MLB roundup: Dallas Braden retires, Seth Smith avoids arbitration with Padres

Ezra Shaw

Braden has thrown in the towel on his attempt to return to baseball. The Padres ensured Smith will return to National League baseball for the first time since 2011.

Former Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden will retire from baseball, the 30-year-old hurler told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday.

For more on Braden's former club, head over to Athletics Nation

Braden hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011, when his season was cut short after three starts as a result of a shoulder injury. He proceeded to have two separate surgeries on the shoulder and was never able to fully recover, as he told Slusser via phone:

"There is nothing left in there, it's just a shredded mess. I left my arm on the mound at the Coliseum, and I'm okay with that."

Braden's signature moment as a big-leaguer came on May 9, 2011, when he pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Oakland. He was also involved in a well-publicized feud with embattled New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez a couple of weeks prior to the perfect game, in which the two exchanged words after Rodriguez took a direct path across the pitcher's mound while returning to first base following a foul ball.

In parts of five MLB seasons, Braden went 26-36 with a 4.16 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

San Diego avoids arbitration with Smith

The Padres and outfielder Seth Smith on Tuesday agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, the team announced in a press release. Smith will make $4.5 million, per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

Smith, 31, was acquired by the Friars from the A's on Dec. 3 in exchange for reliever Luke Gregerson. The Mississippi native hit .253/.329/.391 for Oakland in 2013 and owns a career .265/.342/.456 line in 2,300 plate appearances.

Texas' Holland undergoes microfracture surgery

Rangers starter Derek Holland had microfracture surgery on his left knee earlier this week, according to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.

Holland injured the knee while playing with his dog, the hurler tweeted last week, and will likely miss the entire first half of the season, according to the club. A team doctor performed the operation, which consisted of making small cracks in Holland's kneecap that will help promote cartilage growth, notes Fraley.

The 27-year-old southpaw posted a career-best 3.42 ERA in 2013 with 8.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9, figures that were also better than his career averages entering the season.

Seattle agrees to deal with Buck

The Mariners signed veteran catcher John Buck to a one-year, $1 million deal on Tuesday, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

More from Lookout Landing: Buck for a million bucks

Buck, 33, hit .219/.285/.362 in 431 plate appearances with the Mets and Pirates in 2013. His OPS+ of 84 was well-below average, but his defense rated out at four runs above average despite ranking last among MLB catchers in pitch-framing, according to StatCorner's Catcher Report (h/t to Dave Cameron of FanGraphs).

San Francisco's Sandoval reportedly sheds some weight

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has dropped 42 pounds during offseason workouts, according to Venezuelan baseball reporter Rafael Rojas.

More from McCovey Chronicles: Sandoval's weight is down

Sandoval's reported weight loss also passes the eye test, per Rojas. Sandoval hasn't appeared in a game for his Venezuelan League team, Navegantes del Magallanes, but has been working out with the team for the last month. Sandoval is entering his final season before becoming a free-agent and has a lifetime OPS+ of 127 despite battling weight issues for almost his entire MLB career.

Cleveland signs Morgan, avoids arbitration with Outman

The Indians agreed to a minor-league contract with free-agent outfielder Nyjer Morgan on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Morgan's deal includes an invitation to spring training.

More from Let's Go Tribe: Tribe signs YouTube star

Morgan last appeared in MLB in 2012, finishing with a .239/.302/.308 line with the Brewers. Prior to that, he had his best season as a big-leaguer, hitting .304/.357/.421 in 429 plate appearances for Milwaukee in 2011.

Cleveland also avoided arbitration with left-handed reliever Josh Outman by signing him to a one-year deal, the team announced on Tuesday. A dollar amount for the agreement has not been disclosed.

Outman, 29, posted a 4.33 ERA in 54 innings for the Rockies in 2013. The Indians acquired him in exchange for outfielder Drew Stubbs on Dec. 18.

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