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(The Sports Xchange) - Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander could miss the start of the season because of his recent core muscle surgery.

The Tigers initially believed that Verlander would fully recover from the surgery by the start of spring training, but general manager Dave Dombrowski said the team is not ruling out the possibility he may not be ready when the season begins.

Dombrowski told Thursday that Verlander is uncertain to start the season on time.

"He's doing great," Dombrowski said. "I'm not concerned for him being out an extended period. If he misses any time of the season, it would only be a very short time period. I'm not ready to say that he will. But he's doing very well."

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The Chicago Cubs and pitcher Travis Wood agreed to a one-year, $3.9 million contract, according to ESPN Chicago.

By agreeing to the deal, the two sides avoided salary arbitration.

Wood, 26, went 9-12 but had a 3.11 ERA in 32 starts and was selected to the National League All-Star team last year. He made $527,500, barely above the league minimum.

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The Chicago White Sox agreed to a multi-year contract extension with manager Robin Ventura. The team did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Ventura, 46, was going into the final year of a three-year deal, so the extension eliminates his "lame-duck" status.

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Pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has agreed to re-sign with the New York Mets, accepting a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training, reported Friday.

Matsuzaka, 33, went 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA in seven appearances, all starts, for the Mets in 2013. He spent much of the season at the Triple-A level.

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The New York Yankees may pluck another player off their rival Boston Red Sox as they are interested in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, according to CBS Sports.

The Yankees signed former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury earlier this offseason.

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Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino is not surprised by how much money the New York Yankees spent this offseason.

Though the Yankees have said they eventually want to get their annual payroll to under $189 million to avoid paying the luxury tax penalty, they have continued to hand out huge contracts.

"It's like 'Back To The Future,' is my sense," Lucchino said at the Boston Baseball Writers dinner Thursday, according to ESPN Boston. "I've seen this movie before. Anything that can be done that increases the intensity of the rivalry, as this certainly does, I think is positive - as long as it doesn't go so far as to give them the advantage."

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The Atlanta Braves agreed to a minor-league contract with right-handed veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia.

CBS Sports reported that the deal is worth $1.25 million and includes incentives that vary depending on whether he starts or relieves.

Garcia, 37, made six appearances for the Braves late last season. He went 1-2 with a 1.65 ERA.

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(Editing by Gene Cherry)

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