MLB Notes: Braves cut Garcia, sign Harang

MLB Notes: Braves cut Garcia, sign Harang
March 24, 2014, 11:30 am
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The Braves cut Freddy Garcia (left) on Monday and signed Aaron Harang. (USA Today Images)

Updated: 10:32 p.m.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Atlanta released pitcher Freddy Garcia, who was contending for a spot in the Braves' battered rotation, and signed right-hander Aaron Harang on Monday.

The team announced Garcia's unconditional release on the deadline for him to be put on the major league roster -- which would have triggered a $1.25 million guaranteed salary.

"They said they didn't want to pick it up. I have to go," said Garcia, who started Game 4 of last year's NL division series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 37-year-old right-hander was cut despite a strong outing Sunday, when he limited the New York Mets to an unearned run and two hits over 5 1-3 innings. He was 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in five spring training starts.

With Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy out for the season, and Mike Minor on the disabled list through at least mid-April as he comes back from a sore shoulder, the Braves decided to bolster their rotation depth with Harang, who was signed to a one-year deal.

The 35-year-old went 5-12 with a 5.40 ERA during a 2013 season split between Seattle and the New York Mets. He was released from a minor league contract by Cleveland earlier Monday after going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in nine innings for the Indians during spring training.

O's, Tigers make a trade
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles have acquired infielder Steve Lombardozzi from the Detroit Tigers for infielder Alex Gonzalez.

The 25-year-old Lombardozzi hit .259 with two homers and 22 RBIs for the Washington Nationals last season and was dealt to Detroit in December for pitcher Doug Fister.

Gonzalez, a 37-year-old infielder, has a .246 average with six major league teams. He was the starting shortstop for the 2003 World Series champion Florida Marlins.

He agreed Jan. 31 to a minor league contract and has a .429 batting average during spring training.

Detroit was seeking a shortstop because of the shin injuries to Jose Iglesias.

To make room for Lombardozzi on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated catcher Johnny Monell for assignment.

Indians to start Bourn on DL
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Cleveland Indians will place centerfielder Michael Bourn on the disabled list before their opener at Oakland on March 31.

Bourn may miss only four regular-season games because of the injury, a tight left hamstring.

Outfielder Nyjer Morgan was told by general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona that he will be on the Indians' opening-day roster.

Bourn felt discomfort on March 16 while running from first to third against San Francisco. He has been undergoing treatment and has started strength exercises.

Morgan was signed to a minor league contract by the Indians on Jan. 16. He spent last season in Japan with Yokohoma.

Cleveland told third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall he will join the team for its opener.

The Indians optioned right-handers Chen-Chang Lee and Trevor Bauer to Triple-A Columbus on Monday and assigned infielders David Cooper and Bryan LaHair to their minor league camp. Right-hander Aaron Harang was given his unconditional release.

Red Sox extend Ortiz again
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Big Papi is staying put.

David Ortiz and the Red Sox agreed to a 2015 contract Sunday with options for the following two years, a move that means the popular slugger will probably finish his career in Boston.

Ortiz, the World Series MVP last season, has led the Red Sox to three championships in the past 10 years. He batted .309 with 30 home runs and 103 RBIs in 137 games last season after missing all of spring training while rehabbing a strained Achilles tendon.

The 38-year-old designated hitter has 431 major league homers and has made nine All-Star teams in 11 years with Boston.

The Red Sox announced the deal Sunday night. It includes a club or vesting option for 2016, and a club option for 2017.

"With this agreement, we have near certainty that David Ortiz will finish his career in a Red Sox uniform, which is something we have all wanted and that we are all proud of," owner John Henry said in a statement. "It is difficult to describe David's contributions to our city both on the field and off the field, and we are so proud to have this ambassador of our game with us as he continues on this road to Cooperstown."

Multiple media outlets reported earlier that the sides had reached an agreement that guarantees Ortiz $16 million in 2015. He is set to earn $15 million this season as part of a two-year contract he signed in November 2012.