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Pirates fans urge MLB to make owner sell

Pittsburgh Pirates team president Frank Coonelly and owner Bob Nutting listen as general manager Neal Huntington speaks to the media concerning the trade of outfielder Andrew McCutchen at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. The San Francisco Giants Giants found the outfielder they were looking for this winter, acquiring McCutchen from Pittsburgh on Monday to fill a key void. (Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Some Pittsburgh Pirates fans are signing a petition to express their frustration following the team's decision to trade star outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants.

As of Wednesday, more than 28,000 fans signed a petition on change.org asking Major League Baseball to force Pirates owner Bob Nutting to sell the team.

Writing "we deserve better," the petition's starters aim to reach 35,000 signatures to protest the direction Nutting and the front office have taken in the offseason. Pittsburgh sent top starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to Houston on Saturday, then sent McCutchen to the Giants, shedding the organization of $20 million in salary in the process.

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Cubs bring back P Duensing on 2-yr. deal

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs bolstered their revamped bullpen on Wednesday, bringing back Brian Duensing with a $7 million, two-year contract.

Duensing returns to Chicago after signing a one-year deal with the Cubs last winter. The left-hander went 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 68 appearances last season.

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Cole excited to join Astros rotation

HOUSTON (AP) Gerrit Cole is joining a rotation filled with aces.

"I was just tremendously excited," Cole said Wednesday, four days after the Houston Astros acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates. "I was out with some friends having a good time for my wife's birthday weekend. So, it was a really good phone call. How you can ask for anything more than coming to the World Series champions."

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McCutchen to play RF for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Andrew McCutchen figures San Francisco's AT&T Park outfield is so big, playing right field will make him feel like a center fielder all over again.

Running catches, ricochets off the wall, tricky bounces and all.

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Royals' Duffy pleads guilty to DUI

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) Royals pitcher Danny Duffy has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in a Kansas City suburb and has been placed on a year's probation.

Sean Reilly, a spokesman for the city of Overland Park, Kansas, said Tuesday that Duffy entered the plea last week and will pay $1,220 in fines and court fees. Duffy must report to a probation officer once a month and abstain from drugs and alcohol. He also will be subject to random breath, urine or blood screenings.

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Ex-manager Lamont joins KC front office

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Former big league manager Gene Lamont has been hired as a special assistant to Royals general manager Dayton Moore, reuniting him with the organization where he spent nearly a decade coaching prospects.

The Royals announced his hiring Tuesday.

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Yanks give LHP LeBlanc minor league deal

NEW YORK (AP) Left-hander Wade LeBlanc has agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees and will report to major league spring training.

The 33-year-old LeBlanc was 5-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 50 relief appearances last year for Pittsburgh, which declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.

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Kendrick, Nats agree to $7M over 2 years

WASHINGTON (AP) The Nationals have agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with outfielder Howie Kendrick, a deal subject to a successful physical.

Agent Pat Murphy confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Monday. USA Today was first to report the deal.

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Padres' Hand gets $1.75M signing bonus

SAN DIEGO (AP) All-Star closer Brad Hand's $19.75 million, three-year contract with the San Diego Padres includes a $1.75 million signing bonus.

Hand receives $750,000 of his signing bonus within 30 days of the deal's approval by the commissioner's office and $500,000 apiece on Nov. 15 this year and next.

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