Roundup: Pirates avoid arbitration with Walker, McDonald
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to one-year contracts with second baseman Neil Walker and pitcher James McDonald, avoiding salary arbitration with both players.
Walker gets $3.3 million and McDonald $3,025,000 in deals that were completed Thursday.
Walker hit .280 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs in 129 games last season but missed significant time due to a back injury. The 27-year-old Pittsburgh native made $500,000 in 2012 and was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. He asked for $3.6 million and was offered $3 million by the Pirates.
The 28-year-old McDonald, who made $502,500 last year, went 12-8 with a 4.21 ERA but struggled for most of the second half. He requested $3.4 million in arbitration while Pittsburgh countered at $2.65 million.
McDonald is expected to be the team's third starter in 2013 behind A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez.
The deals mean the Pirates have reached agreement with all their arbitration-eligible players. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 11.
CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to one-year contracts with outfielder Chris Heisey and right-hander Alfredo Simon, avoiding arbitration.
Heisey will make $1,325,000 and Simon will earn $890,000. The deals were announced by the Reds on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Heisey batted .265 with seven homers and 31 RBIs in 120 games for the Reds last season. It was a considerable drop-off for Heisey: In 2011, his second year in the majors, he also appeared in 120 games but hit 18 homers in 68 fewer at-bats.
Simon, 31, went 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 36 relief appearances in his first year with the Reds after parts of four seasons in Baltimore.
Cincinnati still has four players in arbitration: pitchers Homer Bailey, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Indians have signed free agent pitcher Matt Capps to a minor-league contract.
Capps' deal includes a non-roster invitation to spring training camp. The 29-year-old has 138 career saves in 444 appearances for Pittsburgh, Washington and Minnesota. He opened last season closing for the Twins and had 14 saves in his first 15 chances. But Capps was slowed by shoulder inflammation and pitched just four innings after June 15.
The Twins declined their $6 million contract option on Capps for 2013, instead paying him a $250,000 buyout.
Capps was the winning pitcher for the National League in the 2010 All-Star game. That season, he had a career-high 42 saves and a 2.47 ERA in 74 games for the Nationals and Twins.
He has recorded at least 14 saves each of the past six seasons.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Omar Vizquel has been hired by the Los Angeles Angels as a roving infield instructor.
The 45-year-old Vizquel played for Toronto as a reserve infielder last season, finishing up his 24-year major league career with 2,877 hits. The three-time All-Star won 11 Gold Gloves.
Vizquel is interested in eventually becoming a manager. He'll work with the Angels' major leaguers and prospects during spring training.
Vizquel and Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto played together with the 1994 Cleveland Indians, and Vizquel is a friend of Angels minor league hitting coordinator Paul Sorrento.
The Angels also signed infielder Bill Hall to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. Hall has played for six teams in 11 seasons, appearing in seven games with Baltimore last year.
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