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.

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.