GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett said he will be ready for the start of the season after having a rib removed last July in a surgery to alleviate a nerve condition that was affecting his right arm. The right-hander is expected to battle newly acquired Paul Maholm (mah-HAH'-luhm) for the fifth spot in the Dodgers' starting rotation this spring.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard has avoided arbitration by accepting a one-year contract. Clippard asked for a raise to $6.35 million, while the team offered $4.45 million. He was 6-3 with a 2.41 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 71 innings in 2013.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — General manager Terry Ryan of the Minnesota Twins has been diagnosed with cancer. He will miss the start of spring training, focusing on treatment and recovery. In a statement the club said a lump was found in his neck by the team physician during a routine annual physical. Ryan says further tests indicated the cancer appeared to be confined to his neck and had not spread. He goes on to say he has been assured his condition is treatable.

HOUSTON (AP) — Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart has apologized after he reportedly used a gay slur to describe pop star Justin Bieber when he tweeted a message to a former teammate.

Cosart deleted the offensive tweet from his account and apologized for "a very poor choice of words." He also says in a tweet that the earlier post does not reflect who he is as a person.