Mat Latos, Reds avoid arbitration with two-year contract

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Cincinnati has avoided arbitration with Mat Latos by signing the right-hander to a two-year, $11.5 million contract.

Latos was arbitration eligible for the first time at age 25 and requested $4.7 million while the Reds countered at $4.15 million. This deal gives him some financial security in case an injury happens and gives the team some cost certainty in case he has a big year. And he’ll still be arbitration eligible again in 2015.

Latos was acquired from the Padres last offseason for Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal, and Edinson Volquez, throwing 209 innings with a 3.48 ERA and 185/64 K/BB ratio to show that his success in San Diego was hardly a Petco Park illusion.

Among all active pitchers with at least 100 career starts Latos ranks 14th in ERA (3.41) and 15th in strikeouts per nine innings (8.42).

Report: Charlie Sheen has original cast on board for Major League III, looking for financial backing

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TMZ is reporting that actor Charlie Sheen has the original cast on board for Major League III but is still looking for financial backing. TMZ cites Sheen referring to the script as “dynamite.”

The original Major League came out in 1989 and debuted at No. 1 at the box office. That spurred a sequel, Major League II, which was released five years later in 1994. Despite negative reviews, II debuted at No. 1 at the box office as well. Major League: Back to the Minors was released in 1998, but tanked at the box office and received mostly negative reviews.

Given that trend, one might wonder why anyone would attempt Major League III, and one would be correct to raise that question. But it’s been 19 years since the last installment and 27 years since the original. People in their early 30’s and 40’s with nostalgia and disposable income will likely be willing to pay to relive a blast from the past. In my humble opinion, Major League is the finest of the baseball movies, so I’ll at least be curious if Sheen ends up getting financial backing.

Sheen has had, well, an interesting life in the last two decades so it’s no sure thing that people with money will trust him to stay out of trouble.

Jose Bautista is starting at third base for the first time in over four years

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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is getting a rare start at third base today. How rare is it? Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae notes that he last started at third base on April 14, 2013 against the Royals.

Bautista has played some third base already this year. On April 27 against the Cardinals, Bautista pinch-hit for third baseman Chris Coghlan and stayed in the game at the position. Last Saturday, Bautista moved from right field to third base as part of a handful of defensive switches. Overall, he’s played four defensive innings at the hot corner this season.

The Blue Jays have had to get creative at third base while Josh Donaldson has dealt with a calf injury. Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan have drawn most of the starts at third base, but catcher Russell Martin started there on Sunday and tonight we’ll see Bautista there.