Orioles, Tommy Hunter avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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Tommy Hunter and the Orioles have agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Hunter was terrible last season, throwing 134 innings with a 5.45 ERA and being demoted to the minors, but he still gets a raise from $500,000 to $1.82 million thanks to being arbitration eligible for the first time at age 25.

Hunter parlayed some good luck and even better run support into a 13-4 record and 3.68 ERA for the Rangers in 2010, but since then he’s posted a 5.15 ERA in 218 innings while serving up 44 homers.

Ketel Marte shut down with back injury

Ketel Marte
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With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.

It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.

Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.

Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.