Bill Baer

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 17:  Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a pitch against the Cleveland Indians during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 17, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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McHugh, Odorizzi, Stroman win their arbitration cases

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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.

Rangers acquire Eddie Gamboa from the Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Pitcher Eddie Gamboa #73 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake announced on Tuesday that the Rangers acquired pitcher Eddie Gamboa from the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Rangers moved Jake Diekman and Prince Fielder to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.

The Rays had designated Gamboa, a knuckleballer, for assignment on Tuesday morning, to create roster space for Nathan Eovaldi. It didn’t take them long to find a taker.

Gamboa, 32, made his major league debut last season. He pitched 13 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on nine hits and eight walks with 11 strikeouts. While it seems unlikely Gamboa will grab a spot in the Rangers’ bullpen, he can at least provide relief depth.

Pete Mackanin: Jeanmar Gomez “deserves to be called our closer”

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 17: Jeanmar Gomez #46 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on May 17, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 3-1. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Phillies manager Pete Mackanin has already named a favorite for his team’s closer role: Jeanmar Gomez, as Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. “I believe he deserves to be called our closer at this point,” Mackanin said.

Gomez, 29, finished last season with 37 saves, a 4.85 ERA, and a 47/22 K/BB ratio in 68 2/3 innings. He was solid for the first four months of the season, but ran out of steam in August and September. Between August 1 and the end of the season, Gomez yielded 22 earned runs on 35 hits and 10 walks with 16 strikeouts in 20 innings.

The Phillies added veteran Joaquin Benoit, who posted a 0.38 ERA with the Blue Jays last year, and also have Hector Neris, who compiled a sterling 2.58 ERA over 80 1/3 innings in 2016. Strong spring performances from either could still move the needle.

“I remember back in 2009, my first year as a coach here, when [Brad Lidge] blew a lot of saves and Charlie [Manuel] stuck with him. It proved to be important that he did, even though a lot of people were clamoring for a change. Charlie showed him confidence and stayed with him. I think that was the right thing to do,” Mackanin said.

The Phillies made it back to the World Series in 2009 in spite of Lidge’s ineffectiveness, not because of it. Lidge did not improve as the season went on as his first half ERA was 7.03 and his second half ERA was 7.43. And he famously blew a tie ballgame by serving up three runs in the top of the ninth inning in Game 4 of the World Series against the Yankees. So, pointing to Lidge is not exactly the best example Mackanin could have come up with.

All this being said, the 2017 Phillies team isn’t expected to be a competitive ballclub, so vacillating between closers is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.