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Posted by: liny195
Date: April 11, 2019 10:46PM
SURPRISE Phil Hughes Jersey , Ariz. (AP) — Ryan O’Hearn recalled the moment he knew he belonged in the big leagues.He and fellow rookie Hunter Dozier went back-to-back in the ninth inning off Chad Allen in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 24.“After the game I realized we could do this,” O’Hearn said before a spring training workout. “We could compete in this division. I could compete in this league. That was a huge confidence builder for me. That was a great day.”The Royals ended the season on a 20-14 run starting with that game after beginning the year 38-90.O’Hearn, a 2014 eighth-round draft pick, homered in his big league debut on July 31.He finished with 12 home runs, 10 doubles and 30 RBIs in 170 plate appearances.“Confidence-wise I feel a lot different,” he said. “I got a taste of it last year. I understand what it takes to have success in the big leagues. This year it is more of a sense of excitement per the team of what we can do. Potential is a dangerous word, but there really is a lot of potential in this room.”He hit only .232 with 11 home runs in 100 games with Triple-A Omaha in 2018, numbers that would normally not merit a promotion.But the Royals had another metric they were examining — hard-hit balls.“Hard-hit rate to me is huge,” O’Hearn said. “As a hitter, what are you trying to do? You’re trying to hit the ball hard when you’re up there. I had an idea that my hard-hit rate was pretty good. As far as a promotion , nobody ever sat me down and said, ‘We’re going to promote you because of that.’“I just took it and said this is my time and ran with it. I feel like a completely different player than I was a year ago. I’m not just happy to be here. Let’s do something with this.”O’Hearn entered last spring training competing for the starting first base job after Eric Hosmer left to sign with the San Diego Padres. But the Royals signed veteran Lucas Duda on Feb. 28 to play first, and for O’Hearn that meant starting the season back at Omaha.The left-handed hitting O’Hearn did well against right-handed pitchers last season, hitting .313 with a .403 on-base percentage and a .705 slugging percentage. While it is a small sample size, he hit only .108 and slugged .270 in 37 at-bats against left-handed pitchers.“Which freaked me out, too, trust me,” O’Hearn said. “I don’t think I’m a platoon player by any means, and I’m ready to prove that.”Royals manager Ned Yost said O’Hearn “hasn’t proved yet” he can handle major league left-handers.“But he always has in the minor leagues.” Yost said. “Do we feel like he can? Yeah. In trying to create playing time for everybody, is that a position we might platoon? Maybe.” SEATTLE (AP) — Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi has finalized four-year contract with the Seattle Mariners that guarantees $56 million and incudes club options that could make it worth $109 million over seven seasons.Seattle announced the agreement Wednesday , just ahead of the deadline for the 27-year-old to sign with a major league club.He receives a $6 million signing bonus and salaries of $8 million this year, $14 million in 2020 and $15 million in 2021. The agreement includes a $13 million player option for 2022, and Seattle has options worth $16.5 million annually for 2022-25.Seattle has until the third day after the 2021 World Series to exercise all four team options. If the Mariners decline, Kikuchi has until the fifth day after the 2021 World Series to exercise his player option.“Yusei’s combination of character, talent, experience and relative age made him a primary target in our roster building plans,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “He is an exciting young pitcher with the ability to impact the Mariners, both in the present and future.”Kikuchi was posted by the Pacific League’s Seibu Lions on Dec. 4. Under the rules in the November 2017 posting agreement, he had until Wednesday afternoon Seattle time to sign with a major league team.Seattle owes Seibu $10,275 Anibal Sanchez Jersey ,000 as a posting fee: 20 percent of the first $25 million in guaranteed money, 17.5 percent of the next $25 million and 15 percent above that. The Mariners would owe Seibu a supplemental fee of $7.95 million if the club options are exercised — 15 percent of the additional guaranteed money.Kikuchi was 14-4 with a 3.08 ERA for Seibu last season. He was 16-6 with a 1.97 ERA a year earlier. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s and he has an array of off-speed pitches.Dipoto was open at the winter meetings in Las Vegas about his interest in Kikuchi and about how a deal structured in the right way could still fit in the Mariners’ rebuilding plans. Seattle is undergoing an extensive makeover this offseason in the hopes of acquiring prospects now with an ultimate goal of being able to contend in a couple of years.Kikuchi will turn 28 during the 2019 season. With the trade of James Paxton this offseason, Kikuchi will slot high in Seattle’s rotation alongside Marco Gonzales, Mike Leake, Wade LeBlanc, Felix Hernandez and likely a couple of young prospects.Kikuchi is the latest in a line of Japanese players to call Seattle home, a list that started with Ichiro Suzuki and also includes Kazuhiro Sasaki, Kenji Johjima, Nori Aoki and Hisashi Iwakuma.Seattle’s deal with Kikuchi includes a full no-trade provision through 2021. If the club options are exercised, he gets a full no-trade provision in 2022 and a limited no-trade provision allowing him to block swaps to 10 teams in 2023 and five for the rest of the agreement. He becomes a free agent when the contract expires.He also would get $500 ,000 for winning a Cy Young Award, $250,000 for finishing second through fifth and $100,000 for Rookie of the Year. He would get $100,000 each for World Series MVP and winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, and $50,000 apiece for League Championship Series MVP and Gold Glove.

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