UPDATE: Dodgers sign Jerry Hairston Jr. to two-year, $6 million deal

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6:25 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says the deal is done. Hairston will receive $6 million over two years, plus incentives, from the Dodgers. He’ll serve as a backup in both the infield and outfield, and he could push Juan Uribe for playing time at third base if Uribe struggles to bounce back from an awful 2011 season.

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Ned Colletti: “Hey, Jerry. I think you’re great. I know there are a lot of teams out there who would love to have you around next season. I tell ya what I’m going to do. I’m going to offer you a two-year deal.”

Jerry Hairston Jr.: “Two years, Ned? I’m 35 years old, I’ve been in the big leagues 14 seasons and I’ve never had a multiyear deal. What’s the catch?”

Ned: “Catch? No catch. Well, I mean, you’ll have to settle for $1 million next year. But I can promise you a cool $5 million in 2012.”

Jerry: “OK, sure, why the heck not?”

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Hairston is coming off one of his better years, having hit .270/.344/.383 in 337 at-bats for the Nationals and Brewers, and while he’s not much of a shortstop, his versatility does make him pretty valuable, even if it’s more the kind of value that leads teams to offer him one-year, $2 million contracts. If this gets done, it could potentially be the first time he’s spent two full years with the same team since his tenure with the Orioles ended after the 2004 season.

The Astros gave the Yankees an opening. Keuchel and Verlander will try to close the door.

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If Game 4 of the ALCS had been even remotely conventional, it’d stand at 3-1 in favor of Houston right now. The Yankees’ starter pitched well but got no run support. A mighty Astros team with an ordinarily good closer in Ken Giles had a 4-0 lead in the late innings. As the Yankees set out to mount a comeback, a base runner fell down in between first and second and should’ve been dead to rights. This is playoff baseball, however, so stuff, as they say, happens. The runner was safe, the closer struggled, the Yankees rallied and now we’re tied 2-2.

But are we even at 2-2?

On paper, no, because the Astros now will send Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander out in Games 5 and 6, and that gives them a clear advantage. Keuchel dominated the Yankees in Game 1, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out ten batters. Verlander struck out 13 batters in a 124-pitch complete game in which he allowed only a single run. Beyond the mere facts of the box scores, however, the Yankees have looked profoundly overmatched by both of the Astros’ aces, in this postseason and on other occasions on which they’ve faced off against them. Most notably in the 2015 wild-card game at Yankee Stadium when Keuchel pitched six scoreless innings in the 3-0 victory.

But remember: stuff happens.

Stuff like Aaron Judge‘s and Gary Sanchez‘s bats waking up. The two most important sluggers in the Bombers lineup combined to go 3-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, a walk and five RBI in last night’s victory. Each of them had been silent for the first three games of the series but if they’re heating up, the Yankees will be a lot harder to pitch to.

Stuff like Masahiro Tanaka showing that he can tame the Astros’ lineup. Which he did pretty well in Game 1, giving up only two runs on four hits in six innings. He was overshadowed by Keuchel in that game, but it was a good performance against a strong lineup in a hostile environment. Tanaka pitches much better at Yankee Stadium than he does on the road, so don’t for a second think that the Astros bats will have an easy time of it today.

Stuff like the Yankees bullpen still being the Yankees bullpen. Yes, the Astros got to David Robertson yesterday, but it’s still a strong, strong group that gives the Yankees a clear advantage if the game is close late or if they hold a lead.

All of which is to say that we have ourselves a series, friends. While, 48 hours ago, it seemed like we were on our way to an Astros coronation, the Yankees have shown up in a major way in Games 3 and 4. If you’re an Astros fan you should feel pretty confident with Keuchel and Verlander heading into action over the next two games, but we have learned that absolutely nothing is guaranteed in the postseason.