Yankees and Russell Martin avoid arbitration with one-year, $7.5 million deal

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Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News passes along word that the Yankees and Russell Martin have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract. David Waldstein of the New York Times reports that he’ll make $7.5 million with the chance for $100,000 in performance-based incentives.

Martin requested $8.2 million and was offered $7 million from the Yankees when arbitration figures were exchanged a week ago, so they’ll meet at the midpoint if he reaches all incentives.

Martin joined the Yankees last offseason on a one-year, $4 million deal after being non-tendered by the Dodgers. The 28-year-old backstop batted .237/.324/.408 with 18 homers, 65 RBI and a .732 OPS in 2011 while throwing out 30 percent of attempted basestealers. He can become a free agent next offseason.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.