The Boston Red Sox reportedly have landed the latest free-agent prize out of Cuba, coming to terms with 19-year-old switch-hitting infielder Yoan Moncada. Agent David Hastings said there was no signed agreement but he anticipates it will be done soon.
The New York Yankees also had targeted Moncada, to whom the Red Sox will pay a bonus of $31.5 million, according to multiple reports. The overall commitment will be around $63 million, with the other $31.5 million going to Major League Baseball as a 100% overage tax on the Red Sox for exceeding their allotment of international bonus money.
A-Rod reports early
Alex Rodriguez reported to the Yankees three days ahead of schedule and spoke to the media for 8 1/2 minutes about his season-long drug suspension. But on his first day back with the team since September 2013, he never said why he resumed the use of performance-enhancing drugs, never explained what he did and avoided getting into any specifics.
"I cringe when I look at some of things I did," Rodriguez said. "No mistake that I made has any good answer, no justification. It's unexplainable, and that's on me. I've dug a big hole for myself. Paid a price."
Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera said it was too early to say whether he'll be ready for opening day. After dealing with ankle problems last season, when his 25 home runs were the lowest output of his career over a full season, Cabrera had surgery in October to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in the arch of his foot. He's been hitting in the cage.
Beltre deal reworked
Adrian Beltre and the Texas Rangers reworked the final two seasons of the third baseman's six-year, $96-million contract, eliminating the team's conditional right to void his 2016 salary if he didn't get at least 586 plate appearances this year. Beltre, a four-time All-Star, was due to be paid $18 million this year and $16 million in 2016; now it will be $16 million in 2015, $18 million in 2016.
Texas second baseman Jurickson Profar had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and is expected to miss a second consecutive season. . . . Toronto catcher Dioner Navarro, coming off his best season (.274, 12 homers, 69 RBIs), reiterated that he wants to be traded after the Blue Jays signed free-agent catcher Russell Martin in the off-season. . . . Cincinnati Manager Bryan Price labeled as "unfair and inaccurate" an assertion by Miami pitcher Mat Latos that the Reds rushed him back from an injury last season and lacked leadership in the clubhouse. . . . Ron Gardenhire, fired as Minnesota's manager after last season, said he'll take the year off rather than work as an advisor for the team. . . . The Atlanta outfielder previously known as B.J. Upton is now listed as Melvin Upton Jr. on the Braves' roster. Upton's old initials stood or Bossman Junior, from his father Manny's nickname "Bossman." Upton's full name is Melvin Emanuel Upton. . . . Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley has started spring training with a sore right ankle. . . . New Twins Manager Paul Molitor said Phil Hughes has been "penciled in" as opening-day starter.