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Harper, Phillies thinking big

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Bryce Harper has the Philadelphia Phillies thinking October baseball before even arriving in camp.

The six-time All-Star outfielder and the Phillies agreed Thursday to a $330 million, 13-year contract, the largest deal in baseball history. Now a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2011 is talking about winning championships.

The Phillies already liked their chances in the NL East after adding All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, two-time All-Star shortstop Jean Segura and reliever David Robertson to a club that won 80 games last season. Philadelphia led the division in August before collapsing down the stretch, going 16-33 the last 49 games.

The 26-year-old Harper could be the final piece to get the team over the top, though his lucrative contract doesn’t preclude them from adding more. Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, remains unsigned.

The Phillies’ odds at winning the division went from 2-1 to 5-4; the pennant from 7-1 to 4-1 and the World Series from 12-1 to 8-1.

Buccos split a pair

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Nick Kingham had a rough start for the Pirates on Friday, giving up five runs on six hits over three innings in a 7-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Pirates had a split-squad day, also tying the Toronto Blue Jays, 1-1, in Dunedin, Fla.

Kingham, who’s battling for the No. 5 starter spot with the Bucs, gave up a run in the first and then four in the second. He allowed two home runs.

Former Curve player Jerrick Suiter hit a solo homer for the Pirates.

In the Bucs’ other game, Rookie Davis pitched two scoreless and hitless innings, striking out three with one walk. The Pirates’ lone run scored on an error.

Pirates claim Barrett

The Pittsburgh Pirates today claimed right-handed pitcher Jake Barrett off waivers from the San Francisco Giants. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.

The 27-year-old Barrett has a career record of 2-4 with four saves and a 4.05 ERA in 103 appearances in the big leagues with Arizona from 2016-18. He was acquired by San Francisco from Arizona earlier this year on February 5 for cash considerations.

Barrett was selected by Arizona in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He made his Major League debut in 2016 with the Diamondbacks, where he went 1-2 with four saves and a 3.49 ERA in 68 appearances.

To make room for Barrett on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Chad Kuhl has been placed on the 60-day injured list.

Pineda makes return

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Michael Pineda made his first start for the Minnesota Twins as he comes back from Tommy John surgery, allowing one hit in two innings during a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

The 30-year-old right-hander struck out one and walked none, reaching 95 mph and throwing 18 strikes during a 26-pitch outing.

He hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since July 5, 2017, for the New York Yankees, and Cincinnati Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek operated that July 18.

Kershaw not throwing

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has not resumed throwing since stopping Monday while feeling shoulder discomfort.

Kershaw, who felt the discomfort while playing catch, told manager Dave Roberts his shoulder feels better.

Roberts said Friday that shortstop Corey Seager, coming off elbow and hip surgery, played in an intrasquad game on Friday and threw from 150 feet. Roberts says Seager is on track to play in the opener on March 28.

Perez’s year may be over

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Kansas City Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez damaged the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, raising the possibility the 2015 World Series MVP may need Tommy John surgery and miss the season.

Perez was hurt during a workout Wednesday, and the team said a MRI on Thursday revealed the damage. Perez will travel next week to California for a second opinion from Los Angeles Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

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