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Fryman's elbow worries Indians

Travis Fryman's right elbow may be worse than the Indians feared.

The All-Star third baseman has been sent to Cleveland for further medical tests on the elbow, which has been hurting Fryman since the end of last season.

Fryman, coming off his most productive year, missed his second exhibition game in a row and was in good spirits while working out on Thursday as he awaited results of an MRI taken Wednesday.

But after examining the MRI's findings, the Indians want Fryman to have a second exam today at Cleveland's Lutheran Hospital.

"We can say it might be this, it might be that," Indians manager Charlie Manuel said in Winter Haven. "We don't want any mights, that's why we're getting a second opinion."

Initially, the Indians said Fryman would be kept from throwing for a week and that his anti-inflammatory medication would be increased. On Wednesday, Fryman said he was concerned about his elbow but doubted he would need surgery.

The team's insistence he get more testing, however, seems to indicate surgery is a possibility.

"I'm a little concerned," Fryman said. "The pain is on the inside of the elbow and that's where pitchers who have "Tommy John' surgery have pain."

ANGELS: Wally Joyner had three hits, one a double, in the team's 4-1 exhibition loss to Arizona, improving his Cactus League average to .414 with a home run and six RBI.

Joyner, 38, appears to have a slight edge on Larry Barnes and Scott Spiezio in the battle for the first-base job, a contest manager Mike Scioscia said probably won't be decided until the final weekend of camp.

Joyner has said he will retire if he is not the team's starter, but if a superb spring attracts an offer from another team, might he reconsider?

"It would be pretty tough to match the contract my family offers," said Joyner, a Utah resident who has a wife and four children.

ATHLETICS: Infielder Olmedo Saenz agreed to a $1.35-million, two-year contract.

Saenz, who has just more than two years of major-league service, will receive $350,000 this year and $800,000 in 2002. Oakland gets a $1.2-million option for 2003, and the deal includes performance bonuses based on plate appearances.

"I'm in the right place," Saenz said. "Sometimes, it's not about the money. Sometimes you're just happy where you are. The most important thing is I can help my family a lot more now."

RANGERS: For the second straight spring, an injury has cast doubt on left-hander Mike Venafro's status for opening day. The team learned that Venafro will miss at least a week because of a strained right hamstring. Venafro injured the leg while pitching a scoreless inning against the Yankees on Wednesday night. "Something like this is always a concern," pitching coach Larry Hardy said. "But if he can still keep his arm working (with flat-ground throwing), he could make up for it."

RED SOX: The team hopes it strengthened its bullpen when it purchased the contract of left-hander Jorge De La Rosa from the Monterrey Sultans of the Mexican League.

"He could have a real positive impact on the ballclub when he arrives," general manager Dan Duquette said.

De La Rosa throws in the mid-90s and has three years of experience in professional baseball. He was assigned to minor-league camp and probably will end up at Double-A Trenton later this season, Duquette said.

Duquette compared De La Rosa with Braves reliever John Rocker.

TWINS: Third baseman Corey Koskie agreed to a $6.2-million, three-year contract. Koskie, 27, gets $500,000 this year, $2.1-million in 2002 and $3.4-million in 2003. The Twins have a $4.5-million option for 2004 with a $200,000 buyout.

Up next:SABRES

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