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Braves' Flowers to return, Dickey won't

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- The Atlanta Braves exercised their 2018 contract option on catcher Tyler Flowers and declined the option on right-hander R.A. Dickey, the team announced Monday.

The 2018 campaign will mark Flowers' third with the Braves and his 10th in the majors. He batted a career-best .281 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs in 99 games this season.

In his two seasons since joining Atlanta as a free agent, the 31-year-old Flowers is hitting .276 with 20 homers and 90 RBIs over 182 games.

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Mets introduce Callaway as manager

(TSX / STATS) -- Mickey Callaway so impressed the New York Mets in just one interview that team executives knew they had their new manager and ended their search right there.

The former Cleveland Indians pitching coach was introduced as the Mets' new manager Monday in a news conference at Citi Field.

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Davis to head World Series umpiring crew

(TSX / STATS) -- Umpire Gerry Davis will work the World Series for the sixth time, including his third time as crew chief, Major League Baseball announced Monday.

The umpires assigned to the 2017 Fall Classic are headed by Davis, whose 136 career postseason games are the most of any umpire in MLB history. His six World Series assignments are now tied with Joe West for the most among the active umpires.

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Red Sox hire Astros' Cora as manager

(TSX / STATS) -- The Boston Red Sox hired Alex Cora as their new manager on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Cora is a busy man as he finishes up his role as bench coach of the Houston Astros. He agreed to a three-year contract plus a club option for 2021, according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

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Kershaw, Verlander aim for first title

(TSX / STATS) -- All eyes will be on the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the Houston Astros' Justin Verlander as the World Series unfolds this week.

That is not unusual. They stand among the best pitchers of a generation. Every start is a chance to see an artist at work. And in Games 1 and 2 in Los Angeles they will be attempting to craft masterpieces under the biggest of spotlights.

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Giants reassign pitching coach Righetti

(TSX / STATS) -- The San Francisco Giants removed Dave Righetti as pitching coach and reassigned him a front office role with the team, the team announced Saturday.

Righetti will move into his new role as special assistant to Giants general manager Bobby Evans.

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Astros' rotation peaking at right time

(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- Beyond the obvious impact of adding an accomplished pitcher with the credentials of Justin Verlander to their rotation, part of the Astros' thinking following his waiver trade deadline acquisition was that Verlander would deepen an already effective rotation, one featuring a pair of All-Stars in ace left-hander Dallas Keuchel and right-hander Lance McCullers.

It took seven weeks but the Astros finally caught a glimpse of what they have when Verlander, Keuchel and McCullers are all healthy and available.

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Baker won't return as Nationals manager

(TSX / STATS) -- WASHINGTON --The Washington Nationals have won four National League East division titles since 2012 under three different managers.

But the Nationals are still looking for a postseason series win and some stability in the dugout, as the club announced Friday that manager Dusty Baker will not return in 2018 after his two-year contract expired.

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Nats 2B Murphy undergoes knee surgery

(TSX / STATS) -- Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent surgery to repair damage to the articular cartilage in his right knee, the team announced Friday.

Murphy, 32, will begin the rehab process immediately and will progress throughout the offseason. He never revealed he was dealing with any injury.

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