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New Mariner Lee to be slowed by foot surgery

SEATTLE — The Mariners said left-hander Cliff Lee is recovering from minor left foot surgery and will be limited when pitchers and catchers report to spring training this month.

The team said Monday that its biggest offseason acquisition had surgery Friday in his native Arkansas to remove a bone spur that broke loose and was floating in his left foot.

Lee was acquired from the Phillies this winter in a complicated four-team deal. His injured foot is not in a cast, and he is continuing his upper-body exercise program. The Mariners said the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner will "gradually return to all normal baseball activities" over the next two to three weeks.

VIZQUEL TO HONOR COMPATRIOT: The White Sox are taking Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio's No. 11 out of retirement for newly acquired 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel. A Venezuelan like Aparicio, Vizquel will wear the number as a tribute to his countryman. "For me, it's like a huge celebration, trying to keep his name alive and trying to spread the word of Venezuelan shortstops," Vizquel said.

MAUER TALKS: Twins owner Jim Pohlad said that if catcher Joe Mauer signs a mammoth contract extension, the team is not afraid it would cost too much to keep a contending-caliber core of players around the AL MVP.

"I think Target Field puts us in better position to make sure that we have a competitive team from year to year," Pohlad said. "Names will come and names will go, but overall the objective is always to have the best team on the field."

YANKS STILL BUSY: Marcus Thames agreed to a minor-league contract with the Yankees, who finalized a $1.1 million, one-year deal with former Ray Randy Winn to give themselves more leftfield options. Thames, who turns 33 next month, began his major-league career with the Yankees in 2002.

SELIG HONORED: The Brewers are erecting a statue of commissioner Bud Selig outside Miller Park and will unveil it Aug. 24. Selig headed a group that bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970, moved the franchise to Milwaukee and renamed it the Brewers.

HALL CLASSIC: The Baseball Hall of Fame will hold a second old-timers Hall of Fame Classic on Father's Day, June 20.

CARDINALS: Second baseman Skip Schumaker agreed to a $4.7 million, two-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

METS: Former major-league manager Bob Melvin was hired as a professional scout, and ex-centerfielder Mookie Wilson was named minor-league outfield and baserunning coordinator.

New Mariner Lee to be slowed by foot surgery 02/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, February 8, 2010 9:29pm]
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