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Percentage of foreign MLB players drops slightly

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POSTED April 1, 2014 11:24 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — The percentage of Major League Baseball players born outside the United States declined slightly for the second straight season.

The commissioner’s office said Tuesday that 223 players among the 853 on opening-day rosters and inactive lists were born outside the 50 states. At 26.1 percent, the share is down from 28.2 percent last year and 28.4 percent in 2012.

Players come from 16 countries and territories, the most since 2008.

The Dominican Republic has topped the list each year since MLB began tracking the numbers in 2005. But its 82 players are down from a high of 99 in 2007.

Venezuela was next with 59, followed by Cuba, which set a high with 19 — four more than its previous mark set last year.

Puerto Rico had 11, followed by Canada (10), Japan and Mexico (nine), Curacao (five), Colombia and Panama (four), Nicaragua (three) and Australia and South Korea (two).

Boston’s Xander Bogaerts became the first player from Aruba on an opening-day roster since St. Louis’ Sidney Ponson in 2007. Cleveland’s Yan Gomes is the first Brazilian on an opening-day roster.

Texas has the most players born outside the 50 states with 15, trailed by San Francisco (13), Seattle (11) and the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee (10 each).

Figures include active rosters, 101 players on the disabled list and two on the restricted list.

The percentage of foreign-born minor leaguers was 47.8, up from 47.3 last year.

Cabrera can earn $2 million for MVP in new deal

DETROIT (AP) — If Miguel Cabrera keeps winning MVP awards into the twilight of his career, his massive new contract will become even more lucrative.

In addition to $248 million in guaranteed salary from 2016-25, Cabrera can earn up to $4 million annually in award bonuses. That includes $2 million for each MVP he wins and $1 million for each Triple Crown. For 2014-15, his bonuses remain the same as they were in his previous deal.

Cabrera already was due $44 million over those two years, salaries incorporated into his record $292 million, 10-year contract. The agreement includes $30 million options for 2024 and 2025 that become guaranteed if Cabrera is among the top 10 in MVP voting the previous season.

Russell Wilson to throw out 1st pitch for Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson is set for another ceremonial showing with the Texas Rangers.

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback will throw out the first pitch Wednesday night before the finale of a three-game series between the Rangers and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Texas selected Wilson from Colorado in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 12, a little less than two months before the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl.

Wilson spent a day in uniform with the Rangers at spring training in Surprise, Ariz., but didn’t appear in a game against Cleveland on March 3.

An infielder, Wilson hit .229 in two seasons in the low minor leagues in Colorado’s system in 2010-11.

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