Twins offer Michael Cuddyer two-year, $16 million extension

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Various contending teams called Minnesota about Michael Cuddyer prior to the trade deadline, but the Twins turned down all advances and made it pretty clear that they want to re-sign the 32-year-old impending free agent.

And according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune their attempt to keep Cuddyer in Minnesota began with a two-year, $16 million extension offer.

Christensen reports that “the conversations went no further” with Cuddyer “preferring to hold those negotiations in the offseason.”

And he’s smart to do so. Committing to Cuddyer for much more than two years and $16 million would be a big risk for the Twins, but he’s earning $10.5 million this season and there’s no reason for him to accept a pay cut before at least seeing what the open market is like.

Cuddyer is having arguably his best season, making the All-Star team for the first time and hitting .301 with 18 homers and an .865 OPS in 105 games while seeing action at first base, second base, and his usual right field. It’s hard to imagine him not being able to get $16 million as a free agent and considering the Twins’ unabashed love of Cuddyer it’s also hard to imagine them not increasing the offer if other teams are involved.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.