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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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Red Sox Extend Manager John Farrell

Red Sox Extend Manager John Farrell

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- The Boston Red Sox have extended the contract of manager John Farrell through the 2017 season, the team announced Saturday at the beginning of its spring training camp.

"I'm ecstatic to have the extension," Farrell said. "This is a very special place and to be able to be here for a number of years that are in place, we don't take for granted one moment what the expectations are and how we have to deliver on those expectations."

Coming off a 71-91 season the team also announced that it will also extend general manager Ben Cherington past the 2015 season. The exact duration is unknown.

Farrell also addressed several concerns about position players leading into the season; notably Shane Victorino and new third basemen Pablo Sandoval.

"If Shane Victorino is fully capable and fully healthy, he is our right fielder," Farrell explained. "He was one of the best right fielders in the game two years ago. When you come back from injury, you shouldn't have lost your job because of an injury."

After pictures surfaced showing Sandoval with a large protruding gut, some questioned the fitness of the former San Francisco Giant.

"His body type hasn't changed since signing with us," Farrell said. "He's a guy that converted from a catcher to third base position. He's transitioned successfully at it a number of years ago. His body works for him."

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Cardinals Plan to Limit Adam Wainwright’s Workload

Cardinals Plan to Limit Adam Wainwright’s Workload

Elliot J. Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(JUPITER, Fla.) -- Entering his 10th Major League season, the St. Louis Cardianls plan on limiting the workload this spring for starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.

This is something that could go into effect during the regular season as well.

One of the best starters in baseball, Wainwright has averaged just under 226.0 innings his past five seasons.

"It will just be him continuing to get the work, but it just might not be work on the game field," manager Mike Matheny said.

Wainwright though, is not fully on board with the plan.

"If I take starts off we may not get to the postseason," Wainwright said. "And getting there, to me, seems pretty important."

"I'm getting paid to play every five days as it is, not every day," Wainwright jokingly added. "If I'm skipping my one every five days, good Lord, what am I getting paid for?"

In 2014, Wainwright went 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA, 179 strikeouts, and a 1.03 WHIP.

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Blue Jays Sign OF Chris Dickerson to Minor-League Contract

Blue Jays Sign OF Chris Dickerson to Minor-League Contract

Photos.com/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a minor league contract with outfielder Chris Dickerson with an invitation to spring training, the club announced on Saturday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 32-year-old Dickerson appeared in 41 games with the Cleveland Indians last season, where he hit .244 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Dickerson was originally selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 16th round of the 2003 amateur draft. During his seven-year major league career (2008-2014) with the Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Indians, he has batted .257 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs in 355 regular season games. He also has scored 105 runs and has an OBP of .335.

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The Mets Won’t Push Back Matt Harvey’s Season Debut

The Mets Won’t Push Back Matt Harvey’s Season Debut

Norm Hall/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Back in December, Mets manager Terry Collins said ace starting pitcher Matt Harvey might not make his debut until the team's home opener on April 13th, but it looks as if plans may change.

According to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin, Collins said that the current plan for Harvey is to start one of the team's first five games.  Harvey was expected to be on an innings limit this season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery last year, however, Collins says they are more inclined to give him five-inning starts instead of skipping his turn in the rotation.

Harvey will look to regain 2013 form in 2015, where he went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, striking out 191 batters in 178.1 innings pitched.

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After Initial Reservations, Dan Haren Ready to Pitch for the Marlins

After Initial Reservations, Dan Haren Ready to Pitch for the Marlins

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images(JUPITER, Fla.) -- Despite initially claiming he'd rather retire than play for the Miami Marlins, starting pitcher Dan Haren has reported to spring training and will pitch for the team this season.

Haren was part of the deal the Marlins made with the Los Angeles Dodgers that also netted them shortstop Dee Gordon. Haren preferred to play on the west coast, and seriously considered retirement as a result.

"The trade surprised me," Haren said. "My family had a tough time with it."

Marlins officials had even given up on the prospects of convincing Haren to join the team, but he decided that he wanted to come back for a 13th season.

"I wanted to make sure I was going to be 100 percent committed," he said. "I didn't want to give a halfhearted effort. Once I was committed in the offseason to putting in the work, I was ready to go for the year.

"I'm here, I'm happy to be here. I'm ready to get going."

Haren is 142-122 with a 3.77 ERA during his career.

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Angels’ Josh Hamilton Could Miss More Time than Expected

Angels’ Josh Hamilton Could Miss More Time than Expected

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After originally being expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing shoulder surgery, it turns out that Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton could miss even more time than previously thought.

"It could be six to eight weeks, it could be as much as 12 weeks," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto told The Los Angeles Times. "He had a bone shaved down to create less friction in an arthritic shoulder. Until he gets on site and on the field, it's tough to determine how long it will take."

Prior to the start of the 2013 season, Hamilton signed a five-year, $125-million contract with the team. Despite the lofty contract, he has yet to live up to the deal.

"Surgery is always complicated," Manager Mike Scioscia told the paper. "We have to take it one step at a time and make sure he's ready to go before we start to project when he can do some of the things he used to do."

The 33-year-old Hamilton played in just 89 games last year and batted .263 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs.

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Major League Baseball Announces Pace-of-Play Rule Changes

Major League Baseball Announces Pace-of-Play Rule Changes

Photos.com/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In an effort to help speed up the game, Major League Baseball on Friday announced pace-of-play rule changes for the upcoming 2015 season.

Back in September, Major League Baseball put together a pace-of-game committee after the average MLB game rose to a record average of 3 hours, 2 minutes in 2014.

In the new rules, managers must stay in the dugout during replay challenges, and batters must keep at least one foot in the batter's box during an at-bat, as well as a prompt return to play after TV commercial breaks and timed pitching changes.

"These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter's box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game."

Players/managers who violate the new rules will initially receive a warning, and "flagrant violators" are subject to fines that could reach $500.

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Royals and Hosmer Agree to Two-Year Deal, Avoid Arbitration

Royals and Hosmer Agree to Two-Year Deal, Avoid Arbitration

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer agreed Wednesday to a two-year deal worth $13.9 million. The deal also allowed the two to avoid arbitration.

Hosmer's defense was key in their World Series run last year, and he batted .270 with 35 doubles and just nine homers. He also took home a Gold Glove award. The 25-year-old batted .351 with two homers and 12 RBIs in the postseason.

Hosmer was drafted with the third overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft by Kansas City.

With this deal, Hosmer won't be eligible for free agency until 2018.

The Royals avoided an arbitration hearing with all their players this year.

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Dodgers Closer Kenley Jansen Out 8-12 Weeks

Dodgers Closer Kenley Jansen Out 8-12 Weeks

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen underwent surgery on his left foot and is expected to be out indefinitely, according to the team.

Jansen reported discomfort after running last week, and tests showed there was a growth on a bone in his foot.  Jansen will be on crutches for the next 10 days and in a protective walking boot for another 3-4 weeks.  The entire healing process is expected to take between eight to 12 weeks.

The Dodgers' closer is expected to miss the entire first month of the 2015 regular season.

Last year Jansen had a 2.76 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a 101/19 K/BB ratio over 65 1/3 innings.  Jansen also converted 44 saves in 49 opportunities.

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A-Rod Issues an Apology to MLB and Fans

A-Rod Issues an Apology to MLB and Fans

Leon Halip/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez released a lengthy personal handwritten letter obtained by ESPN on Tuesday, apologizing to the fans of Major League Baseball and the organization.

Rodriguez apologized for taking steroids again and is hoping to move onto bigger and better things this season with the Yankees after serving a one-year suspension.

"I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season," Rodriguez said in the statement. "I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I'm sorry."

Rodriguez is owed $61 million over the next three years and can also make even more money in home run bonuses.

"I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that's on me," the letter continued.  "It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job."

The letter comes on the same day that Anthony Bosch, former owner of a Florida medical clinic, was sentenced to four years in a federal prison.

Bosch pretended to be a doctor and illegally supplied injections and other performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players, including Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also reached out to third baseman Chase Headley this week to get to know his new teammate.  The Yankees signed Headley to a four-year deal this offseason.

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Giants Agree to 1-Year Contract with McGehee

Giants Agree to 1-Year Contract with McGehee

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The San Francisco Giants have agreed to a one-year, $4.8 million contract with third baseman Casey McGehee. The deal allows the Giants to avoid arbitration with him.McGehee joined the Giants in December, when he was traded by the Miami Marlins for two minor league pitchers. Last season, McGehee played in 160 games, hitting .287 with four home runs, 76 RBIs, and a .355 on-base percentage. He helps fill the void created when Pablo Sandoval signed with the Boston Red Sox this offseason.McGehee was the Giants' last player in arbitration.

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Astros Sign RHP Roberto Hernandez to Minor-League Contract

Astros Sign RHP Roberto Hernandez to Minor-League Contract

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Astros signed right-handed pitcher Roberto Hernandez to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, the club announced on Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Last season, the 34-year-old Hernandez went 8-11 with a 4.10 ERA in 32 games with the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers.  He struck out 105 batters and walked 73 in 164 2-3 innings of work.

Hernandez originally came up with the Cleveland Indians in 2006, where he was known as Fausto Carmona. In nine big-league seasons, with the Indians, Tampa Bay Rays, Dodgers and Phillies, he's compiled a record of 67-93 with an ERA of 4.60.

Hernandez was named to the American League All-Star team in 2010.

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Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy Out 4-6 Weeks with Hamstring Injury

Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy Out 4-6 Weeks with Hamstring Injury

Milwaukee Brewers/ML​B(MILWAUKEE) -- Brewers All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy will be out four to six weeks with a strain in his right hamstring, the team announced on Wednesday.

Lucroy said during a phone interview that the hamstring issue started after he pulled up quickly while running hard into third base during a game in August.

The injury will sideline him all of spring training, but the team is hopeful he'll be ready to go for Opening Day on April 6 against the Colorado Rockies.

"One thing we wanted to make clear here, he can still throw, he can still hit," Brewers general manager Gord Ash said.

Lucroy batted .301 with 13 homers and 69 RBIs last year.

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Pete Rose Holding Out Hope He’ll Be Reinstated

Pete Rose Holding Out Hope He’ll Be Reinstated

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose plans on reaching out to new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred about being reinstated into baseball.

Rose was hoping former commissioner Bud Selig would lift his lifetime ban prior to stepping down, but that never happened.

"I wish I could tell that I know what he'll do, but I've never met him. I've never seen him,'' Rose told USA Today Sports on Wednesday.  "But I'd love to talk to him.''

Rose played for the Reds his entire 24-year career and finished with 4,256 hits and a .303 batting average.

"I'll always have hope. That's all I've got," Rose continued. "I just want to be on that writers' ballot. Let the writers decide. If they want me in, I'm in. If they don't feel I should be in, I can live with it.

"Once they lift my ban, I should be just like anyone else. If I've never been on the ballot, my clock should start at zero. That will give them 10 years to decide, if they need it.''

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A-Rod Apologizes to the Yankees

A-Rod Apologizes to the YankeesMike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez met with the organization on Tuesday and cleared the air before position players report to spring training on Feb. 25. The Yankees said that they plan on disputing his h...

Report: L.A. Angels Avoid Arbitration with OF Matt Joyce

Report: L.A. Angels Avoid Arbitration with OF Matt Joyce

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Angels and outfielder Matt Joyce avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $4.75 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Angels acquired Joyce from the Rays on Dec. 16 for right-handed reliever Kevin Jepsen. In 140 games with Tampa Bay last season, he batted .254 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs. The 30-year-old also scored 51 runs and had an on-base percentage of .349.

Joyce was selected out of Florida Southern College by the Tigers in the 12th round of the 2005 amateur draft. He made his major league debut with Detroit in 2008.

Joyce was named to the American League All-Star team in 2011.

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