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Orioles' Guthrie Will Pitch for U.S. in WBC

Associated Press
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two years ago, Jeremy Guthrie was hoping to stick in the majors as a reliever after being claimed off waivers by the Orioles.

Next month, Baltimore's staff ace will be pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Guthrie, who has been included on the provisional roster, will leave the Orioles on March 1 and report to Clearwater, Fla.

"It's a great honor to have been considered and then selected. I'm very excited to wear USA across my chest," Guthrie said.

Team USA will open the WBC against Canada on March 7 in Toronto.

· BREWERS: Milwaukee reached a one-year, $3.25 million deal with outfielder Corey Hart and added reliever Eric Gagne with a minor league contract.

Gagne will receive $1.5 million if he is added to the major league roster and can earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses. His deal included an invitation to the major league camp.

· PIRATES: Outfielder Nate McLouth reached an agreement on a three-year, $15.75 million contract that includes a team option for 2012. The deal was struck hours before the scheduled start of a salary arbitration hearing.

· ASTROS: Mike Hampton's irregular heartbeat has cleared up without a procedure and he is headed back to spring training. A test on Monday showed that the left-hander's heartbeat had returned to normal after a physical two days earlier revealed a minor irregularity. . . .

Outfielder Carlos Lee was a no-show for yesterday's deadline for players to report for the first full workout. Lee said he simply mixed up the dates.

· RAYS: Scott Kazmir will not pitch for the United States in the WBC because Tampa Bay is concerned about the risk of injury to the all-star left-hander.

The AL champions petitioned to have Kazmir removed from Team USA because he missed the opening month of last season with an elbow strain.

· TWINS: Left-hander Francisco Liriano says that he will not play for the Dominican Republic in the WBC to focus on the upcoming season.

· RED SOX: Third baseman Mike Lowell says he will be ready by Opening Day after hip surgery.

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