Angels open long-term contract discussions with Weaver

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The Angels got all sorts of deserved flak for taking on $81 million of Vernon Wells’ contract in a trade with the Blue Jays last week.  But they could end their offseason on a high note.

According to Mark Saxson of ESPN L.A., the Halos have opened long-term contract discussions with ace right-hander Jered Weaver.

Weaver, 28, posted a stellar 3.01 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 34 starts last season, fanning 233 batters and walking only 54 in 224.1 innings of work.  He features a strong four-pitch arsenal and looks to be entering his prime.

The Angels offered the righty a $7.365 million salary last Tuesday when arbitration figures were exchanged and Weaver’s people countered at $8.8 million.  Those numbers can be thrown out if a multi-year pact is agreed upon.  If it doesn’t happen, the two sides will have to either find a middle ground or they will head to an arbitration hearing and one of the two figures will be selected by a third party.

The Reds are on pace to break their own record for home runs allowed

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The Reds got shelled by the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon, dropping the game 12-2. The pitching staff gave up four home runs, including two to Jake Lamb. Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte also went yard.

That brings the Reds’ total on the season up to 166 through 95 games. That prorates to 283 over 162 games, which would shatter their own major league record for home runs allowed by a team in a season. Last year, the Reds’ pitching staff yielded 258 dingers.

After Thursday’s action, the Reds’ pitching has a major league worst 5.31 ERA, which is exactly in line with its major league worst 5.31 FIP. According to FanGraphs, the pitching staff is worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement, which is by far the worst in baseball. The Twins’ staff is next-worst at 2.7 WAR. It’s been a rough year in Cincinnati.

Report: Twins close to acquiring Jaime Garcia from the Braves

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Update (7:33 PM ET): There’s a deal in place, per Jon Morosi. The Braves will be receiving a minor leaguer from the Twin, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports.

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The Twins are close to acquiring starter Jaime Garcia from the Braves, Ken Rosenthal reports.

Garcia, 31, is owed the remainder of his $12 million salary for 2017 and can become a free agent at season’s end. Through 17 starts with the Braves, the lefty has a 4.33 ERA with an 81/40 K/BB ratio in 106 innings.

The 48-46 Twins find themselves just a half-game behind the Indians for first place in the AL Central, so this is certainly an attempt to gear up for the stretch run.

Aaron Blair was scratched from his start with Triple-A Gwinnett, so he could be on his way up to the majors to fill Garcia’s spot in the Braves’ rotation.