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MLB Roundup: Rangers set to acquire Fielder from Tigers

In the first major trade of the baseball offseason, the Texas Rangers agreed to acquire first baseman Prince Fielder in a deal that would send second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers.

Multiple media outlets reported the trade, but first broke the story.

The deal cannot be finalized without Fielder’s approval, as he has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that includes a provision barring a deal to Texas. He is expected to give his consent, according to multiple reports.

Fielder, 29, still has seven years and $168 million remaining on the nine-year, $214 million contract he signed with Detroit in January 2012.

Over his two years with the Tigers, Fielder hit .295 with a .387 on-base percentage, a .491 slugging percentage and averages of 27.5 homers and 107 RBIs. He played 162 games each year, was an All-Star both seasons and earned a Silver Slugger award in 2012.

Fielder began his career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005. From 2006-11 with the Brewers, he averaged 38 homers and 107.7 RBIs per year, earning three All-Star appearances.

The Rangers were looking for an offensive upgrade at first base after Mitch Moreland endured a disappointing season.

Kinsler, 31, has four years and $57 million remaining on his contract, plus a $10 million club option or a $5 million buyout for 2018. He signed a five-year, $75 million extension with Texas in April 2012.

A three-time All-Star, Kinsler hit .277 with a .344 on-base percentage, a .413 slugging percentage, 13 homers and 72 RBIs in 136 games this year. He would take over at second base for Detroit, replacing free agent Omar Infante.

A-Rod leaves hearing, Cardinals extend Matheny’s deal

Alex Rodriguez surprisingly left his arbitration hearing Wednesday and has no plans to return.

The New York Yankees third baseman said in a statement that he was disgusted by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz’s refusal to order Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig to testify.

The hearings with Horowitz entered the 12th day when Rodriguez made the bold move. The players association had filed a grievance on Rodriguez’s behalf in an attempt to overturn his 211-game suspension that MLB officials handed down last summer for alleged violations of MLB’s drug and labor agreements.

“I am disgusted with this abusive process (that is) designed to ensure that the player fails,” Rodriguez said. “This morning, after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the Players Association refused to order Selig to come in and face me.

“The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”

n Free-agent pitcher Josh Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the San Diego Padres.

According to reports, the deal is guaranteed and includes $1.25 million in additional performance bonuses for 26 starts next season. If Johnson makes fewer than seven starts, the Padres will have a $4 million option for 2015.

The 29-year-old right-hander battled through injury problems in 2013 with the Toronto Blue Jays, who did not offer him a qualifying offer after last season. After offseason elbow surgery to remove bone spurs, Johnson finished the 2013 season at 2-8 and a 6.20 ERA in 16 starts.

In nine major league seasons with the Blue Jays and Miami Marlins, Johnson has a 58-45 record with a 3.40 ERA.

n St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter told the team that he plans to make his retirement official, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Carpenter missed the 2013 season while trying to come back from thoracic outlet syndrome, which affects nerves in the neck and shoulder area, and he had hinted that he was thinking of walking away from the game.

His career was short-circuited by injuries that ranged from a torn labrum in the shoulder to a torn ulnar-collateral ligament in his right elbow. Carpenter missed all or portions of the 2003, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013 seasons.

When Carpenter was healthy, he was considered one of the best starting pitchers in the game. He won the National League Cy Young Award in 2005 and the NL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2009. He also was named to three All-Star teams.

He has a 144-94 career record (99-44 for the Cardinals) with a 3.76 ERA and 1,697 strikeouts in 2,219 1/3 innings. In the postseason, Carpenter posted a 10-4 record with a 3.00 ERA and played on two World Series champions.

n The St. Louis Cardinals rewarded manager Mike Matheny with a three-year contract extension through the 2017 season.

In his second season after taking over for Tony LaRussa, Matheny led the Cardinals to the World Series, where they lost in six games to the Boston Red Sox.

The former catcher took the job in 2012 without any previous major league managing experience and has compiled a 185-139 record and two playoff appearances in two seasons.

Matheny’s current contract was set to expire after the 2014 season.

The 43-year-old Matheny was fourth in the NL Manager of the Year balloting the past two years.