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Indians release Matt Belisle, Twins sign him

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The Cleveland Indians gave reliever Matt Belisle his unconditional release this morning. A few hours later a division rival signed him. Specifically, the Minnesota Twins signed Belisle, bringing him back a season after he pitched 62 games in the Twins cities.

Belisle had a 5.06 ERA for the Indians in eight appearances earlier this season before being assigned to Triple-A Columbus. He pitched in nine games there, but the Indians seemed to have little interest in calling him up so they let him go. Belisle, 38, posted a 4.03 ERA for the Twins in 2017 and even served some time at closer, saving nine games.

Not gonna say Belisle has been around a while, but he was the player to be named later in a deal for Kent Mercker once. And that came five years after Belisle was drafted.

Report: Astros, Alex Bregman agree to five-year, $100 million extension

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Fox 26’s Mark Berman reports that the Astros and third baseman Alex Bregman have agreed to $100 million contract extension. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart confirms a deal has been reached and adds that the deal is actually for five years, beginning after the 2019 season. The contract will cover all three of Bregman’s arbitration years and two years of would-be free agency.

Bregman, who turns 25 years old later this month, has quickly become one of the best third basemen in baseball. Across parts of three seasons, he has hit .282/.366/.500 with 58 home runs, 208 RBI, 224 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases. FanGraphs credited him with 7.6 Wins Above Replacement, tied with Francisco Lindor and Christian Yelich for the fourth-best mark among position players in baseball, trailing only Mookie Betts (10.4), Mike Trout (9.8), and José Ramírez (8.0).

This is obviously a smart move for the Astros, as this contract extension will secure Bregman’s age 25-30 seasons. With second baseman José Altuve also locked up through 2024, and presumed extensions to come for Carlos Correa and possibly Gerrit Cole and George Springer, the Astros have a core that they can build around for years to come.