) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 2:15 PM EDT, Kauffman Stadium

San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto) @ Chicago Cubs (John Lackey), 2:20 PM EDT, Wrigley Field

Houston Astros (Collin McHugh) @ Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish), 3:05 PM EDT, Globe Life Park in Arlington

Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) @ Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman), 4:05 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum

Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley) @ Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray), 4:10 PM EDT, Coors Field

Los Angeles Angels (Matt Shoemaker) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 4:10 PM EDT, Safeco Field

Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler) @ Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar), 4:10 PM EDT, Progressive Field

San Diego Padres (Christian Friedrich) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Jose De Leon), 4:10 PM EDT, Dodger Stadium

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

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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.