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  Mon, February 25, 2013


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MLB notes: Vernon Wells the MLB owner?
By QMI Agency


Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fielder Vernon Wells looks on from the dugout during the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto June 28, 2012. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)

Vernon Wells’ career will come to an end when his current deal with the Los Angeles Angels ends in 2014.

Wells, who will be 35 when his seven-year, $126 million ciontract comes to a conclusion, provided family as his top reason for eventually walking away.

"It'll be time to invest more in (my kids') lives,” Wells told MLB.com.

The three-time all-star has two boys, aged 10 and seven.

“I've gone through this for long enough,” Wells continued. “My thoughts right now as a family is to be done after two years, enjoy them, get to be there for them in those years where they're going to need their dad every day, not just every now and then."

The former Toronto Blue Jay mentioned ownership as a potential future venture.

"It's fun, man,” he explained. “Instead of playing fantasy GM, you're actually putting together your own team and learning what it takes to pretty much make money in an organization, especially in the Minor Leagues.

NAPOLI SET FOR DEBUT

Mike Napoli is expected to make his pre-season debut Friday, according to Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, who added Napoli will play first base.

After agreeing to a three-year deal worth close to $40 million this off-season, Napoli was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip, allowing the Red Sox to reconsider the deal and eventually settle on a one-year contract worth $5 million with Napoli.

Avascular necrosis is a disease that causes bone deteroration due to a lack of blood flow.

The 2012 all-star catcher reportedly circled the bases on the weekend and reported no discomfort.

Napoli, who spent the last two seasons with the Texas Rangers, has a .259 career average and enjoyed his best season with the Rangers in 2010 when he hit .320 with 75 RBIs.

DAMON SEEKS YANKEE RETURN

Ex-Yankee Johnny Damon believes he’d be the perfect replacement for injured New York Yankees centre fielder Curtis Granderson.

Speaking with ESPN radio in New York, the two-time all-star, who was released by the Cleveland Indians last August, said he'd be willing to fill in for Granderson until he returns from a broken forearm in May.

"You guys know that I would have tons of interest to go to New York," Damon told the station. "But I just don't think they would be interested. I'm not exactly sure what happened over the years or something. “They have had plenty of opportunities and I kept raising my hand, wanting to go back and, you know, hopefully it would be a perfect fit. It always had been. Have me for six weeks and then send me off on my merry way. That's fine."

The 39-year-old outfielder played four seasons with the Yankees, winning a World Series with the club before entering free agency in 2009.

"I hope (the Yankees) have interest but it seems like they haven't the past couple of years,” Damon said. “I don't know why things would change now."

When reached by ESPN Monday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said his club was currently looking within the roster to find a short-term replacement for Granderson.

WILLIS’ RETURN DOESN’T LAST LONG

Dontrelle Willis, a two-time all-star, World Series champion and a pitcher who nearly captured the NL Cy Young Award in 2005, didn’t last long in his attempt at a return on Monday.

Seven pitches into a pre-season stint with the Chicago Cubs, the 31-year-old left the game complaining of shoulder tightness.

After retiring from baseball last July after a failed attempt to return with the Baltimore Orioles, Willis agreed to a minor league deal with the Cubs last month.

But after walking the first batter he faced Monday, his return from retirement could be short-lived.

BRIEFLY: Houston Astros minor leaguer Mark Hamburger received a 50-game ban from Major League Baseball on Monday, stemming from a second violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. The 26-year-old right-handed pitcher has one career big league appearance, earning a win for the Texas Rangers in his only start in 2011.






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