Tuesday, February 04, 2014
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[February 04, 2014]  (The Sports Xchange)  Los Angeles Angels: Freese, David

3B David Freese and RHP Kevin Jepsen avoided arbitration with the Angels, agreeing to one-year deals on Jan. 31. Freese landed a $5.05 million contract. He was seeking a $6 million salary, while the club initially offered him $4.1 million. Jepsen filed for a $1,625,000 salary, while the Angels countered with a $1.3 million offer. They compromised at $1.46 million.

Los Angeles Angels: Jepsen, Kevin

RHP Kevin Jepsen and 3B David Freese avoided arbitration with the Angels, agreeing to one-year deals on Jan. 31. Freese landed a $5.05 million contract. He was seeking a $6 million salary, while the club initially offered him $4.1 million. Jepsen filed for a $1,625,000 salary, while the Angels countered with a $1.3 million offer. They compromised at $1.46 million.

Boston Red Sox: Hill, Rich

LHP Rich Hill and the Red Sox agreed to a minor league deal Jan. 31, and he was invited to the team's major league spring camp. If Hill lands a spot on the Red Sox's Opening Day roster, the reliever would make $840,000 with the potential to earn an additional $500,000 in appearances bonuses, the New York Post reported.

The 33-year-old rejoins the Red Sox after pitching for the Indians last year. He posted a 1-2 record with a 6.28 ERA in 63 outings spanning 38 2/3 innings for Cleveland. In three seasons with the Red Sox from 2010 to 2012, Hill appeared in 40 games out of the bullpen and went 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA.


Detroit Tigers: Avila, Alex

C Alex Avila and the Tigers agreed to a one-year, $4.15 million contract on Jan. 31, avoiding arbitration. The deal includes a vesting option at $5.4 million for 2015 and a $200,000 buyout clause, the New York Post reported. The contract becomes vested if Avila makes the 2014 All-Star team, wins a Silver Slugger Award or finishes in the top 15 in American League MVP voting, according to the report. Avila was seeking a $5.35 million salary, while the Tigers previously offered him $3.75 million.

An arm injury and a concussion limited Avila to 102 regular-seasons games last season. In Game 5 of the American League Championship Series in October, Avila was injured again, suffering a strained patellar tendon in a knee after a teammate ran into him at home place. Avila finished the 2013 season with a .227 batting average, 11 home runs and 47 RBIs.

Houston Astros: Appel, Mark

RHP Mark Appel, the Astros' top prospect, underwent an appendectomy Jan. 30 but is expected to recover in time for spring training, the team announced. Houston's pitchers and catchers report to camp on Feb. 15.

"Mark will be fine," Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. "He will report to camp on time. Once he arrives in spring training, we'll see where he is at health-wise and take it from there. We anticipate that he will either be ready to work out at the start of camp or very close to ready."

The 22-year-old was the No. 1 overall pick out of Stanford in the June 2013 amateur draft. After signing a contract, Appel made two starts for low-Class A Quad Cities and eight starts for Class A Tri-City. He posted a combined 3-1 record with a 3.79 ERA in 38 innings.

Chicago Cubs: McDonald, James

RHP James McDonald agreed to a minor league deal with the Cubs and was invited to spring training. McDonald, 29, started six games in 2013 for the Pirates and went 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA in 29 2/3 innings before a strained shoulder ended his season. He was designated for assignment in September.

In four seasons with the Pirates, McDonald posted a 27-24 record with a 4.21 ERA in 78 games, including 77 starts. He began his big-league career with the Dodgers in 2008 and went 5-6 with a 4.11 ERA in parts of three seasons.


Washington Nationals: Fister, Doug

RHP Doug Fister and the Nationals avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $7.2 million deal on Feb. 1. Fister filed for an $8.5 million salary, and the Nationals originally countered with a $5.75 million offer. Fister, who was acquired from the Tigers in a December trade, went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 32 starts for Detroit last year.

Kansas City Royals: Chen, Bruce

LHP Bruce Chen and the Royals finalized a one-year contract Feb. 1. Chen will receive $3.25 million this season with a mutual option for $5.5 million in 2015 or a $1 million buyout. The deal includes additional performance bonuses.

Chen, who became a free agent after last season, spent the past five years with Kansas City, going 45-39 with a 4.32 ERA. He has won 10-plus games in three of the last four seasons.

Chen, 37, is coming off a solid 2013 season after shifting to a relief role. He was 9-4 in 121 innings with a 3.27 ERA, making 15 starts and 19 relief appearances.

Kansas City Royals: Bonifacio, Emilio

INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio was designated for assignment by the Royals on Feb. 1 to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for newly re-signed LHP Bruce Chen. Bonifacio recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million deal, but the contract was not guaranteed. Bonifacio had a batting line of .243/.295/.331 in 461 plate appearances in 2013.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Ellis, A.J.

C A.J. Ellis and the Dodgers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.55 million contract on Feb. 1. Ellis asked for $4.6 million, and the Dodgers countered with $3 million when arbitration figures were exchanged in January. Ellis, 32, remains under team control though 2016. He had a batting line of .255/.347/.390 combined over the past two seasons. He also threw out 37 percent of potential base stealers in that span.

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Chicago Cubs: Hammel, Jason

RHP Jason Hammel and the Cubs agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal, multiple media outlets reported Jan. 31. Hammel, 31, went 7-8 with a 4.97 ERA in 23 starts last season with the Orioles. He battled a forearm injury, and came back from a knee injury that shut him down for part of 2012. That season, he was 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts before the injury.

Miami Marlins: Johnson, Reed

OF Reed Johnson signed a minor league deal with the Marlins and received an invitation to spring training. Johnson, 37, batted .244/.311/.341 with one homer and 11 RBIs in 74 games with Atlanta last season, his 11th in the major leagues. The Braves declined Johnson's $1.6 million option last fall.

Baltimore Orioles: Gonzalez, Alex

INF Alex Gonzalez signed a minor league contract with the Orioles on Feb. 3 and was invited to spring training. Gonzalez is expected to compete for a spot on the Orioles' bench. He was released by the Brewers after hitting just .177 last season. Traditionally a shortstop, Gonzalez mostly played at first base in 2013. Gonzalez, a lifetime .246 hitter, turns 37 in February.

Baltimore Orioles: Davis, Chris

1B Chris Davis expressed surprise when told that Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team offered Davis a long-term contract this offseason. "Really?" Davis said Feb. 1 at the team's fan fest. "Did he say anything else? Dang it. Keep me up to speed on that."

Davis led the major leagues with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs in 2013.

The two sides avoided salary arbitration in January by agreeing to a one-year, $10.35 million contract. Davis, 27, made $3.3 million last year and is set to be a free agent after the 2015 season.

Tampa Bay Rays: Hellickson, Jeremy

RHP Jeremy Hellickson will miss the first six to eight weeks of the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow in late January. Hellickson, who settled his arbitration case for $3.67 million on Jan. 17, went 12-10 with a 5.17 ERA last year.


Colorado Rockies: Corpas, Manny

RHPs Manny Corpas signed a minor league contract with the Rockies on Feb. 3. Corpas, 31, went 1-2 with a 4.54 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 16 walks with Colorado last season. He was the Rockies' closer when the team went to the World Series in 2007. He missed all of 2011 with a right elbow injury and pitched for the Cubs in 2012.

Colorado Rockies: Masset, Nick

RHP Nick Masset signed a minor league contract with the Rockies on Feb. 3. Masset, 31, missed the last two seasons after having right shoulder surgery. He is 16-14 with a 3.78 ERA in 308 major league appearances with the Rangers, White Sox and Reds from 2006-11.

Houston Astros: Williams, Jerome

RHP Jerome Williams agreed to a one-year contract with the Astros on Feb. 3. The contract, which wasn't finalized pending a physical, reportedly includes performance bonuses. Williams, 32, was 9-10 with a 4.57 ERA in 37 games (25 starts) over a career-high 169 1/3 innings for the Angels in 2013. Williams has a 4.35 career ERA in 155 games (117 starts) in eight seasons with the Angels, Nationals, Cubs and Giants.

New York Yankees: Jeter, Derek

SS Derek Jeter took on-field batting practice Feb. 3 for the first time since he was shut down last year because of injuries. Jeter was previously hitting in an indoor batting cage and fielded grounders on infield grass the last two weeks.

The Yankees' captain played just 17 games last year after breaking his left ankle in the 2012 American League Championship Series. He batted .190 in only 63 at-bats with eight runs, one double, one home run and seven RBIs.

Oakland Athletics: Brown, Corey

OF Corey Brown, acquired by the A's from the Nationals on Dec. 19 in a cash transaction, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on Jan. 29. Brown, 28, went 2-for-12 (.167) with one homer and one RBI in 14 games with Washington last year. Over parts of three seasons with the Nationals, he appeared in 36 games and batted .175 with two homers and four RBIs.

Texas Rangers: Roe, Chaz

RHP Chaz Roe, designated for assignment by the Rangers on Jan. 29, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock on Jan. 31. Roe, 27, went 1-0 with a 4.03 ERA in 21 major league appearances for Arizona last season. The Rangers claimed him off waivers from the Diamondbacks on Nov. 1.


Boston Red Sox: Villarreal, Brayan

RHP Brayan Villarreal cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Feb. 3. Villarreal, 26, was acquired from the Tigers in late July as part of the three-way deal that brought Jake Peavy to Boston. Villarreal made one appearance for the Red Sox, walking the only batter he faced with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, dooming Boston to a loss on Aug. 20 at San Francisco. He went 0-2 with a 20.77 ERA in seven relief outings for Detroit in 2013.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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