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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers third baseman
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Apr 07 2019, 10:22 pm - by liny195

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 Mike Moustakas is becoming a free agent again Drew Hutchison Jersey , and so is reliever Joakim Soria.In addition, the Brewers exercised a $3,175,000 option on All-Star right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, who would have been eligible for salary arbitration if it had been declined.Moustakas declined a $15 million mutual option Tuesday.He rejected a $17.4 million qualifying offer and left Kansas City after the 2017 season but was unable to find a long-term deal he liked. He returned to the Royals in mid-March for a one-year contract that included a guaranteed $6.5 million: a $5.5 million salary and $1 million option buyout. Moustakas earned an additional $2.2 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances, raising his total earnings for 2018 to $8.7 million.A 30-year-old left-handed hitter, Moustakas had a .251 average with 28 homers and 95 RBIs. He hit .256 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 54 games for Milwaukee, which acquired him from the last-place Royals on July 27.“I think he provided our team with what we were looking for when we acquired him: a powerful left-handed bat, he played a really quality third base and we had a guy who’d been there before contributing to our clubhouse culture,” general manager David Stearns said last week.Soria declined a $10 million mutual option and gets a $1 million buyout, completing a $25 million, three-year contract he agreed to with the Royals in December 2015. The right-hander was acquired from the Chicago White Sox on July 26 and was 3-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 26 games with the Brewers.Soria had an 18.00 ERA without a decision in two innings over four appearances in the NL Championship Series against the Dodgers. He was 1-0 and allowed just a hit and no runs in 2 2/3 innings in the Division Series sweep over the Rockies, appearing in all three games.Moustakas and Soria follow left-handed starters Gio Gonzalez and Wade Miley, along with veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson Larry Bowa Jersey , in Brewers who became free agents this week. Gonzalez and Granderson were also acquired in separate deals to bolster the Brewers for the stretch run.Jeffress was 8-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 15 saves. He had a $1.7 million base salary as part of a deal that included a $50,000 signing bonus and earned $550,000 in performance bonuses. Milwaukee has a $4.3 million for 2020. OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — By now, most everyone in baseball realizes the Oakland Athletics are rarely out of it. Almost no deficit is too daunting for a rallying cry, which could be led by any number of sluggers in a loaded lineup.Never before in his managerial career has Bob Melvin been around a club with such a knack for comebacks, for winning the close ones in the late innings despite what might seem insurmountable odds.Lately, other teams in contention have added to their rosters to try to do the same down the stretch of the season.During a recent trip in Texas, the A’s rallied from behind 10-2 to beat the Rangers 13-10 by scoring 11 runs over the final four innings and getting a three-run homer by Khris Davis in the 10th. They have earned a reputation around baseball — in both leagues, on both coasts and in between — for their ability to keep swinging for the fences and pitch when trailing at any stage of a game.“I think it’s a momentum aspect,” Davis said. “You’ve just got to keep playing the game the right way, what we expect of each other. We’re just looking to do our jobs and luckily we’re having a great time doing it right now.”Oakland is right on the heels of reigning World Series champion Houston in the AL West, the A’s trailing the Astros by five games going into their day off Thursday. The small-budget franchise hasn’t reached the playoffs since losing the AL wild card game in 2014, finishing last in the division the past three seasons.“It’s a fantastic team. We certainly have the ability to be a playoff team Jim Bunning Jersey ,” second baseman Jed Lowrie said. “At this point it’s got to be a narrow focus. Keep the eye on the prize but narrow the focus.”The A’s didn’t get their 60th win until Sept. 8 last year and already reached that mark by July 25 in 2018.They were 27-7 since June 16 before being swept in a three-game weekend series at Colorado from July 27-29, then swept the Blue Jays and Tigers in back-to-back series.New Oakland reliever Shawn Kelley was playing in Washington and went to bed before the A’s were done most days but still had heard plenty about the penchant for finding a way to win late.“Winning close games and not winning games late, I think all that mindset, that mentality kind of manifests itself,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, on the losing end of a one-run game at Oakland on Wednesday. “These guys, with their bullpen, you look at these arms that they’re running out, they have four or five guys deep that are lockdown guys in the pen so if and when they do get a lead early, it’s tough to beat these guys late. And because they can all slug, that they’re a two- or three-run home run away from tying or taking the lead. It’s a tough group and it’s a fun group to watch, it really is. They’re a dangerous team.”Melvin has a deep and talented bullpen that allows him flexibility to mix and match at any point in a game — and the A’s acquired closer Fernando Rodney from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday to bolster that strong unit.“I don’t know if I’ve had this many quality arms in a bullpen ever since I’ve been managing,” he said.The Milwaukee Brewers know how important winning the close ones will be over the season’s final two months. They acquired veteran reliever Joakim Soria and left-handed power hitter Mike Moustakas in a pair of big trades over two days ahead of the deadline.“That’s two different types of things saying when you’re not out of it and winning close games,” manager Craig Counsell said. “I think we had a team last year that we felt like we played in a ton of close games Jim Thome Jersey , so you do get kind of hardened to it a little bit as far as it’s the game you play every night. What we felt more than anything is how do you bounce back, because you are going to lose some of those games and how do you kind of respond when you lose games like that?“I don’t know if there’s a knack for it but we have enjoyed playing in games like that.”Oakland’s late-inning numbers are phenomenal.The A’s have 31 comeback wins and are the only team in baseball not to lose when leading after seven innings — 46-0 — and have a 61-game winning streak in such contests.Oakland is 55-0 when leading after eight innings, while Seattle (57-0) is the only other team not to lose when ahead after eight.The A’s are best in the majors scoring runs in the seventh inning or after with 217 and the eighth inning at 87. They also lead the majors with 10 comeback wins trailing after seven innings. At 22-9 in one-run games, that is also the best record in the majors.Some managers believe it can become contagious.“Once you’ve done it, you know you can do it and you can do it again and you start feeling it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You believe it. Without question, I think having success in close games just breeds more success, especially the way you play and handle the pressure of playing in those tight ballgames.”The A’s have a noticeable swagger having won so many games in dramatic fashion.“It just gives you that extra confidence when you get behind, you don’t worry about it,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said.It’s pretty simple in Melvin’s mind: Stick with it, play every out.Though he knows that means making the right moves with the pressure on to pull off some late-game magic.“If you keep it close … all it takes is a walk or a hit or a couple of hits in a row and you’re back in the game,” Melvin said. “That’s why you play 27 outs.”
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