Report: Angels re-sign Abreu to two-year deal

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Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have re-signed Bobby Abreu to a two-year contract with a team option for 2012.
No word yet on the money involved, but Abreu said that he’s “very happy to sign this contract” after settling for a one-year deal worth just $5 million in guaranteed money as a free agent last offseason.
What’s interesting about Abreu getting a multi-year contract now is that his production this season was basically the same as it’s been every season. He hit .293/.390/.435 with 15 homers, 30 steals, 103 RBIs, and 96 runs in 152 games for the Angels compared to .296/.371/.471 with 20 homers, 22 steals, 100 RBIs, and 100 runs in 156 games during his final season in New York.
There’s no real difference between those two seasons, and if anything Abreu was slightly worse this year because of a drop in power. Plus, now he’s 35 years old instead of 34. So why was he only worth a one-year deal for modest money last season, yet is now worth a two-year deal that will almost surely pay more annually? Perception. Abreu was viewed as merely a cog in the Yankees’ machine, whereas this season he’s been given a ton of credit for being a driving force behind the Angels’ improved offense.
We’ll have more analysis of the Abreu signing once the financial details are revealed.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.

Report: Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman initiate Marlins’ staff cuts

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A report from Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reveals that prospective Marlins’ owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have already initiated several key firings within the organization. While the sale of the team is still pending final approval next month, Jeter reportedly pushed club president David Samson to remove four special assistants this week: Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine.

Hall of Fame infielder Dawson, outfielder Perez and Marlins’ legend Conine served as special assistants to the president. McKeon, who served as team manager from 2003-2005 (and briefly in 2011), was terminated from a 12-year post as special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria.

The move didn’t come as a big surprise to Dawson and McKeon, Jackson and Spencer noted. It’s part and parcel of dealing with new ownership. But it was disappointing news nonetheless, especially as the long-tenured McKeon might lose an opportunity to return next September to manage one game and cement his status as the oldest manager in MLB history.

Should the Marlins’ sale go through in October as expected, this figures to be the beginning of several cuts. Per Jackson and Spencer:

Jeter also is expected to fire some people on the baseball side of the operation, though it’s believed president/baseball operations Michael Hill will be retained, at least indefinitely if not permanently.

Any replacements for those already released from the team have yet to be announced.