Cubs won't give up Marmol and Castro for Granderson

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In his Sunday “Whispers” column, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Cubs are serious about acquiring Curtis Granderson from the Tigers but have made it known that they will not give up closer Carlos Marmol or prospect shortstop Starlin Castro.



Rogers speculates that the Tigers could ask for 23-year-old
right-hander Andrew Cashner and prospect third baseman Josh Vitters instead.




Castro was recently named the organization’s top prospect by Baseball America,
while Vitters ranked third and Cashner fourth. Due in part to his
performance during the Arizona Fall League (.376 batting average in 26
games), Castro has become one of the most talked about prospects in the game. With this week’s story in the Chicago Tribune that
the Cubs are preparing Ryan Theriot for a move to second base, it’s clear that Castro is viewed as Chicago’s shortstop of the future.



In other news from Sunday’s column, scouts from the Tigers and other American League
teams are looking at infielder-outfielder Jake Fox. Fox, 27, batted
.259/.311/.468 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI in 216 at-bats for the Cubs
in 2009.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

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.