Yonder Alonso

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 13:  Trevor Plouffe #25 of the Minnesota Twins rounds the bases after hitting a 3 run home run in the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 13, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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Athletics sign Trevor Plouffe

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The Athletics have signed free agent third baseman Trevor Plouffe, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The deal is pending a physical. Financial details are not yet known.

Plouffe, 30, had an injury-shortened 2016 campaign, finishing with a .260/.303/.420 triple-slash line along with 12 home runs and 47 RBI in 344 plate appearances. He was limited to 84 games due to an intercostal strain and a fractured rib.

Plouffe, who hits right-handed, is likely to take the lion’s share of playing time at third base. Ryon Healy may shift across the diamond and share time at first base with Yonder Alonso. The club hasn’t announced anything officially yet, and spring training is likely to provide more clarity on that situation.

Athletics sign Yonder Alonso to a one-year deal

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Yonder Alonso #17 of the Oakland Athletics reacts after tagging Jake Marisnick (not pictured) of the Houston Astros and Teoscar Hernandez (not pictured) at first base during the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum on September 20, 2016 in Oakland, California. Hernandez was ruled safe on the play after an official review.(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Oakland Athletics and first baseman Yonder Alonso avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4 million contract this afternoon.

Alonso had a pretty bad 2016, hitting .253/.316/.367 with seven home runs. He made $2.65 million this past season and it looked like he’d be an obvious non-tender candidate. The A’s still want him, however. It’s an open question what he would’ve made if he went to arbitration, but now the question is a moot one too.

Rangers clinch the AL West with 3-0 win over Athletics

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  The Texas Rangers, including Adrian Beltre #29 and Rougned Odor #12, celebrate after they clinched the American League West Division Title by beating the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 23, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Rangers became the first American League team to clinch a postseason berth after a 3-0 win over the Athletics on Friday night.

If the A’s had their way, tonight would have gone the way of the league’s 24th perfect game. For six innings, Kendall Graveman Oakland starter Kendall Graveman failed to allow a single baserunner. That dream was quashed in the seventh when Rangers’ leadoff batter Carlos Gomez ran a base hit up the middle. Carlos Beltran scored the Rangers’ first run on a productive out later in the inning, while Adrian Beltre smashed his 31st homer of the year, a two-run shot that gave Texas enough of a cushion to clinch the division.

Opposite Graveman, left-hander Cole Hamels took the hill for the Rangers. While FanGraphs values Hamels’ 2016 season at just 2.6 Wins Above Replacement, far below the 4.2 fWAR he accumulated in 2015, the lefty has been the strongest asset in the Rangers’ rotation this season. In the second half, he knocked his BB/9 and HR/9 down a few pegs and raised his 8.76 K/9 rate to a 9.40 mark.

Hamels tossed seven scoreless frames against the A’s, walking two and striking out six in his 15th win of the year. Behind his fifth shutout performance of the year, the bullpen got into a little trouble in the ninth inning when right-hander Sam Dyson put runners on first and second. Yonder Alonso subbed in for Jake Smolinski, working a 2-1 count before hitting into a game-ending force out.

With the win, the Rangers have clinched their sixth division title since 1996. It’s still possible that Texas will see some AL West competition in the ALDS, as the Astros and Mariners sit 2.5 and 2.0 games back of a wild card berth, respectively.

Right now, however, it’s time to celebrate.