MLB notebook: Francona gives Dice-K chance in Cleveland

2013-02-11T00:00:00Z MLB notebook: Francona gives Dice-K chance in ClevelandThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 11, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CLEVELAND - With at least one spot open in his rotation, new Indians manager and former UA Wildcat Terry Francona will give a pitcher he knows well a shot to win a starting job.

Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka has agreed to a minor league contract with Cleveland. Dice-K, who went 33-15 with a 3.72 ERA in 61 starts for Francona's Boston Red Sox in 2007-08, must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized. Dice-K was limited to 18 starts and 83 innings the last two seasons after right elbow surgery in 2011.

Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers are the only pitchers with guaranteed spots in Cleveland's rotation. Zach McAllister comes to camp in Goodyear favored to win the No. 4 spot, leaving Matsuzaka in a group with Scott Kazmir, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber and David Huff fighting it out this spring.

On Saturday, Clevleand signed Jason Giambi, 42, to a minor league deal. Giambi, who was with Colorado, could fill a hole at designated hitter for Francona.

Hairston officially a Cub

MESA - Outfielder Scott Hairston, a former Canyon del Oro High School star, finalized a two-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The deal was agreed to last month pending a physical and was completed Sunday. Hairston, 32, hit .263 with a career-high 20 homers, 57 RBIs and 25 doubles last year in his second season with the New York Mets.

He also has played for Arizona (2004-07), San Diego (2007-09, 2010) and Oakland (2009). Hairston has a .247 career average with 95 homers and 279 RBIs.

D-backs sign Barajas

PHOENIX - Catcher Rod Barajas returned to the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he started his big league career from 1999-2003.

The team said Sunday the 37-year-old agreed to a minor league contract. He will go to spring training and compete with Wil Nieves for a backup job behind Miguel Montero. Barajas hit .206 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs for Pittsburgh last year but threw out just four of 97 runners attempting to steal.

Inside pitch

• Right-hander Armando Galarraga, 31, who lost a perfect game in June 2010 on an umpire's call, agreed to a minor league deal with Cincinnati and will try to win a job at spring training.

• All-Star closer Jim Johnson will make $6.5 million and pitcher Jason Hammel will earn $6.75 million under their one-year contracts with Baltimore.

• Lefty Francisco Liriano is guaranteed $1 million under his contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates and can earn up to $13.75 million plus award bonuses over two years if he pitches regularly and an injury to his non-throwing arm doesn't land him on the disabled list.

• Former World Series MVP David Freese will earn $3.15 million under his one-year contract with St. Louis, nearly six times the $518,000 he made last year.

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