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Orioles plan on arbitration hearings for three players


Orioles general manager Dan Duquette is planning on taking right-handers Kevin Gausman and Brad Brach and catcher Caleb Joseph to arbitration hearings next month, according to comments made by the GM during FanFest on Saturday.

Gausman, 26, returned to a full-time starting role with the Orioles in 2016. He went 9-12 with a 3.61 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings, a substantial improvement over the 4.25 ERA he posted as a swingman in 2015. He filed for $3.55 million and was met with a $3.15 million offer by the team, but the two have been unable to compromise on a midpoint in the weeks following the deadline.

Right-handed reliever Brad Brach had a stunning season in Baltimore, earning his first career All-Star nomination and touting a career-best 2.05 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 10.5 SO/9 through 79 innings. The 30-year-old requested $3.05 million, which was countered by a $2.525 million sum from the Orioles.

Things weren’t so hot for 30-year-old part-time backstop Caleb Joseph, who sustained a severe testicular injury on a wayward foul tip and lugged a .174/.216/.197 batting line and three doubles through 141 PA with the club last year. Joseph is expected to serve as the primary backup for catcher Welington Castillo in 2017. The team offered $700,000 to Joseph’s $1 million request.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.