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Report: Phillies to sign Aaron Nola to four-year, $45 million extension

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Ken Rosenthal and Matt Gelb of The Athletic report that the Phillies and pitcher Aaron Nola are “on the verge” of entering into a four-year, $45 million contract extension. There is likewise a club option for a fifth year.

Nola, who was about to head to an arbitration hearing in his first year of arbitration eligibility, went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 224/58 in 212.1 innings last year, finishing third in the Cy Young balloting. This deal will buy out all three of his arb years and at least his first year of potential free agency. His second if the Phillies exercise the option.

It’s definitely a short-term bum for Nola. He was seeking a $6.75 million in arbitration while the Phillies were offering $4.5 million. If he were to continue on the course he’s been on, of course, he’d stand to make far more than the $11 million or so he’ll be averaging out to on the back end of this deal.

Such are the tradeoffs in signing a deal this early, of course. And, obviously, this was his choice, of course. Pitchers can get injured and 2018 could’ve been a fluke year, so entering into this deal gives him the sort of financial security he may not have otherwise had over the next 3-4 years. The Phillies, meanwhile, have their ace on lockdown at least through his age-29 season.

Red Sox end Astros’ 10-game winning streak

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The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.

Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.

The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.

At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.