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Hunter returns to Twins; Medlen, Cabrera let go

December 3, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Torii Hunter is returning to the Minnesota Twins, and injured Atlanta pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy have been tossed into the Major League Baseball free-agent market along with San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera and New York Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr.

Hunter agreed Tuesday to a $10.5 million, one-year contract with the Twins, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced.

A five-time All-Star outfielder who turns 40 in July, Hunter played for the Twins from 1997-07 before signing a $90 million, five-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels. He then signed a $26 million, two-year deal with Detroit.

He hit .286 with 17 homers and 83 RBIs for the Tigers last season and will be relied upon to be the kind of hard-driving veteran a young clubhouse needs to set an example. He won seven of his nine Gold Gloves with the Twins, who have lost at least 92 games in each of the last four seasons.

In a trade, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired outfielder Chris Heisey from Cincinnati for right-hander Matt Magill. Heisey hit .222 with eight homers and 22 RBIs in 119 games last season.

More than 200 players entered Tuesday eligible for salary arbitration this winter. Any player offered a contract would be entitled to, at a minimum, roughly one-sixth of his 2015 salary as termination pay if he gets released.

Los Angeles Angels infielder Gordon Beckham, Oakland first baseman Kyle Blanks, Texas right-hander Alexi Ogando and Cincinnati reliever Logan Ondrusek were among the players let go.

Once considered rising stars in the rotation, Medlen and Beachy did not pitch in 2014 after ligament-replacement surgeries during spring training, the second Tommy John operation for each.

Cabrera, an All-Star shortstop in 2013, faces charges of resisting arrest and possession of marijuana in a car after he was stopped by authorities in San Diego County on Sept. 3 while he was on the disabled list. He is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 8.

He was suspended by Major League Baseball for the final 50 games of the 2013 season for violating the sport’s drug agreement in relation to its investigation of the Biogenesis of America drug clinic.

Cabrera led the National League with 44 stolen bases in 2012. He batted .232 this year with three homers, 20 RBIs and 18 steals in 90 games, and made $2.45 million.

Young batted .229 with 30 stolen bases in 100 games this year, when his salary was $1.85 million. He led the NL with 46 steals in 2013, but managed only a .299 on-base percentage last season and lost playing time in a crowded outfield. The switch hitter finished with a homer and 17 RBIs in 316 plate appearances, scoring 48 runs.

Oakland agreed to one-year contracts with first baseman Ike Davis ($3.8 million) and right-hander Fernando Rodriguez ($635,000). The Yankees struck a $1.48 million, one-year deal with reliever Esmil Rogers.

In addition, Seattle finalized its $100 million, seven-year deal with All-Star third baseman Kyle Seager, an agreement from last week that had been pending completion.

Among free agents, right-handed reliever Matt Belisle agreed to a $3.5 million, one-year deal with St. Louis.


AP Sports Writers Mike Fitzpatrick, Jon Krawczynski, Charles Odum and Bernie Wilson contributed to this report.

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