Rangers in talks with Mets about R.A. Dickey trade, but an extension now seems more likely

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Couple of developments on the R.A. Dickey front.

According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, the Rangers “expressed willingness” to include prospect Mike Olt in a trade for the 38-year-old knuckleballer but were told by the Mets front office that it’s going to take more. In related news, Martino writes that the Mets have made “modest progress” on a contract extension for Dickey since the Winter Meetings concluded on Thursday night.

Olt, a 24-year-old third baseman, first baseman and corner outfielder, owns a .282/.391/.521 career slash line in the minor leagues and slugged 28 home runs in 92 games this past season at Double-A Frisco.

The Rangers are doubtful to sweeten their offer beyond Olt, and the Mets are doubtful to get a better return elsewhere.  So it seems that an extension that will keep Dickey in New York is the likeliest scenario.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.

The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.

Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.

Chris Sale records his 300th strikeout this season

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.

Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.

Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.