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March 30, 2012

Bobby Abreu-to-Indians trade falls apart
"Thursday night, it appeared a deal was coming together that would send Bobby Abreu to the Indians in a trade. Later that night, the deal began to sound less certain. Now, late Friday morning, the deal has fallen apart, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned. It's worth noting, Heyman says the deal fell apart "as constituted." So this doesn't mean Abreu won't eventually be traded to the Indians, though it's certainly possible the talks will be tabled for good, too. With Kendrys Morales coming around in terms of health and the Angels having a full outfield -- not to mention 2011 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up Mark Trumbo not having an everyday job -- there really isn't a chance for"
Lowrie day to day after MRI reveals no damage
"Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie was relieved to learn Friday the MRI performed on his sprained right thumb showed no ligament damage. Lowrie said he's day to day and hopes to be ready for Opening Day in a week. Lowrie sprained the thumb diving into second base on a pickoff attempt Wednesday and was taken for X-rays, which were negative. "I got about the best news I could have as far as the MRI is concerned," Lowrie said. "There is no ligament damage, and that's obviously great news. It's just a day-to-day thing until I can go.""
Yu Darvish slated to make Rangers debut on April 9th against Mariners
"Ron Washington on Thursday finally put to rest any mystery about when Yu Darvish mania will begin in Texas. Officially: It will be April 9 vs. Seattle. Unofficially: Wednesday in Frisco. In announcing his season-opening rotation, the Rangers manager said he would leave Darvish in the No. 4 spot in the rotation, rather than slide him in between lefties Derek Holland and Matt Harrison. Darvish will face Ichiro Suzuki in his debut, which is likely to become a hot ticket. He is also expected to make a short start Wednesday at Double-A Frisco in the Rangers' final exhibition of the spring."
Source: Red Sox still want Cubs to talk
"The never-ending Theo Epstein compensation talks still have not ended. Puzzled by the timing of the injury and yesterday's surgery on the right elbow of reliever Chris Carpenter, the main chip the Red Sox received in a deal with the Cubs that included three players and one executive, the Sox said yesterday they do not consider the talks officially over. The club is weighing its options about what to do next, said a Red Sox source. This raises the specter that the Red Sox possibly believe Carpenter was injured when he was traded to them on Feb. 21"
Cubs' Randy Wells sent down to Triple A
"Whether or not Randy Wells was given a fair shot to make the Cubs roster didn't really matter after the veteran starter was demoted to Triple-A Iowa Thursday morning at HoHoKam Stadium. After failing to live up to his 2009 promise the last two years, the new management deemed Wells expendable despite his $2.7 million salary. "Usually when this stuff happens, you've had a rough spring or you really haven't been pitching well," Wells said. "I've thrown the ball well in a variety of different roles. I'm not going to sit here and lie and be the guy who says I'm not disappointed. I am."
Carl Crawford takes time in return
"Carl Crawford rushed the rehabilitation of his surgically repaired left wrist once and suffered a setback. The Red Sox aren't about to let the left fielder do it again. The team is exercising caution with Crawford, who underwent arthroscopic surgery in January. Crawford appeared to be ahead of schedule early in camp, taking swings before it was expected. The ambitious pace backfired when he experienced inflammation in his wrist after bunting drills in early March. To prevent history from repeating, Crawford is on a detailed rehab schedule designed for slow and steady progress. He bunted 20 times yesterday, but still hasn't swung a bat since his setback."
NY Mets front office considered releasing Michael Pelfrey before Opening Day
"In a recent meeting that included the Mets' executives and coaches, members of the front office suggested releasing Mike Pelfrey before Opening Day, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. None of the uniformed staff was in favor of the idea, and it was downplayed. Pelfrey further solidified his place in the rotation Thursday night, when he allowed one run in 6.1 innings Thursday night against Houston. His strongest outing of the Grapefruit League season left his ERA at 8.59. "I saw all the things today that I have heard about," Terry Collins said. "I saw a power sinker (with) that great movement, beating it in the dirt. He threw his curveball for strikes. Josh"
Pavano is targeted in alleged extortion scheme
"The last thing the Twins needed this spring as they try to rebound from a disastrous 2011 season was a major distraction. But they appear to have one brewing after reports surfaced that Carl Pavano, the team's Opening Day starter, is the target of an alleged extortion attempt by a former high school classmate that has resulted in a police investigation. Police in Southington, Conn., where Pavano grew up, have filed a search warrant affidavit that claims the classmate, Christian Bedard, threatened to reveal a three-year "emotional and physical relationship" with Pavano while both were teenagers unless he was given a navy blue Range Rover with tan leather. The affidavit, first reported by"
Rios scratched from lineup with strained Achilles
"The White Sox expect to start the regular season without a player on the disabled list. However, a minor concern arose Thursday when right fielder Alex Rios was scratched from the lineup because of a strained left Achilles tendon. Rios wanted to play, but the medical staff ruled him out. "(Rios) said it was bothering him a little bit," manager Robin Ventura said. "He should be available (Friday night), but I don't want to do anything to push it." Rios is scheduled to play right field and bat third against the Royals on Friday in Surprise."
Dodgers: Fields' status remains in limbo
"Spring training has reached the juncture where Josh Fields races in from left field in pursuit of a shallow fly ball, calls off shortstop Dee Gordon, makes the catch and all of it qualifies as news. These are the increments that will enter into the closed-door discussion for who becomes the Dodgers' final position player, a decision that might not be made before the team returns home Monday to play the Angels in the Freeway Series. "Everything kind of tumbles when you start getting to that last spot. It's like little dominoes everywhere," manager Don Mattingly said. "The (neck injury) with Teddy (Lilly) causes dominoes. That changes things. Everything that happens from here on forward"
Cleveland pitchers Derek Lowe and David Huff injured; Lowe should be ready to open season
"Derek Lowe and David Huff each left their starts Thursday with injuries as the Indians lost split-squad games to Colorado and Arizona. Lowe left after three innings against the Rockies with back spasms. Tribe manager Manny Acta said he did not believe the injury was serious. "If this was the regular season, he could have kept pitching," said Acta. "But this is not the time to pushing through stuff like that." Lowe, entering his 15th big-league season, has never been on the disabled list. Huff left in the first inning against Arizona with a strained right hamstring. He injured it trying to field a hit by leadoff batter Willie Bloomquist. The injury takes Huff out of the race for the fifth"
Adam LaRoche makes a promising return
"Adam LaRoche walked in his third plate appearance this afternoon, and afterward a pinch-runner emerged from the dugout and tagged him out at first base. LaRoche ambled to the dugout, ready to make a declaration about the nagging bone bruise in his left foot, and found Manager Davey Johnson. "Let's just put this behind us," LaRoche told Johnson. "I feel like this is over with. Let's move on and rock and roll for the season.""
Aaron Rowand released as Miami Marlins roster nears its completion
"Throughout spring training, Aaron Rowand was the go-to expert inside the Marlins' clubhouse on Showtime's "The Franchise" series. The veteran outfielder played with San Francisco last year when production crews were filming behind-the-scenes episodes on the Giants. Rowand told everyone — teammates, staff members and even reporters — that they'd get so used to the production crews that eventually they'd forget they were even there. As it turns out, Rowand's final breath as a big-leaguer could now end up in the series, which is taking an inside look at the Marlins this time around. With cameras rolling and pointed at his face for the reaction, Rowand on Thursday was released."
Pirates' Morton will start season on DL
"As smoothly as Charlie Morton's rehabilitation has gone this offseason, he will not start the season on the active roster. The Pirates will place Morton on the 15-day disabled list, general manager Neal Huntington said Thursday, so Morton can increase his pitch count and start at least two more games before returning to the Pirates. "For him to be where he is is a tremendous credit to Charlie," Huntington said. "We feel like [he's] just not quite ready to go.""
Positive signs for Lowrie after thumb x-rays
"Jed Lowrie had his injured and swollen right thumb wrapped this morning at Osceola County Stadium, and while X-rays were negative, Lowrie and the Astros were still awaiting results of an MRI to determine how long he'd be out. Team doctor David Lintner was heading to Florida Thursday night, and general manager Jeff Luhnow expected word Friday morning, though early indications were good. "I'm just going to assume it's a few days until they tell me otherwise," Lowrie said. "Hopefully with ice and treatment, the swelling goes down and then maybe I'll get back there as soon as possible.""
Clevenger wins Cubs' backup catcher job
"Rookie Steve Clevenger beat out Welington Castillo for the backup catcher job Thursday, perhaps the toughest call the Cubs brass had to make. "I'm just speechless right now," Clevenger said. "Just trying to soak the moment up." Clevenger, a September call-up last season, got only four at-bats under former manager Mike Quade. But Dale Sveum liked what he saw, and now the question is how much playing time Clevenger will get behind Geovany Soto. Sveum said it's up to Soto."

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