Reds, Baker closing in on two-year contract extension

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Looking for an update on the negotiations between the Reds and manager Dusty Baker?  Here it is.

Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday evening that the sides are “very close” on a two-year extension and that a deal should be finalized before the end of the regular season.

“We’re close,” Baker said. “Very close. We’ve been close for a while.”

Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News reported earlier today that a three-year deal was being discussed, which still may be the case if options are included.

Baker led the Reds to their first playoff appearance and first National League Central title in 15 years this season and is about to reap the reward.  That reward being job security.

Blue Jays sign Michael Saunders

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The Blue Jays have signed outfielder Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal, per a club announcement.

Saunders, of course, played for the Blue Jays in 2015 and 2016, putting up a line of .250/.336/.461 in 594 plate appearances. It was his good play in the first half of 2016, in fact, which earned him an All-Star spot and, presumably, made the Phillies think he was worth the $9 million deal they gave him over the offseason. That didn’t work out, as he hit .205/.257/.360 over 61 games and was released last week.

The Phillies will pay the rest of that $9 million. The Jays will see if he has anything in the tank to help them out.

Giants closer Mark Melancon is heading to the disabled list once again

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The Giants have placed closer Mark Melancon on the 10-day disabled list with a right pronator strain.

This is the same injury that sent him to the disabled list last month. He came back from that quickly, but it can’t be great that this is happening again. You have to assume he’ll miss more time given the recurrence of trouble. He’s going to get an MRI too. Sam Dyson is expected to serve as the Giants’ closer while Melancon is sidelined.

Melancon has a 4.35 ERA and 11 saves in 22 appearances this year. He signed a four-year, $62 million deal with San Francisco last December.