Carlos Gonzalez

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies walks through the empty dugout after the final game of the season at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Rockies 6-4. The Rockies finished their season 75-87. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Rockies continue extension talks with Carlos Gonzalez

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The Rockies are still working on an extension offer for Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado GM Jeff Bridich says (via ESPN’s Jim Bowden). The 31-year-old outfielder is one season away from polishing off the seven-year, $80.5 million contract he signed with the Rockies in 2011, but both sides appear amenable to working out a longer deal to keep him in Colorado.

Despite losing some of the power that fueled his 40-homer campaign in 2015, Gonzalez slashed an impressive .298/.350/.505 in 2016, racking up 25 home runs, 100 RBI and a career-best 42 doubles. The Rockies have plenty of options in the outfield corners, including Gerardo Parra, David Dahl, Raimel Tapia and Jordan Patterson, and while Gonzalez remains one of the most potent left-handed bats in the lineup (among many lefties), his trade value could supersede his potential contributions on the field.

Extension rumors surfaced as early as November, but the club’s initial suggestions were thought to be well under Gonzalez’s asking price. Should the two sides find themselves unable to cross that chasm, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman thinks it’s likely that the team will push for a midseason trade before the outfielder hits free agency in 2017.

Thirty big leaguers confirmed for the World Baseball Classic

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 10:  Miguel Cabrera #24 of Venezuela gets a hit and drives in a run against Spain during the first round of the World Baseball Classic at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on March 10, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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OXON HILL, MD — The folks behind the World Baseball Classic today announced an initial list of 30 players who have confirmed their participation in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The confirmed players:

There will be more later — rosters do not have to be firmed up until early February — but that’s a pretty good list for now.

Trea Turner is hitting home runs like David Ortiz

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 09:  Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals is greeted by team after hitting game winning home run in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on September 9, 2016 in Washington, DC.  The Nationals won 5-4.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Trea Turner may not have as many home runs as David Ortiz, but he’s hitting them just as far.

The 23-year-old outfielder hit a pair of homers during the Nationals’ 5-4 rout of the Phillies on Friday, including a walk-off blast that measured 440 ft. over the center field wall in Turner Stadium. It’s hardly enough to place him in the upper echelon of home run hitters, with home runs from Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Gonzalez routinely exceeding 470 ft. and topping out at 495 ft. on the year, but it’s enough to land Turner in some impressive company.

One of the home run hitters he’s keeping company with is Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who carries 31 home runs to Turner’s eight. While there’s no universe in which we can reasonably compare Turner’s power-hitting capabilities over five weeks to that of a career .286/.380/.551 hitter, both Turner and Ortiz are seeing some similar results off the bat.

Per Andrew Simon and ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, both hitters carry a couple of home runs exceeding 440 ft., from Ortiz’s 451-foot long ball against San Francisco’s Jake Peavy to Turner’s 450-foot moonshot off of Arizona’s Zack Godley. They’re hitting the ball at similar speeds, too, with Ortiz’s maximum speed off the bat topping out at 116.2 m.p.h. and Turner’s sitting at 114.4 m.p.h.

Although Turner isn’t getting a full season’s worth of playing time in the majors this year, he’s raking enough to make his time with the Nationals count. Apparently, that’s just the way manager Dusty Baker planned it.

Everybody was hollering that he should have been up here sooner, but I disagree,” Baker said. “I think we left him down there long enough to get his confidence and to fine-tune his skills.

Not only have the rookie’s home runs landed among some of the farthest and fastest in the league, but they’ve arrived at just the right time. The Nationals have seen 17 of their last 30 games decided by two or fewer runs and have gone 17-13 in that stretch, thanks in no small part to Turner’s .372/.381/.558 slash line over the last month.

On the heels of a conversation in which the 23-year-old slugger disparaged some hitting advice (reminiscent of Ichiro Suzuki’s declaration that while he could hit for power, he preferred to hit for average), it appears he’s made his point.