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.

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

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ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.

After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”

Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.

Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.

For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.