Marlins want to extend Giancarlo Stanton, but aren’t optimistic

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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that the Marlins plan to offer a contract extension to outfielder Giancarlo Stanton during the winter, but they aren’t optimistic about their chances. The Marlins tried to get the extension talks rolling last winter, but Stanton wanted to play out the 2014 season before making it a topic of discussion. According to Heyman, Stanton is happier with the Marlins now than when he criticized the club after they traded away Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, among others.

Stanton, 24, is earning $6.5 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration two more times before becoming eligible for free agency, sans an extension, in 2017. If the Marlins aren’t able to come to an agreement with their slugger, they’ll have no other choice but to shop him to what will certainly be a horde of interested teams.

Stanton has had an MVP-caliber season, leading the league with 27 home runs and 76 RBI while slashing .289/.389/.546 and stealing 10 bases.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.