Heisey, Reds reach accord Outfielder gets one-year contract ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to one-year contracts with outfielder Chris Heisey and right-hander Alfredo Simon, avoiding arbitration.
Heisey the former Donegal High School standout, will make $1,325,000 and Simon will earn $890,000. The deals were announced by the Reds on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Heisey batted .265 with seven homers and 31 RBIs in 120 games for the Reds last season. It was a considerable power drop-off for Heisey: In 2011, his second year in the majors, he also appeared in 120 games but hit 18 homers in 68 fewer at-bats.
Simon, 31, went 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 36 relief appearances in his first year with the Reds after parts of four seasons in Baltimore.
Cincinnati still has four players in arbitration: pitchers Homer Bailey, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Vizquel joins Angels: Omar Vizquel has been hired by the Los Angeles Angels as a roving infield instructor.
The 45-year-old Vizquel played for Toronto as a reserve infielder last season, finishing up his 24-year major league career with 2,877 hits. The three-time All-Star won 11 Gold Gloves.
Vizquel is interested in eventually becoming a manager. He'll work with the Angels' major leaguers and prospects during spring training.
Indians sign Capps: The Indians have signed free agent pitcher Matt Capps to a minor-league contract.
Capps' deal includes a non-roster invitation to spring training camp. The 29-year-old has 138 career saves in 444 appearances for Pittsburgh, Washington and Minnesota. He opened last season closing for the Twins and had 14 saves in his first 15 chances. But Capps was slowed by shoulder inflammation and pitched just four innings after June 15.
The Twins declined their $6 million contract option on Capps for 2013, instead paying him a $250,000 buyout.
Capps was the winning pitcher for the National League in the 2010 All-Star game. That season, he had a career-high 42 saves and a 2.47 ERA in 74 games for the Nationals and Twins.
Prado, Arizona agree: The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract with Martin Prado just a week after acquiring the former All-Star infielder in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta.
Prado made the All-Star team as the Braves' second baseman in 2010 but is slated to play at third base for the Diamondbacks.
The 29-year-old infielder, who will play for Venezuela in this year's World Baseball Classic, is a career .295 hitter. Arizona sent two-time All-Star Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson to the Braves for Prado, right-hander Randall Delgado and three minor leaguers.
Upton had three years left on a contract owing him $38.5 million so the Prado deal is not a significant increase to the Diamondbacks' payroll. Managing partner Ken Kendrick said last week that he expects the payroll to be somewhere above $90 million for the coming season.
Prado will earn $7 million this season, then $11 million each of the following three years.
Mets invite Hawkins: The New York Mets have signed right-hander LaTroy Hawkins to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
The 40-year-old Hawkins went 2-3 with one save and a 3.64 ERA last season in 48 games for the Los Angeles Angels.
Another title for Sandoval: Just three months after becoming the first Venezuelan to win the World Series MVP award, the Giants' Pablo Sandoval is celebrating a new feat -- the championship win of his team in Venezuela's professional league.
The 26-year-old slugger helped lead his team, the Navegantes del Magallanes, to an 11-9 win on Wednesday night in the final game of the championship series over the Cardenales.
Sandoval hit one homerun and two doubles, and had two RBIs. He was selected most valuable player for the series, and his team won its first title since 2002 in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.
Sandoval batted .300 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the series. Sandoval's team will go on to represent Venezuela in the upcoming Caribbean Series in Hermosillo, Mexico.
He said it had been worth the effort of securing permission from the Giants to play in Venezuela. Sandoval and other major leaguers often come home to play in the offseason, even though their better-paying U.S. teams frequently discourage it because of the chance of injury.
Sandoval said the Navegantes' loss in 2010 in the championship had been like a "little thorn" irritating him for the past three years. In that series, Sandoval didn't want to miss the seventh and decisive game, and he flew in at the last minute, rushing by helicopter from Caracas to the city of Valencia. He got a hit, but his team still lost 7-2 to the rival Caracas Leones.