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Second baseman Jose Altuve and the World Series champion Houston Astros have finalized a five-year, $151 million extension, the team announced on Monday.
Altuve, 27, will earn $163.5 million over the next seven years. He has two seasons remaining on the four-year, $12.5 million contract he signed in 2013.
Altuve won the MVP last year after hitting .346 with 24 home runs, 81 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. He eclipsed the 200-hit mark for the fourth straight season, leading the league on each occasion, and won his third batting title in four years.
The five-time All-Star will be the sixth player in major league history to average $30 million annually.
--The ice may have finally broken for free-agent pitcher Clay Buchholz, who has agreed to a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals, according to USA Today.
The deal reportedly is for $1.5 million if Buchholz, 33, makes the major league roster. He can opt out May 1 if he's not on the big league roster by then. There is also $250,000 in incentives in the contract.
A two-time All-Star with the Boston Red Sox over 10 seasons, the right-hander missed almost all of 2017 with a torn flexor tendon in his right arm after the Red Sox had traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies before the season started.
--The Arizona Diamondbacks say the groin injury suffered by starting pitcher Zack Greinke is not serious. But it is serious enough to cost him one game, at least.
Diamondbacks manager Tory Lovullo said Greinke will not start Opening Day.
A 17-game winner in 2017, the right-handed Greinke reportedly said he felt good following a bullpen session Sunday and is expected to start this Wednesday against San Francisco.
--New York Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is expected to start the season on the disabled list, manager Aaron Boone said.
Ellsbury, 34, has missed most of spring training due to a strained oblique. He is 1-for-10 in four games.
Ellsbury has been plagued by injuries the past few seasons and is slated to be a backup this season with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner serving as the starters. Aaron Hicks is the team's fourth outfielder.
--Top outfield prospect Ronald Acuna was one of six Atlanta Braves players reassigned to minor league camp.
Acuna, 20, shined in spring training, hitting .432 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and four stolen bases in 44 at-bats. By sending him to the minors, the Braves can gain an extra year of contractual control over him before he becomes a free agent if he isn't called up before April 13.
"We feel like it would probably be best overall, from a philosophical standpoint, to give him more development time," Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "There's no manual on how to handle a player's development. They're not all the same."
--Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel returned to camp after spending the last several weeks away from the team to be with his family while his infant daughter underwent heart surgery. Lydia Joy Kimbrel was born with a heart condition in November.
Kimbrel, 29, threw live batting practice and said he will be ready for Opening Day next Friday. He has been working out and throwing at Babson College near Boston while away from the team.
"There's no denying it's been the toughest thing we've ever been through," Kimbrel said in a news conference. "In the last week, her recovery has been unbelievable, and she's showing great signs."
--The Texas Rangers claimed first baseman Tommy Joseph off waivers and also announced that right-hander Clayton Blackburn would go on the 60-day disabled list to clear a roster spot.
The Philadelphia Phillies had put Joseph, 26, on waivers last week when they signed free-agent pitcher Jake Arrieta.
Joseph hit 21 home runs in 2016 and 22 in 2017 and collected 116 RBis over that span.
--Field Level Media