The Marlins avoided arbitration by agreeing to one-year deals with Leo Nunez and Edward Mujica tonight, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Nunez will make $3.65 million plus performance bonuses based on games finished. Nunez earned $2 million last season while posting a 3.46 ERA, 71/21 K/BB ratio and 30 saves in 38 chances. He was removed from the closer role after a nightmare month of August, where he posted a bloated 9.38 ERA and blew three saves, but is expected to regain the ninth-inning gig in 2011.
Mujica was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 26-year-old right-hander was acquired from the Padres in November as part of the Cameron Maybin trade. He has a 3.80 ERA and 148/25 K/BB ratio over the past two seasons, but has enjoyed most of his success at the pitcher-friendly PETCO Park.
Interestingly, according to Rodriguez, Nunez will now be the highest paid reliever under Jeffrey Loria’s decade-long run as owner. The previous high was Armando Benitez, who earned $3.5 million with the club during the 2004 season.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.