After extending shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera through the 2014 season last week, the Indians have successfully locked up another key piece of their nucleus.
According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Indians have agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Carlos Santana. An official announcement is expected tomorrow.
Exact terms aren’t yet known, but the deal likely covers his arbitration seasons and possibly his first year of free agency. Santana is currently under team control through 2016.
Santana, a former Dodgers farmhand, came into tonight’s action with a .244/.364/.464 batting line over his first 204 games in the big leagues. His impressive rookie season in 2010 was shortened due to knee surgery, but the 25-year-old bounced back last season to hit .239/.351/.457 with 27 homers, 79 RBI and an .808 OPS over 155 games.
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.