Red Sox, Jarrod Saltalamacchia avoid arbitration with one-year contract

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

Saltalamacchia gets $4.5 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility after making $2.5 million last season while hitting .222 with 25 homers and a .742 OPS at age 27.

Saltalamacchia has shown a ton of power in two full seasons with the Red Sox, smacking 41 homers and 40 doubles in 763 at-bats, but he’s hit just .228 with a ghastly .288 on-base percentage.

He’s slated to platoon with free agent signing David Ross behind the plate this season, seeing most of his playing time versus right-handed pitching.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.