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Phillies' Urbina arrested

Incident at home to lead to charges

Relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina, a free agent who was with the Philadelphia Phillies last season, was arrested and held yesterday pending a formal charge of attempted murder.

Last month, Urbina and a group of men allegedly attacked five workers with machetes and poured gasoline on them in an attempt to set them on fire. All five were injured, some of them with cuts and one with burns on the back and right arm, police said.

Urbina, who was detained late Monday, has insisted he had nothing to do with the violence at his family's ranch Oct. 16.

''Everything will be cleared up soon and people will know the truth," Urbina said from his cell at a police station. ''Right now we aren't going to do anything to deny things that aren't true."

Authorities said Urbina, who played for the Red Sox in 2001-02, would be formally charged once he appears before a judge.

Urbina's lawyer, Jose Luis Tamayo, said the pitcher was sleeping at the time of the incident and was not involved. One victim, Argenis Farias, has accused Urbina of being among the attackers.

Urbina was traded from Detroit to Philadelphia in the middle of last season.

Based on comments by Phillies general manager Pat Gillick, Urbina's days in Philadelphia likely are over. ''He's got a little bit of baggage," Gillick said at the general managers' meeting in California. ''We don't need any distractions."

This was the second violent incident in a little more than a year for the Urbina family. Urbina's mother was kidnapped by drug traffickers in September 2004 and held for a $6 million ransom. She was rescued five months later.

Martinez cut loose

The Yankees let Tino Martinez go, declining their $3 million option on the first baseman. Martinez returned to New York this year and hit .241 in part-time duty with 17 home runs and 49 RBIs. He was a staple in the Yankees' lineup from 1996-01, helping the team to four World Series championships with his clutch hitting and reliable defense. Always a fan favorite at Yankee Stadium, he was brought back to provide insurance at first base for slugger Jason Giambi, who was coming off a 2004 season wrecked by illness and injury. But Giambi, now healthy, found his stroke as the summer wore on, pushing Martinez to the bench most games. ''At this stage, I'm trying to reduce payroll," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said at the GM meetings in Indian Wells, Calif. Cashman plans to meet tonight with Arn Tellem, the agent for Hideki Matsui. The outfielder's contract says he must be re-signed by Nov. 15 or he'll be released . . . Infielder Neifi Perez and the Cubs agreed to a $5 million, two-year contract. The 32-year-old Perez, who became a free agent Oct. 31, hit .274 with nine homers and 54 RBIs last season . . . Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., will be used with Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as a second-round site for the inaugural World Baseball Classic tournament, to be played from March 3-20. The semifinals and final will be at San Diego's Petco Park.

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