Hisanori Takahashi drawing some interest from Phillies after leaving Mets

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Because of a unique clause in his contract Hisanori Takahashi became a free agent when the Mets failed to sign him to a new contract by November 5 and now Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Phillies are interested in signing him.

Philadelphia is already said to be close to a two-year deal to keep Jose Contreras, but the Phillies could view Takahashi as the left-handed replacement for J.C. Romero, whose $4.5 million option for 2011 was declined last week.

Takahashi split his rookie season between the bullpen and rotation but had most of his success as a reliever, going 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 41 relief outings compared to 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 12 starts.

New York reportedly offered Takahashi a one-year deal to stay, but various sources have suggested that the 35-year-old southpaw is looking for a two- or three-year contract worth around $5 million per season. He may have a tough time getting that much money for that many seasons, but the Phillies are apparently willing to sign Contreras to a multi-year deal and he’s actually four years older than Takahashi.

Braves’ prospect Ronald Acuna wins AFL MVP, helps clinch AFL Championship Game

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The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.

At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.

Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.

From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.

Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.