Ortiz set to accept arbitration from Red Sox

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Ortiz set to accept arbitration from Red Sox

DALLAS -- Even before Wednesday's midnight deadline, David Ortiz has made a decision to accept salary arbitration from the Red Sox, effectively reuniting the slugger with the team for his 10th season with the club.

By accepting the team's offer, which it made last month, binds Ortiz to the Sox and prohibits him from negotiating with any other clubs.

Ortiz and the Red Sox can still negotiate a longer-term deal even after the arbitration acceptance is official, but there's little hope for a resolution beyond 2012.

The club recently made a two-year, 18 million offer to Ortiz, a source confirmed, but that was far from what Ortiz was seeking. Ortiz had hoped that a two-year deal would be worth 25 million, giving him the same payday (12.5 million per season) that he had in 2011.

ESPNBoston was the first to report the Sox' contract offer.

Through the arbitration process, Ortiz is likely to earn somewhere between 13-14 million for 2012, a modest raise over last season. The Red Sox haven't actually gone to arbitration since Theo Epstein took over as general manager after the 2002 season, so it seems likely that the sides will settle beforehand.

"We've had some more dialogue (with Ortiz's agent Fernando Cuza) since we got to Dallas," said GM Ben Cherington, "and he's got that decision to make (Wednesday). We remain hopeful that he's on the team in 2012. That's been our position all along. But we haven't agreed on anything yet."

Cherington, in an indirect reference to the team's two-year offer, said the Sox have "talked to him about" being part of the Sox beyond 2012.

"So, in theory, yeah, we'd like to have him on the team and we've expressed that to him," said Cherington. "If there's a way to make it work, we'd like to have him finish his career with the Red Sox. We haven't reached an agreement on a contract, but we've had good dialogue.

"I think there's a good understanding of our respective positions and a lot of mutual respect. If we don't reach anything by (Wednesday), we'll see what his decision is. If we don't and he accepts, then we'll be happy with that outcome."

Baseball sources indicate that what hamstrung Ortiz on the open market was the knowledge that a team would have to forfeit its first round pick next June in compensation. Ortiz is a Type A free agent, and because the Sox offered him arbitration, they would obtain a first-round pick and a sandwich pick had he signed elsewhere.

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

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Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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