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.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.