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Japan posts slugger for MLB teams

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo has been made available to major league teams through the posting process by Yokohama of Japan’s Central League.

Major league clubs have until 5 p.m. on Dec. 19 to negotiate with Tsutsugo, who turns 28 on Nov. 26.

A corner outfielder, Tsutsugo hit .272 this year with 29 homers and 79 RBIs. He has a .285 average with 205 homers and 613 RBIs during 10 seasons with Yokohama.

Under the agreement reached between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball after the 2017 season, the posting fee to Yokohama would be 20% of guaranteed money in a major league contract through $25 million, plus 17.5% above that through $50 million, plus 15% over that. A supplemental fee would equal 15% of any earned bonuses, escalators and compensation from option years that are exercised or become guaranteed.

The MLB commissioner’s office announced the posting on Monday.

Astros sign Gurriel

HOUSTON — Yuli Gurriel has agreed to an $8.3 million, one-year contract with the Houston Astros, a $300,000 raise from his originally scheduled salary for next season.

Gurriel hit .298 and set career bests with 31 homers and 104 RBIs as the Astros won the American League pennant for the second time in three seasons. He hit .310 with one homer and five RBIs in the seven-game World Series loss to Washington.

The 35-year-old first baseman, who defected from Cuba, agreed in July 2016 to a $47.5 million, five-year contract with the Astros that included an $8 million salary for 2020. That deal allowed Gurriel to void the remainder of his contract when he became eligible for salary arbitration for the first time, and he reached that eligibility this offseason with 3 years, 43 days of major league service.

His new contract allows him to become a free agent after the 2020 season, preserving a right also contained in his original major league contract. It also includes the same award bonus provisions: $100,000 for MVP, $50,000 for second and $25,000 for third; $50,000 for World Series MVP, and $25,000 each for League Championship Series MVP, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and being selected an All-Star.

Jeter a new name

NEW YORK — Derek Jeter is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot. He is likely to be an overwhelming choice to join former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera in Cooperstown after the reliever last year became the first unanimous pick by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

A 14-time All-Star shortstop and five-time World Series champion, Jeter hit .310 with 3,465 hits in 20 seasons. He was the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year. He has been CEO of the Miami Marlins the past two seasons.

Other newcomers announced Monday by the BBWAA include Cliff Lee, Josh Beckett, Jason Giambi, Paul Konerko, Rafael Furcal, Bobby Abreu and Alfonso Soriano.

Holdovers include Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Larry Walker. None received more than 61 percent of the vote. A player must appear on at least 75 percent to gain election. The results will be announced Jan. 21.

Nats, O’s still fighting

NEW YORK — A judge has ordered lawyers for the Nationals and Baltimore Orioles to submit a proposed judgment of what the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network should pay Washington for television rights from 2012-16 based on the decision issued in April by an arbitration panel of three baseball executives.

New York Supreme Court Justice Joel M. Cohen wrote in a decision issued Thursday that MASN should pay the Nationals the $296.8 million recommended by the panel, minus rights fees MASN already has paid for that five-year period. Cohen said the clerk of the court should calculate interest on the net amount from April 15 through the date the remaining money is paid.

The Orioles and Nationals jointly own MASN and have been fighting in court for years. MASN was established in March 2005 after the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington and became the Nationals, moving into what had been Baltimore’s exclusive broadcast territory since 1972. The Orioles have a controlling interest in the network.

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