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Justin Bour wins arbitration case against Marlins

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Some positive news from the hot stove this evening: First baseman Justin Bour won his arbitration case against the Marlins on Friday, per an announcement from his agent, Marc J. Kligman. He’ll stand to make $3.4 million in 2018, just above the $3 million the Marlins countered with in January.

Bour, 29, is coming off of his most productive season to date, despite losing 55 days to the disabled list with an ankle injury and right oblique strain last year. He completed his fourth major league campaign with the Marlins in 2017, batting a cool .289/.366/.536 with 25 home runs and 2.2 fWAR in 429 plate appearances. This was his first offseason of arbitration eligibility.

Things didn’t go quite so smoothly for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, meanwhile, who lost his arbitration case on Friday and will receive $2.9 million in 2018 instead of the $3.5 million he requested. Realmuto had already voiced his displeasure with the Marlins’ offseason moves and reportedly requested a trade, though the club has given no clear indication that they’re close to moving him.

With Bour and Realmuto’s cases settled, the Marlins will tackle one more arbitration hearing when they meet with right-hander Dan Straily next week. Straily filed for $3.55 million back in January and was met with a counteroffer of $3.37 million. Robert Murray of FanRag Sports points out that the 2017-18 offseason has seen an unusually high number of arbitration hearings compared to past years, which is hardly surprising given the ongoing tensions between players and teams this winter.

Marlins give Don Mattingly two-year extension

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The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.

Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.

In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.

Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.