MIAMI – Even by the Miami Marlins’ thrifty standards, reigning NL batting champion Dee Gordon deserved a long-term deal.
Gordon avoided salary arbitration and agreed to a $50 million, five-year contract with Miami, a person familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday. The person confirmed the deal to AP on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
Gordon led the majors last season with 205 hits and 58 stolen bases, and he batted .333. He injured his thumb at midseason and missed 17 games, but still became the first player to lead the NL in average and stolen bases since Jackie Robinson in 1949.
Gordon made the All-Star team for the second time, was chosen the Marlins’ MVP and led all NL second basemen in fielding percentage.
Florida is on a spending spree after having the lowest payroll in the NL last year. This week they also signed left-hander Chen Wei-yin to an $80 million, five-year contract, and added right-hander Edwin Jackson and backup infielder Chris Johnson.
Gordon was acquired a year ago in a seven-player trade with the Dodgers. He made $2.5 million last year and was under team control through 2018.
He joins Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich among Marlins regulars with long-term deals.
Arroyo passes away
New York AP
Former All-Star pitcher Luis Arroyo has died. He was 88.
The New York Yankees say Arroyo’s daughter, Milagros, told the team Wednesday night that he had died earlier in the day in Puerto Rico. She said he had been diagnosed with cancer last month.
Arroyo helped pitch the Yankees to the 1961 World Series championship. The 172-cm lefty was 15-5 with a major league-leading 29 saves that season, then earned another victory in the Series against Cincinnati.
Arroyo was an All-Star as a rookie starter with St. Louis in 1955 and again in 1961. Featuring a screwball, he was 40-32 with 45 saves and a 3.93 ERA in eight seasons with the Cardinals, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and the Yankees.
According to baseballreference.com, Arroyo was the first Puerto Rican-born player to appear for the Yankees. He started with them in 1960 and was a key part of their AL pennant-winning staff.
MLB to play in Mexico
Mexico City AP
After a 12-year hiatus, Major League Baseball will return to Mexico City in March for two spring training games between the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres, the city’s mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, announced Wednesday.
MLB has not played games in Mexico’s capital since March 2004, when the Astros faced the Marlins in a two-game exhibition series.
“I’m thrilled that the Astros will have the opportunity to play games in Mexico. The Mexican people have a great love for baseball, so I know these games will be very well received,” said Astros general manager, Jeff Luhnow.