Ken Giles wins arbitration case against Astros

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Astros right-hander Ken Giles won his arbitration case against the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Saturday. Giles initially filed at $4.6 million, which was countered by a $4.2 million offer from the team.

Giles, 27, dazzled in his second season with the Astros. He racked up 34 saves, good for fifth-most in the league, and sported a 2.30 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 through 62 2/3 innings in the regular season. The postseason was a different story altogether. The right-hander imploded in three of seven playoff appearances and lost his status as the team’s closer halfway through the World Series with a brutal Game 4 loss and an unsightly 11.74 ERA. That said, Giles’ postseason snafu isn’t expected to have much bearing on his future with the team in 2018, according to comments made by manager AJ Hinch earlier this winter.

The Astros have two more arbitration hearings to resolve before Opening Day. Outfielder George Springer filed at $10.5 million, countered by $8.5 million from the team, while right-hander Collin McHugh seeks $5 million against the $4.55 million the Astros are willing to pony up. So far this winter, five players have won arbitration cases against their respective teams, including Giles, Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria ($5.9 million), Marlins first baseman Justin Bour ($3.4 million), Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts ($10.5 million), and Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller ($4.9 million). Two have lost: Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna ($5.3 million) and Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto ($2.9 million).

Report: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach 9-year, $360M deal

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SAN DIEGO — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.