Red Sox avoid arbitration with Junichi Tazawa, Mike Carp, and Jonathan Herrera

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The Red Sox have avoided arbitration with reliever Junichi Tazawa, first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, and infielder Jonathan Herrera, WEEI’s Alex Speier reports. All three deals are non-guaranteed.

Tazawa, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, will take home $1.275 million on a one-year deal. He finished 2013 with a 3.16 ERA and a six-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio in 68 1/3 innings pitching mostly in the seventh and eighth innings.

Carp, eligible for arbitration for the second time, will receive $1.4 million. He wrapped up 2013 with an .885 OPS having faced right-handed pitching in over 88 percent of his 243 plate appearances.

Herrera, also eligible for arbitration for the second time, will earn $1.3 million. The Red Sox acquired Herrera from the Rockies last month in exchange for reliever Franklin Morales and minor leaguer Chris Martin.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.