Padres and Clayton Richard avoid arbitration with one-year, $2.705 million contract

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According to the Associated Press, the Padres and Clayton Richard have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.705 million contract.

Richard was arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason. The 28-year-old southpaw requested $3.1 million and was offered $2.35 million by the Padres when arbitration figures were exchanged last week, so the two sides ended up settling right around the midpoint of $2.725 million.

Richard, who was acquired from the White Sox as part of the Jake Peavy trade in 2009, posted a 3.88 ERA over 18 starts in 2011 before undergoing season-ending surgery on his left shoulder in late-July. Barring any setbacks, he should be ready for spring training and open the season in the Padres’ starting rotation.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.