Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia agree to a contract extension

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Rob Bradford of WEEI has the news:

And to clarify:

This seems pretty spiffy for all sides, yes? The Sox lock up the foundation of their offense, defense and clubhouse all at an annual rate that is better than a lot of teams’ top stars get. Yes, he may not look great at the end of that deal given his age now and the fact that he’s a second baseman, but (a) he’s been a bargain for his entire career before now; and (b) it’s not like there are freely-available Dustin Pedroia replacements out there on the market. The next one out there would’ve been, well, Dustin Pedroia, and by the time he’s a free agent his price will likely be way, way higher. I guess you could count Robinson Cano, but he’s gonna cost way more than $15 million a year.

The Sox did well here. Especially given that we live in a time when most elite players are getting locked up way before they hit the market.  You can’t just buy a team anymore. Ask the Yankees about that.

Dallas Keuchel to return to Astros’ rotation on Friday

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.

Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.

Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.

Video: Ketel Marte hits an inside-the-park home run

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Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.

The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.