As the season runs down its pennant race, two teams are taking an opportunity to lock-in their talent for the 2019 season. Xavier de Soto and Adam Russillo have extended their contracts with the Miami Storm and the Toronto Nomads respectively.
Hot-hitting de Soto, who leads the AEL in batting with a .389 average, and also has 19 bombs and 63 RBIs along with a smattering of stolen bases, will remain in Miami for the next two seasons after inking an extension worth $32 million in total.
The 8-time all-star, who was claimed on waivers from Toronto back in 2005, has always been a consistently strong contact hitter. But this year de Soto proved he can also swing a fierce power bat, grabbing double-digit home runs for the second time in his career by nearly doubling the 10 he hit in 2010.
Speaking of Toronto, that team’s current hitting sensation, Russillo, will avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility after sealing a 1-year extension worth $3.25 million. The right fielder missed his first all-star game after dealing with a separated shoulder that took him out of action for six weeks. Despite the spell on the DL, Russillo has managed a .368 average and 7 steals, as well as a collection of extra-base hits. The overall 7th pick from the 2015 draft is seen by many to be a key to Toronto’s future, which looks brighter after adding power bats like Brian Chambliss and Rich Dillon into the lineup.
Toronto is all but out of the pennant race for this season, but Miami is in a dogfight for the second wildcard in the AEL, currently 5 games behind the incumbent, Seattle Salts.