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Justin Bour wins arbitration case against Marlins

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Some positive news from the hot stove this evening: First baseman Justin Bour won his arbitration case against the Marlins on Friday, per an announcement from his agent, Marc J. Kligman. He’ll stand to make $3.4 million in 2018, just above the $3 million the Marlins countered with in January.

Bour, 29, is coming off of his most productive season to date, despite losing 55 days to the disabled list with an ankle injury and right oblique strain last year. He completed his fourth major league campaign with the Marlins in 2017, batting a cool .289/.366/.536 with 25 home runs and 2.2 fWAR in 429 plate appearances. This was his first offseason of arbitration eligibility.

Things didn’t go quite so smoothly for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, meanwhile, who lost his arbitration case on Friday and will receive $2.9 million in 2018 instead of the $3.5 million he requested. Realmuto had already voiced his displeasure with the Marlins’ offseason moves and reportedly requested a trade, though the club has given no clear indication that they’re close to moving him.

With Bour and Realmuto’s cases settled, the Marlins will tackle one more arbitration hearing when they meet with right-hander Dan Straily next week. Straily filed for $3.55 million back in January and was met with a counteroffer of $3.37 million. Robert Murray of FanRag Sports points out that the 2017-18 offseason has seen an unusually high number of arbitration hearings compared to past years, which is hardly surprising given the ongoing tensions between players and teams this winter.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.