ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says proposed rules changes to speed pace of play will be in place by the start of big league exhibition games on Feb. 23.
The commissioner has hoped for an agreement with the players’ association but has the right to implement last offseason’s proposal to install 20-second pitch clocks and institute stricter limits on mound visits.
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MLB made a proposal to the union last month to abandon a pitch clock for this season as part of a three-year phase-in of new rules.
Under baseball’s labor contract, unilateral playing rules changes can be made with one offseason of advance notice. That means only the stricter rules could be put in place absent an agreement.
While MLB could decide to implement just a pitch clock or harsher mound visit limits and not both, severing part of the proposal could trigger a grievance by the union that would leave a decision to an arbitrator.
PHOENIX (AP) – Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer, Houston’s Collin McHugh and Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi won their salary arbitration cases, and Toronto’s Marcus Stroman and Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson lost.
Decisions for all five pitchers had been held for simultaneous announcement to prevent any of the cases from being affected by the rulings.
Players have an 11-8 advantage over teams with three more cases possible. The 22 decisions would be the most since players went 14-10 in 1990.
McHugh and Odorizzi became the first players to win hearings in consecutive years since Minnesota pitcher Kyle Lohse in 2005 and `06. Stroman lost after winning last winter.
Miami pitcher Dan Straily and Kansas City pitcher Brandon Maurer argued their cases Thursday, and Cincinnati second baseman Scooter Gennett awaits a hearing.
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) – The Baltimore Orioles signed right-hander Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract after searching for starting pitching all offseason.
The 31-year-old Cashner is 42-64 with a 3.80 ERA in eight major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, San Diego, Miami and Texas, including 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA for the Rangers last year. The deal with the Orioles has an option for 2020.
He’ll join right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in the rotation.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Patrick Cantlay returned to what amounts to his home course on the PGA Tour and shot a 5-under 66 to share the lead at the Genesis Open.
It sounds like a plot that belongs to Tiger Woods, who also grew up 40 miles away and returned to Riviera for the first time in 12 years. Woods lost a ball in a eucalyptus tree, recovered from a rugged start and shot 72.
Cantlay shared the lead with Tony Finau, who had four birdies in his opening five holes.
Cantlay grew up in Long Beach and played at UCLA, where he was the No. 1 amateur in the world. Because of back problems that kept him out of golf for three years, this was his first time playing Riviera in five years.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Roger Penske has a car capable of winning the Daytona 500.
Maybe even three of them.
Penske again went 1-2 at Daytona International Speedway for its second sweep of Speedweeks. This time, Ryan Blaney went to victory lane after winning the first of two night qualifying races that are used to set the Daytona 500 field.
Chase Elliott won the second race in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to put a temporary halt on the Team Penske dominance.
Joey Logano finished second to Penske teammate Blaney for the Ford sweep in the first race. Kevin Harvick was second to Elliott in the second race and Harvick was also in a Ford – proving the automaker has the same speed it did a year ago when it swept all four restrictor-plate races.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL has named five sites as finalists to host the NFL draft in either 2019 or 2020.
Finalists to host either the 2019 or 2020 draft include Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas; Nashville, Tennessee; as well as a combined entry of Cleveland and Canton, Ohio. Canton is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Representatives for each site will offer presentations before the final selections are made in May at the NFL spring meetings in Atlanta.
The draft historically had taken place in New York each year, but the league plans to move it around since it went to Chicago in 2015 and 2016 before moving to Philadelphia last year.
This year’s draft is taking place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
CINCINNATI (AP) – AJ McCarron won his grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals and will become an unrestricted free agent next month, making him one of the more attractive quarterbacks on the market.
McCarron challenged the Bengals’ decision to put him on a non-football injury list as a rookie in 2014, when the fifth-round pick had a sore passing shoulder. The move meant that the season wouldn’t count toward free agency and McCarron would have to stick around as Andy Dalton’s backup for one more year in 2018.
Instead, an independent arbitrator ruled in McCarron’s favor, a decision announced by the NFL players’ association.
The Bengals could keep him for one more season by applying a transition or franchise tag, which is highly unlikely given the cost. Instead, the 27-year-old McCarron is set to find a place where he can start.