10 Type A free agents receive arbitration offers

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With the deadline here, we now have official word on the free agents offered arbitration by their teams.
Type A free agents:
Jason Bay, Red Sox – Yes
Rafael Betancourt, Rockies – Yes
Orlando Cabrera, Twins – No (Contract rules out an arbitration offer)
Johnny Damon, Yankees – No
Octavio Dotel, White Sox – No
Jermaine Dye, White Sox – No
Chone Figgins, Angels – Yes
Mike Gonzalez, Braves – Yes
Kevin Gregg, Cubs – No
LaTroy Hawkins, Astros – No
Matt Holliday, Cardinals – Yes
Orlando Hudson, Dodgers – No
John Lackey, Angels – Yes
Bengie Molina, Giants – No
Darren Oliver, Angels – No
Placido Polanco, Tigers – No
Marco Scutaro, Blue Jays – Yes
Rafael Soriano, Braves – Yes
Miguel Tejada, Astros – No
Jose Valverde, Astros – Yes
Billy Wagner, Red Sox – Yes
Randy Wolf, Dodgers – No
The big surprise here is Wolf, as touched upon earlier.
With Hawkins also falling into the “no” category,, there are just 10 free agents set to require draft-pick compensation. One of those, Betancourt, may very well accept the arbitration offer. There’s a slight chance that Soriano could as well. None of the other players figure to do so.
Wolf, Damon, Hudson, Molina and Hawkins just received significant boosts to their value this winter. Teams that would have been hesitant to give up a first-rounder for them no longer have to worry about it.
Here’s the list of Type B free agents to get offered arbitration:
Rod Barajas, Adrian Beltre, Marlon Byrd, Mark DeRosa, Justin Duchscherer, Brandon Lyon, Jason Marquis, Carl Pavano, Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney, Ivan Rodriguez, Brian Shouse, Gregg Zaun
In some of these cases, there could well be an agreement in place for the player to decline arbitration. Rodriguez and Zaun would seem to be likely candidates there. The players, being Type Bs, have nothing to lose in such an arrangement. The teams, on the other hand, would gain a supplemental first-round pick if the offer is rejected and the player departs.
Notable Type Bs not receiving offers include Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Cameron, Nick Johnson, Andy LaRoche, Carlos Delgado, Felipe Lopez, Andy Pettitte, Rich Harden and Erik Bedard.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).