LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Mets closer Jeurys Familia was suspended for 15 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for violating the league's joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child-abuse policy. Familia's suspension will begin on Opening Day.
The suspension stems from Familia's Oct. 31 arrest on a simple assault charge. Prosecutors later dropped charges and Familia did not stand trial.
 
 
Jeurys Familia suspended 15 games by MLB
 
Familia agreed not to appeal the discipline. He is eligible to continue to participate in all Spring Training and exhibition games and activities prior to Opening Day, which is Monday when the Mets play host to the Braves.
"My office has completed its investigation into the events leading up to Jeurys Familia's arrest on Oct. 31, 2016," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in making the announcement. "Mr. Familia and his wife cooperated fully throughout the investigation, including submitting to in-person interviews with MLB's Department of Investigations. My office also received cooperation from the Fort Lee (N.J.) Municipal Prosecutor. The evidence reviewed by my office does not support a determination that Mr. Familia physically assaulted his wife, or threatened her or others with physical force or harm, on Oct. 31, 2016. Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia's overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the policy, and warrants discipline.
"It is clear that Mr. Familia regrets what transpired that night and takes full responsibility for his actions. Mr. Familia already has undergone 12 90-minute counseling sessions with an approved counselor specializing in the area of domestic violence, and received a favorable evaluation from the counselor regarding his willingness to take concrete steps to ensure that he is not involved in another incident of this type. Further, he has agreed to speak to other players about what he has learned through this process, and to donate time and money to local organizations aimed at the prevention of, and the treatment of victims of, domestic violence."
Familia also issued a statement, via the MLB Players Association.
"Today, I accepted a 15-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my inappropriate behavior on Oct. 31, 2016," Familia said. "With all that has been written and discussed regarding this matter, it is important that it be known that I never physically touched, harmed or threatened my wife that evening. I did, however, act in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself. I am alone to blame for the problems of that evening.
"My wife and I cooperated fully with Major League Baseball's investigation, and I've taken meaningful steps to assure that nothing like this will ever happen again. I have learned from this experience, and have grown as a husband, a father, and a man.
"I apologize to the Mets' organization, my teammates, and all my fans. I look forward to rejoining the Mets and being part of another World Series run. Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment."
In Familia's absence, the Mets plan to use Addison Reed as their closer.
Anthony DiComo/MLB.com
 
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays have acquired outfielder Peter Bourjos from the White Sox for a player to be named or cash considerations.
Bourjos, who will turn 30 on Friday, was battling for a job as a non-roster invitee at White Sox camp. He was batting .313 in Spring Training through Monday. The Rays will likely utilize Bourjos as a backup center fielder, withColby Rasmus expected to begin the season on the disabled list.
 
 
Rays acquire Peter Bourjos from White Sox
 
Known for speed and defense, Bourjos played in 123 games for the Phillies last season, batting .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs. He is a career .243/.300/.382 hitter over seven big league seasons with the Angels, Cardinals and Phillies.
"Right now I don't think anything is set in stone with Pete," said Rays manager Kevin Cash when asked about Bourjos' status. "Obviously the right-handed outfield bat. A guy who can really defend. I like the way our outfield could be shaping out with Colby on the DL, a combination of Steven Souza, Mallex Smith, Peter Bourjos out there to help Kevin Kiermaier a little bit. It's a pretty good outfield."
Bourjos' acquisition would appear to lessen Daniel Robertson's chances of making Tampa Bay's Opening Day roster. Robertson, who primarily has played shortstop, can play second, third and outfield.
Bourjos is expected to arrive in Florida on Tuesday.
Bill Chastain/MLB.com
 
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are in agreement with second baseman Rougned Odor on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension, according to Major League sources and multiple media outlets.
The Rangers have not yet made an official announcement, but have been working on an extension with Odor for much of Spring Training.
Odor is entering his fourth season with the Rangers.
 
Rougned Odor agrees to a six-year, $49.5M extension with Rangers
 
He has 2.121 years of service time and was not eligible for arbitration this offseason. He has already agreed to a $563,180 contract for 2017.Odor played in 150 games for the Rangers last season and hit .271 with 33 home runs, 88 RBIs, a .296 on-base percentage and a .502 slugging percentage. Defensively, he had the lowest fielding percentage among American League second basemen but also the most double plays. Odor is the second Rangers player to receive a contract extension this spring. The club announced a one-year extension with backup catcher Robinson Chirinos last week. The Rangers still have an ongoing dialogue with the representatives for pitcher Yu Darvish and catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Both can be free agents after the season. The Rangers have made it clear they are willing to continue negotiations during the season, if necessary.
T.R. Sullivan/MLB.com
 
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- As a big league pitcher, Dallas Green was pretty mediocre.
"I was a 20-game winner," he would joke, "it just took me five years to do it."
Instead, it was in another role where the imposing, 6-foot-5 Green really made noise.
"When you think of big, with that deep voice, that booming voice, he could hold a team meeting, boy, he could scare you right out of your seat," Cleveland manager Terry Francona recalled.
 
 
Green, the tough-talking, no-nonsense skipper who in 1980 guided the Philadelphia Phillies to their first World Series championship, died Wednesday. He was 82.
The Phillies said Green died at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. He had been in poor health for a while.
Green spent 62 years in baseball as a player, manager, general manager, team president and other roles.
"He was a big man with a big heart and a bigger-than-life personality," Phillies Chairman David Montgomery said in a statement.
As a pitcher, Green went just 20-22 in the 1960s. His most notable distinction on the mound might have been giving up the only grand slam launched by all-time hits leader Pete Rose.
In 1980, with Rose playing first base on a team that included future Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, Green guided the Phillies to a very elusive crown, ending a drought that stretched back nearly a century.
"Baseball world lost a giant," Rose tweeted. "Dallas was a hell of a guy and a real leader."
He sure got his team's attention midway through that championship season. After a loss in Pittsburgh left the Phils around .500, his clubhouse tirade was so loud that writers outside the locker room at Three Rivers Stadium swore they could hear every word.
Green later managed the New York Yankees - where bombastic owner George Steinbrenner liked the idea of someone being able to stand up to him - and the Mets.
"Dallas was pure and simple a 'true baseball man,'" the Mets said in a statement.
Green also was the GM and president of the Chicago Cubs and made a shrewd trade to get a young infielder from the Phillies, future great Ryne Sandberg. The deal helped turn a long-dormant franchise into a club that came within one win of reaching the 1984 World Series.
"Dallas Green had an eye for talent. Our fans can credit him for acquiring and drafting several of the most accomplished players to wear a Cubs uniform, including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux and Ryne Sandberg, as well as All-Stars like Shawon Dunston, Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe," Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement.
In 2006, the Phillies inducted Green into their Hall of Fame. He spent 46 years overall in the Phillies system and was an adviser to their last four managers, always known for his commanding presence and shock of white hair.
Green was known for his rugged reputation and embraced it. Yet he was left in tears in 2011 when his 9-year-old granddaughter, Christina-Taylor Green, was shot and killed outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, as she went to see U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Six people were killed in the mass shooting as Giffords met with constituents.
"I'm supposed to be a tough sucker, but I'm not very tough when it comes to this," Green said at the time.
Francona witnessed the effect her death had on Green.
"I know when that happened with his granddaughter, the shooting, I know that that just tore him apart," he said. "I saw him at a golf tournament for that, about a year and a half ago, and you could tell that just ate him alive."
"I don't know if he was sick, but maybe he's happier now," Francona said.
Born and raised in Delaware, George Dallas Green is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sylvia; four children; and five grandchildren.
 
The Justice Department has settled its lawsuit against AT&T and DIRECTV without requiring either to carry SportsNet LA, the TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The feds claimed that DIRECTV (now owned by AT&T) engaged in an illegal campaign to prevent SportsNet LA from being carried by the major TV providers in the Los Angeles market.
To accomplish that aim, the satcaster, the suit says, shared confidential information with its rivals to help persuade them from carrying it.
 
Justice Department drops ball on DIRECTV-Dodgers lawsuit
 
 
Since its launch in 2014, DIRECTV and most other major TV providers in the LA area have refused to carry SportsNet LA, saying its carriage fee is excessive. The only major providers that have agreed to carry it are Time Warner Cable (now Charter) and Charter itself. (TWC, which is now owned by Charter, agreed to pay the Dodgers $8.35 billion over 25 years for the broadcast rights to the Dodgers games.).
While some believed that the Justice Department would use the lawsuit as leverage to force DIRECTV and AT&T to carry SportsNet LA, DOJ said in a statement last night that was never its goal.
“Negotiations between video programmers and [pay-TV companies] are often contentious, high-stakes undertakings,” Justice Department attorneys wrote in a court filing, according to The Los Angeles Times, which first broke the news that the settlement would likely not require carriage. “The proposed final judgment is not intended to address such negotiating tactics, or to impose any agreement upon Time Warner Cable, which owns rights to the Dodgers Channel, or any [pay-TV company] that is not the result of an unfettered negotiation in the marketplace.”
Instead, the settlement will require the pay TV providers to no longer share private information with other cable or satellite services.
The Justice Department’s view of the lawsuit may have changed when President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in November. The lawsuit was filed several days before the election and it’s possible that a Democratic administration would have been more aggressive in pursuing strict terms on DIRECTV and AT&T.
(Why would the Democrats care about the Dodgers? Numerous Democratic politicians from California had been pushing federal officials to cajole DIRECTV to carry SportsNet LA. Also of note: Several prominent members of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership team are Democrats who have made sizable contributions to now former President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats. It’s not a stretch to conclude that the Obama-led Justice Department was encouraged to help out by filing the lawsuit, which many experts deemed shaky on the legal merits.)
Plus, since Trump’s surprise win, the two top Justice officials overseeing the department’s anti-trust division (which brought the lawsuit) have left the government.
A federal judge must still approve the settlement before it becomes official.
Phillip Swann/TVPredictions.com
 
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Marcus Stroman tossed six hitless innings, Ian Kinsler slugged a two-run homer and the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 on Wednesday night to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries.
Stroman dominated the tournament's highest-scoring team. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games after outscoring the opposition 55-26. The U.S. territory finished runner-up for the second time, having lost to the Dominican Republic in the 2013 final.
 
 
US routs Puerto Rico 8-0 to win WBC behind dominant Stroman
 
Stroman, who was named the tournament's MVP, avenged his shakiness in the Americans' 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico during pool play. The right-hander from the Toronto Blue Jays retired the side on three grounders to open the game. In all, he gave up one hit, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches.
He allowed just three balls past the infield until Angel Pagan's double in the left-field corner leading off the seventh, when Stroman departed to a standing ovation, having staked the Americans to a 7-0 lead.
Stroman walked Carlos Beltran leading off the second, but the defense helped him out. Yadier Molina hit the ball to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who started a double play before Stroman struck out Javier Baez to end the inning.
The U.S. pounded out 13 hits and finished with a 6-2 record while making the final for the first time in front of 51,565 at Dodger Stadium.
Kinsler homered off an 0-1 pitch from Seth Lugo into left-center field in the third, scoring Jonathan Lucroy, who singled leading off.
Lugo of the New York Mets allowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked four in four innings. The right-hander won his first two starts of the tournament, including in the second round against Stroman and the U.S.
In that game, Stroman gave up six consecutive singles in a four-run first inning and took the loss against Puerto Rico last Friday in San Diego.
The Americans made it 4-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen.
Fans wore flags of both countries as capes and decorated their faces in team colors. Puerto Rico boosters pounded cowbells, tooted horns and blew whistles early on before their team fell behind 4-0.
Fans were on their feet chanting "U-S-A" when the Americans loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. They were rewarded with Crawford's two-run single that chased J.C. Romero, extending the lead to 6-0.
The U.S. tacked on another run on Giancarlo Stanton's RBI single off Hiram Burgos past diving shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Burgos' wild pitch moved runners to second and third before he walked Lucroy to load the bases a second time. Kinsler flied out to end the inning.
The Americans led 8-0 in the eighth on McCutchen's RBI single with two outs.
The U.S. defeated two-time champion Japan, while Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands to reach the final.
The three games at Dodger Stadium drew 109,892.
 
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Tim Anderson has agreed to a six-year, $25 million deal with the White Sox, the team announced on Tuesday, thus cementing his place as one of the club's cornerstones for the future. Two option years could take the value of the deal to $50.5 million over eight years, and the contract includes a $1 million buyout.
The contract stands as the most lucrative deal agreed upon with a player holding less than one year of service time in MLB history. Anderson, 23, hit .283 over 99 games and 410 at-bats in 2016 during his rookie season, with 115 days of service time. He had 37 extra-base hits, 10 stolen bases and played solid defense at shortstop.
Anderson will receive $850,000 in 2017, $1 million in 2018, $1.4 million in 2019, $4 million in 2020, $7.25 million in 2021 and $9.5 million in 2022. The White Sox hold club options for 2023 at $12.5 million and 2024 at $14 million. Much credit goes to the drive and determination shown by Anderson, who was selected 17th overall in the 2013 Draft as a high-ceiling athlete without a plethora of baseball experience coming from East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss. Some believed Anderson would end up as a center fielder because of this combination of factors, but Anderson was determined to be a big league shortstop, and he achieved that goal in 2016. General manager Rick Hahn and assistant general manager Jeremy Haber also deserve credit for identifying yet another core player and locking him up through a fair deal with cost certainty for the team. Anderson would not have been arbitration-eligible until at least 2020, and he would not qualify for free agency until before the '23 season. Chris SaleAdam Eaton and Jose Quintana stand as previous examples of players the White Sox had extended contractually early on in their career as part of the team's core. Sale agreed to a five-year, $32.5 million extension with two options during Spring Training in 2013 -- only three years into his career and after one year as a starting pitcher. Quintana's deal came late in Spring Training in 2014, with the southpaw agreeing to a five-year, $21 million contract with two options. Quintana had spent parts of two seasons in the rotation at that point. Eaton agreed to terms on a five-year, $23.5 million deal with two options during Spring Training in 2015. He had played one full season for the White Sox at that point. Sale and Eaton were traded this past offseason as part of the team's rebuild, and their cost certainty -- coupled with their immense ability -- led to a return for such high-ceiling players as Yoan Moncada (No. 2 prospect in MLB), Lucas Giolito (No. 11), Michael Kopech (No. 16) and Reynaldo Lopez (No. 46).
Scott Merkin/MLB.com