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Report: Rangers nearing minor league deal with Bartolo Colon

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The Rangers are working on a minor league deal with free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon, per a report from MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. There’s “momentum” on the deal, according to Sanchez, though nothing appears to be finalized just yet.

Colon is approaching his age-45 season in 2018. The veteran righty split his 2017 campaign between the Braves and Twins, finishing the year with a combined 7-14 record in 28 starts and a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 through 143 innings. He’s reportedly seeking the opportunity to finish his career in 2018 with another six wins, which would give him the all-time record in pitcher wins for a Latin-American born player, though his chances of doing so with the Rangers this year appear slim at best.

While it’s doubtful that Colon will return to the sub-4.00 ERA and 2.0+ fWAR of seasons past, he could be the kind of (relatively) stable veteran presence the Rangers have been seeking for their rotation. Or, he could linger in the minors for the better part of the season until the team gives him a final encore in September. In either scenario, it’s possible that we’re looking at Colon’s last hurrah in the majors.

Video: Matt Carpenter makes history with three home runs, two doubles

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
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Matt Carpenter pulled his weight and then some during the Cardinals’ 18-5 win on Friday, becoming just the second player in MLB history to tally three home runs and two doubles in the same game… and the first-ever to do so in the first six innings of a single game.

Carpenter wasted little time getting the Cardinals on the board, first drawing a full count against Cubs lefty Jon Lester, then ricocheting a 92.4-MPH fastball off the scoreboard in right field for a leadoff home run. He returned in the second inning for another two-run shot and capped a seven-run spread in the fifth with an RBI double (his first double of the game was a leadoff hit in the fourth) before polishing off his performance with a third, three-run homer in the sixth.

Following Friday’s explosive five-run, seven-RBI performance, Carpenter is now batting .274/.381/.576 on the year with 23 home runs, 30 doubles and a .957 OPS in 388 PA. The last player to record five extra-base hits in one game was the Cubs’ Kris Bryant, who collected four runs and six RBI for the team back in June 2016. As MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch pointed out, Carpenter might have set another franchise record for most home runs in a game had interim manager Mike Shildt not removed him from the game in the bottom of the sixth. The record is still held by former club outfielder Mark Whiten, who collected four home runs (and a staggering 12 RBI) against the Reds in September 1993.