Baseball

Guerrero finalizes deal with Texas

Vladimir Guerrero will now be hitting in the middle of the lineup for the Texas Rangers instead of doing damage against them.

Guerrero and the Rangers finalized a $5.5 million, one-year contract Monday that includes a mutual option for 2011 after the eight-time All-Star and former American League MVP passed a physical.

“I feel good that I’ve had a lot of success hitting here and I’m hoping to help the team win and stay healthy and do the same things I’ve done in the past on this field,” Guerrero said through an interpreter during his introduction. “I’ve been well for the last couple of months and I’m just hoping to be healthy in 2010.”

Guerrero, who will turn 35 next month, helped lead the Angels to five AL West titles the past six years. He was league MVP in 2004, his first season in Los Angeles after beginning his career with Montreal from 1996 to 2003.

Cuban gets $30 million deal

Aroldis Chapman knew so little about baseball in the United States that before he could pick a team, he had to look at a map. The left-hander from Cuba had never seen a major league game on television and couldn’t name all the teams.

He finally settled on one that wears a distinctive “C” on its red cap, like the one he left.

Chapman agreed Monday to a $30.25 million, six-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds, who view him as an important future addition to their rotation. The small-market club with limited payroll enticed him to Cincinnati, where he took a physical, signed a deal and saw snow for the first time.

Short hops

Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane has signed a working letter of intent to sell the team to a group consisting of local and out-of-town investors, KTRK-TV reported. … Pitching great Greg Maddux has rejoined the Chicago Cubs as an assistant to general manager Jim Hendry. … Khalil Greene has agreed to a one-year deal to fill a utility role for Texas, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. … The San Francisco Giants and first baseman Aubrey Huff agreed to a one-year contract pending a physical, a source said.

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