MLB grants Mets extension for discussions with Takahashi

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As Aaron pointed out earlier today, the Mets have been working hard to get an extension on their deadline for contract talks with impending free agent Hisanori Takahashi.  A clause in the left-hander’s contract states that a deal must be worked between the two sides by October 31 of this year, but Takahashi changed agents recently and the Mets have argued that they should now be granted more time to sort out negotiations.

That extension was granted late Thursday evening, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times.

It’s not exactly clear how long the Mets will have to work out a deal, but Waldstein adds that preliminary discussions have “already begun.”

Takahashi, 35, posted a solid 3.61 ERA and 1.30 WHIP this season, working as both a starter and reliever.  He finished with 114 strikeouts in 122 innings and even saved eight games once closer Francisco Rodriguez was placed on the restricted list for assaulting his girlfriend’s father.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.