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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New York Yankees roster and schedule for 2020

Yankees roster and schedule
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The 2020 season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The New York Yankees roster and schedule:

YANKEES ROSTER (projected) 

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Yankees roster to begin the season:

Catchers

Gary Sánchez
Kyle Higashioka

Infielders:

Luke Voit
Mike Ford
DJ LeMahieu
Gio Urshela
Miguel Andújar
Gleyber Torres
Tyler Wade

Outfielders

Aaron Judge
Aaron Hicks
Giancarlo Stanton
Brett Gardner
Mike Tauchman

Starters

Gerrit Cole
Masahiro Tanaka
James Paxton
J.A. Happ
Jordan Montgomery
Jonathan Loaisiga

Relievers

Aroldis Chapman
Zack Britton
Adam Ottavino
Chad Green
Tommy Kahnle
Luis Cessa
Jonathan Holder
Tyler Lyons
David Hale


BREAKDOWN:

It’s weird to say this but the delay to the season due to the pandemic actually helped the Yankees a fair amount. Because of new injuries and extended rehab from older injuries, the very injured 2019 New York Yankees were poised to begin the regular season with many key players on the injured list, including Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and James Paxton, among others. It’s not 100% clear if all of those guys will be back and at full strength when the club starts play next week, but Stanton and Paxton seem like a go right now and Judge and Hicks are ramping up.

Obviously the biggest change for 2020, though, is Gerrit Cole, the Yankees big free agent acquisition last winter. Adding arguably the game’s best starter will take a lot of pressure off of the other guys in the rotation and ease the workload of a bullpen that, however deep and talented it is, could still use a break here and there.

With health, hopefully, not the concern it was back in March or last year, we’re left with a Yankees team that (a) has one of the most loaded lineups in the game; (b) features a much-improved rotation with a clear and solid top-four; and (c) has fantastic bullpen talent and depth. Last year’s team, despite all of the injuries, won 103 games. This year’s team is considered the favorite in the American League and, by extension, in all of baseball.

YANKEES SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

Yankees home stands will be July 29-Aug. 2 (Phillies, Red Sox), Aug. 11-20 (Braves, Red Sox, Rays), Aug. 28-Sept. 2 (Mets, Rays), Sept. 10-17 (Orioles, Blue Jays) and Sept. 25-27 (Marlins). Their rivalry games against the Red Sox will be July 31-Aug. 2 (Yankee Stadium), Aug. 14-17 (Yankee Stadium) and Sept. 18-20 (Fenway Park). Rivalry games against the Mets will be played Aug. 21-23 (Citi Field) and Aug. 28-30 (Yankee Stadium).

The entire Yankees roster and schedule can be seen here.