Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Storylines: MLB discussing changes to extra innings to help speed up play

Major League Baseball continues to look at ways to speed up the pace of play and one new way that has been proposed is to add a quirk to the start of extra innings...

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· Pace of play has been one of the biggest issues surrounding the MLB for years. A portion of fans are fine with keeping the game at the speed it is--especially with an offensive battle or a pitching duel; however, there are others who believe that the game should be sped up. They might finally get their wish. A few seasons ago, the MLB tried out a pitching clock in the minors to see if it made a significant difference, which it didn’t. The games were still around two-to-three hours long. On Tuesday, the league proposed a rule for intentional walks. Instead of pitchers throwing the ball to the opposing batter four times, they would show a signal to the umpire, which would allow the batter to go straight to first base. Wednesday, the MLB proposed another idea where in extra innings, the team hitting at the top of the 10th inning would automatically have a runner on second to start the inning. The rookie level at the Gulf Coast and Arizona League are going to try this rule out during their season. It’s not certain what the final rule will entail, or the consequences.

News and Notes

· According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Minnesota Twins have signed lefty Craig Breslow to a minor-league deal. Terms of the deal are currently unknown.

· Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the San Francisco Giants have re-signed infielder Gordon Beckham. 

· Oakland Athletics righty Daniel Mengden underwent successful right foot surgery on Wednesday after suffering a fracture during a bullpen session. He’s expected to miss six weeks.

· The Seattle Mariners have traded catcher Jesus Sucre to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a PTBNL. 

· According to Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati Reds righty Homer Bailey underwent surgery Wednesday to remove bone spurs from his right elbow. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.

· Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that the Boston Red Sox have signed veteran slugger Carlos Quentin to a minor league deal.  Terms of the deal are currently unknown. 

· The Kansas City Royals have signed righty Jason Hammel to a two-year deal.  The deal is for $16MM with $5MM salary in 2017 and a $2MM buyout on his option. Fellow righty Alec Mills was DFA’d.

· According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, veteran righty Javier Lopez has decided to retire. He was mainly used as a LOOGY in his 14-year career.  Lopez is 39-years old. 

· According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Houston Astros have avoided arbitration with infielder Marwin Gonzalez. The deal is for $3.7MM along with a $5.1MM team option.

· The Los Angeles Angels have signed righty Yusmeiro Petit to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training.

· Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed catcher Hank Conger to a minor-league deal. He will receive $950K if he makes the major league roster, and another $450K in incentives. 

· Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that former closer Brian Wilson is looking to make a comeback in the MLB as a knuckleballer. Wilson hasn’t pitched in two years, but has worked out for two unknown teams.

· The Chicago Cubs have acquired righty Alec Mills from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for minor league outfielder Donnie Dewees. In order to make room, the Cubs have DFA’d lefty David Rollins.

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