Report: Brewers pass on Atlanta's Lowe-for-Hart proposal

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FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, who suddenly joined twitter a mere two days after I whined about his absence mentions that that the Braves were turned down by the Brewers after offering Derek Lowe for Corey Hart.
It wasn’t a tough call for Milwaukee. Hart’s stock is way down from a year ago and he likely could be had in the right deal, but he’s not particularly expensive. He’ll probably command $4 million-$4.5 million in arbitration, and he’s still two years away from free agency.
Lowe, on the other hand, is due $45 million for three years. The Brewers could really use someone with his ability to eat innings, but no one is looking at Lowe as an asset at that price after his disappointing 2009 season.
The Brewers would almost surely jump if the Braves instead offered Javier Vazquez for Hart, but it’s doubtful Atlanta will go that route.

Astros clinch AL West for third consecutive year

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For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.

Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.

Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.

Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.

The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.