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Former Los Angeles Angels ace Garrett Richards agrees to two-year deal with San Diego Padres

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The San Diego Padres have agreed to a two-year contract with free-agent pitcher Garrett Richards, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports.

The deal includes a guaranteed $15 million during that two-year span, according to the report.

Richards, 30, is likely to spend the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, the latest setback in a career littered with them for the right-hander.

He made 16 starts to begin 2018 — posting a 3.66 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and a 2.56 strikeout-to-walk ratio — but damaged his ulnar collateral ligament for a second time in July.

“A lot of guys come back from this surgery and they have long careers,” Richards said in July. “Hopefully, this adds a few years on the end of my career. I’ll be back. Everything will be fine. I’ll get through this.”

The Los Angeles Angels had high hopes for Richards when they drafted him with the 42nd overall pick out of Oklahoma in 2009. He finally cashed in on those expectations in 2014, using a lively, high-90s fastball and a devastating slider to post a 2.53 ERA with 164 strikeouts in his first 167 innings.

But Richards tore his left patellar tendon while covering first base at Fenway Park on Aug. 20, prematurely ending an upstart season. He stayed healthy in 2015 — going 15-12 with a 3.65 ERA in 32 starts — but compiled only 138 2/3 innings in the three seasons that followed.

Early in the 2016 season, Richards was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his pitching elbow and spent the rest of the year rehabbing through stem-cell therapy. He also missed five months in 2017 because of a nerve irritation in his right biceps.

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MLB

Matt Adams returning to Washington Nationals on one-year deal

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First baseman Matt Adams is returning to the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $4 million deal, according to multiple reports.

The left-handed slugger finished last season with the St. Louis Cardinals after being waived by the Nationals in a salary dump in August.

Adams, 30, hit .239 with 21 home runs for the season, averaging .257 with 18 home runs in 94 games with the Nationals.

He gives the Nationals some left-handed power off the bench and relief for Ryan Zimmerman at first.

In seven seasons with the Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Nationals, he has 96 home runs, 332 RBIs and a .266 average.

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Top spenders Red Sox owe nearly $12 million in luxury tax

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NEW YORK — The World Series champion Boston Red Sox owe $11.95 million in luxury tax for having baseball’s top payroll.

That’s according to final calculations by the commissioner’s office obtained by The Associated Press. The only other team that owes is the Washington Nationals, who must pay $2.39 million.

Because Boston was more than $40 million over the tax threshold, it also became the first team to incur a new penalty put in place for the 2018 season: the top Red Sox selection in next June’s amateur draft will be dropped 10 places.

Boston’s top pick had been projected to be No. 33 overall before the penalty.

The New York Yankees dropped under the threshold for the first time, and the Los Angeles Dodgers fell below for the first time since 2012.

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White Sox have limits on Manny Machado, Bryce Harper

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The White Sox slashed their payroll in recent seasons as they traded away players such as Chris Sale and Adam Eaton and went about the business of stockpiling prospects. This leaves them in perfect position to grow their payroll now, to make moves like the transaction they executed Friday, when they agreed to take on first baseman Yonder Alonso, a $9 million salary dump of the Cleveland Indians.

Alonso happens to be the brother-in-law of superstar free agent Manny Machado, and both players are represented by agent Dan Lozano. This move will feed industry theory that the White Sox are laying the groundwork for a significant, aggressive strike on either Machado or Bryce Harper, the two most prominent players available.

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