Cubs, Dexter Fowler avoid arbitration for $9.5 million

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When the Cubs acquired Dexter Fowler from the Astros they knew his 2015 salary would be a big one and sure enough the two sides have now avoided arbitration for $9.5 million.

Fowler requested $10.8 million and the Cubs countered at $8.5 million, so they’re settling slightly below the midpoint after giving up Dan Straily and Luis Valbuena for the 30-year-old switch-hitter.

Fowler spent one season in Houston, hitting .276 with eight homers and a .774 OPS in 116 games, and will take over as Chicago’s everyday center fielder with free agency looming next offseason.

Pete Alonso sets new NL rookie record with 40th home run

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With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.

Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.

Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.

With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.