Brewers calling up Francisco Rodriguez

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Today’s the day Francisco Rodriguez can opt out of his minor-league contract with the Brewers if they haven’t called him up and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that K-Rod is on the way back to the majors.

Rodriguez’s deal pays him $2 million for cracking the Brewers’ roster, so they clearly feel he can help in a setup role. And he was plenty useful last season, throwing 72 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 72/31 K/BB ratio.

Rodriguez made a total of four appearances between Single-A and Triple-A, throwing four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. And given how the Brewers’ late-inning situation has been influx it’s not totally inconceivable that he could be in line for some saves at some point.

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.