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MLB intends to propose shorter season, full prorated salaries

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Major League Baseball intends to propose a shorter season in which the league would pay players a full prorated share of their salaries, sources told ESPN.

The league believes the late March agreement allows it to set the schedule, and that this would fulfill players’ pro rata desire.

The potential season Major League Baseball envisions would run somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 regular-season games, sources told ESPN.

The exact number is being considered, but the aim would be to return in July.

The news comes a day after the MLB Players Association delivered a return-to-play proposal that called for a 114-game season.

The union has remained steadfast that players should receive their full prorated salaries. MLB’s original proposal called for significant pay cuts that affected the highest-paid players the most but covered all levels.

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Astros’ Carlos Correa asks wife to stay out of salons until season’s end

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HOUSTON — Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is so serious about not contracting the coronavirus that he has asked his wife, Daniella, to stay out of beauty salons until the season is over.

“When I talk to my wife she knows,” he said Sunday. “No getting your nails done. No getting your hair done right now. So we’re going to be home. We’re going to focus on the baseball season and once everything is done, then you can go to get your nails done and do everything else.”

Daniella Correa Rodriguez was Miss Texas in 2016. The pair wed in the Dominican Republic in December.

Correa spoke at length after Sunday’s workout about the importance of personal responsibility among the players if they hope to get through this 60-game season, which is scheduled to begin July 23 or 24.

“We know what it takes to make the season possible,” he said. “What we’re doing is we come to work out and we go back to our houses. I think that’s the key … I think if we can keep it simple. Simple as come get your work in and go back home, get some rest, I think we’ll be able to be fine and be able to carry on with the season.”

Houston is one of the U.S. cities currently being hit hardest by the coronavirus, and Texas reported its highest daily increase in confirmed cases on Saturday with 8,258.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.

Also on Sunday, Astros manager Dusty Baker said reliever Joe Smith was not with the team because of concerns for the health and safety of his family.

Baker said he did not have an update on designated hitter Yordan Alvarez and starter Jose Urquidy, who have been absent from workouts for undisclosed reasons.

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Brewers’ Christian Yelich knows he had fortunate timing on new deal

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MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich acknowledges he benefited from fortunate timing in his contract negotiations.

The Brewers held a March 6 news conference to announce that the 2018 NL MVP had agreed to a nine-year, $215 million contract. Spring training was halted less than a week later because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Yelich’s deal was finalized before the loss of revenue from Major League Baseball’s shortened season and labor unrest created at least some uncertainty about the game’s financial future.

“At the end of the day, this is where I wanted to be,” Yelich said Sunday. “I said it a lot at the time when we had a press conference, which feels like it was years ago.

“But it’s one of those things where one of the reasons I did it was because I’ve really loved and enjoyed playing here, and the other is you never know what’s going to happen in the future. I’d be lying if I told you I knew a pandemic was going to hit, but it’s kind of just how it played out.”

Yelich had two years remaining on his contract, plus a team option for 2022, before agreeing to the deal that could keep him in Milwaukee for the remainder of his career. The 28-year-old has emerged as the face of the Brewers since they acquired him from the Miami Marlins in January 2018.

Yelich earned MVP honors his first year in Milwaukee and finished second last year to Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won the NL batting title each of the last two years and helped the Brewers make back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1981-82.

Although his 2019 season ended when he broke his right kneecap Sept. 10, Yelich is healthy now.

“That’s the best part about walking on the field today; just watching one of the best players in the game take batting practice is a thrill,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Saturday before the team’s first full-squad workout.

Yelich said he never considered opting out of this season, though he understands why others might and he expects more players around the league to do so as camp goes on.

“You’re going to have guys with different outlooks on this virus,” Yelich said. “Some will be worried. Some aren’t. But you have to be respectful of everyone’s views and you have to take it upon yourself to take all the precautions, be a good teammate and do the best to your ability. At the end of the day, it’s still an unknown. You could do everything right and still come down with the virus and you could miss up to a month.”

Yelich arrived in Milwaukee without the mustache he had tried out while he was home in California during baseball’s hiatus.

“I came off the beach one day, took a shower, looked in the mirror, saw it and (thought): ‘You know, it’s time. Shave it,'” Yelich said. “Just that quick.”

The Brewers will need a big year from Yelich as they attempt to celebrate their golden anniversary season with a third straight playoff berth, something they’ve never achieved in franchise history.

Yelich believes the Brewers are set up to succeed in a shortened season, but he realizes the truncated 60-game schedule makes a fast start essential.

“This year is unique in the aspect of you just don’t know what you’re going to get from anybody,” Yelich said. “You’re going to see really good players have really bad years. It’s going to happen. Not only position player-wise, but pitcher-wise. You don’t have that large sample size for everything to even out, so if you get off to a tough start or a bad start, you’re really behind the eight ball.”

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Indians bench coach Brad Mills opts out for family

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Cleveland Indians bench coach Brad Mills has opted out of the 2020 season, manager Terry Francona said Sunday.

Francona told reporters that Mills left the team Saturday to return to his family in Texas.

Mills’ 18-month-old grandson, Beau, drowned in a swimming pool accident in February, and Francona indicated that his Mills and his family are still grieving.

“I think it was agonizing for him to leave home [to come to summer camp],” Francona said, according to Cleveland.com. “I think it was agonizing for him to leave here. But I know in my heart he made the right decision.”

Mills, 63, was entering his sixth season as the Indians’ bench coach and also was on Francona’s staffs with the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox.

Francona told reporters that the team has not made a decision on who will replace Mills in the bench coach role this season.

“Together we will work our way through it,” Francona told reporters. “No one person will replace what Millsie does. We know that and he knows that. I think it was a difficult decision for him. I almost wish it hadn’t been so difficult for him because I know in my heart where he needs to be … that’s home right now.”

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