Carlos Beltran excused from Yankees for family issue

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Carlos Beltran has been excused from the Yankees to deal with a private family matter, according to MLB.com beat reporter Bryan Hoch, with manager Joe Girardi saying Wednesday afternoon that the veteran will be given “as much time as he needs.”

Beltran is back in New York City while the Yankees finish out a three-game series Wednesday at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field. A four-game home series against the Blue Jays begins Thursday night.

Beltran is batting just .236/.303/.406 in the first year of a three-year, $45 million contract and is scheduled to have surgery for bone spurs in his elbow over the offseason. He hit .296/.339/.491 last year in St. Louis.

New York is six games back of the second American League Wild Card spot with 12 games to play.

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UPDATE, 10:07 p.m. ET: Terrible news from Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.