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Jon Heyman really, really doesn’t like Luis Castillo

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Jon Heyman’s recent tweets about Luis Castillo have caught my eye, as the SI.com writer seems to have a very strong dislike of the Mets second baseman.

It started with this bit of reporting last Thursday:

among overpriced #mets on bubble, word is ollie perez will get more time to show he belongs than luis castillo. #choppingblock

Fair enough, but then two days later Heyman wrote:

#mets should release castillo, bring in eckstein and immediately boost their attitude/karma

OK, now he’s moved from reporting to either analysis or campaigning for someone to lose his job (and to David Eckstein, no less), depending on how you choose to look at it. And just a few hours later, Heyman tweeted this follow-up:

i am sick of luis castillo already this spring, and im not even in port st lucie anymore (and neither is he there, by the way)

The “and neither is he there, by the way” part refers to Castillo not reporting early to Mets camp. He arrived by the time position position players were required to be there, but Heyman and several other mainstream media members repeatedly took him to task for not getting there early.

Later we learned that Castillo didn’t arrive early because his brother is undergoing emergency surgery that the second baseman called “a big problem.” He made the mistake of not telling the team about the situation and manager Terry Collins explained that he never would have brought up Castillo’s absence as an issue had he known the reason. But that didn’t stop Heyman from tweeting the following this morning:

luis castillo showed only yest bec brother had surgery, he said. a hospital make good for blowing off walter reed? #excuses

So, if you’re keeping score at home: Within the span of three days Heyman tweeted that the Mets should release Castillo for “karma” reasons, noted how “sick” of Castillo he is “already this spring,” and then linked Castillo’s brother’s emergency surgery to not visiting sick children at Walter Reed hospital last year, using the hash tag “excuses” about someone’s family member undergoing a potentially serious operation.

Seems like kind of a strange grudge for a reporter to hold and repeatedly make public, but I guess Castillo must deserve all that for arriving at spring training on the day he was supposed to.

Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock avoid arbitration with two-year contract

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock drives in two runs against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.

Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.

Report: Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson agree to two-year, $29 million extension

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson celebrates his two run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.

Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.

The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.

Giants and Brandon Belt have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday

San Francisco Giants'  Brandon Belt reacts after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire Jim Joyce to end the top of the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept.. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.

Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.

Padres sign veteran utility player Skip Schumaker

Cincinnati Reds' Skip Schumaker is tagged out at home plate by San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.

While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.