Aaron Bummer
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White Sox sign Aaron Bummer to five-year extension

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The White Sox announced that they have signed lefty reliever Aaron Bummer to a five-year extension worth $16 million. The deal also includes two club options that could bring Bummer’s total earnings up to $30.75 million. Both options include buyouts for $1.25 million, meaning Bummer is guaranteed at least $17.25 million. Bob Nightengale notes that this is the largest contract extension for a pre-arb non-closer in history.

Bummer wasn’t scheduled to be arbitration-eligible until next offseason, but the White Sox were clearly impressed enough by Bummer’s breakout 2019 to lock him up with a cost-controlled deal right now. After a relatively nondescript first two seasons in the majors, Bummer emerged as a force in the back end of the Chicago bullpen last year. He worked to a 2.13 ERA over 67.2 innings, bolstered by a ridiculous 72.1% ground ball rate. Only Zack Britton induced more grounders. Bummer also boasted a sub-1 WHIP. Baseball Prospectus’ DRA metric graded Bummer out at a 2.99. He’s for real.

Bummer is just 26, and he’s going to have a talented middle infield tandem of Tim Anderson and Nick Madrigal working behind him for a long time to come. This is a great move by the White Sox, and it’s cool to see a team value a pre-arb reliever with just one career save this highly.

Their bullpen isn’t too sexy besides Bummer, with Alex Colomé and Steve Cishek being the main attractions. This is still an area that GM Rick Hahn will need to build on if the Sox want to be true contenders. Getting Bummer to sign a long-term deal is a great first step.

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Joey Gallo turns his apartment into a batting cage

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While everything going on these days — the illnesses, the stress on the medical system, the stay-at-home-orders, the loss of mobility and the loss of work — hits poor and working people harder than it does well-paid professional athletes, the jocks have their own set of challenges too.

For example, Dallas, like almost everyplace else, is under stay-at-home order in response to the pandemic. That means that Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo can’t go to Globe Life Field and take his hacks in the batting cage as usual. So what’s a guy in his position to do?

Why, set up a cage in his de-luxe apartment in the sky:

Given how hard Gallo hits the ball, I’m sort of freaking out watching this, worrying that one bad bit of partial contact is going to shatter his windows. But I guess that’s a Joey Gallo problem.