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Rangers grab 1B Joseph off waivers

(AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) The Texas Rangers have claimed first baseman Tommy Joseph off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Rangers made the move Monday, a week after the Phillies designated him for assignment when they signed free agent pitcher Jake Arrieta.

The 26-year-old Joseph hit over 20 home runs in each of his two seasons in the majors. He batted .240 with 22 homers and 69 RBIs while starting 125 times at first last year.


Braves tab Teheran to start opening day

ATLANTA (AP) �� Julio Teheran has been picked as the Atlanta Braves' opening day starter.

The 27-year-old right-hander will be making his fifth straight opening day start. He is 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA in his first four, including six scoreless innings against the Mets last year.


Twins SS Polanco gets 80-game PEDs ban

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, a big blow to a team that has made a series of roster-enhancing moves throughout the offseason and into spring training.

The commissioner's office announced Sunday that Polanco tested positive for Stanozolol, becoming the sixth player to be banned this year under the major league drug program. That's already one more than last season.


Altuve, Astros finalize $163.5M deal

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) AL MVP Jose Altuve and the World Series champion Houston Astros have finalized a $163.5 million, seven-year contract that guarantees an additional $151 million over five seasons.

The 27--year-old second baseman had been among baseball's best bargains. He agreed in 2013 to a deal that originally guaranteed $12.5 million from 2014-17 and included club options for 2018 at $6 million and 2019 at $6.5 million.


Mets LHP Vargas to miss 4-6 weeks

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) New York Mets lefty Jason Vargas will have surgery after breaking his right hand in a minor league game.

The surgery is set for Tuesday. The Mets said Sunday that Vargas will resume his throwing workouts about five days after the operation, and no timetable was announced for him pitching in a game.


Royals sign reliever Grimm for $1.25M

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) The Royals signed right-handed reliever Justin Grimm to a $1.25 million, one-year deal Sunday that includes up to $300,000 incentives after he was released by the Chicago Cubs last week.

The 29-year-old Grimm was 1-2 with a 5.53 ERA in 50 appearances last season.


Machado says pitch by Judge no big deal

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado says that recruiting pitch by Yankees star Aaron Judge was no big deal.

"I think it was just blown out of proportion," Machado said.


Jays' Stroman makes first spring start

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Marcus Stroman has his eyes on starting the Toronto Blue Jays' fourth game of the regular season April 1 against the New York Yankees.

Stroman pitched two hitless innings against the Canadian Junior National Team in his first spring training start Saturday after being sidelined by inflammation in his right shoulder.


A's RHP Cotton to have Tommy John

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Oakland Athletics pitcher Jharel Cotton will undergo season-ending surgery on his right elbow.

Cotton had been diagnosed with a sprain and had a second scan taken on his elbow on Friday, then was told he would need Tommy John surgery. The procedure is expected to take place next week.

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