Domingo Santana
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Mariners acquire Domingo Santana from Brewers

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The Mariners executed another offseason swap on Friday, sending outfielder Ben Gamel and right-handed reliever Noah Zavolas to the Brewers in exchange for outfielder Domingo Santana.

Santana, 27, appeared poised for a full-time role with the Brewers after turning in his first 30-home run, 3.3-fWAR season in 2017. He was booted from the starting lineup after getting crowded out by Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich — and, to a lesser extent, failing to replicate his impressive numbers in the spring of 2018 — and a late-season resurgence just wasn’t enough to stabilize a .265/.328/.412 batting line, five home runs, and 0.7 fWAR across 235 plate appearances in the majors. Despite his noted lack of patience at the plate, one subpar season doesn’t spell the end of a career, and the Mariners will likely give him a longer leash alongside Jay Bruce, Mitch Haniger, and Mallex Smith as they look for his power to resurface in 2019.

The Brewers, meanwhile, will add the left-handed Gamel to their own stacked outfield. Like Santana, the 26-year-old corner outfielder also saw his power zapped at the major-league level in 2018. After hitting double digits in 2017, he sent just one ball into the stands during his latest campaign with the Mariners, and finished the season batting a subdued .272/.358/.370 through 293 PA. It’s unlikely that he’ll see significant time over Keon Broxton, Eric Thames, and Ryan Braun, as well as the aforementioned Yelich and Cain, though his left-handed bat might earn him a few extra looks off the bench throughout 2019.

Milwaukee will also take home minor-league righty Zavolas, who was selected in the 18th round of the 2018 amateur draft. He finished his pro ball debut with a combined 3.03 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 in 38 2/3 innings for Short-Season Everett and High-A Modesto.

Phillies-Mets could get contentious tonight

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As the Mets were wrapping up a 9-0 shellacking of the Phillies on Tuesday night, reliever Jacob Rhame threw a pitch up and in to first baseman Rhys Hoskins with two outs in the ninth inning. The pitch sailed behind Hoskins’ back. The slugger wasn’t happy about the scare, understandably. Players began to trickle out of their respective dugouts, but a fracas was avoided.

Hoskins was skeptical that Rhame simply missed his spot. Per MLB.com’s Thomas Harrigan, Hoskins said, “He didn’t miss up and in the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide. I would assume teams are pitching me in because that’s where they think they can get me out, and that’s fine. That’s part of the game. Again, I think most guys are capable of pitching inside and not missing that bad.”

Teammate Bryce Harper said, “I don’t get it. I understand that two of their guys got hit yesterday. But, I mean, if it’s baseball and you’re going to drill somebody, at least hit him in the [butt]. Not in the head. You throw 98, it’s scary now. You could kill somebody. Lose your eyesight. That’s bigger than the game.”

Indeed, two Mets were hit by pitches on Monday night. José Álvarez hit Jeff McNeil in the seventh inning, which advanced a base runner. In the very next at-bat, Juan Nicasio hit Pete Alonso with a first-pitch fastball. It was obvious neither was intentional as the Phillies were only down two runs and hitting both batters advanced base runners and led to runs scoring. It is less obvious that Rhame’s pitch to Hoskins was unintentional, but he showed empathy in his post-game comments. Rhame said, “When you accidentally sail one, it’s probably pretty scary. I’d get [angry], too.”

Will Wednesday night’s series finale be contentious? Despite being “fairly upset,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, “We do not retaliate, and we do not throw at anybody intentionally,” Jake Seiner of the Associated Press reports.

Mets manager Mickey Calloway didn’t give as straight an answer. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Calloway said, “I think at this point, you just go out there and beat people, and win. … For now, I don’t feel like anything has been intentional at us that has warranted anything from our side.” If that changes, however, Calloway said, “They’re going to have each other’s backs.”

Hopefully, neither side decides to take justice into their own hands. But, welcome to the NL East in 2019. The Mets lead the Phillies by one game, and the Braves and Nationals by 1.5 games. It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out division fight all year long.