Phillies, Ben Francisco avoid arbitation with one-year deal

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The Phillies and outfielder Ben Francisco avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.175 million contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Francisco, who was acquired from the Indians along with Cliff Lee in July of 2009, was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 29-year-old outfielder earned $470,000 last season while batting .268/.327/.441 with six home runs, 28 RBI and eight stolen bases over 197 plate appearances.

The Phillies haven’t added a right-handed hitting outfielder this winter, so Francisco should be primed for more playing time in 2011, likely as part of a timeshare with top prospect Domonic Brown in right field.

With Francisco signed, Kyle Kendrick is the team’s only remaining arbitration-eligible player.

Scott Feldman underwent season-ending knee surgery

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The Reds announced on Tuesday that starter Scott Feldman underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The right-hander was placed on the disabled list with knee inflammation on Friday.

Feldman, 34, made 21 starts this season, posting a 4.77 ERA with a 93/35 K/BB ratio in 111 1/3 innings. He’s a free agent after the season but may have to settle for a minor league deal going into 2018 given his age and recent injury woes.

MLB to implement code of conduct for fans next year

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Following an embarrassing scene at Fenway Park earlier this year in which Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was taunted with racial slurs and had peanuts thrown at him, Major League Baseball will implement a universal code of conduct for fans at major league ballparks starting next season, ESPN’s Scott Lauber reports.

MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said, “We are working with the clubs on security and fan conduct initiatives at all of our ballparks. We will be issuing a league-wide fan code of conduct for the 2018 season.”

As Lauber notes, every team has its own code of conduct but some are more thorough than others. The Red Sox added “hate speech” to their code of conduct after the Jones incident and Major League Baseball, unsurprisingly, wants to make sure fans at every ballpark are clear on what behaviors will and will not be tolerated.

Since the Jones incident, Major League Baseball has been encouraging teams to be more inclusive, though Kennedy clarified that “there’s not been any directive or mandate.”