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.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.
The Red Sox inked Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract back in August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.