The Giants and Joaquin Arias reach a two-year deal to avoid arbitration

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Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reports that the Giants and Joaquin Arias have avoided arbitration, reaching a deal on a two-year contract. The price tag: $2.66 million.

The utilityman Arias has played with the Giants for two years, putting up a line of  .270/.296/.369. He’s at .272/.302/.367 for his six-year career. He’ll spend the next two years backing up third, short and second base in San Francisco and he can spot at first base if need be.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.