CHICAGO (AP) Right after Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay, the Chicago Cubs were mentioned as a possible landing spot for one of baseball's best managers.
Flush with prospects and ready to make a splash in free agency, the Cubs already had a manager in Rick Renteria. But they just couldn't resist the lure of Maddon's sudden availability.
Looking for a turnaround after five consecutive losing seasons, the Cubs announced Friday that they had hired Maddon to replace Renteria after just one year on the job. The move pairs the respected Maddon with a promising roster and a franchise with far more resources than he ever enjoyed with the small-market Rays.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) San Francisco became the Valley of the Giants for the third time in five years Friday as tens of thousands of people lined the streets for a confetti and rain-soaked parade honoring the city's World Series champions.
Under gray skies where a steady drizzle mixed with clouds of orange, black and white confetti shot from sidewalk cannons, players waved, snapped photos and mugged for the roaring crowds from the top of double-decker buses, a change from the classic convertibles and cable cars on wheels that had transported them along their now-familiar parade route in 2012 and 2010.
MILWAUKEE (AP) The Brewers exercised right-hander Yovani Gallardo's $13 million option for next year and their half of third baseman Aramis Ramirez's $14 million option.
Milwaukee also announced Friday it had voided Rickie Weeks' $11.5 million salary for 2015, making the second baseman eligible for free agency. The Brewers had the right to void the salary because Weeks did not have 1,200 plate appearances in 2013-14 combined, with at least 600 this year.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Hall of Famer Willie McCovey took a break from his hospital-based rehab to attend the San Francisco Giants' World Series victory parade Friday from behind the scenes, thanking all the fans and well-wishers for the support and love through his recent health ordeal.
DENVER (AP) Closer LaTroy Hawkins' $2.25 million option for 2015 has been exercised by the Colorado Rockies.
The 41-year-old right-hander, who will be entering his 21st major league season, was 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA and 23 saves in 26 chances for the Rockies this season. His saves total was his highest since 2004 with the Chicago Cubs.
TORONTO (AP) The Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league contract with left-hander Jeff Francis and claimed outfielder Andy Dirks off waivers from the Detroit Tigers.
Francis, a 33-year-old from North Delta, British Columbia, was 1-2 with a 5.85 ERA this year in one start and 11 relief appearances for Cincinnati, Oakland and the New York Yankees. The 10-year big league veteran will report to major league spring training.