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Blue Jays to let Arencibia catch knuckleballer

DUNEDIN — Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia received good news Monday even before homering twice in a 13-4 win over the Phillies.

Manager John Gibbons said before the game that Arencibia and backup Henry Blanco both will catch knuckleballer R.A. Dickey this season.

That means Arencibia will start on opening day.

"It's not about me, it's about the team," said Arencibia, who caught his new teammate for the U.S. team during the World Baseball Classic. "It hasn't been the craziest transition. I think that I've proved I've been able to catch him pretty well."

The Blue Jays had been thinking about having a personal catcher, possibly Blanco, work with Dickey full time.

"After watching J.P. catch him in the WBC and did a nice job, they'll both catch him," Gibbons said. "To be honest with you, I thought J.P. might have a hard time with him and catching a knuckleball."

LAWRIE HURT: Toronto 3B Brett Lawrie will start the regular season on the disabled list because of a strained rib suffered during the World Baseball Classic.

Yanks: Financial break

TAMPA — OF Vernon Wells, expected to start in left for the Yankees once their deal goes through with the Angels, could end up helping his newest team in more ways than one.

Wells, who signed a seven-year, $126 extension with the Blue Jays in December 2007, is owed $42 million over the next two seasons, with the Yankees expected to pay $13 million to $14 million of that total, Newsday reported.

Additionally, the structure of how that is paid out to Wells could help the Yankees in their quest to get payroll under $189 million to avoid a stiff luxury tax penalty.

Describing it as "a rather convoluted formula," Newsday reported that Wells' 2014 salary should have a limited impact on that season's payroll and even could earn the Yankees a credit.

The deal was not yet official as of Monday night as Wells was scheduled to arrive from Arizona to take his physical.

Wells hit .361 with a .390 on-base percentage with four homers and 11 RBIs in 14 spring games with the Angels. Los Angeles dealt for Wells, then owed $89 million on his deal, before the 2011 season.

Phils: Tough start

DUNEDIN — RHP John Lannan hopes it was just a blip.

The Phillies' projected No. 5 starter was hammered in the 13-4 loss to the Blue Jays, allowing 12 runs and 14 hits in four innings.

"A great lineup, and they're swinging," Lannan said.

"Most of the day I was up in the zone, and they took advantage. For the most part, it was solid contact. You've got to move on. You've got to kind of look at it like, you're getting it out of the way I hope."

>>fast facts

Blue Jays

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin Tickets: (727) 733-0429, bluejays.com

Today: vs. Pirates, 1:05

Phillies

Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater Tickets: (727) 467-4457, phillies.com

Today: vs. Rays, 1:05

Yankees

Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner Martin Luther King and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244, yankees.com

Today: vs. Astros, 7:05

TV: MLB

.fast facts

Blue Jays

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin Tickets: (727) 733-0429, bluejays.com

Today: vs. Pirates, 1:05

Phillies

Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater Tickets: (727) 467-4457, phillies.com

Today: vs. Rays, 1:05

Yankees

Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner Martin Luther King and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244, yankees.com

Today: vs. Astros, 7:05

TV: MLB

Blue Jays to let Arencibia catch knuckleballer 03/25/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 11:29pm]
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