Jays sell Weber's contract to Korean team

* RHP Thad Weber, who pitched well at triple-A Buffalo (8-5, 2.61) had his contract sold to the NC Dinos of the Korean League. ....   

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By Bob Elliott

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.--Baseball hopes to eliminate jarring collisions at home plate, hopefully as soon as next season. Runners won't be allowed to hit a catcher above the waist and catchers won't be allowed to block the plate. Whether the plate was blocked or the runner targeted the catcher can be reviewed by umpires. "This is in response to issues that have arisen," New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, said on Wednesday at the winter meetings. "One is the occurrence of injuries from incidents at the plate and how they affect both players, plus the concern about concussions that exists not only in (baseball, but) throughout pro and amateur sports. It's an issue we had to address." Wording of the rule change will be presented to owners for approval at a Jan. 16 meeting in Paradise Valley, Ariz. The players' union has to give approval for the changes to be effective for 2014. SIGNINGS The New York Mets reached agreement on a two-year, $20-million deal with free-agent right-hander Bartolo Colon. Colon, 40, who does not look a day over 38, was 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA for the Oakland A's ... Outfielder Corey Hart agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Mariners. Hart, 31, missed all of this season recovering from a knee injury. He spent his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, batting .276 with 154 home runs in nine seasons ...The Pirates gave right-hander Charlie Morton a three-year, $21 million contract extension. He was 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts. DEALS The Seattle Mariners acquired Logan Morrison, whom the Jays had inquired about earlier this week, in a trade with the Miami Marlins for reliever Carter Capps. Morrison batted .242 with six homers and 36 RBI last season ... Oakland sent lefty Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals for minor league outfielder Billy Burns. Blevins was 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 67 games. Burns, 24, hit .315 with 37 RBI and 74 steals this year for class-A Potomac and double-A Harrisburg. MOVES Jays right-hander Thad Weber had his contract sold to the NC Dinos of the Korean League. Weber was 8-5, with a 2.61 ERA at triple-A Buffalo. He walked 21 and struck out 88 in 100 innings ... As expected, Tim Leiper, Team Canada third base coach and triple-A Ottawa manager in 2002 and 2004, was named the Jays' new first base coach ... Former Washington Nationals pitching coach Randy St. Claire takes over as the pitching coach at double-A New Hampshire ... Cambridge's Rob Ducey will serve as hitting coach for the rookie-class Arizona Diamondbacks. Until he joins the short-season Pioneer League in June, Ducey will work with hitters at extended spring training. WINNERS Texas Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel won the Ford C. Frick award for excellence in broadcasting. He will be honoured July 26, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y., as part of Hall of Fame weekend. This was Nadel's fourth straight year as a finalist. He beat former Montreal Expos announcer Jacques Doucet. Next year will be Nadel's 20th as lead voice on radio and 36th year broadcasting the Rangers ... Tim Hevly of the Seattle Mariners has won the Robert O. Fishel award for public relations excellence, given annually. RULE V  The annual Rule V draft takes place Thursday. With Weber gone, the Jays are at 39 players and can either draft a player or trade their pick to someone else ...The Jays could lose lefty reliever Tyler Ybarra, who was 2-3 with a 1.95 ERA at class-A Dunedin. He walked 33 and struck out 65 in 55. innings. YER OUT! YOU TOO!      Adam Dowdy now works at the University of Phoenix, where more than 400 baseball players take online courses. However, there was a time when Dowdy was on the field. Umping the plate at Yankee Stadium, he ejected both Yankees manager Joe Torre and Jays counterpart John Gibbons on April 30, 2006. Both managers had complained about his strike zone as the triple-A ump was filling in for Mike DiMuro. He ejected Torre in the middle of the fifth after Mike Mussina struck out Shea Hillenbrand with the bases loaded. As Gustavo Chacin was warming up for the bottom half, Torre caught Dowdy's attention and held up three fingers. "He asked me what it meant," Torre said. "I told him it meant he missed three pitches. He threw me out after that." Gibbons was tossed in the bottom of the fifth after three consecutive walks by Chacin forced in a run, his only three walks of the game.