Padres, Will Venable avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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Will Venable and the Padres have agreed to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune.

Venable gets a raise from $1.475 million to $2.675 million in his second season of arbitration eligibility after the 30-year-old outfielder hit .264 with nine homers, 24 steals, and a .765 OPS in 148 games to more or less equal his career norms.

As is the case with many Padres hitters Venable’s numbers away from Petco Park were significantly better and his raw totals could jump this year with the fences moving in. He’s expected to start in right field this season and will be arbitration eligible again in 2014 before hitting the open market as a free agent.

Astros officially announce the Michael Brantley signing

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The Astros officially announced their signing of outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32 million deal.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

As previously reported, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Brantley.