Twins sign Brian Dozier to four-year, $20 million deal

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Second baseman Brian Dozier and the Twins have agreed to a four-year, $20 million contract that begins this season by raising his salary from the league minimum to $2 million.

Dozier was already under team control through 2018, so the Twins are essentially just giving him a salary bump for 2015 and then pre-paying for his three arbitration-eligible seasons at a cost of $3 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017, and $9 million in 2018.

There are no option years included in the contract, so Dozier will still be eligible for free agency following the 2018 season. Minnesota basically just gained cost certainty while committing $20 million in guaranteed money they otherwise could have gone year-to-year with on a player who had a nice breakout in 2014–.242 with 23 homers, 21 steals, and a .762 OPS–but was previously not assumed to be a major part of their long-term plans.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.