Brett Lawrie
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Brewers sign Brett Lawrie

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Free agent infielder Brett Lawrie is returning to the professional baseball circuit on a minor league contract with the Brewers, per an Instagram announcement on Saturday. While the signing has yet to be formally announced, Robert Murray of The Athletic says the deal comes with a club option for 2020 and includes a potential $1 million salary if he makes the big-league roster, which could then reach a ceiling of $7 million with performance bonuses and escalators.

Lawrie broke the news of his own signing in a lengthy post on social media:

The 29-year-old second/third baseman has not set foot in the majors since 2016. After enjoying some of the best years of his career in Toronto, he played back-to-back gigs with the Athletics and White Sox in 2015-16 and spent his last MLB season batting .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, seven stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .723 OPS through 384 PA in Chicago. While he garnered some interest from teams after getting released by the White Sox in the spring of 2017, lingering lower-body discomfort complicated his attempts to secure another contract and effectively kept him off the field and out of a job.

It’s not yet clear whether the Brewers envision Lawrie in a starting role for the 2019 season, though any thought of him displacing Travis Shaw at the hot corner seems ludicrous at this point. Barring any spring training disasters, however, he might still find himself in a backup role to Cory Spangenberg and Hernán Pérez at the keystone.

Zack Wheeler hits first career homer

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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.