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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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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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Mets hire Indians' Callaway as manager

(TSX / STATS) -- Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway will be named the new manager of the New York Mets, multiple media outlets reported Sunday.

Callaway was given a three-year contract and will replace Terry Collins, who stepped down as manager to become a member of the team's front office. New York finished 70-92 this season.

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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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Astros blank Yankees, reach World Series

(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- Leave it to Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, the architect of this incredible franchise resurgence, to add the necessary perspective to the proceedings, to rattle off the key contributors on Saturday night and outline the roles they played in the celebration taking place.

From Jose Altuve and Lance McCullers to Evan Gattis, the pieces were added one by one until the Houston Astros, once laughingstocks throughout the majors following their relocation from the National League, claimed their first American League pennant with a 4-0 win over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park.

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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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