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Nationals sign Tony Sipp


Jon Heyman reports that the Washington Nationals have signed reliever Tony Sipp. It’s a big league deal that will pay Sipp $1 million in 2019 a $2.5 million mutual option or $250,00 buyout in 2020. For what it’s worth, he’s coming off of a three-year, $18 million contract with the Astros.

Sipp, 35, spent the past five seasons in Houston where he alternated between being really dang good and pretty terrible. Which, hey, viva variety. Last year was a really dang good year: he posted a 1.86 ERA in 54 games. He pitched only 38.2 innings, though, which tells you, if you did not already know, that he’s a lefty specialist. I suppose that line also can tell you a lot about how Sipp comes down on that whole “pitchers gotta face three batters” proposal that is circulating. Put him in the “nay” column.

If the Nats get the good Tony Sipp they’ll be pretty happy with him. And even if he’s not up to his 2018 level, the fact that he’s always been pretty healthy and can give his manager 50-60 games like clockwork is a plus. The Nats would’ve killed for a durable reliever or three last season and now, in all likelihood, they’re getting one.

In other news, Sean Doolittle‘s expectations are in the process of being adjusted:

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.