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WORLD CHAMPS REWARD MANAGER

Terry Francona, who has managed the Red Sox to two World Series championships in four years, received a three-year contract extension through 2011.

The deal includes club options for 2012 and 2013, which would give him a full decade as manager if the team exercises them.

Francona received something else: a touching e-mail from general manager Theo Epstein as final details were being worked out Saturday night.

"It was just personal (about) what we've been through since the very beginning," Francona said Sunday. "It meant a lot to me. He means a lot to me."

Francona guided the Red Sox to World Series sweeps of the Cardinals in 2004, their first title in 86 years, and the Rockies last season.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, have agreed on a minor-league contract with right-hander Bartolo Colon, ESPN.com reported. Colon, 34, has struggled with injuries since winning the 2005 AL Cy Young Award and posted a career-worst 6.34 last season.

KOUFAX VISITS METS: Hall of Fame left-hander Sandy Koufax spent Saturday morning working with Mets closer Billy Wagner at the team's spring complex in Port St. Lucie.

Wagner was looking for help developing a curveball and asked bullpen coach Guy Conti to call Koufax. The Vero Beach resident, a boyhood friend and high school teammate of Mets owner Fred Wilpon who visits the camp annually, said he mostly talked about the "philosophy" of the pitch.

"If somebody wants to get better and I think I can help them, then it's a pleasure," Koufax, 72, said in a rare chat with the media. "I don't do it unless somebody asks me to do it, and if I help them, great. If I don't, I tell them it's an experiment. If it doesn't work for you, forget it."

In other Mets news, right-handed reliever Duaner Sanchez is scheduled to pitch in an intrasquad game today, a big step in his recovery from shoulder surgery last spring. He hasn't appeared in a major-league game since a July 2006 taxi accident.

LIDGE MAY MISS OPENER: Phillies closer Brad Lidge is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today and could miss the regular-season opener.

Lidge, Philadelphia's biggest offseason acquisition, limped off the field Saturday after he caught a spike in the mound on his first pitch of batting practice. Doctors removed torn cartilage from the knee in October.

The right-hander, 31, was in Philadelphia for surgery that would sideline him for three to six weeks. The Phillies open the season at home March 31.

EX-JAY REJOINS CLUB: Outfielder Shannon Stewart and the Blue Jays agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Stewart, who turns 34 today, was Toronto's first-round pick in 1992. He has a .362 on-base percentage and 193 steals in 263 attempts in 13 seasons.

It's unclear how he fits into the team's plans. Outfielders Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, Reed Johnson and Matt Stairs are on the roster, and prospect Adam Lind is knocking on the door.

A CLEMENS CAMEO?: Pitcher Roger Clemens might show up at Astros spring training in Kissimmee this week for a minor-league minicamp that includes his son, Koby, a minor-league catcher. The camp begins today.

In other Astros news, former Rays right-hander Brandon Backe bruised a bone on his right foot when he was hit by a hard grounder during batting practice Saturday. X-rays were negative, but Backe was held out of Sunday's workout.

CUBS: Second baseman Mark DeRosa was released from a Mesa, Ariz., hospital one day after complaining of a rapid heartbeat during fielding drills. His irregular heartbeat was not life-threatening, the team said.

D'BACKS: Third baseman Chad Tracy, recovering from microfracture surgery on his right knee, went through agility drills on a side field at Tucson Electric Park, a big step in his rehab.

PIRATES: Free-agent right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim signed a one-year, $850,000 deal four days after agreeing to terms. Kim, 29, is expected to be used exclusively in relief.

WHITE SOX: Left-hander Mark Buehrle was scratched from a scheduled two-inning outing in today's intrasquad game because of soreness. Buehrle said he felt a little tight, but it was nothing serious.

AREA TEAMS

Blue Jays: Workouts at Bobby Mattick Complex (1700 Solon Ave., Dunedin). Game tickets: (727) 733-9302; Knology Park (373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin) 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday; or bluejays.com.

Phillies: Workouts at Carpenter Complex (651 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater) or Bright House Networks Field (601 N Old Coachman Road). Game tickets: (727) 467-4457; Bright House Networks Field 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; or phillies.com.

Yankees: Workouts at Legends Field (1 Steinbrenner Drive in Tampa). Game tickets: (813) 879-2244; Legends Field 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; or ticketmaster.com.

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