Closer Joe Nathan and the Twins agreed to a $47 million, four-year contract yesterday, a deal that includes a 2012 club option on the two-time All-Star.
Nathan was in the final year of a contract that called for a $6 million salary in 2008. Nathan gets $11.25 million in each of the next four seasons, and the Twins have a $12.5 million option for 2012 with a $2 million buyout.
The 33-year-old has a 1.94 ERA and 160 saves in four seasons since he was acquired from San Francisco.
Jays' Rolen, Ryan out
Third baseman Scott Rolen
and closer B.J. Ryan
will miss the start of the Blue Jays' season because of injuries.
Rolen and Ryan will stay behind in Florida when the Jays break camp this week.
Rolen had surgery on his broken finger yesterday and will be out two weeks or more. Ryan, still recovering from elbow surgery, isn't expected back until at least mid-April.
Acquired from St. Louis in the offseason, Rolen got hurt during a fielding drill Sunday when he was taking grounders on a back field. He was hit in the hand by a ball, tearing the nail off his right middle finger and breaking the bone at the end of the finger.
Phillies' Lidge on DL
Phillies closer Brad Lidge
will start the regular season on the 15-day disabled list as he continues a rehab program following arthroscopic knee surgery last month. Lidge has resumed pitching in minor league games . . . Andy Pettitte
made 47 throws on level ground in Tampa, two days after the Yankees lefthander was scratched from a scheduled start because of lower back spasms. "I feel better," Pettitte said. He could throw off a mound tomorrow or Thursday . . . Braves righthander John Smoltz
decided not to test his sore right shoulder, postponing to today a throwing session that could determine whether he opens the season on the DL.
Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr.
is day-to-day after injuring his right ankle in a game against the Padres in Tempe, Ariz. X-rays were negative . . . As expected, the Cubs made Kerry Wood
their closer, and righthander Jason Marquis
got the nod as the fifth starter . . . Righthander John Patterson
agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers, four days after he was released by the Nationals . . . Lefthander Cliff Lee
won the job as the Indians' fifth starter, beating out lefties Jeremy Sowers
and Aaron Laffey
, both of whom were optioned to Triple A Buffalo . . . Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen
ruptured his left Achilles' tendon in a minor league game and could miss the season.
The Rays reassigned third baseman Evan Longoria
, the team's top prospect who was competing for a starting job, to Triple A Durham after he went 0 for 3 in a 13-4 win over the Pirates in St. Petersburg, Fla. Longoria hit .262 this spring with three home runs and 10 RBIs. Shortstop prospect Reid Brignac
also was sent to Durham . . . Cameron Maybin
will start the season in the minors for the Marlins. One of baseball's top prospects and a centerpiece of the trade that sent Dontrelle Willis
and Miguel Cabrera
to Detroit in December, the 20-year-old Maybin was optioned to Double A Carolina after going 0 for 5 during Florida's 10-10 tie with the Astros in 10 innings at Jupiter, Fla. Maybin went hitless in his final 18 at-bats, finishing the spring with a .190 average, 3 homers, and 8 RBIs . . . Lawyers for players and owners hope to reach an agreement on changes in their drug agreement before most teams start the regular season, culminating talks that began following recommendations in the Mitchell Report.
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