Baseball notebook: Jim Fregosi dies after stroke

Baseball notebook: Jim Fregosi dies after stroke

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Baseball notebook: Jim Fregosi dies after stroke

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Jim Fregosi’s big league career got off to a real quiet start. His first three at-bats, as a teenager for the expansion Los Angeles Angels, he hit grounders back to perennial Gold Glove pitcher Jim Kaat.

Over the next half-century, Fregosi made a lot more noise in the majors.

Fregosi, a six-time All-Star shortstop who went on to manage the Angels to their first playoff appearance and guide the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies into the World Series, died Friday after an apparent stroke. He was 71.

Popular on and off the field, full of opinions and an outsized personality, Fregosi could argue with the best of ’em. He could also laugh at himself, and would poke fun at his part in one of baseball’s most-lopsided trades — the deal that sent him to the Mets for a young pitcher named Nolan Ryan.

The Atlanta Braves said they were notified by a family member that Fregosi died early Friday in Miami, where he was hospitalized after the apparent stroke while on a cruise with baseball alumni.

Fregosi ended more than 50 years in baseball as a special assistant to Braves general manager Frank Wren.

“Jim played a vital role in our club over the last 13 years,” Wren said Friday. “As a senior adviser he was someone you could always pick up the phone and get a feel for the players in the game. He covered all 30 teams for us and was such a positive, knowledgeable resource. He lit up a room and had just great relationships throughout the game.

“When I first became GM, one of the things that made the transition so easy was having Jim as close as a phone call for advice and help or encouragement.”

Braves: Right-hander Julio Teheran and Atlanta agreed to terms on a six-year, $32.4 million contract with a club option for the 2020 season.

The deal with the 23-year-old Teheran was another move by the team to lock up a key young player on a long-term deal. First baseman Freddie Freeman, 24, agreed to $135 million, eight-year deal on Feb. 5, the same day the team announced a two-year, $13.3 million deal with right fielder Jason Heyward, 24.

Also, Braves catcher Orinn Sears was suspended for the first 50 games of the season following a positive drug test under the minor-league drug program.

Indians: Josh Tomlin and Cleveland have argued their salary arbitration case, with the pitcher asking for $975,000 and the Indians arguing for $800,000.

Tomlin, a 29-year-old right-hander, had elbow ligament-replacement surgery in August 2012 and returned to make one big league appearance last season, pitching two scoreless innings at the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 12. He made $501,800 last year.

Tomlin’s case was heard Friday by arbitrators John Sands, Dennis Archer and Marlene Gold. A decision is expected Saturday.

Nationals: Washington agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Josh Roenicke for a minor-league deal with an invitation to major league spring training.

Rangers: Texas signed free agent right-hander Tommy Hanson to a one-year contract.

Texas also avoided salary arbitration with first baseman Mitch Moreland by agreeing to a $2.65 million contract for this season, a raise of more than $2 million.

Rays: Tampa Bay says newly signed pitcher Erik Bedard is a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation or might work out of the bullpen.

The Rays worked out a deal with the 34-year-old lefty on Friday morning. Bedard is expected to report to spring training in the next couple of days.

Reds: Cincinnati starter Mat Latos had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.

Latos suffered the injury while throwing in Arizona. He’ll have to stop throwing for about 10 days to let the knee heal.

General manager Walt Jocketty said Latos could be ready for the start of the season.

Twins: Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan has been released from the hospital, the first step in his recovery from cancer surgery.

The Twins announced Friday that Ryan left the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, three days after the operation.

According to team spokesman Dustin Morse, Ryan told team physician Dr. Vijay Eyunni that he was “doing well.” Ryan will spend the next few days recuperating at home in the Twin Cities. There’s no timetable for his return to work.

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