New York Yankees v Texas Rangers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 7, Rangers 4: The platonic ideal of a late-dynasty Yankees game: Four hits for Jeter, homer for A-Rod, a CC Sabathia win and a Mariano Rivera save.  In other news, I sorta feel like I wanna be the guy who starts writing the breathless “can Derek Jeter hit .400?” articles. Maybe I’ll do one later today.

Giants 6, Mets 1, Giants 7, Mets 2: In the first game, Lincecum  finally pitches like Lincecum. Well, not really like Lincecum — more like a shadow of Tim Lincecum who likes to walk guys — but after his first couple of stinkers, this was quality. Madison Bumgarner ties up the Mets in the nightcap.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 1: Eleven straight losses for K.C., ten at home. In other news, someone you love lost their job since 2008 while Ned Yost remains gainfully employed. For now.

Cubs 3, Cardinals 2: Jason Motte came in to lock down a 2-1 lead in the ninth, but the Cubbies had different ideas: walk, walk, groundout to put both runners in scoring position and then a Joe Mather two-run RBI single to win it for Chicago. A great Jaime Garcia start was waster (7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER).  If Tony La Russa was still alive, Motte would be working mopup duty tomorrow and La Russa would be claiming that the Cardinals never had a closer, and who are you talking about anyway?

Red Sox 6, Twins 5: Cody Ross homered in the 7th to tie it and homered again in the ninth to put the Sox ahead for good. Jon Lester wasn’t sharp — he gave up five runs in seven — but the pen actually held Minnesota scoreless for two innings, which is a cause for celebration with the Sox.

Dodgers 7, Braves 2: I watched the first couple innings of this. Between listening to Vin Scully and watching Dee Gordon and Matt Kemp play, I’m sorta tempted to turn heel on my Braves and root for the Dodgers this entire series. It was especially easy to do last night what with Jair Jurrjens becoming this year’s version of 2011 Derek Lowe and over four innings of Livan Hernandez Time.

Diamondbacks 9, Phillies 5: The return of an effective Justin Upton (2 for 3, HR 2 RBI). I may have said on the HBT Extra going up today that Kyle Kendrick filling in for Cliff Lee wouldn’t be horrible. Which just goes to show you that you can’t believe anything you see on video (3 IP, 11 H, 7 ER).

White Sox 4, Athletics 0: Jake Peavy throws a three-hit shutout, overshadowing another great Bartolo Colon start.

Brewers 6, Astros 5: Ryan Braun was 3 for 4 with a double, homer and two RBI, breaking a 2 for 20 slump. Zack Greinke struck out nine in six innings. As go the Brewers stars, so go the Brewers.

Rockies vs. Pirates: POSTPONED: When the rain falls, there’s magic in our lives. When the rain falls, we’re happy deep inside. When the rain falls, it cleans away the corners of our minds.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.