DUNEDIN — OF Melky Cabrera drew hugs as he joined his new Toronto teammates Friday, then trotted out his mantra to deflect questions about last year's drug suspension.
The 28-year-old was the MVP of last summer's All-Star Game but was later suspended 50 games by MLB after a positive test for testosterone. The Giants then left him off the postseason roster during their run to the World Series title.
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. "My lawyers are dealing with MLB," said Cabrera, who signed a two-year deal worth $16 million after the Giants let him go.
Cabrera led the NL in hitting at .346 when he was suspended Aug. 15. He had 11 homers, 25 doubles and 60 RBIs.
"I don't know if I'm going to have the numbers I had last year," 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."
Miffed at Loria: New Jays SS Jose Reyes, who had signed a $106 million, six-year deal with the Marlins but was traded in an offseason salary dump, said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told him he wouldn't be traded. Four days before the deal, Reyes said, he and Loria had dinner and "he was talking still about, 'Get a nice house in Miami.' Then I went on vacation … and two days later I found out I was traded."
TAMPA — New 3B Kevin Youkilis, who made the back page of the New York tabloids by saying "I'll always be a Red Sox," began damage control.
"I was basically defining that, as a player, I'll be a Red Sox, and a White Sox, and a Yankee for life," he said. "Three storied franchises. I'm excited to be part of this, and be with the Yankees. Trust me, there's no way that was meant to say my heart is in Boston or anything like that. My heart is here with the Yankees."
Youkilis admitted the comment "by itself looks terrible."
Phils: Utley upbeat
CLEARWATER — 2B Chase Utley took batting practice and infield work, and he expects to be on the field when the Phillies open the exhibition season next week.
Utley, who hasn't played in a spring training game since 2010 and has missed significant time each of the last two seasons with knee injuries, is confident he can play a full 2013.
"I feel pretty (darn) good right now," Utley said. "Hopefully, it will stay that way and I think it will. Hopefully, all the work has paid off."
The Phillies will hold their first full-squad workout today.