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Orioles, Miguel Castro avoid arbitration with one-year, $1.05 million contract

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Orioles and reliever Miguel Castro have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year, $1.05 million contract for the 2020 season. Castro was a first-time arbitration-eligible player and has two more years of eligibility remaining.

Castro, 25, was robbed at gunpoint in the Dominican Republic earlier this week, ESPN reported. Translated, Castro wrote on Instagram in a post that appears to have been since deleted, “Thank God that their gun got jammed.” He added, “I’m alive by the mercy of God.”

This past season, Castro posted a 4.66 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 41 walks over 73 1/3 innings for the Orioles. He will continue to help bridge the gap to closer Mychal Givens.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.