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.
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.