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Atlanta Braves hire fired Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Rick Kranitz

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Fired by the Philadelphia Phillies last month, Rick Kranitz has landed another job as a pitching coach with his former team’s National League East rival, the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves hired Kranitz on Thursday.

“I’m thrilled to add Rick to our coaching staff,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said in a statement. “Right from the start of the interview process, Rick stood out with his knowledge, credentials, and experience. He has had a lot of success developing young talent and he is going to have a big impact getting the most out of all of our pitchers.”

Kranitz was promoted by the Phillies from assistant pitching coach to the main position last December but was fired after just one season. He was replaced as Phillies pitching coach by Chris Young, who served as Kranitz’s assistant in 2018.

The Phillies finished 18th in Major League Baseball with a 4.14 ERA. The Braves finished seventh with an ERA of 3.75.

Kranitz replaces Chuck Hernandez, who was let go after two seasons as the Braves’ pitching coach. He was the only coach not returning on Snitker’s staff for the 2018 season.

Kranitz also was a pitching coach for the Marlins (2006-07) and Orioles (2008-10).

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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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