Baseball Notebook

Durbin, Indians near deal

Reliever reporting to camp for physical

Associated Press / February 27, 2011

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The Indians may have filled one of their bullpen openings.

The club is close to signing free agent reliever Chad Durbin to a one-year contract. Durbin will report to the team’s training camp in Goodyear, Ariz., for a physical today. reported that Durbin has agreed to a $800,000 deal and can make another $1 million in incentives.

The Indians were one of several teams, including the Red Sox, who were interested in the 33-year-old righthander, who spent the past three seasons with the Phillies. He went 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA in 64 games as a key contributor last season for the National League East champions.

Durbin, an ex-starter, pitched for the Indians in 2003 and 2004.

Torre hired As expected, commissioner Bud Selig hired Joe Torre as Major League Baseball’s executive vice president for baseball operations.

Selig made the long-anticipated announcement before the dedication of the new spring facility for the Diamondbacks and Rockies in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In what Selig called “a critical appointment,’’ the 70-year-old Torre will oversee major league operations, on-field discipline, umpiring, and other areas. He also said Torre would be one of baseball’s representatives to general managers and field managers.

Torre won four World Series titles with the Yankees during a 29-year career as a manager. He retired after last season following three years with the Dodgers.

He played parts of 18 seasons in the majors, with nine All-Star appearances. He was the National League’s MVP in 1971, when he led the league with a .363 average for the Cardinals.

Cabrera works out Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera may play his first spring game tomorrow against the Yankees following his Feb. 16 arrest on a charge of drunken driving. Manager Jim Leyland said Cabrera had an “excellent’’ workout yesterday under first base coach Tom Brookens’s guidance at spring camp in Lakeland, Fla., but, “I don’t want to get second-guessed [about playing Cabrera too soon].’’ . . . Righthander Edinson Volquez will miss the Reds’ spring training opener because of visa problems. Volquez was scheduled to start today against the Indians. Reds manager Dusty Baker already has picked Volquez as his Opening Day starter . . . Shortstop Elvis Andrus was among six players who agreed to terms on 2011 contracts with the Rangers . . . The Twins agreed to terms with pitcher Brian Duensing and 20 other players . . . Royals righthander Henry Barrera received good news after an MRI of his aching elbow detected no structural damage. Barrera threw only three pitches in an intrasquad game Friday before walking off the mound with pain.

Ramirez debuts Evan Longoria and Sean Rodriguez homered to lead the Rays to a 9-5 exhibition victory over the Pirates at Port Charlotte, Fla. Manny Ramirez was 1 for 2 with a single in his debut for the Rays. Ramirez, who signed a $2 million, one-year contract with the American League East champions, was greeted by a nice round of applause from a crowd of 5,689. He singled off righthander Charlie Morton in the second inning and left the game after he flied to right field in the fourth. “It feels good. Before the game I was kind of nervous,’’ said Ramirez, who will get some playing time in left field tomorrow when the Rays will host Pittsburgh again. “I’m excited. Every year, you’ve got something to prove.’’ . . . Right fielder Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run triple and the Giants used back-to-back four-run innings to spoil the spring managerial debut of Don Mattingly and beat a Dodgers split squad, 8-3, in Glendale, Ariz. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who dropped 38 pounds over the winter, hit the Giants’ first homer of the spring, a two-run shot to right in the fourth . . . Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who died last July at the age of 80, was honored before New York’s spring home opener in Tampa.

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