Marlins, A's among those tidying their rosters

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The mass exodus has yet to begin, but a handful of teams have cleared 40-man roster spots since the regular season ended. Here are the players lopped off so far:
Athletics – LHP Brad Kilby, RHP Ross Wolf, INF Akinori Iwamura
Kilby’s July shoulder surgery must have been anything but routine; he cleared waivers even though he’s allowed just three earned runs and posted a 28/4 K/BB ratio in 25 1/3 innings as a major leaguer. I really liked his chances of turning into a strong lefty setup man before he got hurt, but his velocity was well down this year.
Blue Jays – RHP Dirk Hayhurst, INF Jarrett Hoffpauir
With baseball on the backburner following season-ending shoulder surgery in February, Hayhurst opted to write a book. The guess is that he’ll be re-signed to a minor league contract.
Hoffpauir, who hit .206/.250/.235 in 34 at-bats with the Jays this year, was claimed off waivers by the Padres. He’ll battle for a roster spot as a backup at second and third next spring.

Brewers – RHP Marco Estrada, RHP Alex Periard
The 23-year-old Periard has gotten hurt two years in a row, and he wasn’t exactly a spectacular prospect in the first place. He does have a decent sinker, but no one opted to take a shot.
Marlins – LHP Taylor Tankersley, RHP Ryan Tucker, RHP Tim Wood, C Mike Rivera, INF Hector Luna, OF Brett Carroll
Tankersley, a 2004 first-round pick, had a 2.85 ERA in 49 relief appearances as a 23-year-old rookie in 2006. It’s been downhill ever since. He missed 2009 following elbow surgery, and he gave up four homers in 12 innings as a major leaguer this year.
As previously mentioned, Tucker was picked up by the Rangers, resulting in Rich Harden getting designated for assignment. He is the one in this group with some promise left, but after being diagnosed with Raynaud’s Syndrome this spring, he proved very ineffective in the minors. He had a 6.15 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A New Orleans.
Carroll got some notice a year ago for having incredible UZR defensive numbers in about 40 games worth of playing time in the Marlins’ outfield, and he rated well in very limited action again this year. Unfortunately, he’s 28 and he’s hit just .205/.284/.325 in 319 major league at-bats.

Padres – C Chris Stewart
Making room for Hoffpauir.
Red Sox – RHP Robert Manuel, C Dusty Brown, C Kevin Cash
Manuel is an outstanding Triple-A reliever, and he hardly embarrassed himself in 10 appearances for the Red Sox this year, amassing a 4.26 ERA in 12 2/3 innings. Boston will likely offer him a minor league deal to stick around, and given that no team plucked him off waivers, he could accept it.

Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock avoid arbitration with two-year contract

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock drives in two runs against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.

Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.

Report: Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson agree to two-year, $29 million extension

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson celebrates his two run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.

Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.

The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.

Giants and Brandon Belt have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday

San Francisco Giants'  Brandon Belt reacts after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire Jim Joyce to end the top of the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept.. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.

Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.

Padres sign veteran utility player Skip Schumaker

Cincinnati Reds' Skip Schumaker is tagged out at home plate by San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.

While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.