Toronto Blue Jays reportedly on verge of beating out New York Yankees in signing shortstop Adeinis Hechavarria from Cuba

DUNEDIN — The Blue Jays are close to a deal with coveted Cuban SS Adeinis Hechavarria that could be worth around $10 million, the New York Post reported.

Hechavarria, 21, apparently rejected an offer from the Yankees because he feared being blocked by Derek Jeter, according to the Post.

The deal would exceed the $8 million the Red Sox gave another Cuban defector, SS Jose Iglesias. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos would not confirm the report.

Hechavarria, 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, has been compared physically to Alfonso Soriano at the same age.

Pitching PROGRESS: Blue Jays RHP Dustin McGowan pitched his second simulated game, throwing 44 pitches over two innings, and expects to throw 50-60 pitches Friday against minor-leaguers. McGowan, 27, last pitched in a regular-season game July 8, 2008, before having surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Phillies: Kendrick keeps up good work

SARASOTA — Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick, battling with veteran LHP Jamie Moyer for the fifth starter's job, pitched four scoreless innings in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles

Kendrick, 25, allowed two singles and hit one batter. He has allowed four hits in nine innings this spring.

"As long as I keep pitching quality outings, that's all I can do," Kendrick said. "I'm not trying to be perfect."

INJURY NEWS: RHP Brad Lidge, who had offseason elbow surgery, is scheduled to make his spring debut in a minor-league game Tuesday. LH reliever J.C. Romero, also recovering from offseason elbow surgery, threw 40 pitches on the side.

Yanks: Sabathia shaky and club doesn't care

BRADENTON — Yankees manager Joe Girardi and his staff have made evaluating a pitcher's performance on more than stats a sort of mantra in the spring. He stuck to that Sunday.

Take LHP CC Sabathia's outing against the Pirates in New York's 10-5 loss: 57 pitches, 29 strikes, 28 balls.

But here's what Girardi had to say about Sabathia's mechanics: "He was very sound today. He was good."

After a poor start Tuesday, Sabathia said the back end of his motion was collapsing and he was not able to make in-game adjustments. But after a productive bullpen Thursday, he had much more success Sunday and felt he was turning a corner in preparing for the season.

"Felt more together. Fastball felt crisp. Cutters were good, down in the dirt. Changeup was a lot better," Sabathia said. "I'm definitely pleased with the progress I made here."

FAST FACTS

Yankees

Where: George Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa. Today: Off. Information: yankees.com

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Today: at Pirates, 1:05,

Bradenton. Information: phillies.com

Blue Jays

Where: Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Today: at Tigers, 1:05, Lakeland, MLB Network. Information: bluejays.com

Toronto Blue Jays reportedly on verge of beating out New York Yankees in signing shortstop Adeinis Hechavarria from Cuba 03/14/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 14, 2010 9:34pm]

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