A’s won’t be trading for Yunel Escobar, as Rays pull shortstop back off waivers

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As expected the Rays have pulled back Yunel Escobar off revocable waivers after the shortstop was claimed by the A’s.

Tampa Bay was only able to negotiate a deal with Oakland and ultimately decided Escobar was worth hanging onto with two seasons and $13 million remaining on his contract.

Escobar has hit just .253 with four homers and a .635 OPS in 113 games this season and wasn’t much better last year, but the bar for shortstops is always very low offensively and the Rays like his defense (and presumably don’t believe Nick Franklin is a legitimate shortstop).

Bradley wins last arbitration case of the year, teams beat players 7-5 overall

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PHOENIX (AP) Arizona reliever Archie Bradley won the final salary arbitration case of the year, leaving teams with a 7-5 advantage over players.

Bradley, a 27-year right-hander, was given a raise from $1.83 million to $4.1 million on Friday by arbitrators Andrew Strongin, Steven Wolf and Jules Bloch. The Diamondbacks had argued for $3,625,000.

Bradley was 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA in 65 relief appearances and one start last year. He struck out 87 and walked 36 in 71 2/3 innings.

Teams won six of the first seven decisions, and players won four of the last five. Teams have had a winning record in four of the last six years; the exceptions were a 12-10 margin for players in 2018 and a 6-4 advantage last year, the first consecutive winning years for the players since 1989-90.

A relatively small percentage of players went to hearings among the 162 who were eligible after teams offered contracts on Dec. 2. Just 20 players exchanged proposed salaries with their clubs on Jan. 10 and nearly half of them wound up with agreements.

Clubs defeated Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto, Boston pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, Minnesota pitcher Jose Berrios, Milwaukee closer Josh Hader, Atlanta reliever Shane Greene and Colorado catcher Tony Wolters.

Winning players included Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez, Houston infielder Aledmys Diaz, Miami first baseman Jesus Aguilar and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Brian Goodwin.

Phillies reliever Hector Neris agreed Thursday night to a $4.6 million, one-year deal, avoiding a hearing. His deal includes a $7 million team option for 2021 with no buyout. Neris can earn an additional $1.2 million this year in performance bonuses for games finished: $50,000 each for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35; $100,000 apiece for 40, 45 and 50; and $200,000 each for 55, 60 and 63.

Neris was Philadelphia’s most reliable reliever last year, leading the team with a career-high 28 saves in 34 chances. He had a 2.93 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings, earning $1.8 million.

He is 67 for 83 in save opportunities in his career.

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