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Justin Ruggiano, Leslie Anderson remain with Tampa Bay Rays, outrighted to Triple A

ST. PETERSBURG — Outfielder Justin Ruggiano and infielder/outfielder Leslie Anderson cleared waivers and will remain in the Rays organization.

Both will be in spring training as nonroster players, having been outrighted to Triple-A Durham after being taken off the 40-man roster this week to make room for Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez.

With Ruggiano and Anderson, the Rays have 60 players on their spring roster with camp opening Wednesday. It's possible one or two players could be added on minor-league deals.

Ruggiano, 28, could end up competing for a backup outfield spot with Sam Fuld, as top prospect Desmond Jennings is likely headed back to Durham. Anderson, a 28-year-old Cuban who signed with the Rays last spring, appeared headed back to the minors anyway.

International games an Al Lang 'audition'

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Bill Foster said he hopes this month's inaugural International Baseball slate of games at Al Lang Field could serve as an "audition" to become a potential host city for the World Baseball Classic.

There will be 13 games played at Al Lang, from Feb. 21 to March 13, featuring three international teams from South Korea, Canada and the Netherlands, as well as college teams and the Rays, Phillies and Blue Jays. Foster said about 900 "season tickets" have been sold for the entire schedule so far.

The WBC, staged in March every four years with national teams from all over the world, had seven host cities in 2009, including Mexico City, Toronto, Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego and Tokyo. Foster said potential WBC games could be played at Al Lang and Tropicana Field. The next WBC will be in 2013.

"That's our ultimate goal, is to bid and host the WBC here in the city of St. Pete," Foster said.

Tickets start at $6. Season tickets are $75 for 13 games.

Bonds trial: U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered former Giants slugger Barry Bonds to enter a plea for the third time since he was initially charged in 2007 with lying to a grand jury about steroids use. The new plea is needed because prosecutors revised the charges, cutting the indictment from 11 to five. He is expected to plead not guilty for the third time at a hearing March 1, and the trial is scheduled to begin March 21.

Dodgers: First baseman James Loney agreed to a $4,875,000, one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Mariners: Prosecutors in Los Angeles will meet next month with outfielder Milton Bradley after his arrest on a domestic violence allegation Jan. 19.

Orioles: Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie reached a $5.75 million, one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Red Sox: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia reported early to spring training and said his left foot is fully healed.

White Sox: Former scouting executive David Wilder pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in a kickback scheme targeting players from impoverished parts of Latin America. Prosecutors accused Wilder, 50, and two former scouts of accepting about $400,000 to secure 23 prospects from 2004 to 2008. They were supposed to pay signing bonuses matching each player's skills but instead inflated the amounts and took the additional money.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

Justin Ruggiano, Leslie Anderson remain with Tampa Bay Rays, outrighted to Triple A 02/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 11, 2011 10:16pm]
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