Hunter Pence beats Astros in final arbitration hearing of winter

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According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Hunter Pence has won his arbitration hearing against the Astros. The three-person panel ultimately decided that Pence will earn a $6.9 million this season rather than the $5.15 million salary proposed by the Astros last month.

Pence, who turns 28 in April, earned $3.5 million in his first time through the arbitration process last winter as a Super Two. He batted .282/.325/461 last season while smacking 25 home runs for the third consecutive year and setting career-highs with 91 RBI, 93 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.

And with that, all arbitration hearings are in the books. Pence and Ross Ohlendorf beat their respective clubs while the Angels won against Jered Weaver.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.