Video: Javier Baez turns a heads-up double play

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The Cubs lost Game 2 of the NLCS 1-0 to the Dodgers, but the score might have been worse if second baseman Javier Baez didn’t have such good game awareness.

The Dodgers had their 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning with runners on first and second and one out against Cubs reliever Carl Edwards, Jr., who had just relieved starter Kyle Hendricks. Joc Pederson hit a weak liner to Baez, who could have easily caught the ball in the air. But he didn’t. Baez let the ball hit the ground right in front of him. He scooped up the ball and threw to shortstop Addison Russell for the force out at second base. He then instructed Russell to pay attention to Adrian Gonzalez, who was between second and third base. Russell fired the ball to third baseman Kris Bryant, Bryant threw back to Russell, and Russell ran him down to apply the tag, completing the double play and ending the inning.

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Baez also likely hit what was likely the Cubs’ hardest-hit ball of the night. He laced a Clayton Kershaw fastball out to deep center field in the bottom of the seventh, but it was caught on the warning track by Pederson.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.