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MLB roundup: Yankees acquire Wells; Jeter heads to DL

The SportsXchange

Comings and goings in the Bronx highlighted a busy day of baseball news Tuesday.

The New York Yankees finalized their trade for outfielder Vernon Wells, while shortstop Derek Jeter acknowledged that he'll begin the season on the disabled list due to soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle. New York also signed first baseman Lyle Overbay to a minor league deal and claimed right-handed pitcher Dan Otero off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.

Wells, a three-time All-Star, heads to New York from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for two Class A prospects, outfielder Exircardo Cayones and left-handed pitcher Kramer Sneed.

The deal was first reported Sunday and was completed once the 34-year-old Wells passed a physical Tuesday. The Angels reportedly will pay $28.1 million of the remaining $42 million owed to Wells over the next two seasons.

Wells hit just .222 over the past two seasons with 36 home runs and 95 runs batted in while earning $21 million per year.

However, the Yankees are gambling on a rebound season from Wells at the plate as they cope with injuries to Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson.

Jeter will be eligible to play April 6 against the Detroit Tigers, the fifth game of the season, but he wouldn't set a timetable for his return.

"I'm going to stop putting dates on it," he said. "As hard as it is sometimes, you've got to look at the big picture. My goal was to be ready for Opening Day, but my goal also was to be ready for the season. I pushed it to try to get there Opening Day, and it didn't work out."

--St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese went on the disabled list because of back problems. The Cardinals are exercising caution with Freese. Infielder Ryan Jackson will replace him on the roster.

Freese, 29, batted .293 with 20 homers in 144 games last season, and was the 2011 World Series MVP.

--Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Wilson Betemit, using crutches and wearing a large brace on his right knee, told reporters that the injury will keep him out at least six to eight weeks.

Betemit was diagnosed with a Grade 2/3 posterior cruciate ligament tear and will stay in Sarasota, Fla., for a few weeks before starting a rehab program. He was told Monday night that the injury won't require surgery.

In other Orioles news, the team reassigned outfielder Lew Ford to minor league camp.

--The San Francisco Giants purchased the contract of reliever Chad Gaudin, guaranteeing the righty a spot in the bullpen.

Gaudin, 30, came to camp on a minor league deal, and he compiled a 2.81 ERA in 16 Cactus League innings. He will work in middle relief.

--Detroit Tigers starter Rick Porcello has gone from the rumor mill to rotation.

The righty was officially named to the starting staff by manager Jim Leyland, with lefty Drew Smyly heading to the bullpen. The news ends for now the speculation on Porcello's potential departure.

--Jurickson Profar's time for regular major league at-bats will be delayed after the Texas Rangers optioned one of baseball's top prospects to Triple-A.

The Rangers didn't have a starting spot for Profar on the big-league team with Elvis Andrus at shortstop and Ian Kinsler at second base. The team kept Leury Garcia as a utility infielder, opting to get Profar regular action in the minors.

Another Rangers farmhand fared better, as rookie Nick Tepesch earned the fifth-starter's job. He is scheduled to make his major league debut April 9 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Also, veteran pitcher Derek Lowe has earned a spot on the Texas Rangers' Opening Day roster. The righty posted a 6.23 ERA in 8 2/3 innings, though he didn't allow runs in two of his three relief outings. Lowe will serve as a swingman.

--The Kansas City Royals answered one of their few questions of the spring Tuesday, when pitcher Luis Mendoza was named to complete the team's revamped rotation.

The righty beat out lefty Bruce Chen, who will pitch in relief, and will follow James Shields, Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie and Wade Davis.

--The Cleveland Indians re-signed pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps to minor league deals, the team announced Tuesday. The Indians released the duo recently to avoid paying a $100,000 retention bonuses. The two righties likely will head to Triple-A Columbus.

--Right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook was released by the Philadelphia Phillies. He posted a 3.38 ERA in 18 2/3 innings this spring, but he wasn't going to crack the rotation.

--The Houston Astros released infielder Tyler Greene. The 29-year-old came to camp as the favorite for the starting shortstop job, but that changed after the club added Ronny Cedeno over the weekend.

--Kevin Slowey has earned the fifth spot in the Miami Marlins' rotation. The veteran beat out prospect Jacob Turner, who was sent to the minors Tuesday, and fellow veteran John Maine.

Also, reliever Chad Qualls has earned a spot in the Marlins' bullpen. A non-roster invitee, the 34-year-old posted a 2.70 ERA in 6 2/3 Grapefruit League innings.

--The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to terms with infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, who was released by the Phillies last weekend after hitting .447 this spring. Betancourt must pass a physical to finalize the deal.

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