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MLB may cut pensions

Major League Baseball owners are moving to eliminate the pension plans of all personnel not wearing major-league uniforms, espn.com reported.

Owners of the sport, which boasts $8 billion in annual revenue, plan to vote on the proposal at their meetings May 8-9 in New York. Most favor the abolition of the pension plan, according to the website.

The decision would affect high-paid front-office executives, but also minor-league personnel who make less than $40,000 a year.

"My worry is not about myself, but for my wife and child should something bad happen to me," Tigers scout Mike Russell told espn.com Tuesday. "I am glad the club I work for does not support this."

According to the website, the topic was proposed last year but never came to a vote and was soundly criticized by White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. A solution might involve grandfathering those who currently are in the pension program but doing away with it for new hires, espn.com reported.

Reinsdorf declined to comment Tuesday.

MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred told the website that candid discussions on the topic have gone on for "several years," but he disputed that pensions will go away entirely.

"No one is suggesting that pension plans are going to be eliminated," he said. "What the conversation has been about is allowing individual clubs more flexibility as to what exactly their pension plan is going to look like. Nobody is suggesting there is going to be no plan … for anybody."

ANGELS: Albert Pujols played first base for the first time this spring and reported no issues with his surgically repaired right knee. … Reliever Ryan Madson, whose comeback from reconstructive elbow surgery was delayed for six weeks because of soreness, has been shut down since Thursday.

A'S: Right-handed reliever and former Ray Grant Balfour pitched an inning against minor-leaguers Monday in his first game action since having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Feb. 14. He's scheduled to make his official spring debut Thursday.

CARDINALS: Shortstop Rafael Furcal returned to camp in Jupiter for the first time since having ligament replacement surgery last week, saying the operation went well and he is ready for rehab. … Infielder Ronny Cedeno was released.

CUBS: Third baseman Ian Stewart will begin the season on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps. Stewart re-injured the quad during a minor-league game last week.

RANGERS: Third base prospect Mike Olt was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock, and right-handed reliever Yoshinori Tateyama was reassigned to minor-league camp.

REDS: Outfielder Billy Hamilton, who had a professional record 155 stolen bases in the minors last season, was reassigned to minor-league camp.

ROCKIES: Manager Walt Weiss named right-hander Jhoulys Chacin his opening day starter.

TIGERS: Leftfielder Andy Dirks bruised his right knee running into a wall while chasing a ball hit by the Rays' Jack Cust and is day to day. … Top third base prospect Nick Castellanos was reassigned to Triple-A Toledo.

MLB may cut pensions 03/19/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:18am]

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