The Rays are off and running thanks to first baseman Yandy Díaz, who hit a leadoff home run off of Athletics starter Sean Manaea to begin Wednesday night’s American League Wild Card game. Díaz worked a 3-1 count before swatting a Manaea fastball out to right-center field.
Díaz hit 14 home runs across 79 games during the regular season. Meanwhile, Manaea allowed three home runs in 29 2/3 innings in September after missing the first five months recovering from last year’s shoulder surgery.
Update (8:44 PM ET): In the second inning, Avisaíl García absolutely crushed a two-run home run to straightaway center field, making it a 3-0 game.
Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.
The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.