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Astros, Chris Devenski avoid arbitration with $1.525 million contract

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Sunday that the Astros and reliever Chris Devenski avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.525 million salary for the 2019 season. The contract also includes a 2020 club option at $2.625 million with bonuses for appearances.

Devenski, 28, was entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility. He filed for $1.65 million while the Astros countered at $1.4 million, so they ultimately settled right at the midpoint.

Last season, Devenski posted a 4.18 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 13 walks in 47 1/3 innings. He pitched mostly in the seventh and eighth innings when called upon. He should get similar responsibilities in 2019 bridging the gap to closer Roberto Osuna.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.