Mets and R.A. Dickey avoid arbitration, agree to two-year deal

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UPDATE: Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the deal is worth about $8 million.

11:13 PM, Friday: The Mets might be hard up for cash, but they just signed one of their pitchers to a multi-year contract.

According to Andy Martino, the Mets and R.A. Dickey avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract with a club option for 2013, pending a physical.

The new deal covers his final arbitration season and at least his first year of free agency. Exact terms aren’t yet known, but Dickey requested $4.7 million and was offered $3.35 million from the Mets when arbitration figures were exchanged last Tuesday.

The 36-year-old knuckleballer was a revelation for the Mets last season, posting a 2.84 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 104/42 K/BB ratio over 174 1/3 innings.

I’m expecting something in the range of two years and $8-9 million, maybe a little more in the form of a buyout. If Dickey can prove that last season wasn’t a fluke, the Mets will have done very well here.

UPDATE: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that including the option and potential incentives, Dickey could make $13 million over the length of the contract.

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.

Report: Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman initiate Marlins’ staff cuts

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A report from Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reveals that prospective Marlins’ owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have already initiated several key firings within the organization. While the sale of the team is still pending final approval next month, Jeter reportedly pushed club president David Samson to remove four special assistants this week: Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine.

Hall of Fame infielder Dawson, outfielder Perez and Marlins’ legend Conine served as special assistants to the president. McKeon, who served as team manager from 2003-2005 (and briefly in 2011), was terminated from a 12-year post as special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria.

The move didn’t come as a big surprise to Dawson and McKeon, Jackson and Spencer noted. It’s part and parcel of dealing with new ownership. But it was disappointing news nonetheless, especially as the long-tenured McKeon might lose an opportunity to return next September to manage one game and cement his status as the oldest manager in MLB history.

Should the Marlins’ sale go through in October as expected, this figures to be the beginning of several cuts. Per Jackson and Spencer:

Jeter also is expected to fire some people on the baseball side of the operation, though it’s believed president/baseball operations Michael Hill will be retained, at least indefinitely if not permanently.

Any replacements for those already released from the team have yet to be announced.