Brewers agree not to offer arbitration to Type A free agent Takashi Saito


Takashi Saito is a Type A free agent, but in order to receive draft pick compensation for his departure the Brewers would have to first offer him arbitration and have him decline. That isn’t happening, as Ken Rosenthal of reports that they’ve agreed not to offer the 41-year-old reliever arbitration.

Teams are now free to sign Saito without forfeiting a first-round pick, which should boost his market considerably. In fact, the likelihood that any team would give up a pick to sign a 41-year-old reliever is so slim that Saito probably would have just accepted an arbitration offer from the Brewers and locked himself into a one-year deal to return.

Instead he’ll go looking for work as a setup man. Saito missed nearly the entire first half with hamstring and back injuries, but was his usual unhittable self after returning in July with a 1.46 ERA and .186 opponents’ batting average in 25 innings. He’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA in all six of his big-league seasons.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.