Report: Nationals “pushing hard” to land Gio Gonzalez from Athletics

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Nationals are “pushing hard” to acquire left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics. No word on the specific players being offered by Washington, but Rosenthal hears the two sides are discussing a four-for-one deal.

Gonzalez has drawn interest from several teams this winter. The 26-year-old left-hander is arbitration-eligible for the first time as a Super Two player, but he’s still four years away from free agency. The asking price is naturally expected to be sky high.

It doesn’t appear as though anything is imminent and it’s possible that whoever lost out on the bidding for right-hander Yu Darvish could intensify their pursuit in the next 24 hours. The Blue Jays and Rangers (considered the favorites for Darvish) have both been linked to Gonzalez this offseason.

Red Sox beat Yankees 11-6 to clinch AL East for third consecutive season

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The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.

AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.