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Tigers avoid arbitration with Blaine Hardy

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The Tigers avoided arbitration with reliever Blaine Hardy and signed the left-hander to a one-year deal, per a team announcement on Saturday. This is Hardy’s first year of arbitration eligibility. The exact terms of the deal have yet to be publicized.

The 30-year-old lefty completed his fourth campaign with the Tigers in 2017, supplementing a career-worst 5.94 ERA and -0.2 fWAR with a 3.5 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 33 1/3 innings. Despite his struggles at the major league level, he managed to turn things around in Triple-A Toledo, where a 3.10 ERA and low walk and home run rates skewed more toward the respectable career averages the Tigers are accustomed to seeing from him.

Hardy wasn’t the only one to cut a deal with the Tigers this weekend. Right-handers Kevin Comer and Mark Montgomery are also set to join the club on minor league contracts in 2018, as are outfielder/first baseman Chad Huffman and outfielder/second baseman Niko Goodrum.

Blue Jays could move Jaime Garcia to bullpen

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Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are considering moving starter Jaime Garcia to the bullpen. If they go that route, Sam Gaviglio would start in Garcia’s place on Sunday against the Angels.

Garcia, 31, has struggled to a 6.16 ERA with a 56/31 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings over 13 starts this season. Gaviglio, meanwhile, has a 3.75 ERA with 35 striekouts and 11 walks in 36 innings across six starts and two relief appearances for the Jays this year.

Garcia inked a one-year, $10 million contract with the Jays in February. The deal includes a club option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout.