- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Major League Baseball imposed stricter limits on mound visits by players in an effort to speed games but decided against 20-second pitch clocks for 2018.

After more than a year of negotiations, the Major League Baseball Players Association refused to agree to the changes but also signed an agreement that it will not oppose the rules.

The amendments to the playing rules announced Monday include a general limit of six mound visits per nine-inning game without a pitching change, whether by a manager, coach or player.

To assuage players’ concerns about sign stealing, MLB will install new telephone lines from dugouts to video replay rooms. MLB said the lines will be monitored, and a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press all conversations on the lines will be recorded. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that detail was not announced.

MLB has the right to make playing rules changes absent an agreement with one year notice and made proposals during the 2016-17 offseason for a pitch clock and more restrictions on mound visits.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Eric Hosmer and the San Diego Padres have finalized their $144 million, eight-year contract.

The team announced the signing Monday night after Hosmer passed his physical. The first baseman, who spent his first seven major league seasons with Kansas City before becoming a free agent this offseason, can opt out of the deal after five years.

The contract is the largest in Padres history.

Hosmer gets a $5 million signing bonus payable within 30 days of the contract being approved by the commissioner’s office. His salary is $20 million each year from 2018-22 and would be $13 million annually from 2023-25 if he doesn’t terminate the deal.

A four-time Gold Glove winner and 2016 All-Star, Hosmer will be introduced during a news conference Tuesday morning at Padres camp in Peoria, Arizona.

HOCKEY

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Detroit Red Wings for two conditional draft picks.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall made the move Monday night, a day after losing his second goalie to injury in less than 10 days. Starter Brian Elliott had core muscle surgery last Tuesday and is expected to miss up to 6 weeks. Backup Michal Neuvirth was injured in Sunday’s win at the New York Rangers. The team didn’t update his status before making the trade.

Mrazek was 8-7-3 with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage this season for Detroit. He’s 72-58-20 with a 2.60 GAA and a .912 save percentage in 166 appearances in six seasons for the Red Wings.

The Flyers sent a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2018 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2019 to Detroit.

SOCCER

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Police in Spain have cleared four West Bromwich Albion players who were being investigated for the theft of a taxi in Barcelona last week.

Catalonia’s regional police said on Monday no charges will be filed against the players. Police did not say why the investigation was archived.

Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore, and Boaz Myhill were accused by a taxi driver of stealing his vehicle early Thursday morning.

The players issued a public apology on Friday for breaking a team curfew and breaching the “standards of professionalism required of us as representatives of West Bromwich Albion.”

Last in the Premier League, West Brom was in Barcelona for a midwinter training trip.

West Brom said the players “will be subject to the full rigors of our internal disciplinary procedures.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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