Posey could be limited early, should return to 100 percent

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Buster Posey’s recovery from right hip surgery might limit how much the San Francisco All-Star catches during spring training and at the start of the season. Posey had surgery in late August to repair a torn labrum in the hip and remove an impingement. “Certainly with a guy like Buster coming off the major surgery it might impact his spring training workload and maybe even his early season workload, but for now all the indications are positive that he’ll be 100 percent,” new Giants president of…

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Baines surprised by Hall of Fame election _ many others, too

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Harold Baines answered the phone and learned he was a Hall of Famer. “Very shocked,” he admitted. So were many others around the baseball world. In fact, in the hours after his selection by a Hall-picked panel was announced Sunday at the Mandalay Bay resort, a lot of conversations at the winter meetings started the exact same way: “Harold Baines?” No one doubted Baines was a top player — a six-time All-Star with 1,628 RBIs, 384 home runs and 2,866 hits. “I had a great career.…

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As winter meetings arrive, a look at the top MLB free agents

Paul Goldschmidt and Robinson Cano have already switched teams this offseason, going to the Cardinals and Mets in major trades. As for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper — the jewels of the free agent market — they’re still waiting. Patrick Corbin and Josh Donaldson are already signed, but there are plenty of significant free agents still available heading into the winter meetings this week. The market appears less sluggish than a year ago, and Machado and Harper will remain focal points. Here’s a look at the top free agents —…

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Napoli announces retirement after 12-year MLB career

Mike Napoli has announced his retirement after 12 years in the majors that included three trips to the World Series. The 37-year-old Napoli, who did not play last season because of a knee injury, announced his decision Saturday on Twitter . Napoli batted .246 with 267 homers and 744 RBIs over 1,392 games with the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. He entered the majors as a catcher before switching to first base. He had his best season in 2016 when he helped lead the…

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Pitcher Kelly gets $5.5M, 2-year deal with hometown D-Backs

PHOENIX (AP) — Right-hander Merrill Kelly is joining his hometown Arizona Diamondbacks, agreeing to a $5.5 million, two-year contract. The 30-year-old spent the past four seasons with SK Wyverns in South Korea. He was 48-32 with a 3.86 ERA, including 16-7 in 2017. A Scottsdale native, Kelly attended Desert Mountain High School, Yavapai College and Arizona State. He was taken by Tampa Bay on the eighth round of the 2010 amateur draft and rose to Triple-A in the Rays’ system. He gets $2 million next season and $3 million in…

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Nats GM says Corbin signing ‘independent’ of Harper pursuit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Patrick Corbin put on his No. 46 Washington Nationals jersey as rotation-mates Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg looked on from the front row at the news conference to introduce the lefty starter with the $140 million, six-year contract. The Nationals announced the addition of free-agent Corbin on Friday, the latest in a flurry of offseason moves by general manager Mike Rizzo. One of the team’s other recent acquisitions, catcher Yan Gomes, and long-time first baseman Ryan Zimmerman were also at Nationals Park for the announcement. Rizzo said…

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Phillies get lefty Alvarez from Angels for righty Garcia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies have acquired left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarez from the Los Angeles Angels for right-hander Luis Garcia. Alvarez was 6-4 with a 2.71 ERA and one save in 76 appearances in 2018, striking out 59 in 63 innings. He allowed only three home runs to the 261 batters he faced while holding left-handed hitters to a .206 batting average and righties to a .232 mark. The 29-year-old Alvarez is 12-18 with a 3.69 ERA over six seasons with the Tigers and Angels. Garcia went 3-1 with a…

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MLB players concerned about retooling teams, attendance drop

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players are concerned the Seattle Mariners have become yet another rebuilding team and may be joined by others following a season of steep attendance drops among clubs that faded early and never contended for the playoffs. Union head Tony Clark and new collective bargaining director Bruce Meyer said Wednesday their members also are concerned about rapid change in the way games are played, such as the increased use of relief pitchers, and are willing to speak with management this offseason about whether counteracting changes are…

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Mel Stottlemyre Jr. hired as Marlins pitching coach

MIAMI (AP) — Former Seattle Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. has been hired as pitching coach for the Miami Marlins. Also joining manager Don Mattingly’s staff is former Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman, who will be first base and infield coach. Like Mattingly and Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, Stottlemyre and Hillman have ties to the New York Yankees. Stottlemyre’s father, Mel, was a Yankees pitcher and pitching coach. Hillman is a former manager in the Yankees’ minor league system, and in 2011-13 he was Mattingly’s bench coach with…

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Braves’ new spring home to be known as CoolToday Park

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — The Atlanta Braves‘ new spring training home in Florida will be known as CoolToday Park. The team announced a 20-year naming rights deal with the home service company. CoolToday Park will host Atlanta’s final spring game in 2019 and become the team’s full-time training home in 2020. It is set to replace the Walt Disney World complex near Orlando, which the Braves are leaving because of long travel times to other spring training sites in Florida. The centerpiece of the new $125 million facility in…

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