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Dodgers, Justin Turner reportedly closing in on a four-year deal

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Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers and free agent third baseman Justin Turner “have been talking about a four-year deal.” This on the heels of various reports over the weekend that the parties are close.

Turner would be really, really hard for the Dodgers to replace. He hit .275/.339/.493 with 27 homers and 90 RBI in 2016. In three years with the Dodgers he has hit .296/.364/.492 with 50 homers and 193 RBI. His rate stats have declined in each of the past three seasons, but he’s still among the best third basemen in the league, both offensively and defensively. He’s also a leader in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.