MLB Midseason Award Winners: Rookie of the Year

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There was no baseball yesterday. There is no baseball today. There will be baseball tomorrow, but not until 7:05 PM, so it’s basically three days without anyone throwing a pitch in anger. Let’s kill the time, then, by arguing about who, if the season ended today, would be your award winners. Next up: Rookie of the Year

We are men of action. Lies do not become us. So I am not going to sit here and pretend that anyone other than Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger had a shot at the Rookie of the Year Award. Judge was covered in the MVP post. Bellinger was not called up until the end of April, and in his 68 games, he’s hit .259 with a .948 OPS, has 14 doubles, a triple, 24 homers and 56 RBI.

Judge would have to be hit by a bus next week to take himself out of contention, and would likely still be the Rookie of the Year favorite unless someone else emerged to put up a historic partial rookie season. Heck, that may not even be enough. Gary Sanchez did it last year and he came in second. Bellinger has a closer pursuer in pitcher Kyle Freeland of the Rockies, but he’s a distant, distant second. He’s tossed 107.1 innings and has a 3.77 ERA. He pitches in Coors Field, however, so that works out to a 133 ERA+. I doubt that’s terribly sustainable, though, as his he has a pretty low strikeout rate and a pretty high walk rate. Also: he’s pitched better in Denver than on the road which is . . . not expected and, again, likely not sustainable.

The Rookie of the Year Awards, barring serious injuries to Judge and Bellinger, will be a coronation, not a contest.

Report: Blue Jays and Marco Estrada nearing agreement on contract extension

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.

Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.

J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.

Video: Jackie Bradley, Jr. robs Chris Davis of a home run

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Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.

This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.