|New Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder connects for one of his two hits yesterday. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)|
Maybin agrees to 5-year deal
Outfielder Cameron Maybin and the Padres have agreed to a $25 million, five-year contract.
The 24-year-old Maybin was acquired in November 2010 from the Marlins for two relief pitchers. He was selected the team’s most valuable player in 2011 after he hit .264 with nine homers and 40 RBIs and stole 40 bases in a career-high 137 games.
The deal, announced yesterday at the team’s camp in Peoria, Ariz., includes a team option for 2017. Maybin said it doesn’t include a no-trade clause.
“It means a lot that these guys want me to be the face of the franchise, which I’m ready to be,’’ Maybin said. “I didn’t have the year I wanted to [last year]. I think there’s a lot more in there and a lot to come.’’
Maybin’s deal marks the first time the Padres have signed one of their own players to a long-term contract since December 2007, when they locked up Jake Peavy.
Axford’s pact gets renewed
The Brewers renewed the contract of closer John Axford, who set a team record with 46 saves last season and converted his last 43 chances in a row. He was 2-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 74 appearances to help the Brewers win the NL Central. The 29-year-old struck out 86 in 73 2/3 innings . . . The Athletics and Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes finalized their $36 million, four-year deal. The 26-year-old Cespedes will be placed on the 40-man roster after the A’s moved third baseman Scott Sizemore to the 60-day disabled list with a tear in his left knee that will sideline him for the season. Cespedes starred for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, hitting .458 with two home runs and five RBIs in six games.
Fans get a look at Marlins park
Marlins president David Samson walked among the fans on the concourse at the team’s new ballpark in Miami, stopping every few steps to pose for a photo or accept a handshake. “The ballpark is great,’’ one man told him. “But you’d better not stink.’’ The mood was as sunny as the weather at the team’s annual Fanfest. Thousands turned out to take a peek at the ballpark and join the growing bandwagon for a franchise transformed by a recent spending binge. Samson wore a satisfied smile as he watched a swirl of activity. “It’s emotional,’’ he said. “This is why we did it. It’s why we sat through all those commission meetings.’’
Mets’ Wright is a scratch
Mets third baseman David Wright was scratched from an intrasquad game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., because of soreness around his ribcage, and outfielder Scott Hairston injured his left side in the game and could be out for a week or more. Hairston reinjured his left oblique swinging in the first inning. “It’s unfortunate, but we have a lot of time left before the regular season so I’ll spend that time getting right,’’ said Hairston.
Perfect debut for Papelbon
Ex-Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect inning in his Phillies debut in an exhibition in Clearwater, Fla., before the Yankees rallied for an 8-5 victory. Papelbon, who pitched a 1-2-3 fifth, signed a four-year, $50 million free agent contract in the offseason . . . At Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Prince Fielder went 2 for 2 and eight Tigers combined to throw a one-hitter, leading Detroit to a 2-0 victory over the Braves. Fielder, Detroit’s big free agent signing this winter, also walked . . . Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Denard Span all got hits in their spring debuts and the Twins beat the Rays, 7-3, in Fort Myers, Fla. The Twins’ three standouts are each returning from injury-plagued seasons in which they missed a combined 265 games. Span had two hits while Morneau and Mauer drove in runs.
Young Harper enters hitting
Bryce Harper had a single in his first spring start for the Nationals, but Chris Johnson blasted a two-run homer that led the Astros to a 3-1 victory in Kissimmee, Fla. Harper, the 19-year-old outfielder who was drafted first overall in 2010, went 1 for 3 with a hit off Astros starter Livan Hernandez . . . Brett Lawrie smacked a pair of two-run doubles as the Blue Jays beat the Pirates, 7-1, in Dunedin, Fla. . . . Jonny Gomes and Jemile Weeks each hit two-run homers as the Athletics beat the Mariners, 9-2, in Peoria, Ariz. The Mariners and Athletics start the major league season March 28 with a two-game series in Tokyo . . . Chris Young and Ryan Roberts homered and a Diamondbacks split-squad beat Tim Lincecum and the Giants, 9-6, in both teams’ Cactus League opener in Scottsdale, Ariz.