Home plate collisions in MLB could be eliminated soon

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Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions, possibly as soon as next season but no later than by 2015.

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement Wednesday at the winter meetings. Player safety and concern over concussions were major factors in the decision.

In a sport long bound by tradition, a ban will be a major step.

“What are they going to do next, you can’t break up a double play?” Pete Rose said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

“Evidently the guys making all these rules never played the game of baseball,” Rose added.

METS: Reached agreement on a two-year, $20 million deal with free-agent right-hander Bartolo Colon, according to ESPN.com.

The contract will be completed once Colon passes a physical.

Colon, 40, went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 30 starts for the Oakland Athletics last season. He will join Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee and former Augusta GreenJacket Zack Wheeler in the rotation, helping to offset the loss of ace Matt Harvey. Harvey is expected to miss 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The deal comes a day after the Mets formally announced the signing of outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. The Mets already have committed $87.25 million to free-agent contracts this off-season.

MARINERS: Added a pair of slugging first baseman-outfielders to go along with Robinson Cano, reaching agreement on a one-year deal with Corey Hart and acquiring Logan Morrison in a trade with the Miami Marlins.

Hart did not play in 2013 because of a right knee surgery in January 2013 after a meniscus tear and joint damage was discovered. He hit .270 with 30 homers and 83 RBI with Milwaukee in 2012.

Morrison also has been slowed by injuries. He had right knee surgery in September 2012 and missed the first two months of the 2013 season before making his debut. He played 85 games last season
for Miami.

DODGERS: Matt Kemp’s agent, Dave Stewart, met with team officials on Wednesday and said he was told the club plans to keep the star outfielder rather than trade him, according to ESPN.com.

PIRATES: Right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract, with the team.

The 30-year-old Morton went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts for the Pirates in 2013. The deal includes a 2017 club option for $9.5 million.

TRADE: Oakland sent left-hander Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals for minor league outfielder Billy Burns.

Blevins was 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA in a career-high 67 games this year and has a 13-6 record with a 3.30 ERA in 281 big league games over seven seasons, all with the Athletics.

He’s averaged 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings.


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