Andrew Miller

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Andrew Miller

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5:45 p.m. EST update: WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Miller will make $1.04 million next season. The figure represents the maximum 20 percent paycut he could receive as an arbitration-eligible player. Had the Red Sox wanted to go lower, they would have had to non-tender Miller and re-sign him.

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Former Tigers No. 1 pick Andrew Miller will be back with the Red Sox next season after agreeing to a one-year deal on Tuesday.

Miller, who made $1.3 million last season, likely would have been non-tendered by Boston had he not come to terms before the deadline. While the 26-year-old remains intriguing as a left-hander with a 91-94 mph fastball, the Red Sox weren’t going to risk giving him a significant raise after another year of disappointing results. Miller went 6-3 with a 5.54 ERA in 12 starts and five relief appearances for the club last season.

Miller stands fourth or fifth on Boston’s rotation depth chart as it’s currently comprised, but he won’t be assured anything entering spring training. Since this contract won’t be guaranteed — one-year contracts for arbitration-eligible players almost never are — he could well find himself off the roster if he struggles during March.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.