Arbitration filings: Chase Headley’s $10.3 million request leads way

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Here’s the breakdown of the 36 arbitration cases remaining after Friday’s filings:

American League (player filing amount – team filing amount – 2012 salary)

Baltimore

Jason Hammel – $8.25 million – $5.7 million ($4.75 million in 2012)
Jim Johnson – $7.1 million – $5.7 million ($2.775 million in 2012)
Darren O’Day – $3.2 million – $1.8 million ($1.35 million in 2012)

Boston

Craig Breslow – $2.375 million – $2.325 million ($1.795 million in 2012)

Cleveland

Mike Aviles – $3.4 million – $2.4 million ($1.2 million in 2012)

Detroit

Max Scherzer – $7.4 million – $6.05 million ($3.75 million in 2012)

Los Angeles

Alberto Callaspo – $4.7 million – $3.65 million ($3.15 million in 2012)
Kevin Jepsen – $1.4 million – $975,000 ($501,000 in 2012)

New York

David Robertson – $3.65 million – $2.85 million ($1.625 million in 2012)

Seattle

Shawn Kelley – $1.2 million – $750,000 ($610,000 in 2012)

Texas

David Murphy – $6.5 million – $5.05 million ($3.65 million in 2012)

National League

Arizona

Gerardo Parra – $2.7 million – $2.1 million ($502,000 in 2012)
Cliff Pennington – $2.8 million – $1.8 million ($490,000 in 2012)

Atlanta

Martin Prado – $7.05 million – $6.65 million ($4.75 million in 2012)

Cincinnati

Homer Bailey – $5.8 million – $4.75 million ($2.5 million in 2012)
Shin-Soo Choo – $8 million – $6.75 million ($4.9 million in 2012)
Chris Heisey – $1.65 million – $1.05 million ($495,000 in 2012)
Mat Latos – $4.7 million – $4.15 million ($550,000 in 2012)
Mike Leake – $3.5 million – $2.65 million ($507,500 in 2012)
Alfredo Simon – $1.05 million – $750,000 ($487,500 in 2012)

Colorado

Jhoulys Chacin – $2.6 million – $1.7 million ($482,000 in 2012)
Dexter Fowler – $5.15 million – $4.25 million ($2.35 million in 2012)
Jonathan Herrera – $1 million – $800,000 ($482,000 in 2012)

New York

Ike Davis – $3.7 million – $2.825 million ($506,690 in 2012)
Daniel Murphy – $3.4 million – $2.55 million ($512,196 in 2012)

Pittsburgh

James McDonald – $3.4 million – $2.65 million ($502,500 in 2012)
Neil Walker – $3.6 million – $3 million ($500,000 in 2012)

St. Louis

David Freese – $3.75 million – $2.4 million ($518,000 in 2012)
Jason Motte – $5.5 million – $4.5 million ($2 million in 2012)
Marc Rzepczynski – $1.3 million – $900,000 ($501,000 in 2012)

San Diego

Luke Gregerson – $3.75 million – $2.875 million ($1.55 million in 2012)
Chase Headley – $10.3 million – $7.075 million ($3.475 million in 2012)
Clayton Richard – $5.5 million – $4.905 million ($2.705 million in 2012)

San Francisco

Joaquin Arias – $1.1 million – $750,000 ($525,000 in 2012)
Sergio Romo – $4.5 million – $2.675 million ($1.575 million in 2012)

Washington

Jordan Zimmermann – $5.8 million – $4.6 million ($2.3 million in 2012)

Some thoughts

– Callaspo and the Angels are expected to avoid arbitration by finalizing a two-year deal in the coming days.

– It’s incredibly bizarre that the Red Sox came to terms with seven of their eight remaining arbitration players today, yet couldn’t close the ridiculously tiny $50,000 gap with Breslow. Maybe they just ran out of people capable of negotiating; they were all on the phone with other players.

– Prado’s gap is also really small considering the amounts involved ($7.05 million-$6.65 million). It’s hard to see that one going before a panel.

– Headley’s $3.225 million gap with the Padres is the biggest spread in dollars, but others are bigger proportionately. O’Day is asking for nearly twice what the Orioles are offering ($3.2 million-$1.8 million. Romo’s request is 70 percent higher than the Giants’ offer. Freese’s is nearly 60 percent higher than the Cardinals’ proposal.

Magic Johnson says the Dodgers will win the World Series

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Baseball, as we so often note around here, is unpredictable. Especially when it comes to the playoffs. You can be the best team in the land for six months but a few bad days can end your season once October hits.

In 2001 the Seattle Mariners won 116 games in the regular season but lost the ALCS to the Yankees, four games to one. In 1906 the Cubs won 116 games in a 152-game season and lost the World Series. In 1954 the Indians won 111 games in a 154-game season and lost the World Series. In 1931 the Philadelphia A’s won 107 games and lost the World Series.

More recently, with the advent of expanded playoffs, the chances for the team with the best record to win the World Series have been pretty dang terrible. Since the beginning of the wild card era, only five times has the team with the game’s best record gone on to win the World Series: The 1998 and 2009 Yankees, the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Cubs. That’s it.

At the moment, the Los Angeles Dodgers have baseball’s best record. They’re 71-31 and sit 12 games up in their division. Their playoff chances are almost 100%. The above examples notwithstanding, if you had to make a prediction as to who might win the World Series, it would not be unreasonable to pick the Dodgers. Sure, you’d want to make sure they got Clayton Kershaw back by early September or thereabouts to make it a safer prediction, but it’d be a totally defensible pick. Maybe even the one most people make.

But it’d be the utmost in magical thinking to presume that one could make such a prediction with any degree of certainty, right? The Los Angeles Times, however, passes along some Magical thinking:

Magic Johnson called his shot Thursday night, and he wasn’t shy about it. The Dodgers’ co-owner did not hesitate when he predicted how the team would finish this year.

“The Dodgers are going to win the World Series this year,” Johnson said. “This is our year.”

The headline calls it a “guarantee.” I don’t know if I’d call it that — I think it’s more of a confident prediction — but it is a bold statement whatever you call it.

If I had to pick one team at the moment — and we could assume a healthy Clayton Kershaw — I suppose I would make them my World Series favorites too. And, yes, if I had an ownership interest in the Dodgers, I’d probably say what Johnson said.

But given the example of history, I think “field” would be a much safer bet.

Mariners trade Steve Cishek to the Rays for swingman Erasmo Ramirez.

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The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for reliever Erasmo Ramirez.

Cishek had appeared in 23 games this season for Seattle after recovering from major offseason hip surgery. He’s 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA, with a 15/7 K/BB ratio in 20 innings. He’s a setup man right now, but he has experience as a closer, saving 25 games for Seattle last year and as many as 39 back when he pitched for the Marlins in 2014.

Ramirez has appeared in 26 games for the Rays and has started eight games. He’s 4-3 with a 4.80 ERA and a 55/16 K/BB ratio in 69.1 innings. This will be his second stint with the Mariners, having played for them from 2012-14.

Sort of a surprising deal given that both Tampa Bay and Seattle are competing for a wild card spot, but needs are needs.