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Cards, Cubs, Baseball Notes

 width=>>Cards To Honor Taveras

(Undated) -- The Cardinals will honor Oscar Taveras this season. The team will wear an "OT" patch in 2015. Taveras was a rising star that died in the offseason at the age of 22. He was involved in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic.

>>Cubs Rizzo: "We Will Win The NL Central"

(Chicago, IL) -- Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo says the team will win the National League Central Division this season. Rizzo made the proclamation Thursday during a stop at an elementary school as part of the Cubs Caravan. Rizzo said it's going to happen this year, we're going to win the NL Central, you guys can quote me on that. 


The Cubs went 73-and-89 last season, but have brought in new manager Joe Madden and also signed top free-agent pitcher Jon Lester this offseason. The Cubs last made the playoffs in 2008 and haven't won a World Series since 1908.

>>Wrigley Bleachers Closed Until May

(Chicago, IL) -- The famed bleachers at Wrigley Field won't be open until May 11th at the earliest. The bleachers are being reconstructed as part of a 375-million-dollar renovation of the iconic home of the Cubs.

>>Nationals Ink Scherzer To Seven-Year Deal

(Washington, DC) -- The Washington Nationals will potentially have one of the best rotations in MLB this upcoming season. Multiple news outlets are reporting the Nationals have agreed to seven-year contract with right-hander Max Scherzer [[ SHER-zer ]]. Terms of the deal have yet to be released but it is expected to be worth over 180-million-dollars. Scherzer has logged a 3.52 ERA along with over a thousand strike outs and an 82-and-35 record in his last five seasons with the Detroit Tigers. With their current roster in tact, the Nationals will sport a starting rotation consisting of Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister this year. There are rumors they could look into dealing Zimmermann or Strasburg.

>>Orioles Avoid Arbitration With Four

(Baltimore, MD) -- The Baltimore Orioles are avoiding arbitration with four key members of their roster. The team has agreed to one-year deals with catcher Matt Wieters [[ WEE-ters ]], slugger Chris Davis, right-handed starter Chris Tillman and lefty reliever Brian Matusz [[ MATT-iss ]]. Wieters hit .308 with five home runs in 26 games before missing the rest of last season following Tommy John surgery. Davis slugged 26 homers, but hit just .196 before being suspended the final 17 games of the season for violating baseball's drug policy. Tillman went 13-and-6 with a 3.34 ERA, while Matusz was 2-and-3 with a 3.48 ERA out of the pen.

>>Giants, Aoki Agree To One-Year Deal

(San Francisco, CA) -- The San Francisco Giants are adding outfield depth. The "San Francisco Chronicle" reports the team has agreed to a one-year contract with Nori Aoki [[ ah-OH-kee ]]. The 33-year-old hit .285 with a home run and 17 stolen bases during his lone season with Kansas City in 2014. Aoki and the Royals fell to the Giants in seven games in last year's World Series.

>>Pirates Finalize Four-Year Deal With Kang

(Scottsdale, AZ) -- A deal between the Pittsburgh Pirates and South Korean infielder Jung Ho Kang is complete. The two sides have finalized a four-year contract with a club option for the 2019 season. The deal was agreed to in principle last week and is worth a reported 16-million-dollars. The Pirates also paid five-million-dollars to Nexen Heroes for the rights to negotiate with Kang. He set career highs by hitting .356 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season.

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