Posey, Pence, Ellsbury among 81 to strike deals

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Posey, Pence, Ellsbury among 81 to strike deals

NEW YORK (AP) NL MVP Buster Posey agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants, teammate Hunter Pence got a $13.8 million deal and Jacoby Ellsbury settled with the Boston Red Sox for $9 million on a busy Friday as players and teams swapped figures in salary arbitration.

Eighty-one players reached agreements, leaving just 36 headed toward hearings next month in Phoenix from among the 133 who filed for arbitration Tuesday. Most of the cases are expected to settle.

San Diego third baseman Chase Headley had the largest request and the biggest spread, asking for $10.3 million while the Padres offered $7,075,000.

Boston reliever Craig Breslow had the slimmest gap. He sought $2,375,000 - that was $50,000 more than the Red Sox offered.

Teams won five of seven cases decided by three-arbitrator panels last winter, their 14th winning record in 16 years. Overall, owners lead 291-214 since arbitration began in 1974.

Posey was eligible for arbitration for the first time after hitting a National League-leading .336 with 24 homers and 103 RBIs and helping the Giants win their second World Series title in three seasons. Posey, who made $615,000 last year, cannot become a free agent until after the 2016 World Series.

Obtained by San Francisco from Philadelphia on July 31, Pence can become a free agent this fall, as can Ellsbury.

Among those left in arbitration, Cincinnati has a major league-high six players remaining. Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, acquired from Cleveland last month, asked for a raise from $4.9 million to $8 million, while the Reds offered $6.75 million. Right-hander Homer Bailey asked to be increased from $2.5 million to $5.8 million and was offered $4.75 million.

Mat Latos, eligible for arbitration for the first time, asked for a raise from $550,000 to $4.7 million after going 14-4 in his first season with the Reds. Cincinnati offered $4.15 million. The other Reds still in arbitration are pitchers Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon and outfielder Chris Heisey.

Two interesting settlements involved Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jason Vargas ($8.5 million) and Seattle Mariners first baseman-designated hitter Kendrys Morales ($5.25 million), who were swapped for each other last month.

Also reaching agreements were Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters ($5.5 million), Milwaukee closer John Axford ($5 million) and Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward ($3.65 million).

Only two players got multiyear deals Friday. Toronto catcher Josh Thole, acquired from the New York Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade, got a $2.5 million, two-year contract, and Washington reliever Craig Stammen agreed to a $2,225,000, two-year deal.

The high-spending Los Angeles Dodgers settled with catcher A.J. Ellis ($2 million) and right-hander Ronald Belisario ($1.45 million). That raised the Dodgers' projected payroll to $214.2 million after an adjustment for cash received this year as part of last summer's trade with the Boston Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.

Five players settled after the exchange of figures, with Boston and reliever Alfredo Aceves agreeing to a deal at the $2.65 million midpoint. Posey, Vargas, Washington reliever Tyler Clippard ($4 million) and Detroit reliever Phil Coke ($1.85 million) submitted the same figures as their teams, an indication they reached agreement shortly before the exchange and didn't finalize them until after the swap.

Kim starts fourth straight game for Orioles

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Kim starts fourth straight game for Orioles

CLEVELAND—This week, Hyun Soo Kim reached a mini milestone. He played in consecutive games for the first time, and on Saturday started his fourth straight game. 

He entered Saturday’s game with a .410 average in 39 at-bats  before grounding out in the first inning. 

Though Kim’s English is improving, and he can understand some of what’s said, he still relies heavily on interpreter Danny Lee. 

“I was talking to Danny yesterday. I said, ‘How’s he doing?’ I always ask what’s going on. He said, ‘Oh, he’s playing with me, acting like he’s tired and doesn’t know if he can play again.’ I kid him,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

“I just think he kind of brings some things we kind of need, some selectivity and kind of slow things down here and there. First of all, the guy’s going to have to get below .400 before you take him out.”

NOTE: Longtime Orioles infielder Melvin Mora hit two home runs in the Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown, N.Y. 

RELATED: GALLARDO'S SIMULATED GAME GOES WELL, REHAB START SET

Gallardo's simulated game goes well, rehab start set

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Gallardo's simulated game goes well, rehab start set

CLEVELAND—A little more than two hours after Yovani Gallardo completed a simulated game, manager Buck Showalter announced that he would make a rehab start at Frederick against Potomac on Thursday night.

Showalter hopes that Gallardo, who threw 45 pitches on Saturday will be able to throw four innings or 60 pitches in the rehab start. Assuming Gallardo feels strong on Sunday and has a work day early next week, the rehab assignment is on. 

“It’s encouraging. We’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. That’s about as far as I’m going to go, but we’ve got a plan if everything goes well,” Showalter said. 

Gallardo, who has been on the disabled list since Apr. 23 with tendinitis in his  was satisfied by the simulated game. He faced one major league hitter, Paul Janish, and two coaches, Einar Diaz and Wayne Kirby. 

“I felt pretty good. The curveball was coming out like the previous two bullpens. Offspeed pitches were sharp. I’m pretty excited about how it all went today,” Gallardo said. 

“I think it’s a matter of getting that pitch count up, to be honest. It’s one of those things. It’s going to be key and it’s all going to depend on how I’m able to recover each and every time that I throw.” 

Janish has hit against Gallardo in the past, and was happy to help out. 

“I think I stood in for four simulated at-bats, so I saw all of his pitches. He threw his changeup, his cutter, his curveball and his regular fastball. Everything was crisp and he seemed to have good control of everything, which I think is another indication that he’s not having any kind of tweaks or discomfort. I think control would be the first thing to go, so he looked good. Best way to say it is he looked good.”

Showalter was upbeat about Gallardo’s simulated game. 

“He got a little tired at the end, which you can expect. The arm swing was good. You can tell by the smile on his face that he felt good about it,” Showalter said. 
 
 

Showalter says Machado's youth causes aggressiveness on bases

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Showalter says Machado's youth causes aggressiveness on bases

CLEVELAND—Buck Showalter raved about Manny Machado’s play at shortstop on Friday night. Machado also had four hits, but on one of those hits, Machado was thrown out running the bases.

Leading off the fifth inning, Machado’s drive to center kicked away from Rajai Davis, and instead of stopping at second, he raced towards third and was easily thrown out. 

It’s not the first time this season that Machado has violated what many see as a cardinal baseball rule. Don’t make the first or third out of the inning at third base.

“There’s been a lot of times where he’s done something that may not be conventional, but it works out real well. I don’t want to take that away from him,” Showalter said. 

“He knows. It’s just a reminder every once in a while that he’s 23 years old. There are some things that all young players have to experience so they don’t make those mistakes again. Is it a mistake if he’s safe? Sometimes you get so caught up in conventionality that we take away some guys’ freedom and their imagination. I think the big issue you have is if some guys are making the same mistake over and over again.”