Angels, Mathis avoid arbitration with $1.7M agreement

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Baseball’s salary arbitration process is generally a good thing in that it can help young and productive players get the money they deserve well before they are allowed to test the free market.

It also presents some hilarious situations.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels avoided arbitration Wednesday with catcher Jeff Mathis by agreeing to a one-year, $1.7 million contract.

Mathis, 27, batted just .195 with a .291 on-base percentage and .278 slugging percentage last season and also played poor defense behind the plate.  In truth, he might have been the worst player in baseball to register more than 200 plate appearances.

But that’s how arbitration goes.  Mathis made $1.3 million last season in his first year of eligibility and he will probably get a raise next season as well no matter what kind of results he turns in this year.

Unless, of course, the Angels want to non-tender him and risk another team picking him up as a free agent.  One would have to assume that manager Mike Scioscia would be against that type of move because, after all, he was the one that allowed Mathis to play so often in 2010.

Michael Fulmer underwent surgery on his right knee

Detroit Tigers v Houston Astros
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MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports that Tigers starter Michael Fulmer underwent successful surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee. The Tigers expect Fulmer to be ready for spring training next year.

Fulmer, 25, threw just five pitches in his start against the Indians on Friday before being removed with what at the time was called right knee inflammation. The right-hander ends 2018 with a 3-12 record, a 4.69 ERA, and a 110/46 K/BB ratio in 132 1/3 innings.

Fulmer will enter his first of four years of arbitration eligibility after the season. The Tigers likely would have considered trading him during the offseason but his poor season and knee woes will keep him in Detroit for the time being.