Pirates defeat Garrett Jones in arbitration hearing


Garrett Jones and the Pirates had an arbitration hearing yesterday and the three-person panel has ruled in favor of the team, meaning he’ll be paid $2.25 million this season instead of the $2.5 million he requested.

Going through with a hearing over a $250,000 gap is unusual, but Jones is arbitration eligible for the first time at age 30 and after a decade spent in the minors he may have wanted to squeeze out every cent he could. Or try to, at least.

Back when Jones was a minor leaguer in the Twins farm system he rarely produced like someone destined for the majors. He’s been better than expected, but has hit just .245 with a .312 on-base percentage and .422 slugging percentage in 306 games since his out-of-nowhere rookie campaign. Those are sub par numbers for a first baseman/corner outfielder and it’s hard to imagine the Pirates keeping him around next season with another big raise due.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.