Rockies avoid arbitration with infielder Jonathan Herrera

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From Troy Renck of the Denver Post comes word that the Rockies avoided salary arbitration on Wednesday evening with utility infielder Jonathan Herrera by agreeing to a one-year, $900,000 deal.

Herrera asked for a $1 million salary and was offered $800,000 by the Colorado front office when figures were exchanged late last week. It didn’t take very long for the two sides to find the middle ground.

Herrera, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, batted .262/.317/.351 over 86 games last season. He was used defensively at second base, third base and shortstop.

The 28-year-old native of Venezuela is a .259/.323/.324 career hitter in the major leagues.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.