Felipe Paulino, Royals avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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The Royals announced this evening that they have avoided arbitration with right-hander Felipe Paulino by agreeing to a one-year contract. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that Paulino will receive a $1.75 million base salary which could increase to $2 million based on performance bonuses.

Paulino was arbitration-eligible for the third time this winter. The 29-year-old right-hander made $1.9 million this past season prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery in early June, so he actually agreed to a $150,000 pay cut. However, he could potentially end up making more if he ends up contributing in any meaningful way in 2013. It’s probably unrealistic to expect him back until after the All-Star break, though.

Paulino was the owner of a 5.93 ERA as a member of the Astros and Rockies, but he has compiled a 3.55 ERA and 158/63 K/BB ratio over 162 1/3 innings since joining the Royals in May of 2011.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.

Robert Gsellman wins spot in Mets’ rotation

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.

Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.

Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.

Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.