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Cubs having active talks with Darvish

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs are having active talks with free agent Yu Darvish, hoping to add the right-hander to their rotation as they try for a second championship in three seasons.

The 31-year-old Darvish is one of the top players available in a slow-moving market this winter. He finished last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping them reach the World Series.

A person with direct knowledge of the discussions confirmed the talks to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday night because there was no agreement in place. The Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees also have expressed interest in Darvish.

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Jones set to join former Braves in HOF

ATLANTA (AP) When Chipper Jones took stock of all of the familiar names he's on the cusp of rejoining, he wondered if it might be time to expand the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"We need to see if we can erect our own room in Cooperstown," Jones quipped, flashing that dry sense of humor he was known for during his playing days.

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Giants, CF Jackson agree to terms

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Center fielder Austin Jackson agreed to terms on a $6 million, two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Monday, filling the club's top remaining void just a few weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

San Francisco announced the acquisition Monday, a week after the Giants traded for right fielder Andrew McCutchen.

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Halladay autopsy reveals mix of drugs

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) An autopsy report says retired star pitcher Roy Halladay had evidence of amphetamine, morphine and an insomnia drug in his system when he died in a small plane crash in Florida last year.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that an autopsy released Friday shows the former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies All-Star died from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor when he crashed his personal plane into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey on Nov. 7.

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Fans meet newcomer Pineda at Twins Fest

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Michael Pineda is hard to miss, even when he's not throwing 95 mph fastballs. The Minnesota Twins won't witness any of those heaters for a while, but they're still pleased to have the 6-foot-7 right-hander in-house until he's ready.

Pineda was introduced to his new fans at Twins Fest on Saturday after agreeing to a $10 million, two-year deal last month, though he's still recovering from Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to pitch again until at least late this season.

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Cardinals trade OF Grichuk to Jays

ST. LOUIS (AP) Randal Grichuk wasn't too thrilled about the idea of playing in a reserve role this season for the St. Louis Cardinals.

He won't have to worry about that any more.

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Tebow to return to Mets' spring training

NEW YORK (AP) Tim Tebow will be at spring training with the New York Mets.

The 30-year-old outfielder was among a group of nine spring training invitees announced by the team Friday.

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Longoria: Speeding up games tricky issue

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Evan Longoria just can't envision it: a reliever riding in from the bullpen on a cart to speed up games.

Sounds utterly far-fetched for America's tried-and-true pastime in the 21st century, right?

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Twins' pitching hunt begins in bullpen

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) While baseball's offseason crawls along waiting for a logjam of free agents to clear, Minnesota Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey remains fluid in trying to improve the team's pitching staff.

Waiting out decisions by the top starters on the market, Falvey turned his sights to the bullpen, where Minnesota was tied for 20th in the majors in relief ERA (4.40) last season while making its surprise run to the American League wild-card game.

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