The Baltimore Orioles and closer Zach Britton avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $11.4 million contract.
Questionable move, tactically speaking, by the Orioles. If it were me I would’ve taken Britton to arbitration and counted on his lawyers not calling him to the stand when he was most needed.
On the merits, though, it’s a good deal for everyone. Britton earned a big raise after his 0.54 ERA/47-for-47 save 2016 season.
Britton will be arbitration-eligible one more time next year and can become a free agent following the 2018 season.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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