King Felix’s extension is obviously the biggest news in advance of today’s deadline for signing arbitration eligible players, and we’ll update that story with the details of the deal as they become available. We’ve also already filled you in on Dan Uggla, Jody Gerut and Shaun Marcum.
In the meantime, here’s a rundown of some of the more minor arbitration-avoidance signings that have been coming pretty fast and furious in the past 24 hours:
- Ryan Spilborghs, Rockies, $3.25 million with $1.15 million in incentives;
- Chad Gaudin and Boone Logan, Yankees, $2.95 million and $590,000, respectively. Their real payment, however, is going to come in the form of a lot of free beers for telling hilariously off color Derek Jeter stories no one has heard before;
- C.J. Wilson, Rangers, $3.1 million. Wilson is on the Twitter, you know. According to a tweet last night, he’s not going to use his new dough to by a car, though, because he’s “already rollin hard on a Vespa.”
- Chad Durbin, Phillies, $2.125 million;
- Jared Burton, Reds, no details on the money, so I assume they’re paying him in Gold Star Chili coupons and boxes of JTM burgers;
- Chad Qualls and Aaron Heilman, Diamondbacks, $4.185 million and $2.15 million, respectively. Pfun Pfact: if you took the money Heilman will make providing slightly above average relief pitching for the Dbacks and put it in a San Jose redevelopment municipal bond, you’d realize $129,000 in income this year!
- Anibal Sanchez and Renyel Pinto, Marlins, $1.25 million and $1.075 million, respectively. I had these guys as Mariners earlier, if that tells you how much mental energy I’m spending following this stuff.
- Tony Pena, White Sox, $1.2 million. No, he’s not the converted shortstop Pena.
We’ll do our best to update this list as the day goes on, but really, it’s a crazy day for these kinds of signings, so lay off if we miss some random 23-25th roster spot fodder, OK?
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.
There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.
Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.
Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.
With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.
Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.