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Morgan asks Hall voters to ban PED users

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep "known steroid users" out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball's steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall's board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

"Steroid users don't belong here," Morgan wrote. "What they did shouldn't be accepted. Times shouldn't change for the worse."

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Ohtani likely to be up for bid next week

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball, its players' union and the Japanese commissioner's office agreed Tuesday to a new posting system that could allow star pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani to be put up for bid next week, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The agreement is still not in writing and must be ratified by Major League Baseball, Nippon Professional Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, the person said on condition of anonymity because no comments were authorized.

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Judge has shoulder surgery, OK by spring

NEW YORK (AP) Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is expected to be ready for spring training after he had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder.

The operation was performed Monday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. The Yankees say the procedure involved a loose-body removal and cartilage cleanup.

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Rule-breaking Braves lose 13 players

ATLANTA (AP) The Braves lost 13 prospects and former general manager John Coppolella was banned for life by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for circumventing international signing rules from 2015-17.

Former Atlanta special assistant Gordon Blakeley, who was the team's international scouting chief, was suspended from baseball for one year by Commissioner Rob Manfred.

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5 minor leaguers suspended for drugs

NEW YORK (AP) Five minor league pitchers have been suspended for drug violations.

The commissioner's office announced the penalties Tuesday.

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Cubs' Venable moving to first base coach

CHICAGO (AP) Will Venable is leaving the Chicago Cubs front office to be their first base coach.

The former major league outfielder was hired last summer as a special assistant to president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.

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Jones, Thome among HOF ballot newcomers

NEW YORK (AP) Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel are among 19 first-time candidates on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot for baseball's Hall of Fame.

They are joined by Johan Santana and Chris Carpenter. Also among the newcomers to the 33-man ballot announced Monday are Jamie Moyer, Andruw Jones, Carlos Lee, Kevin Millwood, Carlos Zambrano and Johnny Damon.

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NTSB: Halladay performed turns, flew low

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) Retired star pitcher Roy Halladay sped his small sports plane low over the Gulf of Mexico minutes before his fatal crash two weeks ago, climbing sharply in the final seconds before diving into the water, federal investigators said in a preliminary report released Monday.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Noreen Price placed no blame for the Nov. 7 accident near Tampa, simply laying out the facts as gleaned from the plane's data recorder and eyewitnesses. A final report with conclusions could take one to two years.

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Yanks raise available money for Ohtani

NEW YORK (AP) The Yankees raised their available signing bonus money for Japanese star Shohei Ohtani to $3.5 million, acquiring $250,000 in pool money from the Miami Marlins on Monday for left-hander Caleb Smith and first baseman Garrett Cooper.

New York has the second-highest total of available international signing bonus money behind the Texas Rangers at $3,535,000. Minnesota is third at $3,245,000, followed by Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1,557,500) and Miami ($1.49 million).

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