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Astros starter Gerrit Cole becomes first AL pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts since 1999

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Houston Astros starter Gerrit Cole accomplished something during Wednesday night’s game vs the Texas Rangers that no other pitcher has done in decades.

When he struck out designated hitter Shin Soo-Choo in the eighth inning, he became the franchise’s first pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts in a single season since former righty Mike Scott fanned 306 batters back in 1986.

The last time an American League pitcher reached that feat was Pedro Martinez as a member of the Boston Red Sox in 1999.

“It’s really special. I can’t really put it into words.” said Cole after striking out 10 batters in eight innings to lead the Astros to a 3-2 win on the night.

“I don’t typically think about these things, but I did want to try to get it done tonight here in front of our fans. They’ve come out in large numbers all year and they’re so much fun to play in front of. It was just a blessing to be able to get it done tonight.”

The 28-year old, who is in his second season with the franchise, has posted an 18-5 record, 2.61 ERA and 0.91 WHIP to go along with 302 strikeouts over a span of 31 starts and 200.1 innings pitched on the year.

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Twins win the Josh Donaldson sweepstakes

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The Minnesota Twins have found their new third baseman.

The team announced that they have signed highly-touted free agent infielder Josh Donaldson to a four-year, $92 million contract with a fifth year club option worth $16 million.

The 34-year old had a bounce back season with the Atlanta Braves in 2019, posting a .259 batting average, .379 on-base percentage, 37 homers, and 94 RBI in 155 games.

The 2015 American League Most Valuable Player had a handful of suitors rumoured to be after his services, including the Braves, and World Series champion Washington Nationals.

Donaldson, who will be entering his 10th season, has a career .373/.464/.819 slash line with 10 homers in 22 career games at Target Field.

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Rangers considered favorites to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos

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With most of the big names off the board, the rumours surrounding veteran outfielder Nicholas Castellanos have heated up this week.

While many teams have inquired about his availability, it appears more than likely he will be spending his 2020 season in the “Lone Star State”.

According to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, the Texas Rangers are considered the favourites to sign Castellanos at this time. The Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants are also in the running.

The 27-year old split time between the Detroit Tigers and Cubs in 2018, posting a combined .289 batting average, .863 OPS, 27 homers and 73 RBI in 151 games.

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Diamondbacks win the Madison Bumgarner sweepstakes

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An unexpected team has come out of the blue to lure Madison Bumgarner to their franchise. And it means his former team will be seeing quite a bit of him in 2020.

The Arizona Diamondbacks confirmed on Sunday evening that they have inked free agent starter/former San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner to a five-year, $85 million contract extension.

The 30-year old, who was selected 10th overall in the 2007 MLB Draft, had spent his first 11 MLB seasons with the Giants organization. He posted a combined 119-92 record, 3.13 ERA, and 1.11 WHIP during a span of 289 appearances (286 starts) and 1846.0 innings pitched.

He was also a four-time MLB All-Star, three-time World Series champion, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and took home the 2014 World Series and NLCS MVP honours during a record-breaking postseason run.

Veteran catcher Stephen Vogt is one of his many new Diamondbacks teammates that are excited to have him on the roster.

“I’m very excited to be playing with Madison again! He is the ultimate competitor and I know he will help us immensely,” said Vogt, who he played with on the Giants last season.

“This team is already in a good position and adding someone like Bum will only add to that!”


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