UPDATE II: Slusser also hears that despite re-signing Colon, the A’s still have interest in bringing back Brandon McCarthy.
UPDATE: Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Colon will receive a $3 million base salary and could earn more with incentives.
4:37 PM: Well, here’s a surprise.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, the Athletics and Bartolo Colon have reached agreement on a one-year contract. Terms haven’t been disclosed.
Colon joined the A’s on a one-year, $2 million contract in January and posted a solid 3.43 ERA and 91/23 K/BB ratio over 152 2/3 innings prior to being suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone in late August. The 39-year-old right-hander still has five games left on the suspension, so he will begin the 2013 season on the restricted list. However, the fallout of the positive test wasn’t enough to scare the Athletics away. Colon is currently pitching with for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League and recently required stitches after he was hit in the face by a line drive.
The Athletics currently have Colon, Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and A.J. Griffin lined up for their rotation, so free agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy might not be a fit any longer.
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.
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.