Arbitration filings: Chase Headley’s $10.3 million request leads way

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Here’s the breakdown of the 36 arbitration cases remaining after Friday’s filings:

American League (player filing amount – team filing amount – 2012 salary)

Baltimore

Jason Hammel – $8.25 million – $5.7 million ($4.75 million in 2012)
Jim Johnson – $7.1 million – $5.7 million ($2.775 million in 2012)
Darren O’Day – $3.2 million – $1.8 million ($1.35 million in 2012)

Boston

Craig Breslow – $2.375 million – $2.325 million ($1.795 million in 2012)

Cleveland

Mike Aviles – $3.4 million – $2.4 million ($1.2 million in 2012)

Detroit

Max Scherzer – $7.4 million – $6.05 million ($3.75 million in 2012)

Los Angeles

Alberto Callaspo – $4.7 million – $3.65 million ($3.15 million in 2012)
Kevin Jepsen – $1.4 million – $975,000 ($501,000 in 2012)

New York

David Robertson – $3.65 million – $2.85 million ($1.625 million in 2012)

Seattle

Shawn Kelley – $1.2 million – $750,000 ($610,000 in 2012)

Texas

David Murphy – $6.5 million – $5.05 million ($3.65 million in 2012)

National League

Arizona

Gerardo Parra – $2.7 million – $2.1 million ($502,000 in 2012)
Cliff Pennington – $2.8 million – $1.8 million ($490,000 in 2012)

Atlanta

Martin Prado – $7.05 million – $6.65 million ($4.75 million in 2012)

Cincinnati

Homer Bailey – $5.8 million – $4.75 million ($2.5 million in 2012)
Shin-Soo Choo – $8 million – $6.75 million ($4.9 million in 2012)
Chris Heisey – $1.65 million – $1.05 million ($495,000 in 2012)
Mat Latos – $4.7 million – $4.15 million ($550,000 in 2012)
Mike Leake – $3.5 million – $2.65 million ($507,500 in 2012)
Alfredo Simon – $1.05 million – $750,000 ($487,500 in 2012)

Colorado

Jhoulys Chacin – $2.6 million – $1.7 million ($482,000 in 2012)
Dexter Fowler – $5.15 million – $4.25 million ($2.35 million in 2012)
Jonathan Herrera – $1 million – $800,000 ($482,000 in 2012)

New York

Ike Davis – $3.7 million – $2.825 million ($506,690 in 2012)
Daniel Murphy – $3.4 million – $2.55 million ($512,196 in 2012)

Pittsburgh

James McDonald – $3.4 million – $2.65 million ($502,500 in 2012)
Neil Walker – $3.6 million – $3 million ($500,000 in 2012)

St. Louis

David Freese – $3.75 million – $2.4 million ($518,000 in 2012)
Jason Motte – $5.5 million – $4.5 million ($2 million in 2012)
Marc Rzepczynski – $1.3 million – $900,000 ($501,000 in 2012)

San Diego

Luke Gregerson – $3.75 million – $2.875 million ($1.55 million in 2012)
Chase Headley – $10.3 million – $7.075 million ($3.475 million in 2012)
Clayton Richard – $5.5 million – $4.905 million ($2.705 million in 2012)

San Francisco

Joaquin Arias – $1.1 million – $750,000 ($525,000 in 2012)
Sergio Romo – $4.5 million – $2.675 million ($1.575 million in 2012)

Washington

Jordan Zimmermann – $5.8 million – $4.6 million ($2.3 million in 2012)

Some thoughts

– Callaspo and the Angels are expected to avoid arbitration by finalizing a two-year deal in the coming days.

– It’s incredibly bizarre that the Red Sox came to terms with seven of their eight remaining arbitration players today, yet couldn’t close the ridiculously tiny $50,000 gap with Breslow. Maybe they just ran out of people capable of negotiating; they were all on the phone with other players.

– Prado’s gap is also really small considering the amounts involved ($7.05 million-$6.65 million). It’s hard to see that one going before a panel.

– Headley’s $3.225 million gap with the Padres is the biggest spread in dollars, but others are bigger proportionately. O’Day is asking for nearly twice what the Orioles are offering ($3.2 million-$1.8 million. Romo’s request is 70 percent higher than the Giants’ offer. Freese’s is nearly 60 percent higher than the Cardinals’ proposal.

Red Sox look to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight

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Thanks to some amazing defense, some big hits and — to continue to beat this horse, a bad call by Joe West — the Red Sox have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and look to clinch the AL Pennant tonight down in Houston.

If you believe in momentum, you’d have to say it’s on Boston’s side. If you believe that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, however, you’d have to say things favor Houston more than the standing of the series would suggest. All of which makes me wish Game 5 was starting right now, because it figures to be a tense and exciting affair.

ALCS Game 5

Red Sox vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: David Price vs. Justin Verlander
Breakdown:

If someone told you that you had to win one baseball game against the Martians to save the human race, you could do far worse than calling on Justin Verlander to be your starting pitcher. Among the pitchers still in the postseason, he’d almost certainly be your choice right now.

Does Verlander himself appreciate the situation? This is what he said about that yesterday:

“I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”

Look, we’re asking him to beat the Martians here, not win the National Math Bee, so let’s let that go. The point is that after all of these years he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and after the exhausting, see-saw battle of Game 4, he stands the best chance of giving Houston what it needs: a quick, quiet and drama-free win.

Not that the Red Sox are likely to roll over for that. They didn’t the first time they faced Verlander in this series. They Astros won, yes, and Verlander limited them to two runs on two hits. But he also issued four walks and wasn’t his sharpest overall. Boston didn’t capitalize on his mistakes as best they could, but he’s not invincible.

For Boston it’s David Price. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over four and two-thirds innings in Game 2, not factoring in the decision. That’s not great, but given the talk leading up to that game being all about how Price is a postseason flop, the fact that the Sox won it in the end had to bouy him at least a little. As does the fact that, here, tonight, it’s not 100% on his shoulders. Sure, the Sox want to close this out, but with a 3-1 lead there is less pressure on Price than on his former teammate Verlander. Worth noting, though: Price is on short rest and warmed up in the bullpen last night in case he was needed to bail out Craig Kimbrel. He may not go deep into this game.