Brett Hayes, Royals avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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Earlier today the Royals dropped their backup catcher for the past four seasons, Brayan Pena, and now they’ve avoided arbitration with his likely replacement by agreeing to a one-year deal with Brett Hayes.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that Hayes will get $600,000 in his first season of arbitration eligibility, which isn’t a bad score for a 28-year-old who’s never gotten even 150 plate appearances in a big-league season.

Kansas City claimed Hayes off waivers from Miami last month and he’ll be in line to back up Salvador Perez despite a track record that suggests he’ll be among the worst hitters in the league.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.