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Cubs, Mets eliminated from postseason contention

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Both the Cubs and Mets entered Wednesday’s action with an elimination number of one, meaning just one more Brewers win down the stretch or one of their own losses would eliminate them from postseason contention. The Brewers killed two birds with one stone with an easy 9-2 victory over the Reds. Ryan Braun hit a grand slam in a big six-run first inning, ensuring the game was never in doubt. The Brewers’ win clinched a playoff spot for them, putting them in the postseason for a second consecutive year.

The Cubs will be watching the postseason from home for the first time since 2014. The club entered Wednesday on a seven-game losing streak and extended it to eight with a 4-2 loss to the Pirates. Their disappointing play down the stretch has many believing manager Joe Maddon will be let go.

The Mets are putting defeated the Marlins handily 10-3, but it didn’t matter. Their playoff drought is now at three seasons. While manager Mickey Callaway’s team played better in the second half, his tumultuous year also has him potentially on the hot seat.

The NL Wild Card race is now down to the Brewers and Nationals with home field advantage in the Wild Card game going to the team with the better record. The Nationals also won on Wednesday, meaning they maintain their one-game edge over the Brewers with four games remaining in the season. The winner of the NL Wild Card game will have the privilege of facing the Dodgers in the NLDS.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.