Report: Nats to Ax Manny Acta

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According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com,
citing baseball sources, the Nationals are set to fire manager Manny
Acta. The ax could come as soon as an off-day on Monday, with the team
preparing to start a series against the Yankees. According to the
report, Acta would be replaced by bench coach Jim Riggleman.

The 40-year-old Acta has compiled a 147-231 record in two and a half
seasons as manager and has led the club to a league-worst 15-43 mark
this season. It’s a real shame because Acta never had much talent to
work with and guided a far-worse team to a 73-89 record in 2007. But
after the firing of pitching coach Randy St. Claire earlier this month,
and the selection of Stephen Strasburg this week, the organization
seems desperate to carve out a new image. Acta is but a fall guy in a
pretty misguided narrative.

The thing I don’t understand is that if this story already leaked,
why not just show the man some respect and let him go today instead of
waiting until Monday? It’s akin to firing Willie Randolph after letting
him fly out and manage the first game of a West Coast trip. It’s not
like Riggleman doesn’t know the players. He’s the bench coach. Let him
go already.

Report: Blue Jays and Marco Estrada nearing agreement on contract extension

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.

Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.

J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.

Video: Jackie Bradley, Jr. robs Chris Davis of a home run

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Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.

This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.