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Report: Cliff Pennington close to signing with a team

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While this qualifies as mere kindling on the Hot Stove fire, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that veteran utility man Cliff Pennington is close to signing with a team. He’s said to be considering one-year and two-year offers.

Pennington was a regular with the Athletics from 2010-2012, but he’s more of a bench player at this point in his career. The 31-year-old batted .210/.298/.281 with three home runs, 21 RBI, and three stolen bases over 105 games this season between the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays.

Pennington made starts between shortstop, second base, third base, and even left field this season, so versatility is his best asset at this point.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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