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Report: Owners expected to approve five-year extension for Rob Manfred

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Next week, MLB owners are expected to vote and unanimously approve a five-year extension for commissioner Rob Manfred, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.

Manfred, 60, was elected to succeed Bud Selig in August 2014 and officially took over in January 2015. Major League Baseball has achieved record revenues during his tenure. He has also made noteworthy changes to pace of play rules. A new collective bargaining agreement was also ratified which has thus far worked out well for ownership. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Manfred will be unanimously approved to spend at least another five years at the helm.

Nightengale notes that additional rules are expected to be discussed between Manfred and the owners including more pace of play improvements such as a pitch clock, as well as potentially limiting shifts and pitching changes. The league could also make a rule to discourage the use of “openers,” a strategy popularized by the Rays this past season in which a traditional reliever starts a game but quickly yields to a starting pitcher once he has gotten through a certain portion of the opposing lineup.

Report: Yankees close to signing Gio González to minor league deal

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are close to signing starter Gio González. Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the deal is of the minor league variety that will pay González $3 million if he makes the major league roster.

González, 33, made 27 starts for the Nationals before being sent to the Brewers ahead of the now-defunct August 31 waiver trade deadline. In aggregate, González went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA and a 148/80 K/BB ratio in 171 innings. He was solid in his five starts with the Brewers, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

Neither Luis Severino nor CC Sabathia will be ready for the start of the season, so González will add some immediate depth at the back of the Yankees’ rotation. Sabathia will likely return before Severino. When that happens, González may be pushed out of the rotation.