Report: I. Rodriguez, Astros near 1-year deal

The Baltimore Sun

The Houston Astros and catcher Ivan Rodriguez are closing in on a one-year, $1.5 million contract, a person familiar with the talks told the Associated Press yesterday.

The deal would contain $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on games and plate appearances, the person said.

Rodriguez, 37, a 13-time Gold Glove winner, hit .276 with seven homers and 35 RBIs in 115 games with the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees last season.

Phillies: : World Series Most Valuable Player Cole Hamels left training camp in Clearwater, Fla., and flew to Philadelphia to have his left elbow examined by team physician Michael Ciccotti. The left-hander, 25, feels tightness in his elbow between innings and after he's finished pitching for the day. The Phillies said they don't believe the problem is serious.

Dodgers:: Left fielder Manny Ramirez's hamstring injury will keep him out of spring training games for at least a week.

World Baseball Classic: : Former Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez was awarded a home run after a replay review, and Venezuela delighted a cacophonous crowd of 25,599 in Miami by beating Puerto Rico, 2-0, to secure a spot in the semifinals. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in five WBC games and will face the United States tonight, with the loser eliminated and the winner advancing to the semifinals this weekend at Dodger Stadium. ... Marlins reliever Matt Lindstrom will miss the rest of the tournament with a strained right rotator cuff.

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