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Reds sign first-round draft pick Hunter Greene

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The Reds signed first-round draft pick Hunter Greene on Friday afternoon, cutting it close as the deal was struck just minutes prior to the 5 PM deadline. Greene, a 17-year-old right-hander, was projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the months leading up to the 2017 draft and ultimately landed in the No. 2 slot as the Reds’ first pick. Per MLB.com’s Jim Callis, the high school righty is expected to take home a bonus of $7.23 million, the “highest bonus ever in [the] bonus pool era.”

Had the team failed to reach a deal with Greene, they would have received the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Reds’ general manager Dick Williams spoke to the stressful situation, telling MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, “It was just tough because there was a lot at stake. What made going through today a little easier was knowing that Bob Castellini, Walt Jocketty, my staff, Chris Buckley, we were all a united front on where we wanted to go with this negotiation. That made it easy.”

While Williams said his team would have been at peace regardless of the outcome, it was clear they netted a special talent in Greene. The Notre Dame High School alumnus has the high-octane fastball and developing breaking balls necessary to hold a spot in the rotation, and boasts impressive skills at short as well. The club has yet to announce Greene’s next move, but Sheldon adds that the right-hander will likely be assigned to either the Arizona League Reds or rookie-ball Billings Mustangs.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.