Bay agreed to deal with Mets on Christmas

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Thumbnail image for Jason Bay headshot.jpgRob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Jason Bay agreed to his deal with the Mets on Christmas day, four days before it was reported by Mike Francesa on his “Mike’d Up” radio show on WFAN.

The Mets signed Bay to a four-year, $66 million contract with a vesting
option for a fifth year which could bring the total to more than $80
million. According to Bradford, the financial figures are slightly more
than the Mets’ original offer for Bay, but the option year was in their
proposal from the beginning.

To recap, right after the winter meetings, it was reported that the Mets offered Bay a four-year contract in the vicinity of $65 million. Days later, Bradford reported that one major league team extended an offer to Bay exceeding four years,
prompting many to erroneously believe there was a “mystery team” in the
bidding. Knowing how the situation played out, we have at least some reason to
believe that the Mets were this “mystery team” all along.

In a related story, Bay will undergo a physical with the Mets on Monday before making the new contract official.

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.