Yu Darvish will miss his scheduled start in Monday’s season opener, leaving the already injury-riddled Texas Rangers without their ace.
Darvish said through his interpreter Tuesday that he knew he wasn’t going to be ready to pitch in the opener at home against Philadelphia because of neck stiffness from sleeping wrong. He is scheduled to be examined by a spine and back specialist.
In other news, the Rangers sent former All-Star closer Neftali Feliz to the minor leagues. Feliz, the closer for the Rangers when they went to their only World Series in 2010 and 2011, was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.
Texas also added right-hander Daniel McCutchen from its minor-league camp as a nonroster invitee, and signed catcher Chris Snyder to a minor-league contract with an invitation to the major league camp. Left-handers Rafael Perez and Aaron Poreda were assigned to Round Rock.
The Rangers made Feliz a starter in 2012. He was 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in eight games before Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.
A reliever again, Feliz was given a chance to compete for the closer role this spring, but Joakim Soria won that job.
Dodgers bypass Yankees
Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers have knocked Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees off baseball’s payroll perch, part of an offseason spending spree that has the average salary approaching $4 million for the first time.
The Dodgers are ending the Yankees’ 15-year streak as baseball’s biggest spenders and as of Tuesday had a projected payroll of $235 million, according to study of all major-league contracts by the Associated Press.
New York, which last failed to top the payroll rankings in 1998, was a distant second at $204 million. After that, it was another huge gap to Philadelphia at $180 million, followed by Boston at $163 million and Detroit at $162 million.
Houston is last at $45 million, up from $27 million at the start of last year, and Miami at $48 million remains 29th.
Some large-market teams are among the smaller spenders, with the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs projected at $89 million, ranked 22nd and 23rd.
Pirates acquire pitcher
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired pitcher Vance Worley from the Minnesota Twins for cash.
The right-hander was acquired in a trade that sent outfielder Ben Revere to the Philadelphia Phillies before last season and he was the starter on Opening Day for the Twins. But he went 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts for the Twins and spent most of last season at Triple-A-Rochester.
He came to spring training a long shot to make the Twins’ revamped rotation, but posted a 13.50 ERA in 10⅔ innings before being placed on waivers last week. Worley cleared waivers and was outrighted to Rochester on Friday.
Around the league
The Atlanta Braves released pitcher Freddy Garcia, who was contending for a spot in the rotation, and agreed to a $1 million, one-year deal with right-hander Aaron Harang. ... The Kansas City Royals plucked left-handed pitcher Patrick Schuster off waivers from the San Diego Padres and sent catcher Adam Moore to the Padres for cash considerations. ... New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that pitcher Michael Pineda will be the team’s fifth starter. ... Charges have been dismissed against Arizona Diamondbacks Spanish-language announcer Miguel Perez Quintana, who was charged July 15 in Phoenix with threatening his wife with a knife. ... The New York Mets said 1988 Cy Young winner Frank Viola, 53, the pitching coach for Triple-A Las Vegas, will undergo heart surgery next week.