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.

Astros acquire Aledmys Díaz from Blue Jays

Aledmys Diaz
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The Astros have acquired shortstop Aledmys Díaz from the Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-hander Trent Thornton, the teams announced Saturday.

Díaz, 28, was originally acquired by the Blue Jays last winter in a swap for minor leaguer J.B. Woodman. He spent the entirety of his 2018 campaign in Toronto, where he slashed .263/.303/.453 with a .756 OPS and career-best 18 home runs through 452 plate appearances. While Díaz spent the bulk of his year filling in for an injured Troy Tulowitzki at short, he has experience at second and third base and may prove useful to the Astros as an extra outfield option, too.

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Díaz will serve as protection if the Astros lose shortstop/utility player Marwin González to free agency this winter. González did not receive a qualifying offer from the club this month and has reportedly drawn interest from 29 of 30 clubs in the league.

Thornton, 25, was selected by the Astros during the fifth round of the 2015 draft. The right-hander was promoted to Triple-A Fresno in 2017 and has been up-and-down since then, though 2018 saw some modest improvements across the board as he turned in a 9-8 record through 22 starts with a 4.42 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 124 1/3 innings. He was one of several minor league players the Astros would have needed to protect in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on Tuesday.