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.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

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.