Baseball

D-Backs, Rockies to flee Tucson

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies are NL West rivals. Now they’re partners in a spring training facility planned for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Phoenix.

Under an agreement announced Thursday, the tribe will build an 11,000-seat ballpark and a complex that includes 12 practice fields, training facilities and offices. The facility is expected to be ready for the 2011 exhibition season.

The 140-acre site is adjacent to Scottsdale. It is thought to be the first major league spring training facility on tribal land.

The Diamondbacks have held spring training operations at Tucson Electric Park since the team’s inception in 1998, sharing the facility with the Chicago White Sox until 2008.

The White Sox moved into a new facility with the Los Angeles Dodgers northwest of Phoenix last year, leaving only the Diamondbacks and Rockies in Tucson.

With most Cactus League teams in the Phoenix area, the Diamondbacks and Rockies said it was inconvenient to travel to road games. Arizona also wanted to be closer to its fan base.

The Rockies have trained at Tucson’s aging Hi Corbett Field since their inception in 1993.

The deal is for 25 years with options to extend.

Cubs sign ex-Blue Jays closer Ryan

The Chicago Cubs signed former Toronto closer B.J. Ryan to a minor league deal, hoping to add another left-hander to their bullpen.

Released by the Blue Jays earlier this month, Ryan, 33, will first report to the Cubs’ spring training complex in Mesa, Ariz. If all goes well, he’ll join Triple-A Iowa.

Currently, Sean Marshall is the only left-hander in the Cubs’ bullpen

Short hops

Five minor league players in the Dominican Summer League – Oakland pitchers Alexis Juma and Alex Nolasco, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Renedin Mesa, Philadelphia pitcher Joan Pascual and Phillies outfielder Jose Trinidad – were suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. … The Colorado Rockies activated right-hander Manuel Corpas, on the disabled list June 20 with bone spurs in his right elbow, from the 15-day disabled list and designated right-handed pitcher Matt Belisle for assignment.

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