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Fielder waits as deadline nears

Cecil Fielder, facing a midnight deadline, gave no indication whether he would drop his trade demand or become a free agent and lose his $7.2-million salary.

"I don't know a thing," Yankees GM Bob Watson said about seven hours before the deadline. "I'll have to wait and find out, just like everyone else."

Fielder, worried about playing time this year and wanting a contract extension, filed the trade demand after the World Series _ a right given to veterans dealt during multiyear contracts. Because the Yankees said they couldn't work out a trade, Fielder would become a free agent unless he withdraws the demand by the Saturday deadline.

Fielder worked out at the Yankees' camp in the morning, and was not on the traveling roster for the spring training game against Detroit at Lakeland. He left Legends Field at 11 a.m. and said he was heading home.

Would he back today as a member of the team he helped win the World Series?

"I don't know. We'll see," he said. "I'm not commenting on those questions."

In Lakeland, RHP Dwight Gooden breezed through five innings, then struggled in the sixth, in his longest outing this spring. Gooden allowed one run on eight hits and Mike Figga hit his fourth homer as the Yankees beat the Tigers 10-3 before a record crowd of 7,374 at Marchant Stadium.

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Osborne has strong outing

FORT MYERS _ LHP Donovan Osborne pitched well for 5 innings and 1B John Mabry had four hits and three RBI as the Cardinals beat the Red Sox 10-2. Osborne struck out three and walked none, giving up two runs and five hits.

Likely Boston Opening Day starter Steve Avery couldn't make it out of the second inning, allowing six runs and eight hits in 1 innings before finishing up his work in the bullpen.

Everyone in the St. Louis lineup had a hit except IF Cory Snyder and pinch-hitter Micah Franklin.

RHP Andy Benes was in uniform the other day, if only to record some promotional announcements for the team. When will he return from his rib cage injury? "I'm hoping it's another week or so, but I don't know. Something has to heal."

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Person hit hard early

PORT CHARLOTTE _ Toronto RHP Robert Person allowed three runs and four hits in four innings as the Rangers beat the Blue Jays 6-4.

Rangers LHP Darren Oliver got the win with two hits in four shutout innings.

Blue Jays RHP Marvin Freeman reaggravated his injured right hamstring and left after two batters.

IF Felipe Crespo hit a run-scoring single for Toronto in the sixth and followed with a ninth-inning home run. He finished 3-for-3.

OFs Shawn Green and Shannon Stewart brought home the other Blue Jays runs.

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