Edwin Jackson turned down three-year offer from Pirates

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Last week when Edwin Jackson agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal with the Nationals there were several reports that he turned down multi-year offers elsewhere.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com now has at least one of those offers pegged, reporting that Jackson said no to a three-year proposal from the Pirates believed to be worth around $30 million.

Barring a major injury or the worst season of his career Jackson should have little trouble securing at minimum another nice one-year deal as a free agent again next offseason, but turning down $30 million in guaranteed money for $11 million and the chance to potentially pitch yourself into a bigger deal on the open market is certainly a big risk.

Of course, when you’re 28 years old and the $11 million deal pushes your career earnings to nearly $30 million it’s probably a little easier to take that risk. And agent Scott Boras was no doubt willing to take his chances on Jackson landing a mega-deal next winter.

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.