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Ortiz stays with Red Sox; Haren becomes free agent

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Ortiz stays with Red Sox; Haren becomes free agent

NEW YORK (AP) As the first deadlines of baseball's offseason passed, the Los Angeles Angels allowed pitcher Dan Haren to become a free agent Friday night and David Ortiz agreed to a $26 million, two-year contract to remain with the Boston Red Sox.

Los Angeles tried to trade Haren before the midnight deadline to exercise his $15.5 million option, but a proposed deal with the Chicago Cubs for closer Carlos Marmol fell apart and the Angels decided to decline the option and pay Haren a $3.5 million buyout.

``Obviously, it didn't happen,'' Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. ``We had a variety of different deals that we worked through during the course of the last week or 10 days. Some were closer than others. But I'll leave it at that.''

Haren was 12-13 with a career-worst 4.33 ERA this year and the right-hander was on the disabled list for the first time. He became the second starting pitcher in three days to be jettisoned by the busy Angels, who shipped Ervin Santana to Kansas City for minor league left-hander Brandon Sisk on Wednesday.

A baseball official with knowledge of the Ortiz negotiations said the designated hitter could earn $30 million in the 2013 and `14 seasons, including bonuses. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been signed.

Speaking at the Celtics' home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, Ortiz said, ``We haven't finished it up yet.''

``It's coming,'' he said as he walked back to his courtside seat at the TD Garden. ``It's coming.''

Ortiz was a free agent and able to discuss money with all teams at midnight. The Red Sox made him a $13.3 million qualifying offer - new under baseball's labor contract - earlier Friday, but the sides continued negotiating and reached an agreement a few hours later.

Ortiz batted .318 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs while missing almost half the season due to a strained right Achilles tendon.

The Yankees made qualifying offers to right fielder Nick Swisher, pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and reliever Rafael Soriano.

Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton, Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton, Atlanta outfielder Michael Bourn, Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche and St. Louis pitcher Kyle Lohse also got the offers before the 5 p.m. deadline.

Players have until Nov. 9 to accept the qualifying offers. If a player turns down the offer and signs elsewhere, his former team would receive an extra selection immediately following the end of the first round of next June's amateur draft.

The Angels declined to make a qualifying offer to free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter.

``We want to create as much flexibility as we can in our ability to navigate for 2013 and beyond,'' Dipoto said. ``In business, sometimes you make tough decisions.''

After adding Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson last year for a combined $317.5 million, the Angels appear a bit more cautious this offseason.

``You can't just continually gather assets without having logical solutions as to how they all fit,'' Dipoto said.

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

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USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.

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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

Following a dicey matchup between the Nats and Braves Friday night which featured a heated argument between Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals are getting a much-needed opportunity to regroup.

The Washington Nationals' official Twitter account announced that Saturday evening's matchup will be postponed due to inclement weather just after 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The Nationals had planned to host "JMU Night" at the ballpark as a part of their "College Day" series, and due to more forecasted inclement weather Sunday, the Nationals decided to call the game off sooner rather than later.

The Nationals have yet to announce when the game will be made up.

If Sunday's game is played as scheduled, Max Scherzer will start.

This post will be updated when more information regarding a makeup date has been announced.

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