Rather than ban home plate collisions outright, Major League Baseball and its players adopted a rule limiting them this season.

In what both sides said was a one-year experiment, the rule allows collisions if the catcher has the ball and is blocking the runner's direct path to home plate, and if the catcher goes into the basepath to field a throw to the plate. "It's not a radical departure from what it had been," Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

The new rule, 7.13, states "a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate)." A runner violating the rule shall be declared out, even if the fielder drops the ball.

"It's good, I think it takes away the malicious intent behind the play at the plate," Texas Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia said. "Obviously the runner doesn't always have to slide, and the catcher still has the ability to block the plate once he has the ball in hand."

  • Outfielder Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a contract that adds $52 million in guaranteed money from 2015-18.

  • The Rangers added a year to manager Ron Washington's contract through the 2015 season.

  • Union head Tony Clark says the players' association has no issues going forward with suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and the players' association in January in an effort to overturn a season-long suspension, then dropped the lawsuit this month.

  • Outfielder Nelson Cruz and the Baltimore Orioles completed an $8 million, one-year contract.

    NHL

    Milan Hejduk, 38, announced his retirement after a stellar 14-year NHL career with the Quebec/Colorado franchise that included the 2001 Stanley Cup. Hejduk hadn't played this season after being limited by injuries to a career-low 29 games during the league's truncated season a year ago.

  • A person familiar with discussions told The Associated Press that Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray continues to pursue offers for star goalie Ryan Miller with the intention of trading him by next week.

    Soccer

    American forward Alex Morgan will miss the Algarve Cup next month because of an ankle injury that has sidelined the former Cal star since the start of the year. Among 24 players selected for the team Monday by coach Tom Sermanni were Stanford products Kelley O'Hara and Christen Press.

  • Brian McBride and Kristine Lilly have been elected to the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame along with former men's national team coach Bob Bradley.

    Miscellany

    Floyd Mayweather Jr., 37, selected Marcos Maidana as his May 3 opponent. Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) will defend his World Boxing Council welterweight title in Las Vegas. Maidana, 30, is 35-3 with 31 knockouts.

  • Utah quarterback Travis Wilson announced on his Instagram account that he will return for the 2014 season. His sophomore season was cut short after the team discovered a pre-existing medical condition during a concussion diagnosis in mid-November.

  • Former Texas and NFL kicker and punter Russell Erxleben, 57, was sentenced in Austin, Texas, to more than seven years in federal prison for running an illegal investment scam that netted $2 million.

    Wire services contributed to this report.