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Marcus Stroman did not enjoy his arbitration hearing

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman had his arbitration hearing. He lost. He requested $6.9 million and the Blue Jays countered with $6.5 million. Somewhat surprising given how good a 2017 season Stroman had, but arbitration can be like that sometimes. As I recently noted, arbitration is a somewhat complicated process with some often counterintuitive forces at work and thus you can’t just go with “good player should win, bad player should lose” and expect to predict the outcomes with much accuracy.

As I also noted in that post, one weird part of arbitration is that a player has to sit there in the hearing room and listen to his own club talk smack about him. Maybe it’s not blatantly insulting, but the club’s lawyers do cite the problems with a player, his failures and his flaws and argue that, as a result, he should not get the money he’s asking for.

Based on the outcome, the Blue Jays’ lawyers did an effective job of that, but it didn’t leave a great taste in Stroman’s mouth:

Whatever motivates you, Marcus.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.