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Pitch clock implemented for spring games

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, file)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Major League Baseball is unilaterally starting the use of pitch clocks for spring training games, while brushing off complaints from players about the slow free agent market.

With the sport looking for ways to speed the pace of play, pitchers generally will have 20 seconds to deliver to the plate when teams play exhibition games in Arizona and Florida beginning this week. The intention is to get players and umpires accustomed to the clock in the event MLB makes the rule change for the upcoming regular season.

"We will start getting ready for the possibility that we're going to use the pitch clock on opening day," Commissioner Rob Manfred said Sunday at spring training media day in Florida. "We have to get going."


Moustakas, Brewers nearing 1-year deal

Mike Moustakas and the Brewers are nearing a deal that would keep the third baseman in Milwaukee for a guarantee of $10 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because the agreement will be subject to a successful physical. The sides were negotiating a deal that includes a mutual option for 2020, the person said.


Ohtani hopes to hit off tee next week

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Shohei Ohtani hopes to hit off a tee next week for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

"That's the thought, but I'm not trying to rush myself," the two-way Los Angeles Angels star said through an interpreter Sunday.


Davis would like multiyear deal with A's

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Major league home run leader Khris Davis would like a long-term deal from the Oakland Athletics that allows him to stay with the franchise for at least three more seasons.

Davis says desire for a multiyear contract won't consume as he prepares to open the season in Japan next month against the Seattle Mariners. He hopes to dazzle Japanese fans by hitting at least one home run.


Mets, SS Hechavarria agree to deal

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Veteran shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and the New York Mets have agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because the deal is pending a physical planned for Monday, when Hechavarria is expected to arrive at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie.


Pujols predicts he'll be everyday player

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Albert Pujols has a bold if unrealistic prediction for his 2019 season.

"I'm expecting to play 162 games," the Los Angeles Angels first baseman said Sunday. "One hundred ninety games I'm going to play this year, including spring training."


Stroman disheartened by unsigned players

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Marcus Stroman says it is "pretty disheartening" that veteran players like Adam Jones remain unsigned as full-squad spring training workouts are set to begin.

"I'm someone who can speak on how much I have learned from these individuals, and I know how important they are to the game of baseball," the Toronto Blue Jays right-hander said Sunday. "So to see these guys sitting at home and not have jobs, that's absolute crazy."


Sano trimmed down as Twins open camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Miguel Sano walked into the Minnesota Twins' clubhouse just before 8 a.m., looking trimmed down in rainbow sneakers and a black sweat suit.

"You look good," said catcher Jason Castro, a sentiment echoed by teammates between hugs and handshakes with the 25-year-old slugger.


Mets INF Cano, 36, says he feels 25

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) New York Mets infielder Robinson Cano had a youthful perspective after reporting to spring training.

"I feel like I'm 25," the 36-year-old All-Star second baseman said Sunday, a day ahead of the team's first full-squad workout.

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