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Royals give Moustakas $14.3M, 2-yr. deal

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Royals and third baseman Mike Moustakas agreed Thursday to a $14.3 million, two-year contract that not only avoids arbitration this year but also buys out his final year.

Coming off his first All-Star appearance, the 27-year-old hit .284 last year with 34 doubles, 22 homers and 82 RBIs while also setting career-highs in on-base percentage and slugging.

Kansas City offered $4.2 million and Moustakas countered with $7 million. The sides settled on $5.6 million this season and $8.7 million next season, keeping general manager Dayton Moore's streak intact of never having taken a case to an arbitration hearing.

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MLBPA leader: Labor system needs change

NEW YORK (AP) With spring training approaching and dozens of players still seeking jobs, union leader Tony Clark concluded baseball's current system needs change.

Among those still on the free-agent market are pitcher Yovani Gallardo, shortstop Ian Desmond and outfielder Dexter Fowler, who all turned down $15.8 million, one-year guaranteed contracts from their teams last November.

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Padres tab Nomo to lift presence in Asia

SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego Padres have hired Hideo Nomo as an adviser to baseball operations to help expand their presence in the Pacific Rim.

Nomo was the first Japanese player to permanently move to the big leagues, leading the way for more than 50 other players to follow.

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Yanks to dedicate Rivera plaque Aug. 14

NEW YORK (AP) The Yankees will dedicate a plaque for retired relief pitcher Mariano Rivera in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 14 before a game against Tampa Bay.

Rivera, who retired after the 2013 season, helped New York win five World Series. He is the major league career saves leader in the regular season (652) and postseason (42).

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Pirates sign ex-Padres pitcher Luebke

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed former San Diego Padres pitcher Cory Luebke to a minor-league contract.

The deal, announced Thursday, includes an invitation to spring training.

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Braves invite reliever Torres to camp

ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Braves have signed former New York Mets reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Torres has a 4.26 ERA in six major league seasons, including the last three with the Mets. The right-hander began his career with the Chicago White Sox in 2009.

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Dombrowski: Deals with Yankees unlikely

NEW YORK (AP) Now that he's with the Boston Red Sox, Dave Dombrowski doesn't expect to be making a lot of trades with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

During Dombrowski's 13 1/2 seasons as Detroit's GM, the pair made several notable swaps. Cashman obtained outfielder Curtis Granderson from the Tigers in December 2009 and sent reliever Phil Cole and outfielder Austin Jackson to the Tigers as part of a three-team trade that included Arizona.

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Donaldson, Jays agree to 2 yrs., $28.65M

TORONTO (AP) AL MVP Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays have completed their agreement on a $28.65 million, two-year contract.

Donaldson receives $11.65 million this year and $17 million in 2017 under the deal announced Wednesday.

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Giants 1B Belt gets $6.2M for 1 year

PHOENIX (AP) First baseman Brandon Belt and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to a $6.2 million, one-year contract.

The deal was completed just before the scheduled start of their salary arbitration hearing Wednesday. The agreement was $200,000 below the midpoint between the $7.5 million Belt had asked for and the $5.3 million the Giants had offered when figures were exchanged last month. Belt made $3.6 million last year, and Giants general manager Bobby Evans expressed interest in signing Belt to a multiyear contract before the 2016 season.

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1B Moreland, Rangers agree to $5.7M deal

PHOENIX (AP) First baseman Mitch Moreland has agreed to a $5.7 million, one-year contract with the Texas Rangers, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing set for Wednesday.

Moreland gets a raise without an arbitration hearing for the third year in a row. He will be eligible for free agency after this year's World Series.

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