Nationals, Tyler Clippard avoid arbitration for $5.875 million

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Washington won’t be going to an arbitration hearing this year, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Nationals and reliever Tyler Clippard have avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year, $5.875 million deal.

Clippard asked for $6.35 million and the Nationals countered at $4.45 million, so he’s getting $475,000 more than the midpoint following a season in which he threw 71 innings with a 2.41 ERA and 73/23 K/BB ratio but recorded zero saves after racking up 32 in 2012.

Astros officially announce the Michael Brantley signing

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The Astros officially announced their signing of outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32 million deal.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

As previously reported, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Brantley.