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hall of famer Carew recovering from transplant surgery

Hall of Famer and former Twins great Rod Carew had successful heart and kidney transplant surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, the team announced Friday.

The procedure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles lasted 13 hours, and Carew, 71, is resting in recovery, the team said.

"We are overwhelmed with emotions right now — joy, relief, excitement and especially gratitude for all the doctors and nurses who have been with us at every step in this journey, and to the donor who made this possible," Carew's wife, Rhonda, told American Heart Association News. "Rod knows he's been given another chance at life and we look forward to making the most of it."

Carew, who played for the Twins (1967-78) and Angels (1979-85), had a heart attack while playing golf Sept. 20, 2015, and he had a left ventricular assist device implanted in his heart, which was a temporary fix to keep his heart going. Carew said before the surgery that he hopes to be on the field with the Twins by spring training next year.

Carew won seven AL batting titles in his career, finishing with 3,053 career hits and a .328 lifetime batting average. He was a first-ballot selection to the Hall of Fame in 1991.

RAYS MOVES: The Rays hung on to C Justin O'Conner, who cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Durham. The highly touted but oft-injured prospect was taken off the roster this week to make room for new C Wilson Ramos. O'Conner, a 2010 first-round pick, missed most of 2016 due to a back strain and is recovering from two off-season back surgeries, making it uncertain if he will play in 2017. The team added to its catching depth and early season options in signing Michael McKenry to a minor-league deal. McKenry, 31, has played for the Rockies, Pirates and Cardinals. Also, the club unveiled a new program for kids 14 and under that includes free tickets to six games; see for details.

MORE BASEBALL: A record six teams are paying baseball's luxury tax this season, the Associated Press reported. The Dodgers ($31.8 million), Yankees ($27.4M), Red Sox ($4.5M), Tigers ($4M), Giants ($3.4M) and Cubs ($2.96M) will pay. The Dodgers had the highest payroll at $255M. The Rays at $67M were second lowest, ahead of only the Brewers at $65.5M. … RHP Junichi Tazawa finalized his $12 million, two-year contract with the Marlins. Also, RHP Brad Ziegler, who like Tazawa is a former Red Sox reliever, agreed to a $16 million, two-year deal with Miami, the Associated Press reported.


Dempsey gets invite

U.S. coach Bruce Arena said 11 MLS players will attend a team training camp that opens Jan. 11. Seattle forward Clint Dempsey, sidelined since Aug. 21 by an irregular heartbeat, is likely to attend in a limited capacity. It will be Arena's first camp since replacing Jurgen Klinsmann.


GOLF: Tiger Woods has agreed to be the lead course designer for a $30 million project on the South Side of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported.

BOXING: Howard Bingham, personal photographer and perhaps the closest friend of the late Muhammad Ali, died Thursday in Los Angeles at age 77. No cause of death was given but sportswriter Mohammed Mubarak said Bingham had been in failing health after two surgeries.

Times wires

Sports in Brief 12/16/16 [Last modified: Friday, December 16, 2016 10:59pm]
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