Japan

19-year-old pitcher spurns MLB draft to sign contract in Japan

In this image, Carter Stewart and commissioner Rob Manfred stand next to each other on a stage with a brick wall.
Carter Stewart and commissioner Rob Manfred at last year's draft. Photo: Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

19-year-old pitcher Carter Stewart has agreed to a six-year, $7+ million contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League, a groundbreaking deal that could change baseball.

Why it matters: The MLB's financial model limits the bargaining power of amateurs, pays minor leaguers sub-poverty-level wages and keeps players locked into below-market contracts through their peak years. The only reason players put up with this is because there's no alternative. Stewart may have just created one.

Venus could unlock the secrets of habitability in our solar system and beyond

Venus seen by Mariner 10 in 1974. Photo: NASA

Venus is sometimes considered Earth’s "evil twin," and yet we know frustratingly little about it, creating a blind spot in our own history.

The big picture: NASA has prioritized Mars, Earth's other sibling planet. The space agency has launched more than a dozen spacecraft to study the red world over the past 30 years and is planning to eventually send humans there. Meanwhile, in that time, NASA only launched one dedicated mission — Magellan — to Venus.