Dodgers decline Juan Rivera, Matt Treanor options

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Turning the page on 2012, the Dodgers declined their options on outfielder Juan Rivera ($4 million, $500,000 buyout), Todd Coffey ($2.5 million, $300,000 buyout) and Matt Treanor ($950,000, $150,000 buyout) for 2013.

All three were easy calls.

Rivera, unsurprisingly, was a waste of $4 million for the Dodgers. He hit just .244/.286/.375 in 312 at-bats last season while typically starting at first base or in left field against left-handed pitching. Now 34, he might not be in line for anything more than a minor league deal this winter.

Coffey had a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 innings before going down with elbow soreness and requiring Tommy John surgery. He figures to miss at least the first two months of next season, so he’s another in line for a minor league contract.

Treanor hit .175/.281/.282 in 103 at-bats as the backup to A.J. Ellis. Now that the Dodgers have gone from bargain hunters to big spenders, they’ll be looking for a backup with a bit more pop this winter.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.