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Report: Rangers sign Jesse Chavez

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Rangers have signed pitcher Jesse Chavez. He’ll earn a $1 million base salary that will increase to $1.5 million if he’s added to the active roster, Heyman notes. The right-hander can earn an additional $500,000 in incentives as a reliever and $1 million in incentives as a starter.

Chavez, 34, struggled across 21 starts and 17 relief appearances for the Angels last season, finishing with a 5.35 ERA and a 119/45 K/BB ratio in 138 innings. He had decent peripherals, but has always allowed a high batting average on balls in play. Chavez has also been homer-prone in recent seasons which may only be exacerbated by the Rangers’ home ballpark.

The Rangers have Mike Minor and Matt Bush already clamoring for the fifth spot in the rotation, so it seems unlikely Chavez will open the year in the rotation. He could wind up there during the season, however, should any of the starters suffer an injury.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.