What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

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All of the divisions are spoken for in baseball except for the American League East. The Red Sox will have a chance to clinch the division on Tuesday night. A win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss against the Orioles will wrap it up for the BoSox.

The Red Sox are finishing up the regular season on fire, as the club has won 11 consecutive games. During those 11 wins, they have averaged 5.1 runs per game while allowing three per game on average. As a result, they went from one game ahead in first place at the start of the streak to 5.5 games ahead.

When the Red Sox clinch the division, they will have done so for the first time since 2013, when they won the World Series. David Price takes the hill for them on Tuesday night, opposing the Yankees’ Luis Cessa in a 7:05 PM EDT start at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays will send Aaron Sanchez to the mound against the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman in a 7:07 PM EDT start.

There is some potential Wild Card elimination as well tonight. The Royals can be eliminated by losing or the Orioles winning. The Yankees can be eliminated with a loss and an Orioles win. The Marlins and Pirates can be eliminated with a loss and a Giants win.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Arizona Diamondbacks (Matt Koch) @ Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer), 7:05 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (John Lackey) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Ryan Vogelsong), 7:05 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Mike Clevinger) @ Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard) @ Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler), 7:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Jerad Eickhoff) @ Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Jose Berrios) @ Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy), 7:15 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @ Texas Rangers (A.J. Griffin), 8:05 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Felix Hernandez) @ Houston Astros (Mike Fiers), 8:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Alex Cobb) @ Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale), 8:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Robert Stephenson) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright), 8:15 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Daniel Mengden) @ Los Angeles Angels (Ricky Nolasco), 10:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Kenta Maeda) @ San Diego Padres (Paul Clemens), 10:10 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (German Marquez) @ San Francisco Giants (Matt Moore), 10:15 PM EDT

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.