Juan Carlos Oviedo–formerly known as Leo Nunez–has avoided arbitration with the Marlins with a one-year, $6 million deal.
Oviedo earned $3.65 million last season while saving 36 games, so he would have been in line for a sizable raise via arbitration.
However, paying $6 million for a setup man is awfully expensive, particularly since the Marlins gave new closer Heath Bell a three-year, $27 million deal.
When the Marlins decided to tender a contract to Oviedo back in mid-December it seemed like an odd move in light of the Bell signing and the assumption was that they felt confident about being able to trade him to a team looking for a closer.
Of course, the closer market has been so buyer-friendly this offseason that far superior guys like Ryan Madson are stuck taking one-year deals, so it’s hard to imagine much interest in Oviedo for $6 million. He threw 64 innings with a 4.06 ERA and 55/21 K/BB ratio last season, giving him a 4.34 ERA in 357 career innings at age 30.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.