Padres and Clayton Richard avoid arbitration with one-year, $2.705 million contract

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According to the Associated Press, the Padres and Clayton Richard have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.705 million contract.

Richard was arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason. The 28-year-old southpaw requested $3.1 million and was offered $2.35 million by the Padres when arbitration figures were exchanged last week, so the two sides ended up settling right around the midpoint of $2.725 million.

Richard, who was acquired from the White Sox as part of the Jake Peavy trade in 2009, posted a 3.88 ERA over 18 starts in 2011 before undergoing season-ending surgery on his left shoulder in late-July. Barring any setbacks, he should be ready for spring training and open the season in the Padres’ starting rotation.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.