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Astros, Marwin Gonzalez avoid arbitration

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The Astros and utilityman Marwin Gonzalez avoided arbitration on Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3.725 million for the 2017 season. Gonzalez had filed for $4.2 million and the team countered at $3.25 million, so they met right at the midpoint. The Astros also hold a club option for the 2018 season worth $5.125 million.

Gonzalez, who turns 28 years old next month, hit .254/.293/.401 with 13 home runs, 51 RBI, 55 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 518 plate appearances for the Astros last season. While he spent a majority of his playing time at first base, he also played third base, left field, second base, shortstop, and center field. Gonzalez is set for a utility role with the Astros in 2017.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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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.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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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.