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Outfielder Alex Verdugo and the Red Sox agreed to a $6.3 million deal for the 2023 season, a raise of $2.75 million, to avoid an arbitration hearing. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Red Sox took care of some housekeeping Friday afternoon, agreeing to multiple deals to avoid arbitration with a few veterans before baseball’s deadline to exchange figures.

Boston agreed to one-year deals with outfielder Alex Verdugo ($6.3 million), starter Nick Pivetta ($5.35 million), second baseman Christian Arroyo ($2 million), reliever Ryan Brasier ($2 million) and catcher Reese McGuire ($1.225 million) to avoid arbitration Friday. Those agreements are in addition to the previously announced one-year deals with third baseman Rafael Devers ($17.5 million), outfielder Rob Refsnyder ($1.2 million) and lefty Josh Taylor ($1.025 million). Devers, of course, then signed a 10-year, $313.5 million extension that begins in 2024.

Arbitration deals are a formality for players who have between three and six years of service time in the majors. The Red Sox entered the winter with 11 such players but cut ties with outfielders Abraham Almonte and Franchy Cordero as well as infielder Yu Chang by non-tendering or releasing them. The eight players who reached agreements did so to avoid going to arbitration trials, where an independent panel determines their salaries for 2023. The agreements do not preclude longer contract extensions (as evidenced by Devers’ deal) or trades.

Devers got the biggest year-over-year raise ($6.3M) after making $11.2 million in 2022. Verdugo’s pay was bumped $2.75 million while Pivetta got a $2.7 million raise. Both Verdugo and Pivetta are two years away from free agency along with Refsnyder and Arroyo. Brasier is in his final year before hitting the open market. McGuire and Taylor are controllable through 2025.

Devers (projected at $16.9M) did better than MLBTradeRumors projected him to do. Verdugo (projected at $6.9M), Pivetta (projected at $5.9M), Brasier (projected at $2.3M), Arroyo (projected at $2M), McGuire (projected at $1.3M), Refsnyder (projected at $1.6M), and Taylor (projected at $1.1M) came in under their projections. In total, MLBTR projected the Red Sox to pay a total of $38.2 million and the club ended up totaling $36.6 million on their eight arbitration deals. That represents a $1.6 million savings that could theoretically be used to help build the 2023 roster.

• Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and the Red Sox finalized a $10 million, one-year contract on Thursday.


The deal includes an $11 million club option for 2024, which could escalate by $2 million based on starts this year: $500,000 for 20 and $750,000 apiece for 25 and 30. He can earn $2 million in performance bonuses for starts: also $500,000 for 20 and $750,000 each for 25 and 30.

PADRES: Outfielder Juan Soto agreed to a $23 million, one-year contract with San Diego, a raise from his $17.1 million salary last season.

San Diego also reached a $14.1 million, one-year agreement with Josh Hader, the largest salary for an arbitration-eligible relief pitcher.

The 24-year-old Soto hit .242 with 27 homers, 62 RBI and a major league-leading 135 walks for Washington and San Diego, which acquired the 2020 NL batting champion from the Nationals in a trade on Aug. 2.

The two-time All-Star and winner of last year’s Home Run Derby hit .236 with six homers and 16 RBI in 52 games for the Padres. San Diego reached the playoffs and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series before losing to Philadelphia in the NL Championship Series.

Soto is eligible for salary arbitration after next season and can become a free agent following the 2024 World Series. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2020 season as a so-called Super 2 – players with more than two but fewer than three years of arbitration – and had an $8.5 million contract in 2021.


PIRATES: Andrew McCutchen served as the centerpiece for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ long-awaited renaissance a decade ago.

The veteran outfielder is coming back home, hoping to serve as a mentor to a young group trying to follow in his footsteps.

A person with knowledge of the agreement tells the Associated Press that McCutchen, a five-time All-Star and the 2013 National League MVP for the Pirates earlier in his career, has agreed to a $5 million, one-year deal with the club. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement is pending a successful physical.

TREVOR BAUER became a free agent Friday when he went unclaimed on waivers, leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers responsible for about $22.5 million owed to the former Cy Young Award winner whose unprecedented 324-game suspension over sexual misconduct allegations was reduced by an arbitrator.

Los Angeles designated Bauer for assignment on Jan. 6, the last day to restore him to the roster, after arbitrator Martin Scheinman cut the suspension imposed by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred from 324 to 194 games. The Dodgers placed the pitcher on waivers Thursday.

Any team could sign the 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner for the major league minimum of $720,000. That would be offset against the $22,537,635 owed to Bauer by the Dodgers.

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