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- Astros 8 Rangers 2 - Two triples and some nice defense from Justin Maxwell along with a pinch-hit, three-run home run from Rick Ankiel guided the Astros to their first American League win and 4,000th victory in franchise history. Erik Bedard went old-school in relief of starter Bud Norris and notched a three-inning save for the home team.
The Big Three
1. The end of spring typically brings about a long-term contract extension or two, but I've never witnessed anything like this flurry of massive deals. If this week were in a David Foster Wallace book, it'd be called "The Week of MLB 13: The Show Multi-Year Contract Extensions." Justin Verlander, Buster Posey, Paul Goldschmidt, Adam Wainwright, and now Elvis Andrus have all come to terms on extension of at least five years in length. Add all that extension money together (including options) and it comes to $578.5 million. That's a lot of dough.
Andrus' is believed to be an eight-year, $120 million deal that will keep him in Texas through the 2022 season, though the exact details of the contract are still a bit hazy. If the Rangers didn't have an All-Star second baseman currently in-house and signed through the 2017 season, I'd think this was a great deal because then Jurickson Profar could move to second and it'd be no harm, no foul. But with Kinsler locked in for the next five seasons, Andrus' deal just seems strange. Sure, you can move Ian to first or left field to make room for Profar, but Kinsler's numbers are far less impressive in those two positions than at second base.
The Rangers have to know that Kinsler is much more of an asset playing up the middle than on the corners, so maybe they really intend to trade him? No idea... hey, is Nolan Ryan gone yet?
2. The Miami Marlins announced Sunday that 20-year-old right-hander Jose Fernandez will be the No. 5 starter in their rotation and will make his MLB debut on April 7 vs. the Mets. The Marlins are obviously hoping for a Felix Hernandez-type thing here with their young right-hander, but it seems a bit much to ask Fernandez to skip the high minors altogether and take on big-league foes. King Felix had three professional years under his belt when he got the call-up at 19. Fernandez has just one. If he had tested his mettle against big leaguers in camp and still proved to be overpowering, then fine.
But Fernandez threw just two innings for the Fish in camp and has absolutely no experience beyond High-A ball otherwise. Just because Jacob Turner struggled some this spring doesn't mean he's not the infinitely safer choice here. Fernandez may go on to make me eat my hat here, but it seems overall like a pretty pointless risk for Miami to take when the team is all sorts of awful. Why not let him work his way through Double-A and Triple-A, just to make sure?
3. Johan Santana has officially opted to go back under the knife and re-repair(?) the anterior capsule on his throwing shoulder. The procedure -- which is scheduled for Tuesday -- will sideline Santana for at least the 2013 season and may ultimately spell the end of his career. It's being widely reported that no MLB pitcher has ever had to undergo this procedure on two separate occasions, which seems to bode ill for Santana's chances at a comeback.
It's been so long now (relatively) since Johan was completely healthy that it's somewhat difficult to remember just how ridiculously dominant he was in the '00s. If Johan were to retire tomorrow he'd do so with a career WAR of 50.7 despite missing much of the last two seasons. The dude averaged 7.1 WAR a season from 2004-2008, which is an insane peak. Hall of Famer? I'm still on the fence.
In Other News...
1. Not wanting to be left out of the week's big spending, the Dodgers are reportedly in ongoing talks with young left-hander Clayton Kershaw about a multi-year extension of his own. LA has been throwing money around like nobody's business lately, so if they do work out a deal expect to be of the record-breaking variety.
2. The Orioles got themselves some rotation depth over the weekend, signing veteran righty Freddy Garcia to a minor-league deal. Baltimore only has four starters listed on their depth chart at the moment, and a few guys are battling injuries, so Garcia may get the call pretty soon.
3. Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney gashed up his knee over the weekend while chasing down a fly ball and will miss at least Opening Day. A DL stint is also still on the table. Everyone adjust their fantasy lineups accordingly.