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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.”

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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

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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

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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.


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