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Ortiz elected to HOF; Bonds, Clemens out

(AP Photo / Manolito Jimenez)

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.

Big Papi is bound for Cooperstown - and on the first ballot, too.

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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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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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Mets, Yanks had understanding on Chavez

NEW YORK (AP) Mets general manager Billy Eppler said he spoke to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman well before hiring away Eric Chavez as the team's hitting coach and that both sides had an understanding that Chavez may end up in Queens.

The 44-year-old Chavez was hired by the Yankees in November as one of two assistants to new hitting coach Dillon Lawson - and projected to take on a role beyond his title. A few weeks later, the Mets hired the 17-year big leaguer to be their primary hitting coach.

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Rays say Montreal plan rejected by MLB

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays' proposed plan to split the season between Florida and Montreal has been rejected by Major League Baseball.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg announced the news on Thursday.

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Home plate robot umps moving up to AAA

NEW YORK (AP) Robot umpires have been given a promotion and will be just one step from the major leagues this season.

Major League Baseball is expanding its automated strike zone experiment to Triple-A, the highest level of the minor leagues.

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