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Cabrera joins Jays, admits error

TBO.com
Associated Press
The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 09:13 PM

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DUNEDIN -

Melky Cabrera drew hugs from his new Toronto teammates, then trotted out his mantra to deflect questions about last year's drug suspension.

The 28-year-old outfielder joined the Blue Jays at spring training on Friday. He was the MVP of the All-Star game last summer, but was later suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after a positive test for testosterone.

The San Francisco Giants left him off the postseason roster during their run to the World Series championship.

With slight variations, Cabrera repeatedly said through a translator: "I made a mistake. I paid the price for it. I'm looking forward to 2013."

The reason for his reticence: a pending investigation, he said.

"My lawyers are dealing with MLB. The lawyers are going to be the ones making all the statements about last year," he said.

Cabrera signed a two-year contract worth $16 million soon after the Giants let him go.

Cabrera led the NL in hitting at .346 when he was suspended Aug. 15. He asked MLB for a rules change that disqualified him from the batting title.

INDIANS: Michael Bourn, an All-Star center fielder last season with Atlanta, officially signed his four-year, $48 million contract. The 30-year-old will bat leadoff and play center for new Indians manager Terry Francona, who met with Bourn before the Indians had their first full-squad workout.

MARLINS: First baseman Casey Kotchman signed a minor-league contract and is expected to join major-league camp today.

The Seminole High graduate hit .229 in 142 games last year for Cleveland. He had 12 homers and 55 RBIs.

NATIONALS: Washington and right-hander Jordan Zimmermann agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

PHILLIES: Chase Utley took batting practice and infield work and expects to be on the field when Philadelphia opens the Grapefruit League season next week.

Utley, who hasn't played in a spring training game since 2010 and has missed significant time in each of the last two seasons with knee injuries, is confident he can play a full season in 2013.

"I feel pretty (darn) good right now," Utley said after the optional workout at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater. "Hopefully, it will stay that way and I think it will."

RANGERS: Slugger Nelson Cruz said Friday it was "shocking" and "depressing" to see his name came up in connection with a Florida clinic now at the center of Major League Baseball's latest drug investigation.

Cruz said he could not shed any light on why his name is reportedly in the records of Biogenesis of America LLC.

"I want to speak and I want to talk, but my lawyer told me I cannot say anything right now," Cruz said. "I want to be honest, but this is currently under investigation by Major League Baseball and I can't really make any comment on it. As soon as it is done, I will talk."

REDS: First baseman Joey Votto had his physical Friday morning and passed all of his tests after missing 48 games last season with a knee injury.

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