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MLB roundup: Cardlinals extend manager, GM; Balfour out 4-6 weeks

The SportsXchange

The St. Louis Cardinals extended the contracts of manager Mike Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak on Thursday.

Mozeliak received a three-year deal that runs through 2016, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Matheny had his 2014 option formally exercised, adding another guaranteed year to his current pact.

Matheny, 42, led the Cardinals to the postseason in his first season as manager, in 2012. The team won 88 regular-season games and advanced to the NLCS as a Wild Card team. They lost to the San Francisco Giants.

Matheny played 13 seasons in the big leagues, and won four Gold Gloves with the Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Giants and Toronto Blue Jays.

Mozeliak's current three-year deal was set to expire after 2013. Since becoming the GM after the 2007 season, the Cardinals have reached the playoffs three times.

---Oakland Athletics closer Grant Balfour will miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.

Balfour was bothered by knee soreness at the end of the 2012 season. He was hurting again Wednesday during batting practice and tests revealed a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery Thursday.

Balfour could still be ready for the start of the regular season, which Balfour indicated was the reason for having surgery.

---An issue with his visa is delaying Rafael Soriano from making his first appearance at Washington Nationals spring training.

General manager Mike Rizzo wouldn't confirm the reason for Soriano's absence.

Pitchers and catchers took their physicals Wednesday. On Thursday morning, Soriano, a native of the Domincan Republic, still hadn't reported and multiple media reports cited a problem with his visa as the cause of what is expected to be a short-term delay.

---The Minnesota Twins signed left-handed reliever Rafael Perez to a minor-league deal, according to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report.

Perez, 30, had spent his entire seven-year career with the Cleveland Indians, but was designated for assignment in late November. He appeared in just eight games in 2012.

---The Colorado Rockies acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named and cash. Brignac had been designated for assignment last week to create roster room for pitcher Kyle Farnsworth and infielder Kelly Johnson.

Brignac, 27, appeared in 16 games for the Rays last season at second base, third base, shortstop and left field. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, batting .231 in 400 plate appearances.

---Veteran infielder Miguel Cairo has joined the Cincinnati Reds front office in a role that appears to end his playing career.

The team announced that Cairo, 38, will be a special assistant to general manager Walt Jocketty.

---Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville announced Thursday that major-league veteran Jason Isringhausen will join the school's baseball team as its pitching coach.
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