Tanaka works off a mound in Florida


TAMPA, FLA. — New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, coming back after arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow last October, has thrown off a bullpen mound.

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said the Japanese right-hander had a throwing session Tuesday in New York.

After a pre-spring training workout at Steinbrenner Field, said Rothschild said all the reports are good regarding Tanaka's rehabilitation program. The Yankees said the injury dates from when Tanaka pitched in Japan. He signed with New York before the 2014 season.

Tanaka was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament in 2014, when he went 13-5 in 20 starts. He was 12-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 24 starts last year and lost to Houston in the AL wild-card game.

Tanaka was on the disabled list from April 23 to June 3 last season with right wrist tendinitis and a forearm strain, then missed a September start because of a strained right hamstring.


CHICAGO >> Mat Latos agreed Tuesday to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, giving manager Robin Ventura another option for the back end of his rotation.

Latos had consecutive 14-win seasons with Cincinnati in 2012 and 2013, but the 6-foot-6 right-hander hasn't been able to duplicate that success in recent years. He played for the Marlins, Dodgers and Angels last season, finishing with a 4-10 record and a 4.95 ERA.

His fastball velocity dipped to 92-93 mph for most of last season, down from 93-96 in 2012. He was on the disabled list from May 23 to June 12 with left knee inflammation.

"Mat adds another quality veteran arm to our rotation and also increases our overall pitching depth, which always is essential to having a successful season," general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement.

Latos also has faced questions about his maturity. He was traded from Cincinnati to Miami in December 2014, then made critical remarks about the Reds' training staff and said there was a lack of leadership in the clubhouse while he was there an assertion the Reds disputed.


NEW YORK >> AL MVP Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays are nearing agreement on a $28.65 million, two-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Tuesday because the agreement had not been completed. The progress toward a deal was first reported by Sportsnet in Canada.

Donaldson and the Blue Jays had been scheduled for a salary arbitration hearing next week. The 30-year-old third baseman had asked for a raise from $4.3 million to $11.8 million and Toronto had offered $11.35 million when the sides exchanged proposed arbitration salaries last month.


BALTIMORE >> A son of former Orioles star Rafael Palmeiro has agreed to a minor league contract with Baltimore.

Patrick Palmeiro, a 26-year-old third baseman, played last season for Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League and hit .256 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs in 128 games Prior to that, he spent three seasons in the Chicago White Sox farm system.

Rafael Palmeiro played with the Orioles from 1994-98 and 2004-05. He was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 for using a banned substance the House Government Reform Committee later said Major League Baseball and the players' association told it the substance was the steroid Stanozolol. Palmeiro has never acknowledged using steroids.


PHOENIX >> Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro became the first player to lose in salary arbitration this year.

Castro was awarded $5 million by arbitrators Matt Goldberg, Gary Kendellen and James Oldham , who heard arguments a day earlier. Castro had asked for a raise from $4 million to $5.25 million.

The 28-year-old was an All-Star in 2013. He hit .211 last season, his lowest average since his rookie season in 2010, and had 11 homers and 31 RBIs. He made 102 starts at catcher and threw out 36 percent (24 of 66) of runners attempting to steal.

Castro started all six of Houston's postseason games and hit .063 (1 for 16).


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