Athletics and Dallas Braden agree on one-year contract

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The Athletics and Dallas Braden avoided arbitration today by agreeing on a one-year contract, the team announced.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that he’ll make a $3.35 million base salary and could earn an additional $400,000 with performance-based incentives. He made the same salary in 2011 and was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter.

Braden, 28, posted a 3.00 ERA and 15/5 K/BB ratio in 18 innings over three starts this past season before undergoing surgery in May to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder.

The Athletics are hopeful that he’ll be ready to return around the start of next season, but as we have learned with the lengthy rehab process of Mets’ left-hander Johan Santana (who had the very same surgery), any timeline is subject to change.

Blue Jays sign Danny Espinosa to minors deal

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Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.

Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.

Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.