Francisco Cordero

Reds interested in extending Francisco Cordero’s contract

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Francisco Cordero’s contract has a $12 million team option or $1 million buyout for next season and general manager Walt Jocketty admitted yesterday that the Reds “are trying to determine” what their best course of action will be.

Cordero has said he’d be open to renegotiating the deal and Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds “have discussed it quite a bit” and an extension is a “possibility.”

Jocketty added that “hopefully we’ll address it before the end of the season,” so if a Cordero extension is going to happen it may take place very soon.

Aroldis Chapman would the obvious choice to replace Cordero as closer, but the Reds have indicated that they want to give him an opportunity to be a starter in 2012. Cordero has been very effective this season, converting 32 of 37 save chances with a 2.30 ERA in 63 innings, but at age 36 his strikeout rate has plummeted to a career-low 5.7 per nine innings and the idea of guaranteeing him big money for multiple seasons might be even less appealing than simply paying him $12 million in 2012.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, Tony Pena
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Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.