MLB’s players and owners move closer to labor agreement

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While the NBA lockout rolls into day 136, Major League Baseball’s players and owners are moving closer and closer to reaching a new labor deal.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the two sides have a “near-agreement” on draft-related issues, thought to be the last remaining significant hurdle in the ongoing negotiations.

There will not be hard-slotting, but the new deal is expected to carry restraints on the amount of total money a team can spend on draft picks from year to year. There will also be “significant changes” in draft-pick compensation for free agents, according to Rosenthal, meaning the Type A and Type B classifications might be restructured or completely dismissed.

An agreement must be reached by December 11. The way talks are going, it could be done this week.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.