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Orioles, Jonathan Schoop avoid arbitration

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The Orioles and second baseman Jonathan Schoop have avoided arbitration, agreeing on an $8.5 million salary for the 2018 season, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Schoop had been eligible for arbitration for the second of three years. He requested $9 million and the Orioles countered at $7.5 million, so $8.5 million is just a bit above the midpoint between those two figures.

Schoop, 26, hit a productive .293/.338/.503 with 32 home runs and 105 RBI in 675 plate appearances last season. His performance resulted in his first All-Star nomination and he finished 12th in AL MVP Award balloting.

Schoop will have a new double play partner this coming season.¬†Shortstop J.J. Hardy‘s 2018 option was declined, which prompted Manny Machado to shift over to shortstop from third base.

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.