Dodgers decline to offer arbitration to Wolf, Hudson

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Either they’re having big money problems or they’re being run by idiots.
The Dodgers on Tuesday announced that neither Randy Wolf nor Orlando Hudson would receive an arbitration offer.
The same went for Type B free agents Vicente Padilla, Jon Garland, Ronnie Belliard, Guillermo Mota and Will Ohman, though there were no big surprises there.
Both Wolf and Hudson are Type A free agents, so the Dodgers had the opportunity to pick up two draft picks for each.
The news means the Dodgers won’t get any extra draft picks in a year in which they’d lose their top pick if they sign any big free agents.
But that the Dodgers were unwilling to risk Wolf accepting a one-year deal suggests that they won’t be paying the price for any Type A free agents. There was hardly a chance that Wolf would have accepted the offer, but the money situation might be so dire that the team didn’t want to pay signing bonuses to draft picks next summer.
Wolf and Hudson suddenly become a lot more attractive with the news. Wolf and John Lackey were supposed to be the only free agent starters set to require compensation this winter. Now that the signing team is off the hook, Wolf could suddenly be even more attractive to the Mariners, Brewers and the like.

Blue Jays shut down Steve Pearce for the rest of 2017

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The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.

Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.

With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.

Brewers’ Julio Mendez remains hospitalized after hit by pitch

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Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.

Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.

Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.