Baseball Notes

Shortstop Jose Reyes stretches during his first day in spring training camp with the Toronto Blue Jays Friday at Dunedin, Fla.
Shortstop Jose Reyes stretches during his first day in spring training camp with the Toronto Blue Jays Friday at Dunedin, Fla.

Braun stands by statement, focuses on baseball

Ryan Braun had already let it be known he was not taking any questions about his reported link to a Florida anti-aging clinic when he faced reporters outside the Milwaukee Brewers' spring training clubhouse on Friday.

Before anyone asked a question, the Brewers slugger repeated the restrictions he'd placed on his first spring meeting with the media.

"I understand why a lot of you guys are probably here but I made a statement last week," Braun said. "I stand behind that statement. I'm not going to address that issue any further. As I stated, I'm happy to cooperate fully into any investigation into this matter."

He did answer one drug-related question, regarding the recent announcement by Major League Baseball and the players union that players will be subject to in-season, unannounced testing for human growth hormone.

"I've always been supportive of the system," Braun said. "I've always been supportive of additional drug testing or whatever testing they have that's available."

Braun's name appears in records from the now-defunct Biogenesis of America LLC clinic that is alleged to have provided performance enhancing substances to several players, including Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Nelson Cruz.

Reyes says he was 'shocked' Marlins traded him

When Jose Reyes signed his $106 million, six-year deal with the Miami Marlins, he expected to be a long-term part of a dramatically rebuilt franchise that, on paper, looked like a World Series contender.

Turns out the prediction wasn't worth the paper the contract was written on.

The Marlins finished last in the NL East and the next month, and Reyes found himself shipped north to Toronto as part of a 12-player blockbuster trade that amounted to a major salary dump.

"I was shocked," Reyes said Friday before his first batting practice in a Blue Jays uniform, "because (Marlins owner) Jeffrey Loria, he always told me he's never going to trade me. He always called my agent and said, "Tell Jose to get a good place here to live,' and stuff like that."

Reyes had been with the New York Mets for his first eight big league seasons before signing with Miami. Four days before the Marlins sent him packing, Reyes said, he and Loria had dinner together and "he was talking still about, "Get a nice house in Miami.'

"Then I went on vacation with my wife and two days later I found out I was traded. ... That was crazy. I mean, how can you want me to spend some money in Miami when I have my house in New York and you're going to trade me in two days?"

Reyes said he feels "sorry for the fans there in Miami because they had a great fan base there. To let them down like that, I mean, that's going to be tough for them."

Reyes said he also feels for the players still with the team, mentioning outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

"He's an unbelievable great player. Great guy. Great teammate," Reyes said. "But like I say, it is what it is. I feel sorry for him. But that's the way it is."

Stanton laughed when he heard that.

"He's talking from a personal standpoint and what happened to all of them," Stanton said.

Stanton acknowledged that other players, too, have said they feel sorry for him, "but I'm not one to say, "Hey everyone feel sorry for me.' What is there to feel sorry for me about? I'm in the big leagues. I play a game for a living."

Reyes said he hasn't spoken to Loria or any of the Marlins executives since the trade - and he has no desire to.

"Why do I need to talk to them? If they trade me, that means they don't want me there. So I don't need to approach them and say, "Why'd you trade me?' and stuff like that. ... I don't need to see (Loria) and he don't want to see me, because he traded me."

Melky Cabrera joins Blue Jays, admits drug mistake

Melky Cabrera drew hugs from his new Toronto teammates, then trotted out his own mantra to deflect questions about last year's drug suspension.

The 28-year-old outfielder joined the Blue Jays at spring training on Friday. He was the MVP of the All-Star game last summer, but was later suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after a positive test for testosterone.

The San Francisco Giants left him off the postseason roster during their run to the World Series championship.

With only slight variations, Cabrera repeatedly said through a translator: "I made a mistake. I paid the price for it. I'm looking forward to 2013."

The reason for his reticence: a pending investigation, he said.

"My lawyers are dealing with MLB. The lawyers are going to be the ones making all the statements about last year," he said.

Cabrera signed a two-year contract worth $16 million soon after the Giants let him go.

Cabrera led the NL in hitting at .346 when he was suspended Aug. 15. He asked MLB for a rules change that disqualified him from the batting title, saying it would be a tainted achievement. He had 11 home runs, 25 doubles and 60 RBIs in 113 games.

"I don't know if I'm going to have the numbers I had last year. I can't predict the numbers," he said. "The only thing I know is that I worked out six days a week in the Dominican to be ready for this season. I'm ready."

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who was Cabrera's bench coach when both were with Kansas City, said it was good to see him on the field.

"The kid can hit," Gibbons said. "In Kansas City, he had over 200 hits. So I've only seen the kid when he's been good."

Nationals and Zimmermann agree to one-year deal

The Washington Nationals and right-hander Jordan Zimmermann have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

The 26-year-old Zimmermann had asked for $5.8 million, while the Nationals submitted $4.6 million. He made $2.3 million last season, when he went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA last season, making 32 starts and pitching 195 2-3 innings.


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