Thursday’s roundup: Lowe heads back to Mariners
It didn’t take Mark Lowe long to land on his feet.
The former Tigers reliever, cut earlier this week after a disastrous 2016 season, will rejoin the Seattle Mariners, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported Thursday.
The Mariners will be on the hook for the major-league minimum if he makes the team at some point — that’s less than $600,000 — while the Tigers will owe Lowe the rest of his $5.5 million salary.
The Tigers signed Lowe two offseasons ago, to a two-year, $11-million contract.
The right-hander posted a 5.66 ERA and a 1.581 WHIP, allowing 12 home runs in 49.1 innings. Trying to keep his spot in the Tigers’ bullpen this spring, he had an ERA of 5.19 and WHIP of 1.62.
Manager Brad Ausmus called the cut earlier this week among the toughest he’s had to make.
Lowe, 33, will mark his third stint with the Mariners, the team that drafted him in the fifth round of the 2004 draft. He pitched his first four-plus seasons in the major leagues with the Mariners, and had a brief stint with them in 2015, when he posted a 1.00 ERA in 34 games.
Lowe also has pitched for the Rangers, Indians, Angels and Blue Jays.
Odor signs big extension
Rougned Odor and the Rangers have agreed to a new six-year contract that includes a club option for 2023 and guarantees the young second baseman at least $49.5 million.
The deal completed Thursday includes a $2-million signing bonus and a $13.5-million club option for 2023 with a $3-million buyout. Odor’s salary will be $1 million this season, and then it will increase to $3 million in 2018 and $7.5 million in 2019. He will make $9 million in 2020 before $12 million in each of the last two years of the contract.
At 23, Odor is already going into his fourth season with the Rangers. He hit .271 with 33 home runs and 88 RBIs last year, when he became known to many for punching Toronto slugger Jose Bautista during a May 15 game , the finale of a contentious series. Odor served a seven-game suspension for that.
Odor was the youngest player in the majors when he made his Rangers debut in May 2014. He has hit .265 with 58 homers and 197 RBIs in his career.
Judge wins the decision
Aaron Judge, one of the most intriguing prospects in all of baseball has won the Yankees’ right-field job and Luis Severino has earned the fourth spot in the starting rotation.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Aaron Hicks will be the fourth outfielder.
“That was a very tough call,” Girardi said. “It was a very good competition.
“In the end, we thought Judge won the competition.”
Judge, 6-foot-7 and 282 pounds, has a .345 spring training average. He hit .179 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 27 games following his August call-up to the Yankees last season, but he struck out 42 times in 84 at-bats.
Hicks has a .264 average in exhibition play.
Severino has tremendous promise but went just 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA in 11 starts and 11 relief appearances last year.
Novice is Nationals closer
Blake Treinen will begin the season as the closer for the Nationals, even though he has only one big-league save.
After Washington went a winter without landing a ninth-inning man and a spring training trying to figure out who would earn the role, manager Dusty Baker announced the 28-year-old Treinen won the job.
Baker, general manager Mike Rizzo and pitching coach Mike Maddux waited until the team’s final day in Florida to pick their guy. The Nationals lost Mark Melancon to the Giants in free agency. Treinen beat out Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Around the horn
The Twins made slugger Byung Ho Park one of their final roster cuts despite a strong performance at the plate throughout spring training, in favor of a 13-man pitching staff.
... Zack Wheeler earned a spot in the Mets’ rotation after missing two years while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
... Infielder Yandy Diaz, a prized prospect, has made the Indians’ Opening-Day roster.