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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Angels 7, Twins 4: Shohei Ohtani homered — his fifth dinger on the year — and hit an RBI double and Justin Upton homered for the third straight game. Ohtani is batting .354/.400/.667 with five homers in 65 at bats. The Angels have won seven of nine.

Red Sox 5, Yankees 4: Boston led 4-0, New York stormed back to tie it at 4 in the seventh, but J.D. Martinez put an end to the Yankees’ hopes of a comeback win by launching a solo homer off of Dellin Betances in the eighth to salvage the series for the Red Sox. Hanley Ramirez drove in three runs and homered. The Sox pull back even with the Yankees for the AL East lead at 26-11. New York and Boston have split six games this year. The next time they meet: June 29 at Yankee Stadium.

Mariners 9, Blue Jays 3: Because I’m a suburban husband I found myself at a suburban wine tasting club/restaurant kind of place last night with the missus. As she and her friend chatted I noticed another suburban husband next to me watching this game on his phone as his wife chatted with her friend, just as stuck as me. I asked him if he cared if I watched over his shoulder and he said “nah, gotta do what ya gotta do.” I asked him why he chose this game and he said “raining in New York.” Anyway, that’s the first time I’ve ever watched a baseball game on someone else’s phone over their shoulder at a suburban wine tasting place. I guess there are worse things to do with your Thursday evening. As for the game: the Mariners scored four in the first on a Kyle Seager grand slam and one in each of the next four innings, which included a second Seager homer. Jean Segura had four hits. The Viognier was not to my liking but I did take home two bottles of the Cab Franc. As any Frenchman knows, all the best Cab Francs come from wine clubs housed in malls.

Orioles 11, Royals 6Adam Jones homered and knocked in three and Manny Machado and Trey Mancini also went deep as the Orioles came back from a first inning 4-0 deficit to win their second straight. Normally winning two in a row is not a thing I make note of in this feature, but it’s only the second time Baltimore has won two in a row all year, so let them have this, OK? 

Braves 9, Marlins 2: Ozzie Albies hit a grand slam as part of the Braves seven-run sixth inning and knocked in five in all. Freddie Freeman went yard too as the Braves win in a laugher. I must say, if the team you root for must go on a two-city road trip, I highly recommend that it be the Tampa-Miami road trip.

Brewers 5, Rockies 2: Jhoulys Chacin hasn’t pitched for the Rockies since 2014, but in my mind he’s always been a Colorado Rocky. Last night, though, he faced the Rockies while wearing a Brewers uniform and he did pretty well, allowing two runs while pitching into the sixth and picking up the W. He was relieved by Boone Logan, who was last a Rocky in 2016, but in my mind Boone Logan will always be a Yankee. Matt Albers pitched next. He’s been on like eight or nine different teams. To me he’s a man of the world.

Nationals 2, Diamondbacks 1: Zack Greinke deserved a better fate than this. He allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, working the corners and looking great. He even drove in a run with an RBI single in the fifth. The problem was that Tanner Roark also allowed one run on four hits in seven innings and this one went to extras, where Matt Adams singled the opposite way, foiling the shift, to knock in Trea Turner in the 11th and give Washington the win. I realize this game went extra innings, but am I the only one who finds it ridiculous that a 2-1 game in which both starters went seven frames required 12 pitchers in all to finish? That’s insane, right? I’m not just taking crazy pills here?

Phillies 6, Giants 3: Carlos Santana hit a three-run homer which pulled the Phillies out of a 3-1 deficit as part of their four-run fourth inning and that margin would hold. Vince Velasquez struck out 12 in six innings as the Phillies complete the four-game sweep. The Giants were dominated by Phillies starting pitching this week, folks: Zach Eflin, Aaron NolaNick Pivetta and Velasquez combined to allow four runs in 24.2 innings, striking out 40 strikeouts. In all, the Giants struck out 55 times in the series. Woof.

Reds 4, Dodgers 1: Tyler Mahle allowed one run over five and three Reds relievers held the Dodgers scoreless for the final four innings. Scooter Gennett homered, doubled and drove in three and Billy Hamilton tripled in the Reds’ other run as the Dodgers’ nightmare season continues.

Cardinals 2, Padres 1: Miles Mikolas is easily the second most notable signing from the Japanese league this year. Here he allowed one run over six and two-thirds and picked up his fifth win on the year against no losses. Tommy Pham homered in the fifth to give the Cards a 2-1 lead that would hold up.

Mariners agree to a six-year contract with prospect Evan White

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This is a rare one: the Mariners have signed first base prospect Evan White — a player who has yet to play a game above Double-A — to a six-year, $24 million contract. The deal has three club options as well that, if exercised, could make it max out at $55.5 million over nine years.

White was the M’s first round pick in the 2017 draft, going 17th overall out of the University of Kentucky. In 2019 he played at Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League, hitting .293/.350/.488 with 18 home runs, striking out 92 times and walking 29 times in 92 games. It’s a good line in a league that is pretty pitcher-friendly. Stuart also reportedly plays excellent defense at first base.

Clearly the Mariners consider White a part of their future, but unless White flames out early in his career, he’s leaving a lot of potential money on the table.

White turns 24 early next season, which means that, even if he begins the 2020 season in the majors, starting his major league service time clock on Opening Day, he wouldn’t reach free agency until he’s poised to begin his age-33 season, assuming the Mariners exercise those options. If the Mariners place him in Triple A for anything beyond a couple of weeks to start next season, that changes to his age-34 season. A full year of Triple-A action and even some modest service time manipulation by the M’s in 2021 would put it off even longer.

At the same time, a team is unlikely to want to pay a guy millions to toil in the minors — and the M’s are guaranteeing themselves as many as nine years of White’s services — so the threat of service time manipulation is greatly reduced. Which means that, if he hits, he plays. Of course, if he hits well and continues to do so, the Mariners will have a considerable bargain on their hands, with a potential franchise cornerstone locked up at an average of $6 million and change a year for nearly a decade.

As we’ve noted so often when discussing extensions with young players, that’s the tradeoff. After today, White could hit like Mario Mendoza, field like Dick Stuart and be drummed out of baseball before he’s 30 and, assuming he’s even moderately sensible, still have enough money to set himself up for life. If he turns into a real star he’ll make less than half of what he’s worth in his career. His alternative: wait at least four years and maybe five to reach arbitration and three more after that until he can be a free agent. Assuming arbitration and free agency exist after the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in 2021.

So, let’s check back in a few years before passing ultimate judgment.