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Pena rejoins Rays' batting order

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have added a familiar bat to the middle of their lineup.

A person with knowledge of the agreement tells the Associated Press that slugger Carlos Pena has agreed to a $7.25 million, one-year contract to return to the team for whom he posted impressive power numbers for four seasons.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because the club had not announced the agreement.

Pena played with the Rays from 2007-10, helping them reach the playoffs twice before signing as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs for $10 million last season. He also had been sought by the Cleveland Indians, who have been looking to add a powerful bat.

The 33-year-old is the second major addition to the middle of the Rays' batting order this winter. The team signed free agent Luke Scott to a $6.5 million, one-year contract last week.

In addition to bolstering the offense with a bat that hit 144 homers and drove in 407 runs during Pena's first stint in Tampa Bay, the Rays filled the need for an everyday first baseman. Pena won a Gold Glove in 2008, a year after he posted the best offensive numbers of his career with a .282 batting average with 46 homers and 121 RBIs to earn the AL Comeback Player of the Year award.

The left-handed hitter also drove in 100 or more runs in 2008 and 2009, when he was an All-Star. He left Tampa Bay after slumping to .196 with 28 homers and 84 RBIs two years ago.

Pena batted .225 with 28 homers and 80 RBIs in his only season with the Cubs. He is a .239 career hitter who has 258 homers and 730 RBIs in 11 seasons with the Rays, Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers.


Dodgers deeply in debt

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers told the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday exactly how much they owe: $573 million.

The team included the figure in filing its reorganization plan, the formal document that explains how a company intends to get out of bankruptcy. For the Dodgers, that means a sale of the team, a process that appears to be getting more competitive by the day.

Larry Ellison, the founder and chief executive of software giant Oracle, has considered pursuing the Dodgers, two people familiar with the matter said Friday. Each person said he did not know whether Ellison would participate in bidding for the team.


Indians add pitcher

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have acquired right-hander Kevin Slowey from Colorado, a move prompted by Fausto Carmona's arrest in the Dominican Republic.

The Indians sent reliever Zach Putnam and cash to the Rockies for Slowey, who pitched for Minnesota last season and was traded to Colorado on Dec. 6. Slowey split last season between the Twins and Triple-A Rochester. He went 0-8 in the majors and spent time on the disabled list.

Slowey give the Indians an experienced arm and a possible option in the rotation in case Carmona, who has been alleged of using a false identity to play in the U.S., can't pitch. Police say Carmona's real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia.

Though Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti insists that Slowey had been on his radar screen for years, Antonetti conceded, "Obviously there is some uncertainty with the situation about Fausto."

However, when Antonetti was asked if Carmona's problems triggered the deal, he said, "Not necessarily. We've been trying to acquire him since his college days at Winthrop. We tried to trade for him last year at the trading deadline."

Putnam spent most of last season at Triple-A Columbus, where he went 6-3 with a 3.65 ERA.


Around the bases

Outfielder Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $2.8 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration.

Free-agent closer Ryan Madson and the Cincinnati Reds have finalized their $8.5 million, one-year contract.

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