The deadline for signing players without exchanging figures came and went at 1pm Eastern Time. We're still tracking all the activity:
Davies Gets a Raise in KC
Bob Dutton of the Royals Report tweets that Kansas City has come to terms with starting pitcher Kyle Davies on a one year deal that will pay the righty $3.2 million in 2011. That's a 77.8% raise over the $1.8 million he took home in 2010.
Daviesmade 32 starts for the Royals and posted an ERA of 5.34 in his third full season with the Royals. His peripherals were a collection of league average to slightly below numbers. Remarkably, he had the second most quality starts on the team after Zack Greinke, who as you already know was traded to Milwaukee last month.
Shortly after Davies signed, Royal starter Gil Meche announced he was retiring and forgoing the final year of his 5-yr. $55 million contract. The move saves the team $12 million. Some of that money will be tapped to sign their final arbitration eligible player, Billy Butler.
Astros Work Out Deal with Barmes, Keppinger and Bourn
A trio of Astros deals have already been announced. Newly acquired Clint Barmes skips the arbitration panel with a one year deal for $3.925 million (per Ken Rosenthal). Jeff Keppinger gets a year and $2.3 million (per Zachary Levine). And Michael Bourn will collect $4.4 million in 2011 (per Brian McTaggart). The deals leave Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez eligible and unsigned.
Barmes came over from the Rockies for Felipe Paulino in November. He made $3.325 million in 2010 with the Rockies in his second year of arbitration eligibility. This year's deal is an 18.1% raise. Barmes posted a batting line of .235/.305/.351 in 432 plate appearances in hitter friendly Coors Field.
Keppinger proved to be a fan favorite in Houston and saw his salary double from 2010's $1.15 million in his second year of eligibility. He provided a solid bat and acceptable defense up the middle, mostly at second, with a sprinkling of games at short. His batting line of .288/.351/.393 in 575 plate appearances was augmented by his excellent BB/K rate of 51:36.
Bourn continued as the speedy guy with minimal power who flashes slick glove in the outfield. His second straight gold glove and an improving strikeout rate helped to give him one of his best seasons as a big leaguer. According to Baseball-Reference, he was a 4.3 WAR player in 2010, making his $2.4 million sticker price last year a big bargain.
Paulino Agrees on First Contract with Rockies
The other half of the Barmes-Paulino trade also found himself avoiding arbitration with a new deal. Paulino gets $790,000 according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. He made $415,000 last year in his final year before arbitration eligibility. The new contract represents a 90.4% raise for the 27 year old righty.
Paulino spent part of 2010 on the DL. The other part of the season he was plagued by ineffectiveness. He made 14 starts and 5 appearances out of the pen, but could only record one win against nine defeats. His peripherals were not awful, suggesting he was victimized by more than a little bad luck. He's expected to compete for a rotation slot in spring training, but may end up the long man in the Rockies bullpen.
Reds, Bray Make a Deal
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets that the Red has signed Bill Bray to a 1 year deal worth $645,000. Bray made $400,000 in 2010, making this deal a 61.3% raise.
Bray spent all but five AAA innings of 2009 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He bounced back in 2010 with a solid year out of the Reds pen, making 35 appearances and allowing very few baserunners. His peripherals suggest a better earned run average than the 4.13 he ended the season with.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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