On Monday, A's fans were treated to a gem from Tom Milone in his first start with the team after coming over in the Gio Gonzalez trade. The left-hander pitched eight terrific innings in a win over the Royals and, after the game, Hardball Talk put Milone's effort into historical context:
HBT's Matthew Pouliot wrote, in part:
The last pitcher to go eight scoreless without a strikeout was Justin Verlander against the Twins on May 17, 2006. Verlander also went without a walk in that one, though he still threw 103 pitches in his eight innings. Chien-Ming Wang of the Yankees pulled off the same feat five days prior on May 12, 2006, with eight scoreless, strikeout-less innings against the As.Before that, it hadnt been done since Scott Erickson of the Orioles shut out the Royals on April 28, 2002. Milone is the first left-hander to do it since the Pirates Jimmy Anderson against the Cardinals on July 22, 2001.
The article then examines whether Milone, who essentially has average stuff, will be able to keep this up. What do you think?
The Seattle Mariners have signed free agent lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a two-year contract.
Rzepczynski's deal is fo $11 million over two years. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported details of the contract.
The Mariners also signed right-handed reliever Casey Fien on Saturday. Left-hander Dean Kiekhefer and righty Zach Lee were designated for assignment.
The 31-year-old Rzepczynski was a combined 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 70 games for Oakland and Washington this season. He then pitched three times in the NL playoffs for the Nationals.
Rzepczynski has made at least 70 appearances in each of the last three years. He's also pitched for Toronto, St. Louis, Cleveland and San Diego in an eight-season career.
The 33-year-old Fien was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 39 games for Minnesota and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 27-year-old Kiekhefer made his major league debut last season and pitched 26 times in relief for the Cardinals. Seattle claimed him off waivers from St. Louis last month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Houston's offseason shopping spree got a little richer on Saturday.
More than 12 years after going to the Astros in a trade deadline deal, nine-time All-Star Carlos Beltran has reportedly agreed to return to Houston.
According to multiple national reports, the pact is a one-year, $16 million deal.
News of an agreement was first reported by ESPN. Terms were first reported by Fox Sports.
Beltran, who will be 40 years old in April, joins outfielder Josh Reddick and catcher Brian McCann as new Astros this offseason.
In 151 games between the Yankees and Rangers in 2016, Beltran hit .295/.337/.513 with 33 doubles, 29 home runs and 93 RBI.
During the 2004 season, the Royals traded a then-27-year-old Beltran to the Astros in a three-team deal that involved the A's. Oakland sent third baseman Mark Teahan and pitcher Mike Wood to Kansas City, while the A's received reliever Octavio Dotel from Houston. Kansas City also received catcher John Buck from the Astros.
Beltran's brief run with the Astros in 2004 was highlighted by one of the greatest postseason performances in MLB history. In 12 games, Beltran collected 20 hits and hit eight home runs.