Diamondbacks make contract offer to Aaron Hill

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According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks have submitted a contract offer to Aaron Hill.

Hill became a free agent last week when the Diamondbacks declined his $8 million options for 2012 and 2013. It doesn’t appear as though a new agreement is imminent, though, as Piecoro notes that the offer has an unspecified deadline attached and the Diamondbacks expect Hill to take his time before making a decision.

Hill, who turns 30 in March, batted .246/.299/.356 with eight homers and 61 RBI over 571 plate appearances this season, including a .315 batting average and an .878 OPS in 33 games with Arizona after being acquired from the Blue Jays in August.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.