Mets and Angel Pagan avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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The Mets are officially done with their arbitration cases. In addition to finalizing a multi-year contract with R.A. Dickey today, the club announced that they avoided arbitration with Angel Pagan by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

Pagan filed for $4.2 million and was offered a little over $3.06 million by the Mets when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this month, so the two sides ultimately settled below the midpoint.

The 29-year-old outfielder began last season on Jerry Manuel’s bench, but ended up being one of the most valuable players on the team. He batted .290/.340/.425 with 11 home runs, 69 RBI and finished second in the National League with 37 stolen bases in 46 attempts. He was also brilliant defensively, giving the Mets an excellent insurance policy for center field should the club decide to move Carlos Beltran over to right field during spring training.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.