Mariners’ Teoscar Hernandez loses in arbitration, teams go 13-6 vs. players

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NEW YORK – Seattle outfielder Teoscar Hernandez was among five players who lost their salary arbitration cases and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe won as teams finished with a 13-6 advantage in decisions.

Angels infielder Gio Urshela, Tampa Bay relievers Colin Poche and Ryan Thompson and St. Louis reliever Genesis Cabrera also lost their cases.

Teams won the majority of decisions for the fourth straight year and have a 347-257 record since arbitration began in 1974.

Hernandez, acquired by the Mariners from Toronto in a November trade, will receive $14 million instead of his request for $16 million after a hearing Friday before Mark Burstein, John Woods and Howard Edelman. The previous high for an arbitration case that went to a decision was $13.5 million by pitcher Gerrit Cole in his 2019 win over Houston and by pitcher Max Fried in his loss to Atlanta this year.

Renfroe will get $11.9 million instead of the Angels’ offer of $11.25 million. His hearing before Melinda Gordon, Scott Buchheit and John Stout was the first of the year on Jan. 30 but the decision was held until Hernandez’s case was decided.

Urshela gets $8.4 million instead of $10 million after a hearing Wednesday in front of Fredric Horowitz, Jeanne Charles and Stephen Raymond.

Thompson receives $1 million rather than $1.2 million in a case heard Feb. 6 by Stout, Raymond and Allen Ponak, and Poche gets $1,175,000 instead of $1.3 million followng Feb. 7 arguments before John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, The $125,000 gap between Poche and the Rays was the smallest among the 33 cases at the time of the Jan. 13 exchange of proposed figures.

Tampa Bay split four decisions, losing earlier to outfielder Harold Ramirez ($2.2 million) and reliever Jason Adam ($1,775,000).

Cabrera receives $950,000 instead of $1.15 million following a hearing Friday before Jules Bloch, Buchheit and Horowitz.

The 19 hearings this year were up from 13 last year and the most since 22 in 2018. Hearings were held in person at St. Petersburg, Florida, following two years of Zoom sessions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the players who swapped figures with their teams on Jan. 13, 14 reached agreements without hearings.

There were about 200 players eligible for arbitration heading into the week of the exchange. Eleven players wound up with mulityear contracts topped by Houston pitcher Cristian Javier with a five-year deal, and the Mets’ Jeff McNeil and Tampa Bay’s Jeffrey Springs with four years each.

Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz and Pete Fairbanks agreed to three-year deals along with Philadelphia’s Jose Alvarado, Toronto’s Bo Bichette, Seattle’s Dylan Moore and Minnesota’s Chris Paddack. The Phillies’ Seranthony Dominguez and the Dodgers’ Tony Gonsolin got two years each.

An All-Star in 2021, the 30-year-old Hernandez hit .267 with 25 home runs and 77 RBIs in 131 games last season for Toronto, then was traded to Seattle for right-hander reliever Erik Swanson and minor league lefty Adam Macko.

Renfroe hit .255 with 29 homers and 72 RBIs for Milwaukee last season, down from a .259 average, 31 homers and 96 RBIs for Boston in 2021. The 31-year-old was acquired by the Angels in November for right-handers Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero, and minor league lefty Adam Seminaris.

Urshela, 31, hit .285 with 13 homers and 64 RBIs last season for Minnesota, which traded him to the Angels on Nov. 18 for minor league right-hander Alejandro Hidalgo. Urshela earned $6.55 million.

Thompson, a 30-year-old right-hander, was 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 47 relief appearances last year, striking out 39 and walking 11 in 42 2/3 innings. Poche, a 29-year-old left-hander, had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Cabrera, a 26-year-old left-hander, went 4-2 with a 4.63 ERA in 39 relief appearances.

US routs Cuba 14-2 to reach World Baseball Classic final

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MIAMI (AP) — Trea Turner and Paul Goldschmidt and an unrelenting U.S. lineup kept putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard, a dynamic display of the huge gap between an American team of major leaguers and Cubans struggling on the world stage as top players have left the island nation.

Turner homered twice to give him a tournament-leading four, driving in four runs to lead the U.S. to a 14-2 rout Sunday night and advance the defending champion Americans to the World Baseball Classic final.

Goldschmidt also homered and had four RBIs and Cedric Mullins went deep in a game interrupted three times by fans running on the field to display protest signs.

“The team kind of represents the government over there, and people aren’t too happy about it,” U.S. manager Mark DeRosa said.

The U.S. plays Japan or Mexico in Tuesday night’s championship, trying to join the Samurai Warriors as the only nations to win the title twice.

“I think it took us a little bit of time, but now we kind of found our stride a little bit,” Turner said.

Turner has a tournament-leading 10 RBIs. He followed his go-ahead, eighth-inning grand slam a night earlier against Venezuela with a solo homer in the second inning off Roenis Elias (0-1) and a three-run drive in the sixth against Elian Leyva.

“I kept saying every time he went deep, who is the idiot that’s hitting him ninth?” DeRosa said.

Cuba went ahead when its first four batters reached off Adam Wainwright (2-0) without getting a ball out of the infield. The 41-year-old right-hander recovered to strand the bases loaded.

“I put myself in that situation in the first place by making horrible PFP plays — or not making PFP plays,” Wainwright said in a reference to pitchers’ fielding practice.

American batters had 14 hits, including eight for extra bases, and seven walks. Goldschmidt hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the first on a 112 mph rocket high over the left-field wall. He added a two-run single in the fifth.

“For me that was one of my favorite home runs I’ve ever hit in my entire life,” Goldschmidt said.

St. Louis third baseman Nolan Arenado left after he was hit on a hand by a pitch in the fifth inning, briefly raising another injury concern before X-rays came back as negative. Mets closer Edwin Díaz sustained a season-ending knee injury during the celebration that followed Puerto Rico’s win on Wednesday and Houston second baseman Jose Altuve broke a thumb when hit by a pitch while playing for Venezuela on Saturday.

Fans in the sellout crowd of 35,779 at loanDepot Park sounded evenly split between the U.S. and Cuba. Several hundred people gathered before the game outside the ballpark in Miami’s Little Havana section to protest the presence of the Cuban team, whose island nation has been under communist rule since 1959.

Play was briefly interrupted in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings when fans ran onto the field. The first held a banner that read “Libertad Para Los Presos Cubanos del 11 de Julio (Freedom for the Cuban Prisoners of July 11)” referring to the date of 2021 demonstrations.

“There were provocations, but we never paid attention to it,” Cuba manager Armando Johnson said.

Cuban fans roared in the early going when their team’s first four batters strung together three infield hits and a bases-loaded walk. Wainwright allowed one run and five hits in four innings. Cardinals teammate Miles Mikolas followed with four innings and Aaron Loup finished.

An Olympic gold medalist in 1992, 1996 and 2004, Cuba’s national team has struggled in recent years as many top players left for MLB. Cuba failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Cuba for the first time this year is using some players under contract to MLB clubs, including Chicago White Sox Gold Glove centerfielder Luis Robert and third baseman Yoán Moncada — who were booed. But many Cuban big leaguers were absent.

“We would like for the other players to join,” Johnson said. “They should think about it and return to Cuba.”


DeRosa on what he did after Saturday night’s come-from-behind quarterfinal win over Venezuela.

“I was reading how horrible a manager I was on social media first,” he said.


In the other semifinal, Japan starts 21-year-old sensation Roki Sasaki against Mexico and the Los Angeles Angels’ Patrick Sandoval on Monday night.


Moncada left after the third baseman collided in the sixth inning with left fielder Roel Santos, who caught Kyle Schwarber’s fly. Moncada was hit on the ribs but is OK, Johnson said.


Arizona RHP Merrill Kelly is likely to start the final.