Cubs farmhand Efren Navarro signs with the Hanshin Tigers

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The Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball announced today that they have signed first baseman Efren Navarro.

Navarro had most recently been in the Cubs system, having played four games at the big league level but primarily working down in Iowa, where he has a line of .310/.386/.440 with four homers in 2018. He’s 32, and hasn’t done much to impress in 157 big league games scattered over six seasons, but he has shown a decent amount of success across 12 minor league seasons, with a combined line of .295/.364/.411. There was a time when a first baseman with good on-base ability but only doubles power could make a living in major league baseball, but this is not one of those times.

Originally an Angels prospect, he has spent time in the systems of the Angels, Mariners, Cardinals, Tigers and Cubs.

Jesus Luzardo beats Marlins in salary arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Pitcher Jesus Luzardo became the second player in two days to beat the Miami Marlins in salary arbitration and was awarded $2.45 million.

Miami had argued for $2.1 million during a hearing Thursday before a panel of John Stout, Melinda Gordon and Richard Bloch.

AL batting champion Luis Arraez, an All-Star infielder acquired by the Marlins from Minnesota last month, was awarded a $6.1 million salary on Thursday rather than the team’s $5 million figure.

Luzardo, a 25-year-old left-hander, was 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 18 starts last year, striking out 120 and walking 35 in 100 1/3 innings. He is 13-18 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 starts and 16 relief appearances over four big league seasons.

Luzardo made $715,000 last season and was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He can become a free agent after the 2026 season.

Players have won two of three decisions this year, with about 20 more scheduled for hearings.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first decision this year on Wednesday, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday.