Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoid arbitration on one-year deal

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The Phillies and right-hander Kyle Kendrick have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $7.675 million contract. The deal includes award bonuses.

Kendrick just finished up a two-year, $7.5 million extension and is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter. The 29-year-old got off to an excellent start last season, but ended up with a 4.70 ERA over 182 innings before being shut down with shoulder inflammation. While his salary continues to rise, the Phillies see enough value to keep him around.

Kendrick projects to slot behind Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in Philadelphia’s starting rotation in 2014. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Roberto Hernandez are the top two candidates for the remaining spots.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.