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Report: Blue Jays near agreement on contract extension with John Gibbons

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Update: The extension covers the 2018-19 seasons and includes an option for 2020, MLB Network Radio reports.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Blue Jays are finalizing a contract extension with manager John Gibbons. The deal is expected to be completed by Opening Day. Gibbons is currently in the last year of a contract initially signed in November 2012 which included rollover options after each season starting with 2015. That language was removed and Gibbons was instead given a raise for the 2016-17 seasons.

Gibbons, 54, led the Blue Jays to the ALCS last season but they were stopped in five games by the Indians. The Jays also made it to the ALCS in 2015 and lost to the Royals in six games. As for the regular season, the Jays are 339-309 (.523) under Gibbons since the start of the 2013 season, the beginning of his second managerial stint with the club.

Heyman notes that the Jays’ front office values Gibbons’ in-game management as well as his ability to handle the clubhouse.

Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base upon return from DL

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.

Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.

In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).

Corey Knebel sets modern record for consecutive appearances with a strikeout

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Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.

Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.

Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.