Blue Jays avoid arbitration with Teoscar Hernandez, Ross Stripling

The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with outfielder Teoscar Hernandez and right-hander Ross Stripling after signing them to one-year deals on Friday.

Judge, Yankees avoid arbitration, Lindor inks 1-year deal with Mets

Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays, seen here on September 3, has agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.325 million US. to remain with the club. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with outfielder Teoscar Hernandez and right-hander Ross Stripling after signing them to one-year deals on Friday.

Hernandez's contract is for $4.325 million US, while Stripling will be paid $3 million.

Hernandez, 28, won his first Silver Slugger Award in 2020 as he tied for fifth in the American League with 16 home runs.

The Dominican also ranked seventh in the AL in slugging percentage (.579), seventh in OPS (.919), and tied for ninth in total bases (110) while tying for the Major League lead with seven outfield assists.

Stripling, 31, went 3-3 with a 5.84 ERA over nine starts and three relief appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Blue Jays last season.

The Blue Jays acquired Stripling at the trade deadline last year.

Yankees bring back LeMahieu

The New York Yankees and AL batting champion DJ LeMahieu worked Friday to put in place a six-year contract worth about $90 million, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement is subject to a successful physical.

LeMahieu, who turns 33 in July, became the first player to win undisputed batting titles in both leagues. He won his first AL batting title last year ,at .364, the highest average for an AL batting champion since Minnesota's Joe Mauer hit .365 in 2009, after winning the NL championship with Colorado in 2016.

A three-time All-Star, LeMahieu signed a $24 million, two-year contract with the Yankees in January 2019. He had 10 homers and 27 RBIs in the shortened 2020 season after hitting .327 with 26 homers and 102 RBIs in his first season in New York.

LeMahieu started his big league career with the Chicago Cubs in 2011, then was traded to Colorado. He has a .305 average with 85 homers and 478 RBIs in 10 big league seasons, and he has won three Gold Gloves at second base.

White Sox make Hendriks signing official

The Chicago White Sox have finalized a $54 million, three-year deal with Oakland Athletics closer Liam Hendriks, another big move as they set their sights on a championship run.

The deal announced Friday calls for a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $11 million this season, $13 million in 2022 and $14 million in 2023. The White Sox hold a $15 million option for 2024 with a $15 million buyout that would be paid in 10 equal instalments from 2024-33.

A 10-year veteran, Hendriks spent the past five seasons with Oakland.

The 31-year-old right-hander from Perth, Australia, took over as the Athletics' closer during the 2019 season and finished with 25 saves and a 1.80 ERA. He dominated again last year, finishing second in the majors with 14 saves while posting a 1.78 ERA and averaging 96.5 mph with his fastball. He earned $1,962,963 in prorated pay from a $5.3 million salary.

"With the acquisition of Liam, we are adding another premium talent to our core group of players," general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. "Liam is someone of outstanding character and makeup who will be an asset both on the field and in the clubhouse."

Bellinger agrees to 1-year deal with Dodgers

Dodgers star Cody Bellinger agreed to a $16.1 million, one-year contract Friday with the World Series champions that avoided salary arbitration.

The Los Angeles outfielder and first baseman was the 2019 NL MVP and 2017 NL Rookie of the Year. He hit a career-low .239 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs in the shortened season, down from a .305 average with 47 homers and 115 RBIs, all career bests.

He slumped to a .136 average (3 for 22) with one homer and three RBIs in the World Series against Tampa Bay as the Dodgers won their first title since 1988.

A two-time-All Star, Bellinger earned $4,259,259 in prorated pay last year from an $11.5 million salary.

He is eligible for free agency after the 2023 season.

Judge, Yankees avoid arbitration

Slugging outfielder Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a one-year contract worth $10,175,000.

Judge had his third straight injury-interrupted season since winning the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year award, hitting .257 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 101 at-bats and 28 games. After homering in his first five games, he strained his right calf and played just once between Aug. 11 and Sept. 16.

The two-time All-Star was limited to 112 games in 2018 by a broken bone in his right wrist when by hit by a pitch from Kansas City's Jakob Junis and to 102 games in 2019 by a strained oblique muscle.

He earned $3,148,148 in prorated pay last year from an $8.5 million salary. Judge is eligible for free agency after the 2022 season.

Mets agree to 1-year contracts with 7 players, including Lindor

The New York Mets agreed to one-year contracts with seven players Friday to avoid salary arbitration, including shortstop Francisco Lindor, outfielder Michael Conforto and first baseman-outfielder Dominic Smith.

Lindor will earn $22.3 million and Conforto gets $12.25 million in their final years before potentially becoming free agents, while Smith agreed to a $2.55 million deal in his first year eligible for arbitration.

Outfielder Brandon Nimmo ($4.7 million) and right-handers Edwin Diaz ($7 million), Seth Lugo ($2,925,00) and Robert Gsellman ($1.3 million) also agreed to one-year deals.

Lindor was acquired from Cleveland last week along with starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco in a blockbuster trade that excited Mets fans. New York parted with young infielders Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario plus two minor leaguers in a deal that signalled the club is serious about paying for star players and contending immediately under new owner Steve Cohen.

The next step will be trying to keep Lindor beyond this year. The four-time All-Star shortstop said he's not opposed to signing a long-term contract with the Mets. He said he wouldn't want to negotiate after the start of spring training, though.

Lindor, 27, had a down year at the plate during the pandemic-shortened season. He batted .258 with eight homers, 27 RBIs and a .750 OPS while starting all 60 games and earning just more than $6.48 million prorated from his $17.5 million salary.

With files from The Associated Press

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