Drew Silva

Steven Ryan/Getty Images North America

Yankees avoid arbitration with Nathan Eovaldi at $5.6 million


Ivan Nova and offseason trade acquisition Aroldis Chapman are now the only open arbitration cases on the Yankees’ roster.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York reports that right-handed starter Nathan Eovaldi has agreed to a one-year, $5.6 million contract for 2016, avoiding the need for a February arbitration hearing. He filed earlier this month at $6.3 million and the Yankees countered at $4.9 million. It didn’t take long for the two sides to find an acceptable middle ground.

This was the second year of arbitration eligibility for Eovaldi, who registered a 4.20 ERA and 121/49 K/BB ratio in 154 1/3 innings (27 starts) last season while earning a salary of $3.3 million.

He’ll play an important role in the Yankees’ rotation for 2016.

Yoenis Cespedes market is “intensifying”

Getty Images

We may be nearing the end of the Yoenis Cespedes free agency saga.

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM, the market for the 30-year-old slugger is “intensifying” and “something could get done in the next few days.”

Cespedes and his reps at Roc Nation should have a pretty good read on all the available proposals by now, and which teams will be willing to open the purse strings a little further. Cespedes was initially seeking a big long-term deal in the Jason Heyward or Chris Davis range, but nothing of that sort has been put on the table yet and we are now in mid-January.

There was a five-year, $90 million offer at one point from the Orioles, but that’s no longer an option for Cespedes because of the money Baltimore had to spend on re-signing Davis. Teams like the Mets, Tigers, and White Sox are willing to explore something shorter and cheaper, and the O’s could jump back in if the price tag falls far enough.

But you can understand why Cespedes has been reluctant to budge.

The dynamic Cuban posted an impressive .870 OPS (137 OPS+) with 35 home runs, 42 doubles, and 105 RBI in 159 games last summer between Detroit and New York. He ranked seventh among all MLB hitters in FanGraphs’ version of WAR, and his free agency is not tied to draft pick compensation because he was traded midseason.

Diamondbacks have tabled long-term extension talks with A.J. Pollock

Getty Images

A.J. Pollock was one of the best players in baseball last year, slashing .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases in 157 games while playing excellent defense in center field. He earned his first All-Star nod, his first Gold Glove Award, and the dynamic 28-year-old even received some down-ballot MVP votes.

The Diamondbacks would love to secure Pollock to a long-term contract that would run into his mid-30s, but it’s probably not going to happen this winter.

Via beat writer Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic

The Diamondbacks avoided arbitration on Friday with six players, leaving center fielder A.J. Pollock as their only remaining arbitration-eligible player.

The Diamondbacks had been hoping to find common ground with Pollock on a multi-year deal, but General Manager Dave Stewart said in a text message on Friday evening that those talks have been tabled.

“We, both sides, have for the time being put that away,” Stewart said.

Pollock just entered his first year of arbitration eligibility and he is under contractual control with the Diamondbacks through 2018, so there is no real rush on either side. He filed at $3.9 million and the Diamondbacks countered at $3.65 million. A compromise should be reached before an arbitration hearing is necessary.