David Ortiz expects arbitration hearing, not settlement, with Red Sox

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Earlier this week dozens of players agreed to one-year deals prior to the deadline to submit arbitration figures and even those who didn’t will likely end up inking deals before an actual hearing.

David Ortiz might be different, as the 36-year-old designated hitter said yesterday that he doesn’t expect to reach a compromise before going to arbitration, telling reporters at the Boston Baseball Writers dinner that “it doesn’t seem like it right now.”

Ortiz filed for $16.5 million and the Red Sox countered at $12.65 million, so a pre-hearing settlement would likely be for around $14.5 million.

Prior to Ortiz accepting the Red Sox’s arbitration tender in December he turned down a two-year, $18 million deal and he’s been pretty upfront about his unhappiness with the whole situation, but going through a hearing in which the team is basically forced to make a case against his value isn’t going to make for better feelings.

And as Rob Bradford of WEEI.com points out the Red Sox haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since 2002.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.