Mariners sign catcher Miguel Olivo

The Seattle Mariners signed catcher Miguel Olivo to a two-year contract Thursday.

Olivo, reached by phone in the Dominican Republic, confirmed the deal, which will pay him $7 million over two years, with an option for 2013.

Olivo also said he is not going to Seattle to be the backup.

“All I know is, I’m the No. 1 catcher,” he said. “That’s what I’ve been told.”


This will be Olivo’s second stint with the Mariners after spending parts of the 2004 and 2005 seasons in Seattle. Last year, Olivo hit a career-best .269 with 14 home runs and 58 runs batted in for Colorado.

Orioles-Twins deal

The Baltimore Orioles turned pitching depth into infield help by acquiring J.J. Hardy and Brendan Harris from the Minnesota Twins for two promising right-handers.

Shortstop Hardy, 28, a National League All-Star in 2007 for the Milwaukee Brewers when he hit 26 home runs, batted .268 with six homers and 38 RBIs during an injury-slowed campaign with Minnesota last season.

The versatile and much-traveled Harris, 30, has hit .260 in 458 career games with the Cubs (2004), Expos (2004), Nationals (2005-06), Reds (2006), Rays (2007) and Twins (2008-10).

Hardy will form half of a revamped left side of the infield for Baltimore, which recently acquired slugging third baseman Mark Reynolds.

The Twins received Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey in return.

Cabrera to Royals


Outfielder Melky Cabrera reached a preliminary agreement on a $1.25-million, one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals.

The deal, which includes performance bonuses, is subject to Cabrera passing a physical.

Cabrera was obtained by the Atlanta Braves a year ago as part of a five-player trade that sent right-hander Javier Vazquez to the New York Yankees. Cabrera, 26, hit .255 with four homers and 42 RBIs and started in 115 games during the regular season, then went 0-for-8 against San Francisco in the NL playoffs.

Valdez is named


The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired right-handed starter Cesar Valdez from the Arizona Diamondbacks as the player to be named in the Zach Duke trade.

The Pirates dealt the left-handed Duke to Arizona on Nov. 24 after removing him from the 40-man roster and designating him for assignment. He later agreed to a $4.25-million, one-year contract with Arizona.

Valdez, 25, was 6-10 with a 5.90 earned-run average in 20 games, 18 starts, at triple-A Reno last season. He also was 1-2 in nine games, including two starts, with Arizona. He was chosen as the Diamondbacks’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2008.