Dusty Baker tinkers with Jose Altuve in Houston Astros roster

JUPITER, Fla. — Dusty Baker is tinkering with his lineup and wants to avoid hitting Jose Altuve in the lead. The Houston manager mostly beat the three-time American League batting champion last year, but Baker says the 5-foot-6 Altuve doesn’t really like the top spot. “Actually, Altuve started because everyone asked him to start, not … Read more

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals not pushing for quick comeback

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Washington Nationals are ready for whatever Stephen Strasburg can offer this season. That’s the approach Dave Martinez is taking with the former World Series MVP, who is recovering from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and has pitched a total of just 26 2/3 innings over the past two years. … Read more

Transforming reliever and players’ union representative Andrew Miller retires after 16 seasons

Andrew Miller, who spent his winter as a top players’ union representative helping negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with owners, announced his retirement from the major leagues after 16 seasons. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported the news and ESPN’s Jesse Rogers confirmed it. The 36-year-old reliever and two-time All-Star spent the past three … Read more

Randy Arozarena, Yordan Alvarez, Bo Bichette among 16 with renewed MLB deals

MLB Rookie of the Year winners Randy Arozarena and Yordan Alvarez and All-Star shortstop Bo Bichette were among 16 players whose contracts were renewed by their teams rather than reaching negotiated deals. Arozarena, the 2021 American League ROY-elect outfielder, was paid $716,600 for 2022 while in the major leagues by the Tampa Bay Rays, according … Read more

Nick Castellanos eager to finally win in the playoffs with the Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Shortly after his introductory press conference with the Philadelphia Phillies, Nick Castellanos took to a backcourt at the team’s spring training complex and lined up players on the ground at third goal. The All-Star slugger hasn’t played in that position since 2017, but he’s ready just in case. “Whatever the team needs, … Read more

Returning after long absence, Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander aims to get sharper by opening day

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Eager to get back to where he was, Justin Verlander says he still needs to be more specific. The Houston Astros ace was retired after another scoreless outing, retired 2⅔ innings Wednesday when he hit a team-imposed pitch limit. “I felt good physically,” Verlander said. “That’s the important thing.” 1 … Read more

Bryan Reynolds aware refereeing can be ‘messy’, remains open to long-term deal with Pittsburgh Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. — Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds knows he earned a big raise after making the All-Star team and becoming a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger finalist while playing for 601 $000 last season, just above the major league minimum. The amount of an increase, however, remains uncertain. Reynolds submitted a bid of … Read more

Carlos Correa aims to build ‘championship culture’ with Minnesota Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Carlos Correa says October is “his time.” It’s definitely not Minnesota’s. The Twins hope Correa can fix that, even though his time in Minneapolis is short. “I want to build a championship culture in this organization,” Correa said. The former Houston Astros star donned a Twins No. 4 jersey and was … Read more