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Marcus Stroman did not enjoy his arbitration hearing

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman had his arbitration hearing. He lost. He requested $6.9 million and the Blue Jays countered with $6.5 million. Somewhat surprising given how good a 2017 season Stroman had, but arbitration can be like that sometimes. As I recently noted, arbitration is a somewhat complicated process with some often counterintuitive forces at work and thus you can’t just go with “good player should win, bad player should lose” and expect to predict the outcomes with much accuracy.

As I also noted in that post, one weird part of arbitration is that a player has to sit there in the hearing room and listen to his own club talk smack about him. Maybe it’s not blatantly insulting, but the club’s lawyers do cite the problems with a player, his failures and his flaws and argue that, as a result, he should not get the money he’s asking for.

Based on the outcome, the Blue Jays’ lawyers did an effective job of that, but it didn’t leave a great taste in Stroman’s mouth:

Whatever motivates you, Marcus.

Report: J.D. Martinez signing delayed by medical issue

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The Red Sox reportedly inked free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year, $110 million contract last Monday, but there appears to be a slight hitch in the process. According to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, the team is sorting through a medical issue that has delayed the signing. The specific nature of the issue has yet to be revealed, though Drellich adds that both the team and agent Scott Boras have involved additional medical experts in the process.

For what it’s worth, Martinez remained fairly healthy during his 2017 run with the Tigers and Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old outfielder spent six weeks on the disabled list after suffering a right foot sprain during camp, but managed to make a full recovery by mid-May and didn’t relapse once throughout the rest of the year. Of course, the medical issue holding up his new contract could be of an entirely different nature.

While spring training is already underway for the rest of the Red Sox, club manager Alex Cora doesn’t appear too concerned by Martinez’s absence — yet. “The thing I can do is my thing,” he told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “My job here is to show up every day and get ’em ready.”