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Brewers Bring Back Francisco Rodriguez

Brewers Bring Back Francisco Rodriguez

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE, Wi.) -- The Milwaukee Brewers have announced that Francisco Rodriguez will return to the team on a two-year, $13 million dollar deal.

The right-handed Rodriguez, 33, has spent most of the last four seasons with the Brewers -- he was traded to the Orioles before the trade deadline in 2013 -- where he has served as both the teams’ closer and set-up man.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Todd Rosiak, Rodriguez, "turned down more guaranteed money," to return to the Brewers, saying Rodriguez told him the signing was "more about comfort and fit."

In 193 2/3 innings with Milwaukee he has a 3.11 ERA and has earned 57 saves. 

Last season, Rodriguez had a 3.04 ERA with 73 strikeouts over 68 innings pitched.

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Mariners Lose Chris Taylor To Broken Wrist

Mariners Lose Chris Taylor To Broken Wrist

Major League Baseball(SEATTLE, Wa.) -- The Seattle Mariners will be without Chris Taylor for the next four to six weeks, according to the team.

The Mariners infielder was struck on his wrist on a foul tip.  He remained up for the next pitch and hit a single before being removed.

Taylor was competing with Brad Miller for the starting short stop position. So far through spring training he was batting .421. 

Last season with Triple-A Tacoma, Taylor batted .328 and had an on-base percentage of .397.  He smacked 22 doubles, stole 14 bases and drove in 37 RBI.

Taylor was drafted by Seattle in the 5th round of the 2012 draft out of Virginia. 

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Red Sox Introduce Yoan Moncada

Red Sox Introduce Yoan Moncada

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- The Boston Red Sox introduced second baseman Yoan Moncada on Friday.

Moncada was a highly saught after prospect from Cuba and signed a record $31.5 million deal on Thursday night.

"He's got a really unique combination of skills -- great athlete, speed, switch hitter with power from both sides of the plate, defensive skills," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "He's an athlete with the ability to play multiple positions if he had to, but he's a natural second baseman."

Moncada will be assigned to a minor-league roster soon, but the Red Sox are still figuring out where they'll put him.

"He's going to enter the minor league system -- there's still development to do," Cherington said. "He's a developing baseball player, but an exceptionally talented one. Obviously, given the investment we're making we believe he can be a very good major-league player for a long time and we're committed to helping him get there, in the right way."

Moncada is ready to get to work and live out his dream of playing baseball.

"I'm just really looking forward to getting back on the field and playing baseball because I've gone so long since I've actually been able to just to go out and play," Moncada said. "I'm looking forward for the opportunity of just being with this organization and very thankful to everyone with the Red Sox who made that possible."

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Blue Jays Pitcher Marcus Stroman Out 2015 Season

Blue Jays Pitcher Marcus Stroman Out 2015 Season

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman will be out the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL in his left knee, the team announced on Tuesday.

The injury occurred during a bunt play.

Stroman, who went 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA last season, took the news rather hard.

"Beyond devastated. Not being able to compete with my brothers each and every day is extremely disappointing. Still can't believe it," Stroman tweeted on Tuesday.

Stroman is set to visit with Dr. James Andrews about a second opinion, but surgery is expected.

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Braves LHP Mike Minor Set to Begin Season on Disabled List

Braves LHP Mike Minor Set to Begin Season on Disabled List

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KISSIMMEE, Fla.) -- The Atlanta Braves are set to place left-hander Mike Minor on the disabled list to start the season because of inflammation in his rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder.

The 27-year-old Minor experienced tightness last week after tossing batting practice. He was supposed to make his first exhibition start against Houston this past Sunday, but the Braves scratched him.

Last spring, Minor dealt with soreness in his shoulder and didn’t make his 2014 debut until May 2. In 25 starts, he went 6-12 with a 4.77 ERA.

The Braves selected Minor out of Vanderbilt University with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft. In five big-league seasons with Atlanta, he has compiled a record of 38-36 with a 4.10 ERA.

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Reds’ Catcher Devin Mesoraco Dealing with a Concussion

Reds’ Catcher Devin Mesoraco Dealing with a Concussion

iStock/Thinkstock(GOODYEAR, Ariz.) -- With less than a month to go before the start of the regular season, Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion.

Mesoraco suffered the injury when a foul ball hit him on the mask this past Saturday during a spring training game with the Kansas City Royals.

"It is tough for me to sit around, but that's what you have to do," Mesoraco said. "Right now I want to get back to work and I can't do it. I did 20 minutes on the bike today. Tomorrow, I'll walk on the treadmill."

This is Mesoraco's third concussion as a professional baseball player, the other two coming in 2010 and 2012.

"This was different than the first two," Mesoraco said. "I had more headaches the last time. With this one everything is just hazy."

Mesoraco broke out in 2014 for the Reds. He batted .273 with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs.

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Matt Harvey’s Flawless in First Start Since Tommy John Surgery

Matt Harvey’s Flawless in First Start Since Tommy John Surgery

Norm Hall/Getty Images(PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.) -- New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was dominant in his first start on Friday at spring training against the Tigers.

Harvey threw 25 pitches and struck out three in two scoreless innings of work.

"The big thing is I was happy throwing strikes and not walking anybody. Those are the things you try to work on," Harvey said. "Especially hearing things about guys going through this process and having tough command, for me, that was the big thing that I was focusing on today. And I was pretty happy about it."

Harvey understands that the challenge is building up his arm for six to seven innings of work by the end of spring training, but joked about pitching another frame on Friday.

"I was joking with [Mets manager Terry Collins] a little bit because I know at some point we're probably going to have some innings limits," Harvey said. "I asked him if I could go out for a couple of more innings, and that was laughed about. Obviously, we both know that's going to happen at some point. So giving him a little chuckle about wanting to go back out was my way of saying I understand the process and I know how things are going to go."

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Giants’ Hunter Pence to Miss 6-8 Weeks with Broken Forearm

Giants’ Hunter Pence to Miss 6-8 Weeks with Broken Forearm

Sarah Glenn/Getty Images(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence will be out six to eight weeks after breaking his left forearm during a spring training game on Thursday.

Pence was hit in the arm by hard throwing Cubs prospect Corey Black in the sixth inning, and left the game after touching first base.

"Lost for words. Hope you heal fast @hunterpence hitting someone is never a good feeling. Hurting someone is even worse," Black tweeted following the news.

"Of course it's disappointing," Giants president and CEO Larry Baer said Thursday night. "Hunter's a vital part of the team. But knowing him, he'll move mountains to get back quickly."

Pence has played in 383 straight games -- the longest active streak in the majors.

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Rusney Castillo Out Indefinitely with Strained Oblique

Rusney Castillo Out Indefinitely with Strained Oblique

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- Boston Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo is out indefinitely after an MRI revealed the 27-year-old Cuban had a strained left oblique muscle."He's going to be down for some time," Red Sox skipper John Farrell said. "I don't have a time frame to give you or projected length, but he's going through some treatment to calm down the strain right now, and he'll do rotational exercises and rehab when he's ready for it."Castillo, who signed a six-year, $72.5 million deal with Boston last August, was competing with youngsters Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. for the starting center field job.Castillo said the injury will not stop him from being ready for the start of the regular season, but Farrell noted that oblique injuries are tricky."There's caution to the progression, there's no doubt," Farrell said. "(Pain) tolerance, for one. How aggressive you become to build that back. We just want to be careful of a setback, because everything is rotational in this game."Castillo played in 10 games for Boston last season, hitting .333 with two home runs, six RBIs, and three stolen bases.

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Angels’ Richards Won’t Be Ready For Season Opener

Angels’ Richards Won’t Be Ready For Season Opener

Rob Carr/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards will not be ready to pitch Opening Day for the team according to manager, Mike Scioscia.

Richards is expected to begin pitcher fielding drills in a week as he continues to make progress from August knee surgery.  The Angels remain hopeful he could be pitching in games two or three weeks into the season.

"It's not going to be Opening Day, let's put it that way," Scioscia said Sunday. "He knows it, and it's great that he's not going to be able to rush it because our medical staff's not going to let him. There's a progression. He has to pass every plateau. It's great that he's going to shoot for being ready. He's working very hard to be ready Opening Day, but he's not going to be ready Opening Day."

Before the injury, Richards was 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 28 starts for the team.

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Minoso, Chicago’s 1st Black MLB Player Dies

Minoso, Chicago’s 1st Black MLB Player Dies

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(CHICAGO) --  Minnie Minoso, Chicago's 1st African-American Major League Baseball player has passed away.  

Minoso established himself in his first at-bat in the majors in 1951 by hitting a two-run home run.

"We have lost our dear friend and a great man," White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in a release. "Many tears are falling."

The medical examiner's office did not offer details right away, however, there is some question about his age, but the White Sox say he was 90.

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Juan Pierre Retires

Juan Pierre Retires

Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Three-time stolen base champion Juan Pierre announced that after playing 14 years in the major leagues, he will retire.The 37-year-old Pierre finishes his career 18th in career stolen bases (614). He was also a member of the 2003 Florida Marlins World Series championship team.Pierre was selected in the 13th round of the amateur draft by the Colorado Rockies. He finishes his career playing three seasons with the Rockies, four with the Marlins, one with the Chicago Cubs, three with the Los Angeles Dodgers, two with the Chicago White Sox and one with the Philadelphia Phillies. During that time Pierre hit .295, scoring 1,075 runs while accumulating 2,217 hits. He also had 18 home runs, something Pierre poked fun at on Twitter."I do have one regret I finished with 18 homeruns really wanted to get 20 so if any team wants to sign me for 3yrs that should be enough time," Pierre tweeted.While Pierre wasn't a power-hitter, he did hit over .300 six times.

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Chris Sale Out At Least 3 Weeks

Chris Sale Out At Least 3 Weeks

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) -- Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale suffered a foot injury in an accident at his home and he is expected to miss at least three weeks of preparation time for the regular season.

Sale was diagnosed with an avulsion fracture to the side of his right foot, however, Sale declined to comment on how the injury happened.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Sale landed awkwardly when he got off the back of his truck unloading items.  His status for Opening Day won't be determined until a later date.

Sale finished third in the American league Cy Young Award voting last year, going 12-4 with a 2.17 ERA.

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Ryan Braun’s Ready to Rebound in 2015

Ryan Braun’s Ready to Rebound in 2015

Robert Binder/MLB Photos via Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is ready to rebound in 2015.

Braun underwent an offseason procedure on his thumb to get rid of nerve issues and is looking forward to spring training.

"I feel good. I'm only 31; I should be good," Braun said. "I expect to go out there and be one of the best players in the league."

"I've been able to do everything I would typically do over the course of an offseason, which is encouraging," Braun continued. "Hopefully I'll be healthy. But aside from that, I don't think I'll be limited or anything. I'll have to be conscious about how many extra swings I take and stuff like that, but aside from that I should be able to do everything."

The 2011 MVP struggled last season and finished with a .266 batting average, 19 homers, and 81 RBIs.

Braun's struggles last season was a major part of the Brewers' giving away the N.L. Central and watching the playoffs from home.

"When you show up this year, you know you can't do anything about last year. None of us can change what happened. We wish things would have ended differently than they did but they didn't," Braun said. "Hopefully, the focus is on this year and doing everything we can to prepare the best that we can every day to be successful and to get off to a good start in April."

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David Ortiz Not a Fan of MLB’s New Pace of Play Rules

David Ortiz Not a Fan of MLB’s New Pace of Play Rules

G. Fiume/Getty Images(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz isn't happy about the new pace of play rules that the MLB has instituted for this year.

The rule states that a batter must keep one foot in the box at all times with some exceptions.

"It seems like every rule goes in the pitcher's favor. After a pitch, you got to stay in the box? One foot? I call that bulls**t," Ortiz said Wednesday.  

"When you come out of the box, they don't understand you're thinking about what the [pitcher] is trying to do," he continued. "This is not like, you go to the plate with an empty mind. No, no, no. When you see a guy, after a pitch, coming out of the box, he's not just doing it. Our minds are speeding up."

"I saw one pitch, I come out, I'm thinking, 'What is this guy going to try to do to me next?' I'm not walking around just because there are cameras all over the place and I want my buddies back home to see me and this and that. It doesn't go that way," Ortiz added. "When you force a hitter to do that, 70 percent you're out, because you don't have time to think. And the only time you have to think about things is that time. So, I don't know how this baseball game is going to end up.''

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner was a member of the committee charged with improving the pace of play, but Ortiz said that he was never asked about what he thought of the new rule.

"It doesn't matter what they do, the game is not going to speed up," Ortiz said. "That's the bottom line. When you argue for a pitch and they got to review it, that takes some time. Is that our fault? No. It's their fault. But we still got to play the game.''

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Angels Say Josh Hamilton Facing Discipline from MLB

Angels Say Josh Hamilton Facing Discipline from MLB

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton was scheduled to meet with MLB officials on Wednesday in regards to a disciplinary issue.

Hamilton is expected to be out until May due to a recent shoulder surgery and he has not participated in the team's spring training in Arizona.  He's also been advised to stay at a friend's house in Houston while rehabbing from the surgery.

Hamilton was suspended from February 2004 to June 2006 due to issues related with cocaine and alcohol addiction.  He also had alcohol relapses in 2009 and 2012, but bounced back, leading the Rangers to back-to-back World Series appearances -- and he won the AL MVP award in 2010.

Hamilton signed a five-year deal with the Angels prior to the 2013 season.

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Hank Aaron Says He’s Rooting for Alex Rodriguez

Hank Aaron Says He’s Rooting for Alex Rodriguez

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While many have recently come after New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, one of the greatest players in the history of Major League Baseball is in his corner. Hank Aaron has come out and offered his public support towards A-Rod.

"I am rooting for him," Aaron told Newsday. "Despite all of the things that people say he had been involved in, I'm rooting for him to come back and have a great year. I am very much anxious to see what he's going to do."

Rodriguez sat out the entire 2014 season after he was suspended for violating Major League Baseball's drug agreement and labor contract.

"If I wanted to go to the game and A-Rod was playing, I certainly would go to the game," Aaron said. "I've met A-Rod, and to be honest, between him and me, he's been nothing but a friend to me. I liked him."

Rodriguez' 654 career home runs ranks fifth all-time, and he trails Willie Mays by six home runs for fourth on the all-time list.

The 39-year-old Rodriguez is owed $61 million over the final three years of his contract.

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Wainwright to Be Sent Back to St. Louis for Examination

Wainwright to Be Sent Back to St. Louis for Examination

Elliot J. Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(JUPITER, Fla.) --  St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will be sent back to St. Louis to be examined by a doctor after suffering from abdominal pain after his workout on Tuesday.

Cardinals General Manager, John Mozeliak told Cardinals.com that Wainwright would be seen by Dr. Michael Brunt of Washington University on Thursday, and the Cardinals will provide an update after Wainwright's visit.

Wainwright participated in his first bullpen session of spring training on Friday.  The Cardinals said discomfort began when Wainwright participated in other drills and running.

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Orioles Sign Infielder Everth Cabrera

Orioles Sign Infielder Everth Cabrera

Rich Pilling/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The Baltimore Orioles have signed free agent infielder Everth Cabrera to a one-year $2.4 million contract.

Last season the 28-year-old batted .232 in 357 at bats and struck out 86 times across 90 games. Cabrera also hit 13 doubles and stole 18 bases.

Cabrera has spent the last six seasons with the San Diego Padres, before the team non-tendered him. His best seasons came during the 2012-2013 stretch when he batted .264 while hitting 34 doubles and stealing 81 bases.

Cabrera has been dealing with trouble off the diamond. In 2013 he was suspended 50 games for a positive PED test and is potentially facing jail time for resisting arrest.

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B.J. Upton Is Now Melvin Upton Jr.

B.J. Upton Is Now Melvin Upton Jr.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- B.J. Upton hasn't lived up to his five-year, $75 million dollar contract he signed with the Atlanta Braves after the 2012 season so he's making a change.The 30-year-old Upton has changed his name back to his birth name, Melvin Upton Jr. B.J. was short for Bossman -- his father's nickname -- Junior, according to multiple reports.

Upton, who was the second overall pick in the 2002 amateur draft, followed up the 2013 season, where he set career-lows in batting average, RBIs, stolen bases and on-base percentage, with a very poor 2014 season during which he hit .208 with 12 home runs in 141 games.During Upton's final season in Tampa Bay in 2012, he played in 146 games hitting .246 with a career-high 28 home runs and 31 stolen bases.

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