Major League Baseball vaulted into the 21st century of technology on Thursday, approving a huge expansion of instant replay in hopes of eliminating blown calls that riled players, managers and fans.
Acknowledging the human element had been overtaken in an era when everyone except the umps could see several views over and over in slow-motion, owners and players and umpires OK’d the new system.
Now each manager will be allowed to challenge at least one call per game. If he’s right, he gets another challenge. After the seventh inning, a crew chief can request a review on his own if the manager has used his challenges.
The so-called “neighborhood play” at second base on double plays cannot be challenged. Many had safety concerns for middle infielders being wiped out by hard-charging runners if the phantom force was subject to review.
Ball-and-strike calls can’t be contested. Neither can check-swings and foul tips. Nor can obstruction and interference rulings — those are up to the umpires’ judgment.
All reviews will be done by current MLB umpires at a replay center in MLB.com’s New York office.
Indians sign reliever
The Indians avoided salary arbitration with reliever Marc Rzepczynski by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1,375,000. The left-hander posted a 0.89 ERA in 27 games last season for the Indians.
Tigers sign Scherzer
American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer agreed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers for $15,525,000, setting himself up for an even bigger payday when he becomes eligible for free agency after the season.
Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts for the Tigers in 2013.
Outfielder Brett Gardner and pitchers Ivan Nova, David Robertson and Shawn Kelley agreed to one-year contracts with the New York Yankees. … The Oakland Athletics agreed to one-year contracts with four players in arbitration: infielders Jed Lowrie and Brandon Moss, outfielder Craig Gentry and reliever Luke Gregerson. … The Royals agreed to one-year deals with first baseman Eric Hosmer, right-hander Luke Hochevar and utility man Emilio Bonifacio. … The Minnesota Twins agreed to one-year contracts with third baseman Trevor Plouffe and left-handed reliever Brian Duensing. … The Houston Astros agreed to one-year contracts with All-Star catcher Jason Castro and utility player Jesus Guzman. … The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to one-year deals pitchers Jeremy Hellickson, Jake McGee and Cesar Ramos, outfielder Matt Joyce, catcher Jose Lobaton and infielder/outfielder Sean Rodriguez. … The Texas Rangers agreed to one-year contracts with Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando, avoiding salary arbitration with the two right-handed pitchers. … The Chicago White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with infielder Gordon Beckham and outfielder Alejandro De Aza and avoided arbitration with both players. … The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to one-year contracts and avoided salary arbitration with outfielder Colby Rasmus, right-hander Esmil Rogers and left-hander Brett Cecil. … The Atlanta Braves agreed to one-year contracts with pitchers Kris Medlen and Mike Minor, infielder Chris Johnson and outfielder Jordan Schafer. … The St. Louis Cardinals agreed to one-year contracts with outfielders Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos. … The Colorado Rockies agreed to one-year deals with right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio and outfielder Drew Stubbs. … The San Francisco Giants agreed to one-year deals with outfielder Gregor Blanco, right-hander Yusmeiro Petit and infielder Tony Abreu.… The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to terms with third baseman Pedro Alvarez, second baseman Neil Walker, reliever Mark Melancon, first baseman Gaby Sanchez, outfielder Travis Snider and right-handed reliever Vin Mazzaro. … The New York Mets signed closer Bobby Parnell and left fielder Eric Young Jr. … The Washington Nationals signed right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann, shortstop Ian Desmond, reliever Drew Storen, catcher Wilson Ramos, and lefties Ross Detwiler and Jerry Blevins.