Ex-Oriole Ponson signs with Yanks

Adding depth to their injury-riddled pitching staff, the New York Yankees signed right-hander Sidney Ponson to a minor league contract yesterday.

With a history of off-the-field problems, Ponson was released Monday by the Texas Rangers for being a disruption to the team. He performed well on the mound, however, going 4-1 with a 3.88 ERA.


Texas designated Ponson, a former Oriole, for assignment June 6 "for disrespecting teammates and club personnel," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said.

Ponson, who pitched briefly for the Yankees in 2006, will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and could be called up to the majors to start one game of New York's two-ballpark doubleheader against the Mets on June 27, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.


"He's coming into Scranton not to help us in the International League; he's coming in to try to pitch his way into the big leagues," Cashman said.

The Yankees are missing ace Chien-Ming Wang as well as young starters Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy because of injuries.

Cubs -- Pitcher Carlos Zambrano left last night's game against the Rays in the seventh inning because of discomfort in his right shoulder.

Reds -- Cincinnati sent right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey to Triple-A Louisville. In three starts, he went 0-3 with an 8.76 ERA. The Reds also activated outfielder Norris Hopper from the disabled list. He had been out since April 23 with an irritated nerve in his right elbow.

Brewers -- First baseman Prince Fielder owes more than $400,000 in unpaid taxes, according to a published report. Fielder declined to comment. An IRS spokesman told the Associated Press that Fielder could have made payments or even paid the debt off but that it might not be recorded yet. The Detroit News' Tax Watchdog blog published Tuesday a copy of the IRS' Notice of Federal Tax Lien filed against Fielder on Oct. 6, 2005.

Cardinals -- St. Louis put reliever Anthony Reyes on the 15-day DL with a strained right elbow and promoted right-hander Brad Thompson from Triple-A Memphis. Reyes is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 10 games.