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).

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.