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MLB: Some bonuses prohibited in player contracts

The SportsXchange

Personal-service deals and "milestone" bonus clauses -- such as those used in Albert Pujols' free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels this off-season -- reportedly will no longer be allowed.

Teams and agents have been told by Major League Baseball and the Players Association that they will not approve such clauses to future contracts, ESPN reported Friday according to sources of both entities.

The changes are in response to long-term deals signed by Pujols and Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, both of which include personal-services deals for after their playing careers.

The "milestone" bonus clauses, such as the $3 million Pujols could receive if he reaches 3,000 hits, violate a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that bars contracts incentives based on statistical achievements.

Current contracts will not be affected by the rule change, but no future contract with such clauses will be allowed, Dan Halem, MLB's senior vice president of labor relations, told ESPN.

These changes to the CBA have been under negotiation since last winter, ESPN reported.

--The Chicago Cubs have placed Kerry Wood on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of shoulder inflammation retroactive to April 14.

To take his place on the roster, the Cubs have recalled left-handed reliever Scott Maine.

Wood, 34, has a 0-0 record with an 11.57 earned-run average in 2 1/3 innings and four strikeouts. He complained of right shoulder soreness last weekend and had cortisone shot Tuesday. He missed the Cubs' three-game series at Miami this week.

The 13-year veteran is in the second season of his second stint with the Cubs. He has a career record of 87-74 with a 3.66 ERA and 63 saves.

Maine has a 1-0 record and one save with a 1.42 ERA in 20 innings pitched for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.

--Jose Canseco, 47, has signed another minor-league baseball contract.

The Worcester (Mass.) Tornadoes of the independent Can-Am League announced Friday they have signed the 17-year major-leaguer to a one-year contract.

"I am very much looking forward to putting on a uniform and competing on a professional level again this year," Canseco said in a statement. "I love the game of baseball. I am particularly grateful to the Worcester Tornadoes for embracing me and having the confidence in me to help the team win."

Canseco, who has 462 home runs, will play outfielder and designated hitter for the Tornadoes. He has been out of the majors since 2001.

The former MVP has been trying to get back to the majors during the decade. Since 2006, he has been playing for independent league teams in San Diego; Long Beach, Calif.; Laredo, Texas, and Yuma, Ariz.

He tried to sign a contract with a Mexican League team last month, but was denied when he admitted to using a banned testosterone substance and refused to take a drug test.

Canseco's biggest accomplishment since he last played in the majors was publishing "Juiced," a tell-all book that detailed steroids-abuse among some of the game's biggest stars. Many of his claims have substantiated in the Mitchell Report on steroids abuse in baseball.

--Cleveland Indians pitcher Chris Perez is the season's first reported violator of Major League Baseball's new Twitter policy.

Perez has been fined $750 for a tweet last Saturday night after a heated game with the Kansas City Royals that included two heated exchanges and three ejections between the teams, he told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer

Joe Garagiola Jr., MLB's dean of discipline, fined Perez for tweeting: "Huge team win tonight, time for a sweep of the Royals. It's not 'Our Time,' it's TribeTime. P.S. You hit us, we hit you. Period."

The Royals' marketing campaign is based on the "Our Time."

Garagiola said in a letter to Perez he "demonstrated a reckless disregard for the players on both clubs."

Perez told the Plain-Dealer he has read MLB's and the Indians' social media policies and defended his tweet.

"It's freedom of speech," Perez said. "I felt I was within my rights as an American."

--Relief pitcher Rich Thompson was claimed on waivers by the Oakland Athletics on Friday.

Thompson, 27, was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels last week.

He has a 0-1 record in 2 1/3 innings this season with a 15.43 ERA. He has a career ERA of 4.24 with parts of six seasons with the Angels.

--New York Mets left-handed relief pitcher Daniel Herrera reportedly will undergo Tommy John surgery.

The team's doctors found a tear in Herrera's left elbow, ESPNNewYork.com reported Friday.

Herrera, 27, has not pitched in the majors this season, throwing in three games for Triple-A Buffalo with a 1.50 ERA. He pitched in 16 games for the Mets last season after he was the play-to-be-named in the Francisco Rodriguez trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

--Major League Baseball announced Friday that minor-league right-hander Angel Guzman, who is in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, has been suspended for 50 games.

The suspension, Guzman's second, will place Guzman in the minor league drug prevention and treatment program for a drug of abuse, the league said.

Guzman, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers during the off-season. He spent four seasons with the Chicago Cubs, pitching in 88 games and had a 4.82 ERA.

He received an invitation to the major league camp in spring training, has yet to pitch in the majors or the minors this season.

--The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder B.J. Upton from the disabled list and he will make his season debut at home Friday night against the Minnesota Twins.

Upton, 27, missed his team's first 13 games with a back injury that was sustained during a spring training collision.

Upton hit .243 in 153 games last season with 23 home runs, 81 RBIs and 36 stolen bases.
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