Maldonado invited by Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers invited free-agent outfielder Candy Maldonado to spring training yesterday.

Maldonado, 30, comes to camp with the understanding that he must make the club to get a contract.


Maldonado batted .273 with 22 homers and 95 RBI for the Cleveland Indians last season.

He said earlier this month that he would love to play for the Baltimore Orioles, but that the club's interest dropped considerably after it traded for first baseman Glenn Davis.


* METS: Frank Viola, who won 20 games last season, said he will go at full speed despite the discovery of four bone spurs in his left elbow.

Viola, 30, added that he would consider surgery if the pain lingers.

"I'm going to keep throwing," he said after yesterday's workout. "It felt good. There was no inflammation and no problem."

* UMPIRES: Major-league umpires do not expect a strike this season, the head of their union said.

General counsel Richie Phillips met with umpires for five hours to prepare for today's discussion with Major League Baseball on a new contract and said the sides "were very far apart, but not at an impasse."

* EXPANSION: That a potential franchise for Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., area would have to play in a domed stadium doesn't hurt its chances to win an expansion team, the chairman of the National League Expansion Committee said.

"Generally, the preference is to play outside. We understand that your climatic conditions are such that it might not be practical on the west coast of Florida," committee chairman Douglas D. Danforth said,as his group concluded a two-day swing through the state's potential expansion areas.

* CUBS: Talks between All-Star second baseman Ryne Sandberg and team officials on a new contract broke down, and both sides said no new negotiations were scheduled.


Chicago is offering a three-year extension worth $12 million.

* YANKEES: General manager Gene Michael said he expects to be able to deal for a left-handed hitting third baseman. The Yankees have expressed interest in Scott Cooper of the Boston Red Sox.

* DODGERS: Manager Tom Lasorda has decided not to bring newly acquired outfielder Darryl Strawberry to Port St. Lucie, Fla., for exhibition games March 8-9 against the Mets, his former team.

"I don't need that stuff right now," Strawberry said of the circus that likely would accompany his return.