Joe West got the message

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Joe West’s umpiring crew was broken up in the middle of the season, with Angel Hernandez being shipped out.  As The Common Man — who had previously tracked Joe West’s exploits — notes over at The Platoon Advantage today, West must have gotten the message:

Indeed, West’s crew, which was lapping the field in early July for the most ejections in baseball, only tossed seven people over the course of the second half. They were caught and passed by Jerry Layne’s crew in September, and almost caught by Tim Tschida’s crew of umpires as well.

He was almost docile in the second half.  Amazing what a little tough love can do.

Report: Astros, Alex Bregman agree to five-year, $100 million extension

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Fox 26’s Mark Berman reports that the Astros and third baseman Alex Bregman have agreed to $100 million contract extension. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart confirms a deal has been reached and adds that the deal is actually for five years, beginning after the 2019 season. The contract will cover all three of Bregman’s arbitration years and two years of would-be free agency.

Bregman, who turns 25 years old later this month, has quickly become one of the best third basemen in baseball. Across parts of three seasons, he has hit .282/.366/.500 with 58 home runs, 208 RBI, 224 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases. FanGraphs credited him with 7.6 Wins Above Replacement, tied with Francisco Lindor and Christian Yelich for the fourth-best mark among position players in baseball, trailing only Mookie Betts (10.4), Mike Trout (9.8), and José Ramírez (8.0).

This is obviously a smart move for the Astros, as this contract extension will secure Bregman’s age 25-30 seasons. With second baseman José Altuve also locked up through 2024, and presumed extensions to come for Carlos Correa and possibly Gerrit Cole and George Springer, the Astros have a core that they can build around for years to come.