Indians, Nick Wittgren agree to contract for 2021

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND — Reliever Nick Wittgren avoided salary arbitration with the Cleveland Indians by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract.

The right-hander has become a dependable piece in Cleveland’s bullpen for manager Terry Francona.

Wittgren went 2-0 with a 3.42 ERA in 25 games last season. He is 7-1 with a 2.99 ERA in 80 games over two seasons for Cleveland, which acquired him in a trade with Miami in 2019.

The Indians have primarily used Wittgren in a setup role, and that likely will continue despite the club deciding not to re-sign closer Brad Hand. Francona, though, has hinted about using others in save situations and Wittgren could be in that mix.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.