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Donaldson, Jays close on 2 yrs., $28.65M

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

NEW YORK (AP) AL MVP Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays are nearing agreement on a $28.65 million, two-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Tuesday because the agreement had not been completed. The progress toward a deal was first reported by Sportsnet in Canada.

Donaldson and the Blue Jays had been scheduled for a salary arbitration hearing next week. The 30-year-old third baseman had asked for a raise from $4.3 million to $11.8 million and Toronto had offered $11.35 million when the sides exchanged proposed arbitration salaries last month.

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Astros' Castro first to lose arbitration

PHOENIX (AP) Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro became the first player to lose in salary arbitration this year.

Castro was awarded $5 million on Tuesday by arbitrators Matt Goldberg, Gary Kendellen and James Oldham , who heard arguments a day earlier. Castro had asked for a raise from $4 million to $5.25 million.

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Rangers' Darvish feeling strong in rehab

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Yu Darvish is feeling stronger than he did before elbow surgery, and has a renewed passion for the game after missing all of last season as the Texas Rangers were winning the AL West.

While the right-hander feels good in rehabilitation, the Rangers and Darvish are taking their time with the pitcher who hopes to start throwing bullpen sessions again next month in Arizona. He plans to be back on the mound for Texas by mid-May or early June.

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Yanks' Tanaka throwing off bullpen mound

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, coming back after arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow last October, has thrown off a bullpen mound.

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said the Japanese right-hander had a throwing session Tuesday in New York.

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ChiSox, RHP Latos agree on $3M contract

CHICAGO (AP) Mat Latos agreed Tuesday to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, giving manager Robin Ventura another option for the back end of his rotation.

Latos had consecutive 14-win seasons with Cincinnati in 2012 and 2013, but the 6-foot-6 right-hander hasn't been able to duplicate that success in recent years. He played for the Marlins, Dodgers and Angels last season, finishing with a 4-10 record and a 4.95 ERA.

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P Peralta, Mariners agree to minors deal

SEATTLE (AP) Relief pitcher Joel Peralta has agreed to a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners and will report to big league spring training.

The 39-year-old right-hander has spent parts of 11 seasons in the major leagues with six clubs.

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Padres invite INF Schumaker to camp

SAN DIEGO (AP) Skip Schumaker has agreed to a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres and will be invited to big league spring training.

The 36-year-old became a free agent after Cincinnati declined a $2.5 million club option in November.

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Free-agent OF Young charged with battery

MIAMI (AP) Free agent outfielder Delmon Young was arrested after he choked and threatened a parking attendant at a Miami hotel Sunday night, police said.

Young, a 30-year-old who appeared in 52 games for the Baltimore Orioles last year, grabbed the attendant's neck and called him a "stupid Cuban," according to an arrest report. The attendant told police he had refused to let Young on an elevator to a club at the Viceroy Miami because the club was closed. Young left the area for a short time, then returned and attacked the attendant again, the report said.

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Tigers OF Martinez gets 2 years, $18.5M

DETROIT (AP) J.D. Martinez has agreed to an $18.5 million, two-year contract with the Detroit Tigers, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke Monday night on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been announced. The 28-year-old Martinez was eligible for arbitration through next year and can become a free agent after the 2017 World Series.

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Arizona gives Clippard 2 years, $12.25M

PHOENIX (AP) Reliever Tyler Clippard says that Arizona's potential to contend for a title was a big reason he signed with the Diamondbacks.

"They've proven this offseason that they're taking the steps in the direction of becoming a championship organization," Clippard said in a conference call on Tuesday, "which was something that was very high on my radar as far as the teams that I wanted to be with."

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