Quick Hits: Arbitration, Hamilton, Castillo, Kazmir

Condolences go out to the family of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, who passed away today following a long bout with cancer. He was 57. Carter hit .262/.335/.439 and made eleven All-Star Games in his 19 seasons, 12 of which came with the Expos. He backstopped the Mets to the 1986 World Championship. Here is some news from around the league…

  • The 142 players who filed for arbitration last month averaged a 112% raise reports the AP (via ESPN). That's down from 123% last offseason and the lowest average raise since 106% in 2007. Check out our Arbitration Tracker for the answers to all of your arbitration questions.
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels reiterated that contract extension talks with Josh Hamilton are on hold, reports Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. "The priority needs to be his recovery and his family and, secondarily, getting ready for the season," said the GM. "We're not going to get in the way of those things with contract talk.
  • The Diamondbacks have signed 16-year-old Dominican right-hander Luis Castillo for $80K according to a release, which said his fastball sits 84-87 mph. He also throws a curveball and a changeup.
  • The trade market is likely to heat up as the season progresses, writes MLB.com's Richard Justice. As he explains, most GMs feel confident in their team this time of year and prefer to take their time evaluating needs.
  • Scott Kazmir, who had been scheduled to pitch in front of scouts yesterday, won’t audition until Friday, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets. The left-handed free agent is feeling well, Olney writes.
  • Brandon Webb is throwing painlessly off of flat ground, agent Jonathan Maurer told Olney. Webb will throw in front of scouts at some point, Olney tweets.
  • Newsday’s Ken Davidoff adds up teams’ payroll commitments for 2015 and beyond and finds that nine clubs — the Orioles, Cubs, Indians, Astros, Royals, Mets, Padres, Giants and Mariners — haven’t committed a thing for ’15 or beyond.
  • Yahoo’s Jeff Passan examines the market for the top remaining free agents, including Roy Oswalt, Mike Gonzalez and a crowd of designated hitters.
  • Joe Jordan, the Phillies' new director of player development, breaks down a number of the team's top prospects with Joe Berkery of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


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