Ian Stewart and Rockies avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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Ian Stewart and the Rockies have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.23 million deal that nearly splits the difference between the $2.6 million figure he submitted and the team’s $2.15 million counter.

It’s actually about $140,000 short of the exact midway point, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Stewart can earn an additional $72,500 in incentives based on playing time.

Colorado has signed Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to massive long-term deals this offseason, but it’s no surprise that they’re choosing to go year-to-year with Stewart. He’s yet to build on a strong rookie campaign in 2007, posting an OPS below .800 in each of the past two seasons, and has hit just .239 away from Coors Field.

He’s under the Rockies’ control for two more seasons as an arbitration eligible player, but 2011 could be a make-or-break year for Stewart in Colorado.

Dodgers designate Sergio Romo for assignment

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The Dodgers announced on Thursday that the club activated pitcher Grant Dayton from the 10-day disabled list and designated pitcher Sergio Romo for assignment.

Dayton, 29, went on the disabled list earlier this month with neck stiffness. He’ll resume with a 3.63 ERA and a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings.

Romo, 34, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dodgers in February. It didn’t really work out, as the right-hander posted a 6.12 ERA with a 31/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. His peripherals are still decent, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a team in need of a bullpen arm makes a deal with the Dodgers within the week.

Nate Karns underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Royals pitcher Nate Karns underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Wednesday. He’s expected to be ready for spring training next year. Karns went on the disabled list in May with an elbow injury and didn’t make much progress.

The Royals acquired Karns from the Mariners in January in exchange for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. Over eight starts and one relief appearance, the 29-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.17 ERA and a 51/13 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.

Karns will enter his first of three years of arbitration eligibility after the season, so he’ll be under the Royals’ control through 2020.