New York — For everyone who thinks spring training is too long, help is on the way — a little, anyway.
Spring training will be shortened by two days starting in 2018, when new restrictions in Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement take effect on game times for regular-season getaway days.
The voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players will be 43 days before the major league opener instead of 45, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press. For other players, the date will be 38 days ahead instead of 40.
The change was tied to spreading each team’s 162 regular-season games over 187 days, up from 183.
Players association Assistant General Counsel Matt Nussbaum said the union’s goal was to create more days off during the season “in a way that doesn’t just chew up offseason days.”
Rays, Dodgers Do a Deal
St. Petersburg, Fla. — Second baseman Logan Forsythe has been traded by the Tampa Bay Rays to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander Jose De Leon.
Tampa Bay also said Monday it had agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with free agent right-hander Shawn Tolleson, who can make an additional $1.15 million in bonuses.
The 24-year-old De Leon made his big league debut in September and was 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA in four starts. He went 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 16 starts and 86 innings last year at Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was sidelined for stretches by ankle and shoulder injuries.
Forsythe, 30, hit a career-high 20 homers last year, when he batted .264 with 52 RBIs in 127 games.
The 29-year-old Tolleson was 2-2 with 11 saves and a 7.68 ERA in 37 games last year, when his season was cut short by a lower back strain. He became a free agent in October when he refused an outright assignment to the minors.
Yankees pitcher Tanaka to sit out World Baseball Classic
TOKYO (AP) — New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka says he won’t take part in the World Baseball Classic.
Speaking at his former stadium in northeastern Japan on Monday, Tanaka said “taking various things into consideration, it would be difficult so I will not participate.”
Tanaka went 14-4 last season with a 3.07 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 31 games.
The 28-year-old righthander was a member of the Japanese team that won the 2009 WBC. The 2017 tournament will be played from March 6-22.
So far, the only Japanese player from Major League Baseball who has committed to playing in the WBC is Houston Astros outfielder Norichika Aoki.
Japan, which won the inaugural tournament in 2006, will rely on a team made up of players from Nippon Professional Baseball.