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McHugh, Odorizzi, Stroman win their arbitration cases


Six arbitration decisions were announced on Tuesday. The results were being withheld until all cases were completed so that one case didn’t impact the other cases. Collin McHugh, Jake Odorizzi, and Marcus Stroman won their cases. Taijuan Walker, Chase Anderson, and Michael Wacha lost their cases. All six players were eligible for arbitration for the first time.

For those unfamiliar with the process, players eligible for arbitration file a salary figure they think they deserve and the team counters. If an agreement can’t be reached, they go to an arbitration hearing where an independent arbitrator will pick either the player’s submitted figure or the team’s figure. There is no in between in this instance.

Astros starter McHugh, 29, filed for $3.85 million and the team countered at $3.35 million. The right-hander made 33 starts for the Astros in 2016, putting up a 4.34 ERA and a 177/54 K/BB ratio over 184 2/3 innings. He was arguably the Astros’ most dependable starter.

Rays starter Odorizzi, 26, filed for $4.1 million and the Rays countered at $3.825 million. Over 33 starts, he posted a 3.69 ERA with a 166/54 K/BB ratio across 187 2/3 innings.

Blue Jays starter Stroman, 25, filed for $3.4 million and the Jays countered at $3.1 million. The right-hander crossed the 200-inning plateau, finishing with a 4.37 ERA and a 166/54 K/BB ratio in 32 starts.

Diamondbacks starter Walker, 24, filed for $2.6 million and the Diamondbacks countered at $2.25 million. In his second full season, the right-hander made 25 starts for the Mariners, authoring a 4.22 ERA and a 119/37 K/BB ratio over 134 1/3 innings.

Brewers starter Anderson, 29, filed for $2.85 million and the Brewers countered at $2.45 million. In 151 2/3 innings, the right-hander posted a 4.39 ERA and a 120/53 K/BB ratio.

Cardinals starter Wacha, 25, filed for $3.2 million and the Cardinals countered at $2.775 million. He finished with an ugly 5.09 ERA and a 114/45 K/BB ratio in 138 innings. Wacha battled a shoulder injury but is expected to be included in the club’s rotation “if he’s physically able,” according to GM John Mozeliak.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.