Andrew Cashner wins arbitration case against Padres

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According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, right-hander Andrew Cashner has won his arbitration case against the Padres and will make a $2.4 million salary this season.

Cashner, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, was offered $2.275 million by the Padres when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. The two sides went to a hearing yesterday and a three-person panel of arbitrators ultimately ruled in the player’s favor.

Held back by injuries early on in his career, the hard-throwing Cashner showed real signs of promise last season by posting a 3.09 ERA and 128/47 K/BB ratio in 175 innings over 26 starts and five relief appearances. The 27-year-old is one of the reasons why the Padres are being mentioned as a possible sleeper team for 2014.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.