Baseball notes

Marcus Thames promoted to Yankees hitting coach

Marcus Thames was promoted to hitting coach by the New York Yankees, replacing Alan Cockrell on the staff of new manager Aaron Boone.

Thames played for the Norwich Navigators in 2001 and had a standout season, batting .321 with 31 homers and 97 RBI. He spent the past two seasons as assistant coach under Cockrell, who served as assistant to Jeff Pentland in 2015 and replaced him after that season.

P.J. Pilittere will be Thames' assist after serving as hitting coach at Double-A Trenton in 2016 and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year, the Yankees said Monday.

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bullpen coach Mike Harvey remain from manager Joe Girardi's staff. Boone said in December that Josh Bard is replacing Rob Thomson as bench coach, Phil Nevin takes over from Joe Espada as third base coach and Reggie Willits follows Tony Pena as first base coach,

Willits also will be an outfield instructor, Carlos Mendoza will be quality control coach, Jason Brown will be catching coach, and Radley Haddad will be coaching assistant and bullpen instructor. Bruce Weber remains coaching assistant/instant replay coordinator.

Cockrell and Pena left the organization. Thomson was hired as Philadelphia's bench coach and Espada as Houston's third base coach.

Series MVP Springer, Astros reach $24 million, 2-year deal

World Series MVP George Springer and the Houston Astros avoided salary arbitration by agreeing Monday to a $24 million, two-year contract.

Springer gets $12 million annually under the deal and will be eligible for arbitration again after the 2019 season. The hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday.

He asked for a raise from $4,075,000 to $10.5 million and was offered $8.5 million. His case was bolstered when Mookie Betts defeated Boston in the first hearing last week and was awarded $10.5 million rather than the team's $7.5 million offer.

Springer tied the World Series record with five runs homers, homering in each of the final four games, as Houston won its first title. Springer batted .379 (11 for 29) with five walks in the seven games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He set career bests during the season with a .283 average, 34 home runs and 85 RBIs.

Houston lost to closer Ken Giles in a case decided Saturday and remains scheduled with a hearing for pitcher Collin McHugh.

Players are 5-2 in cases decided thus far and 17 remain scheduled for hearings through Feb. 16. Twenty-four would be the most hearings since 1990.

Rangers give 44-year-old Bartolo Colon a minor league deal

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers, and the 44-year-old right-hander will attend big league spring training.

Colon would get a $1.75 million, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster under the terms of the deal agreed to Sunday and could make an additional $1.3 million in performance bonuses based on innings.

He was 7-14 with a 6.48 ERA in 28 starts for Atlanta and Minnesota last season. He was released by the Braves on July, then signed with the Twins and went 5-6 with a 5.18 ERA in 15 starts for them.

Colon has 240 victories in 20 seasons with 10 teams, including the Montreal Expos. The portly right-hander has posted 21 wins against Texas, the most by any pitcher.

"Bartolo brings a track record of durability and success in the major leagues. He pounds the strike zone and provides quality competition for our rotation," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Welcome to Texas, Big Sexy!"

A four-time All-Star, Colon won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award with the Angels.

He would earn $100,000 each for 90, 100, 110 and 120 innings, and $150,000 apiece for 130 and each additional 10 through 180.

Texas was 78-84 last year. Rangers pitchers and catchers are set to hold their first spring workout Feb. 15 in Surprise, Arizona.

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