Spring Training Notebook

Baseball Notebook: Orioles, Roberts Close to Four-Year Extension

Associated Press
Friday, February 20, 2009

Brian Roberts and the Baltimore Orioles are near agreement on a four-year, $40 million extension that could keep the second baseman with the team through the 2013 season.

Roberts tried to contain his enthusiasm yesterday as he prepared for the team's first full-squad spring training workout. He dressed at his locker, took his physical, shook hands with teammates and ate breakfast in front of his cubicle.

After the results of the physical come back, the Orioles are expected to hold a news conference today to announce the extension. Roberts already is signed through this season; the additional four years would begin in 2010.

· YANKEES: Alex Rodriguez ducked follow-up questions about his drug use, refusing to address a report identifying the cousin the star third baseman claims injected him with a banned substance.

The slugger also wouldn't discuss Major League Baseball's attempt to interview him about his tainted past.

During his news conference Tuesday, he said a cousin injected him with "boli," a drug obtained in the Dominican Republic that Rodriguez believes led to a positive steroids test in baseball's anonymous 2003 survey.

Rodriguez wouldn't identify the cousin, reported by ESPN.com to be Yuri Sucart of Miami.

· ROCKIES: Left-hander Jeff Francis will have exploratory surgery on his pitching shoulder next week and expects to miss the 2009 season.

Francis said Rockies orthopedic surgeon Thomas Noonan will perform the operation Wednesday, and Francis expects rehabilitation to take six to 12 months.

· BRAVES: Tom Glavine is returning to Atlanta for one more season, reaching a preliminary agreement on a one-year, $1 million contract. The deal is likely to be announced today, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

· COURTS: A federal judge has barred prosecutors from using three positive steroid tests and other key evidence in Barry Bonds's trial next month because of his personal trainer's refusal to testify.

The ruling issued late yesterday was expected. The judge had said earlier she was troubled by the admissibility of the test results because prosecutors couldn't conclusively tie them to Bonds.

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