Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the Royals and reliever Brad Boxberger are close to an agreement on a one-year, $2.2 million contract that also includes performance incentives.
Boxberger, 30, was the Diamondbacks’ closer last season. He saved 32 games with a 4.39 ERA and a 71/32 K/BB ratio in 53 1/3 innings. The right-hander was an All-Star reliever in 2015 with the Rays, leading the league with 41 saves, but struggled to stay healthy in 2016-17.
Wily Peralta handled most of the scant save opportunities for the lowly Royals last season, accruing 14 saves with a 3.67 ERA an da 35/23 K/BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings. It is not clear yet if Boxberger will assume the closer’s role from Peralta or serve as the set-up man. According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, that will be cleared up by how each player performs in spring training.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler wasn’t content with just dominating the Phillies on the mound Tuesday night in Queens. The 28-year-old decided to have himself a three-RBI night at the plate, too, including his first career home run.
With the Mets already leading 3-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Wheeler lifted a first-pitch Zach Eflin fastball out to left-center field, landing well beyond the 370-foot sign on the wall. Wheeler had previously helped his own cause, lacing a two-run double down the right field line off of Eflin in the second inning.
Wheeler entered the night with 22 hits in 194 career trips to the plate. Of his 22 hits, five went for extra bases (all doubles). On the mound, through six innings, Wheeler has held the Phillies scoreless on five hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts.
Todd Frazier broke the game open in the fifth inning, hitting a grand slam off of Drew Anderson to push the Mets’ lead to 8-0. If the Phillies lose tonight, they will have lost five of their last six games.