U.S. stymies Canada 8-0 to advance to next round in World Baseball Classic

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Team United States will be joining Team Dominican Republic in advancing to the next round after soundly defeating Team Canada on Sunday night by an 8-0 margin. Canada has been eliminated with a 0-3 record.

The U.S. struck early against Canada starter Ryan Dempster. The club loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, then scored two when Eric Hosmer doubled to center field. After Paul Goldschmidt walked to load the bases, Andrew Albers relieved Dempster and gave up an inherited run on a Buster Posey ground out to boost the U.S. lead to 3-0.

In the second inning, the U.S. had runners on first and second with one out against Albers, who promptly served up a three-run home run to Nolan Arenado. Hosmer doubled again, this time to left, and came around to score on a one out single by Posey.

The U.S. was held scoreless in the third through sixth innings, but Posey came through again with a solo home run to left-center in the seventh off of Jim Henderson.

U.S. starter Danny Duffy pitched four outstanding innings, holding Canada to two hits and on walks with seven strikeouts on 63 pitches. Mychal Givens pitched a scoreless fifth. Tyler Clippard took over in the sixth and tossed a pair of scoreless frames. Jake McGee took over in the eighth and kept Canada off the board. Nate Jones pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the 9-0 victory for Team U.S.

The U.S. will start the next round on Wednesday in Pool F, held at Petco Park in San Diego. Their opponent will either be Venezuela, Mexico, or Italy, depending on Sunday night’s game between Venezuela and Mexico. A loss by Venezuela would put three teams at 1-2 in Pool D and force a tiebreaker game.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.