Phillies, Kyle Kendrick wipe out previous one-year deal with two-year, $7.5 million contract

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Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.585 million deal last month, but today the two sides signed a new two-year, $7.5 million contract that cancels out the previous deal.

Or, put another way, they tacked on an extra year and another $3.915 million to the previous agreement.

Either way, the Phillies clearly valued the cost certainty that comes with pre-paying for Kendrick’s arbitration years and once the two-year contract ends they’ll still have him under team control in 2014 via his final year of arbitration.

Kendrick’s career strikeout rate of 4.1 per nine innings is the fourth-worst of any active pitcher with at least 500 innings, but he threw 115 innings with a 3.22 ERA last season split between the rotation and bullpen. He’s currently slated to be the Phillies’ long reliever unless the team finds a taker for Joe Blanton’s contract (and doesn’t replace Blanton with a new veteran starter).

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.