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Rays, P Morton reach 2-year, $30M deal

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

LAS VEGAS (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays are perfectly comfortable putting relief pitchers on the mound to begin games. But the chance to add an All-Star to their patchwork rotation, that was too good to pass up.

Coming off a career-high 30 starts, Charlie Morton reached a $30 million, two-year contract with the Rays, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been officially announced.

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Boras: Teams ready to move on Harper

LAS VEGAS (AP) The Latest on Major League Baseball's winter meetings (all times local):

1:34 p.m.

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Tigers, SS Mercer agree to 1-year deal

LAS VEGAS (AP) A person familiar with the negotiations says shortstop Jordy Mercer and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to a $5.25 million, one-year contract.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.

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Red Sox add OF Hernandez on minors pact

LAS VEGAS (AP) Free agent outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and the Boston Red Sox have reached agreement on a minor league contract.

The deal Wednesday includes a spring training invite to big league camp with the World Series champions.

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Radio pioneer Helfer wins Frick Award

LAS VEGAS (AP) Al Helfer, who broadcast games on radio for the "Mutual Game of the Day" in the 1950s, has won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by baseball's Hall of Fame and Museum.

Helfer, who died in 1975, will be recognized on July 20 at Cooperstown, New York, as part of the Hall's induction weekend.

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Jays release SS Tulowitzki, owe him $38M

LAS VEGAS (AP) Troy Tulowitzki has been released by the Toronto Blue Jays, who owe the oft-injured shortstop $38 million for the remaining two years of his contract.

Now 34, Tulowitzki has not played in the major leagues since July 2017. He was limited that year to 66 games because of a hamstring and right ankle injury. The ankle required surgery last spring and he missed the entire season.

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White Sox acquire RHP Nova from Pirates

LAS VEGAS (AP) Right-hander Ivan Nova was acquired by the Chicago White Sox from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday for minor league pitcher Yordi Rosario and $500,000 in international signing bonus pool allocation.

A 31-year-old right-hander, Nova was 9-9 with a 4.19 ERA in 29 starts this season, striking out 114 in 161 innings. He is 78-64 with a 4.26 ERA in nine seasons with the New York Yankees (2010-16) and Pirates (2016-18).

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Rays reopen ballpark site search

LAS VEGAS (AP) Rays owner Stuart Sternberg will reopen the site search for a new ballpark after concluding plans for a stadium in Tampa's Ybor City area can't be finalized by this month's deadline.

Sternberg said any new ballpark can't open until at least 2024 and the team must start thinking about where it will play when its lease at St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field ends after the 2027 season.

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Red Sox GM: Not looking to cut payroll

LAS VEGAS (AP) The champion Boston Red Sox aren't looking to cut the biggest payroll in the big leagues.

After exceeding all three luxury tax thresholds paid off in a World Series title, the Red Sox anticipate going over the levels again next year even though they're increasing.

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