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Mariners' Haniger to start season on IL

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE (AP) This was already going to be a year where the Seattle Mariners would be relying heavily on young players and some of their top prospects right from the beginning of the season.

Now the Mariners expect to be without one of their few veterans - likely for the first month.

Outfielder Mitch Haniger is expected to miss the start of the regular season and likely needs to undergo core muscle surgery, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Thursday.

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Mets introduce Rojas as new manager

NEW YORK (AP) Luis Rojas began his tenure as manager of the New York Mets by thanking his famous father, Felipe Alou.

Rojas was introduced by the Mets on Friday as the replacement for Carlos Beltran, whose tenure was cut short last week after just 84 days.

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Royals' Gordon agrees to trade consent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Alex Gordon agreed to consent to a trade by the Kansas City Royals starting June 16, an unusual provision in his new $4 million, one-year contract.

Gordon has spent his entire career with the Royals and has the right to block trades under baseball's collective bargaining agreement because his has at least 10 years of major league service, including five or more with his current team. The Royals lost more than 100 games in each of the last two seasons and are not projected to contend.

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Red Sox won't rush to hire manager

BOSTON (AP) The Boston Red Sox are still hoping to have a manager in place by spring training, but chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Thursday it's possible they won't hire someone before pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12.

"It would certainly be ideal" to have replaced Alex Cora by then - but not at the cost of rushing the process, Bloom said. "Nobody wants to be at this point in a year without a manager, obviously, so that would become even more important once we get to spring training."

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Walker's HOF plaque to have Rockies cap

NEW YORK (AP) Larry Walker's Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown will have a Colorado Rockies cap, not a Montreal Expos hat.

Walker spoke with Hall officials after he was elected Tuesday in his 10th and final appearance on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.

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Royals sign OF Gordon for 1 year, $4M

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Royals signed outfielder Alex Gordon to a $4 million contract for next season, giving the rebuilding club a veteran presence in what is expected to be a young lineup under new manager Mike Matheny.

The Royals designated right-hander Heath Fillmyer for assignment Wednesday in a corresponding roster move.

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MLB to test computer umps in spring

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball will test computer plate umpires during spring training but will not use the system for decisions in any exhibition games.

MLB experimented with the automated balls and strikes system during the second half of last season in the independent Atlantic League, and the Arizona Fall League used it for a few dozen games at Salt River Fields. The Major League Baseball Umpires Association agreed last month to cooperate and assist if Commissioner Rob Manfred decides to utilize the system at the major league level.

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Cards bring back backup C Wieters

ST. LOUIS (AP) Matt Wieters finalized a $2 million, one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, a deal that brought back the 33-year-old to again back up Yadier Molina.

Wieters can earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses based on starts as part of the deal, which was agreed to last weekend. He would get $100,000 each for 40 starts and each additional five through 75, and $200,000 for 80.

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Phillies give LHP Liriano minors deal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Phillies have signed left-hander Francisco Liriano, right-handers Bud Norris and Drew Storen and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts with invitations to attend major league spring training.

Liriano was 5-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 69 relief appearances for Pittsburgh last season. The 36-year-old Liriano is 112-114 with a 4.15 ERA and has averaged 9.01 strikeouts per nine innings over 419 career games.

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