Royals avoid arbitration with outfielder Justin Maxwell

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From the Royals’ official Twitter account …

No word yet on the financial terms but it will be a big raise either way for Maxwell, who made the MLB minimum in 2013. He asked for a salary of $1.7 million and was offered $1.075 million by the Royals when arbitration figures were exchanged last Friday. The two sides probably wound up meeting right in the middle.

Maxwell, 30, batted .252/.328/.436 with seven homers and six steals in 75 games last season between Houston and Kansas City. He’ll get semi-regular outfield starts this year, primarily against left-handers.

Michael Wacha leaves game with a left oblique strain

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Cardinals starter Michael Wacha suffered a strained left oblique muscle during his start this afternoon against the Phillies, causing him to leave in the fourth inning.

Wacha is 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 71/36 K/BB ratio in 84.1 innings across 15 starts this season with St. Louis. To the extent he has to miss some time — and obliques invariably send starters to the disabled list — potential fill-in candidates include John Gant, Daniel Poncedeleon and Dakota Hudson.