From MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick comes word that the Dodgers avoided arbitration Wednesday with left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo by agreeing to a one-year, $2.725 million contract. The deal also includes $700,000 in performance-based incentives.
Kuo requested a $3.075 million salary and was offered $2.55 million when arbitration figures were exchanged in mid-January. It took only a handful of weeks for the two sides to find a common ground.
The southpaw finished with a gorgeous 1.20 ERA and 0.78 WHIP across 60 innings last season for the Dodgers, fanning 73 batters and walking only 18. He also picked up 12 saves in 13 opportunities as a makeshift closer when primary ninth inning man Jonathan Broxton struggled down the stretch.
Kuo is expected to serve in a familiar setup role behind Broxton to kick off the 2011 season.
Update (12:02 AM EST): Rosenthal adds that Chapman’s contract includes an opt-out clause after three seasons, a full no-trade clause for the first three years of the contract, and a limited no-trade clause for the final two years.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees have signed closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. Mark Melancon recently set the record for a contract earned by a reliever at $62 million over four years. Chapman blew that out of the water and many are surprised he didn’t fetch more.
Chapman, 28, began the 2016 season with the Yankees but he was traded to the Cubs near the end of July in exchange for four prospects. The Cubs, of course, would go on to win the World Series in large part due to Chapman. The lefty finished the regular season with a 1.55 ERA, 36 saves, and a 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings between the two teams.
Chapman was the best reliever on the free agent market and, because he was traded midseason, he didn’t have draft pick compensation attached to him.
The Yankees don’t seem to be deterred by Chapman’s domestic violence issue from last offseason, resulting in a 30-game suspension to begin the 2016 regular season.
The Rockies are looking for a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher,” per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. He notes that the club is also in on free agent slugger Mark Trumbo.
Starting pitching has not been the Rockies’ strong suit in recent years. The club had baseball’s fifth-worst rotation ERA in baseball this past season at 4.79. It’s tough to entice big-name free agent pitchers to pitch given how their stats are adversely affected by the hitter-friendly nature of Coors Field. Trading would be one way around that.
Though Chris Sale is off the board, the Rockies could still try to pry Chris Archer from the Rays or Jose Quintana from the White Sox.
As presently constructed, the Rockies’ rotation includes Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and German Marquez.