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Guardians' lease deal extended to 2036

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Guardians have reached an agreement to extend their lease at its downtown ballpark through at least 2036 while making improvements to the facility, team owner and CEO Paul Dolan announced Thursday.

Team officials said they've obtained financing to renovate Progressive Field, a ballpark that opened for play in 1994. The cost of the improvements has been estimated at just over $200 million. Renovation work is expected to begin after the 2022 season.

"We are confident that this agreement will create a more compelling fan experience and keep this facility modern and relevant for many more years to come," Dolan said in a statement.

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No vaccine mandate for minor leaguers

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball will not require players with minor league contracts to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this season but is mandating that most staff receive the shots.

While players with major league contracts are unionized and rules regarding them must be negotiated by the Major League Baseball Players Association, players with minor league contracts are not collectively organized.

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Ex-Pirates WS champ Clines dies at 75

PITTSBURGH (AP) Gene Clines, part of the first all-minority lineup in Major League Baseball history and a line drive-hitting outfielder for the 1971 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates, died Thursday. He was 75.

Clines' wife, Joanne, told the Pirates that Clines died at his home in Bradenton, Florida, site of the team's longtime spring training home. No cause of death was given.

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Ortiz elected to HOF; Bonds, Clemens out

David Ortiz gazed at his phone, his pursed lips revealing nerves rarely seen from one of the game's great clutch hitters.

Pedro Martinez's hand rested on Ortiz's shoulder, and Martinez grinned when the good news came through. The former teammates embraced, and Martinez welcomed Ortiz into a rare space in baseball history.

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Beltran brings own baggage to '23 ballot

With Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling off the ballot, next year's Hall of Fame vote figures to be a bit less contentious.

Then again, the top newcomer arrives with his own recent baggage. Forget about steroids for a minute, it's time to talk about sign stealing.

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Rangers give RHP Tropeano minors deal

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Right-hander Nick Tropeano has agreed on a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers, a deal the team said Wednesday includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Tropeano has seen big league action in seven of the last eight seasons. The 31-year-old pitcher was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA over five relief appearances with San Francisco and the New York Mets last year.

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MLB drops plan for salary arbitration

Major League Baseball withdrew its plan for more limited salary arbitration on Tuesday, a day after the union withdrew its demand for greater free agent eligibility.

In the second straight day of talks aimed at an agreement to end a lockout that started Dec. 2, clubs also accepted the union's framework to funnel additional money to pre-arbitration-eligible players from central revenue, offering a $10 million pool based on awards and WAR. The union has asked for $105 million for the group, usually about 30 players annually.

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White Sox, Cuban OF Colas agree to deal

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago White Sox added another name to their rich Cuban history when they announced Tuesday they had agreed to a contract with outfielder Oscar Colas.

Considered one of the top international free agents, Colas received a $2.7 million signing bonus. The team also announced it had agreed to terms with outfielder Erick Hernandez that included a $1 million bonus.

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Cubs make flurry of front-office changes

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs announced Tuesday that Matt Dorey is taking on the role of vice president of player personnel.

Dorey's new title is part of a flurry of changes in Chicago's front office since Carter Hawkins was hired as general manager in October.

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