Rangers avoid arbitration with O’Day, ink $1.215M contract

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The Rangers can file another arbitration case as closed.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, side-arming reliever Darren O’Day has agreed to a $1.215 million salary for 2011.

O’Day requested $1.4 million and the Rangers countered at $1.05 million when arbitration figures were filed last week.  They found a middle ground over the last couple of days.

The 28-year-old right-hander delivered a fantastic 2.08 ERA and 0.89 WHIP across 72 appearances last season, fanning 45 batters and walking only 12.  He’s been a very reliable bullpener now for two straight seasons and could push his 2012 salary to serious heights with a strong outcome this year.  Josh Hamilton and Frank Francisco are the only arbitration-eligible players left unsigned for Texas.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.