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Phillies close to two-year extension with Jose Contreras

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From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that the Phillies are close to re-signing reliever Jose Contreras to a two-year contract worth around $5 million.  The deal also comes with a third year option and performance incentives.

Handing a multi-year contract to a reliever can be problematic, but the Phils had to buck up to retain the 38-year-old Contreras, who put together solid numbers as a full-time reliever in 2010.  He has actually gained velocity since moving to the bullpen and isn’t showing signs of slowing down.  It’s not all that rare for established setup men to remain effective well into their 40s.

The Phillies are expected to finalize the new pact early this week.  Then we’ll see if Contreras can top the 1.22 WHIP, 3.34 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio that he registered over 56.2 inning this past season.

Orioles’ Mark Trumbo becomes the first to 40 home runs this season

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a home run during the eighth inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 28, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.

Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.

Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.

Gerrit Cole scratched from Monday’s start

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates waits out a replay review in the first inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on August 7, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Sunday that Pirates starter Gerrit Cole was scratched from Monday’s start against the Cubs. Cole instead has flown to Los Angeles to have his sore right elbow examined by a specialist, Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Cole struggled in Wednesday’s start against the Astros, yielding five runs in five innings. He did not throw his regular between-starts bullpen. An MRI didn’t reveal any ligament damage, but a bone spur remains a possibility.

Cole, 25, has a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio in 144 innings over 20 starts this season. The right-hander missed some time earlier this season with a triceps injury.