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Twins nearing deal to keep Derek Falvey in front office

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The firing of Dave Dombrowski as Boston’s head of baseball operations has created an opening that will likely be filled by an experienced executive from another organization. But it is also seemingly spurring a wave of contract extensions for officials who might otherwise be interesting to the Red Sox.

Last month, Arizona’s Mike Hazen got an extension after rumors surfaced that the Red Sox might have interest in pursuing him, and according to a well-placed source, the Twins‘ Derek Falvey — whose team just finished a 100-win season — could soon complete a new deal that will keep him in Minnesota.

Falvey, 36, the Twins’ executive vice president and chief baseball officer, would be a natural candidate for the Red Sox, given the respect for him in the game and his Massachusetts roots. But Falvey is highly valued by the Twins’ leadership, and for good reason: Minnesota not only has made the playoffs in two of the last three seasons, but Falvey and general manager Thad Levine have built what is considered by peers to be an increasingly effective baseball operations department.

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Yankees to start Masahiro Tanaka vs. Astros’ Zack Greinke in Game 4 after postponement

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Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees has been postponed due to expected inclement weather in New York on Wednesday night.

First pitch for Game 4 will be 8:08 p.m. ET Thursday. Game 5 has been rescheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET Friday, which originally had been tabbed as a travel day, if necessary.

“It gives everybody a day off and an opportunity to collect ourselves,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “It changes our pitching a little bit; how beneficial is probably easier to answer after I see how guys perform and how the pitching plays out.”

The Yankees — who were planning a bullpen day for Game 4 — have announced they will go back to Masahiro Tanaka on regular rest. He blanked the Astros over six innings in Game 1 on Saturday, throwing just 68 pitches during a 7-0 win.

The Astros will counter with Zack Greinke, also on regular rest. The 2009 Cy Young Award winner, who was acquired from Arizona at the July 31 trade deadline, has struggled through two starts for the Astros this postseason, including the Game 1 loss to the Yankees in which he allowed two homers and three runs in six innings.

In Game 5, the Yankees likely will start James Paxton against the Astros’ Justin Verlander.

The Astros have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The winner will face the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

Having Wednesday off will be welcome for New York after manager Aaron Boone used five relievers to cover 4 2/3 innings in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Astros. Starter Luis Severino threw 36 pitches in the first inning and was pulled in the fifth. Boone deployed key arms Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton in the loss, although none threw more than 11 pitches.

Games 6 and 7, if necessary, are not affected by Wednesday’s postponement and will be held in Houston on Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday’s matchup is the first postseason game to be postponed since Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Nationals and the Chicago Cubs in 2017, and the first LCS game to be called off since Game 3 of the Baltimore OriolesKansas City Royals series in 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Astros, Yankees to play Game 4 of ALCS on Thursday after rainout

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Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees has been postponed due to expected inclement weather in New York on Wednesday night.

First pitch for Game 4 will be on Thursday at 8:08 p.m. ET. Game 5 has been rescheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET Friday, which originally had been tabbed as a travel day, if necessary.

The Astros have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The winner will face the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

The move could affect pitching plans for both teams. The Astros could bring back Zack Greinke for Game 4 on regular rest, and the Yankees — who were planning a bullpen day for Game 4 — could instead go back to Masahiro Tanaka on regular rest.

Tanaka blanked the Astros over six innings in Game 1 on Saturday while throwing just 68 pitches to get through the Houston lineup exactly two times.

Games 6 and 7, if necessary, are not affected by Wednesday’s postponement and will be held in Houston on Saturday and Sunday.

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Joe Maddon agrees to be new manager of Los Angeles Angels

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The Los Angeles Angels have reached an agreement with Joe Maddon to make him their next manager, the team announced Wednesday.

A source told ESPN that Maddon is expected to receive a three-year contract in the $12 million to $15 million range.

Maddon, 65, is returning to the Angels organization after spending five seasons with the Chicago Cubs and leading the franchise to its first World Series title in 108 years in 2016.

He had been linked to the Angels job ever since the team fired Brad Ausmus on Sept. 30, a day after Maddon and the Cubs announced they were parting ways.

The Angels finished 72-90 during Ausmus’ only season as manager.

Maddon spent 31 years in the Angels’ organization, the last six as Mike Scioscia’s bench coach from 2000 to 2005. Prior to joining the Cubs, he served nine years as Tampa Bay Rays manager, leading that team to its only World Series appearance in 2008.

Maddon signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Cubs prior to the 2015 season, and the team finished above .500 in each of his five seasons. His .582 winning percentage ranks second all time in franchise history, behind only Frank Chance (768-389, .664, from 1905 to ’12).

In 2016, Maddon guided Chicago to 103 regular-season wins and then a long-awaited World Series title that postseason. He was credited with changing the culture and creating a loose atmosphere for his players during a pressure-filled time when they were picked by many to win it all.

Maddon inherits a franchise in turmoil following an Outside the Lines report that team employees allegedly were aware of Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use prior to his July 1 death and didn’t inform the commissioner’s office. The Angels could face significant sanctions from Major League Baseball if it finds the allegations were true.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.



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