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Ohtani hopes to hit off tee next week

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Shohei Ohtani hopes to hit off a tee next week for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

"That's the thought, but I'm not trying to rush myself," the two-way Los Angeles Angels star said through an interpreter Sunday.

The AL Rookie of the Year had surgery Oct. 1 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and the Angels think the earliest he could be ready to hit in games is in May. The 24-year-old hopes to start the pitching phase of his rehabilitation at the end of spring training.


Davis would like multiyear deal with A's

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Major league home run leader Khris Davis would like a long-term deal from the Oakland Athletics that allows him to stay with the franchise for at least three more seasons.

Davis says desire for a multiyear contract won't consume as he prepares to open the season in Japan next month against the Seattle Mariners. He hopes to dazzle Japanese fans by hitting at least one home run.


Padres give lefty reliever Loup $1.4M

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Left-hander Aaron Loup and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees $1.4 million, a deal that includes a team option for 2020.

Loup gets a $1.2 million salary this year under the agreement announced Sunday. San Diego's option is for $2 million with a $200,000 buyout.


Pujols predicts he'll be everyday player

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Albert Pujols has a bold if unrealistic prediction for his 2019 season.

"I'm expecting to play 162 games," the Los Angeles Angels first baseman said Sunday. "One hundred ninety games I'm going to play this year, including spring training."


Stroman disheartened by unsigned players

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Marcus Stroman says it is "pretty disheartening" that veteran players like Adam Jones remain unsigned as full-squad spring training workouts are set to begin.

"I'm someone who can speak on how much I have learned from these individuals, and I know how important they are to the game of baseball," the Toronto Blue Jays right-hander said Sunday. "So to see these guys sitting at home and not have jobs, that's absolute crazy."


Mets INF Cano, 36, says he feels 25

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) New York Mets infielder Robinson Cano had a youthful perspective after reporting to spring training with the New York Mets.

"I feel like I'm 25," the 36-year-old All-Star second baseman said Sunday, a day ahead of the team's first full-squad workout.


Yankees, Severino agree on 4 years, $40M

NEW YORK (AP) Right-hander Luis Severino avoided an arbitration hearing with the New York Yankees, agreeing Friday to a $40 million, four-year contract.

Severino's deal includes a team option for 2023 that could make the agreement worth $52.25 million for five seasons. If the option is not exercised, Severino would be eligible for free agency after the 2022 season.


OF Maybin nears minors deal with Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) A person with direct knowledge of the negotiations says free agent Cameron Maybin is closing in on a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, who were still in the market for outfielders to add depth.

Maybin must pass a physical, the person said Saturday, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't complete. The agreement would include an invitation to big league spring training.


Pirates tab Taillon to start opening day

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Jameson Taillon will be the Pittsburgh Pirates' opening-day starter.

The right-hander will pitch March 28 against the Reds at Cincinnati, manager Clint Hurdle said Saturday. It will be the first opening-day start of Taillon's four-year career.

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