‘Ghost runner’ in extra innings made permanent by MLB Padres’ Darvish gets $30M this year in salary, signing bonus

NEW YORK. Starting extra innings with a runner at second base during the regular season was a permanent rule change in Major League Baseball on Monday after three seasons of use during the coronavirus pandemic.

Known to some as “The Ghost Runner” and to others as “Manfred’s Man” after baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, the rule was passed unanimously by an 11-member competition committee.

The committee tightened the use of position players as pitchers. They will be limited to extra innings when the player’s team is down by eight or more runs or wins by 10 or more runs in the ninth inning. Last year, a position player could only pitch in extra innings or if his team was losing or winning by six or more runs.

The joint competition committee, set up in March last year to settle the lockout, includes six executives, four union representatives and one judge.

There were 216 extra games last year, compared to 233 in 2021 and 78 in the 2020 shortened season. The longest last year was a 7-6 win by Cleveland over Minnesota in 15 innings in Game 2 of the doubleheader on September 17. Half time win in San Diego on August 25, 2021.

Home teams went 113-103 in over-innings games last year and are 262-263 in over-innings games since the second-rule runner started in 2020, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Home teams went 312-294 in extra games from 2017 to 2019, Elias said.

The rule was adopted as a pandemic control measure for the 2020 season and is likely to remain in place.

“Clubs are used to the extra innings rule,” Manfred said Thursday after the owners’ meeting. “I think it’s generally liked by the players.”

The use of position players as pitchers has risen from 90 in 2019 to 89 in 2021 and 132 last year, according to the commissioner’s office. Usage when six or seven runs behind has increased from eight in 2019 to 16 in 2021 and 28 last year.

Usage in a lead with six or more runs has risen from 1 in 2019 and none in 2021 to 18 last season.

SAN DIEGO – Yu Darvish This year, he will receive $30 million in salary and a signing bonus as part of a new six-year, $108 million contract with the San Diego Padres.

The deal, announced Thursday, replaced the final season of a six-year, $126 million contract that would have paid the 36-year-old right-hander $18 million this season.

Darvish receives a $6 million signing bonus, of which $2 million is payable within 30 days of the commissioner’s office approval of the deal, $2 million on June 1, and $2 million on September 1.

He is earning a salary of $24 million this year, $15 million in 2024, $20 million in 2025, $15 million in 2026 and $14 million each in 2027 and 2028.

Darvish’s 2028 salary will increase by $1 million for each Cy Young award he receives in 2023-27.

Darvish helped the Padres to the NL Championship Series last season, which was one of the best of his 11-year major league career. He went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA and 197 strikeouts. He was 2-1 in the postseason.

In 2020, the Cubs traded Darvish to the Padres.

Darvish leads the rotation, which also includes goods from his hometown. Joe Musgrove, who signed a five-year, $100 million contract in July. Padres sign shortstop Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million deal in December, though Fernando Tatis Jr. will be eligible to return on April 20 following an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Tatis will move to the outfield, possibly to the right.

The Padres may have bigger expenses ahead in the quest for their first World Series championship. All-Star third baseman Manny Machado could opt out of his 10-year, $300 million contract after this season, and the Padres would like him to end his career in San Diego. Machado finished second in last year’s NL MVP voting.


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