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Cardinals to announce a contract extension for Stephen Piscotty later today

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The Cardinals have announced a news conference for 2PM ET/1PM CT this afternoon. While they have not yet revealed the purpose of the presser, Ken Rosenthal reports that the club will use it to announce a contract extension for right fielder Stephen Piscotty.

Piscotty has played only one full season in the bigs and part of a second, but he has already established himself as the man who will man right in St. Louis for a long time. In 2016 he hit .273/.343/.457 with 22 homers and 85 driven in. In 2015 he hit .305/.359/.494 in 62 games.

Piscotty would not be eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 season and would not be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season. That means he’ll get some money now without the uncertainty of the next few years. It also means, of course, that he will get a lot less money than if he were to remain healthy and effective and hit those milestones without a long term deal.

But such are the tradeoffs of every young player.

UPDATE: Piscotty will be guaranteed $33.5 million in his extension, which will likely be a six-year deal with a team option.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.