The deadline for teams and players to exchange arbitration figures was today, and after figures are exchanged deals tend not get done. As such, there are scores of players who have reached deals with their clubs today in order to avoid arbitration. We’re not tracking every single one — that’s rather tedious — but we’re mentioning the notable ones.
Maybe the most notable: Bryce Harper, who avoided arbitration with the Washington Nationals and will now make $13.625 million in 2018.
Harper made $5 million last season, the second one after signing a two-year deal in December of 2014. He’s still under team control through the 2018 season, so he and the Nats will have one more go-around with this next winter. He’ll turn 26 after that season and some suspect the 2015 MVP could command a long term contract of $400 million or more if he hits free agency.
The next two years will say a lot about that of course. His talent and marketability is undeniable. The only issue, really, is his health, which likely sapped his production in 2016. If he rakes this coming season he’ll likely get a record arbitration deal next winter and will set himself up for perhaps the largest contract in baseball history.
Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.
Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.
There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.
It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.
Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.
The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.