Padres, Mariners will continue to share Peoria

The Sports Xchange
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--The Padres and the Mariners have reached a deal that will keep both teams at their shared spring training home in Peoria, Ariz., through 2034.

The official announcement was made Monday before the Padres and Mariners took the field for the second of their two Cactus League meetings. Under the deal, the city of Peoria will put $48 million into upgrades of the Peoria Sports Complex, which was built in 1994 and has been in use by both the Padres and the Mariners since then under 20-year leases.

Peoria Sports Complex was the first spring training facility shared by two teams, and also plays home to the Arizona Summer League, the Arizona Instructional League, and an Arizona Fall League team, the Peoria Javelinas. Both the Padres and Mariners use the complex year-round.

--The Padres secured a long-term deal for OF Cameron Maybin on Saturday, but they will have some shorter-term injuries to deal with in the immediate future.

The team announced a five-year, $25 million deal for Maybin on Saturday, according to multiple reports. The agreement included an option for a sixth year that could bump the total value to $32 million to $33 million, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"Cameron has certainly emerged as a core player," general manager Josh Byrnes said in a statement of Maybin, who hit .264 with 40 stolen bases, nine homers and 40 RBI last season. "During his time with the Padres, he has impressed us with his play and with his character. He has shown us that he is committed to the Padres, and we are happy to secure his rights through 2017."

Maybin, who often praised San Diego and expressed his desire to remain with the club last season, attempted to get a no-trade clause, but the club declined, citing a team policy against such clauses, according to ESPN.com.

While the mood was mostly celebratory after the club locked up the 24-year-old center fielder, the Padres lost infielder Logan Forsythe for two to eight weeks, due to a left foot injury.

Shortstop Jason Bartlett will also be out at least a couple of days due to a right knee injury.

--INF Everth Cabrera, if he wins the last spot on the Padres' Opening Day roster as the reserve middle infielder, Logan Forsythe and James Darnell could form the left side of the infield at Class AAA Tucson. Both third basemen out of college, Forsythe and Darnell were, respectively, the 46th and 69th overall picks in the 2008 draft. In the 3 1/2 seasons since, the Padres have moved the pair around, seeking ways to get both promising hitters into the lineup. For the second time in three springs, Forsythe is learning a new position. The third baseman-turned-second baseman is now fielding grounders at short while bidding for the 25th roster spot at the Padres utility infielder. Meantime, Darnell is becoming primarily a third baseman again. "He's a third baseman who can play left," said Padres manager Bud Black. While both 25-year-olds are bidding for spots on the Padres Opening Day roster, they more likely will form the left side of the infield at Class AAA Tucson for at least the start of the season -- Darnell at third and Forsythe alternating with Andy Parrino.

--Forsythe said the surgery to his left knee at the end of last season is no longer a concern. "There's no problem, nothing to think about," said Logan, who has had surgery on the same knee at the end of two straight seasons.

--OF Chris Denorfia (lower back tightness) was the lone Padre who showed up on the daily injury report during the first two weeks of spring train. "The overall health of the team is very good," said Padres manager Bud Black.

--RHP Andrew Cashner, who came to the Padres from the Cubs in a trade for 1B Anthony Rizzo, caught the eye of his new teammates during the first rounds of live batting practice. "It looked like he was throwing a hundred," offered CF Cameron Maybin, who, jokingly, said he was thankful not to be in the group facing Cashner for their first swings of spring training. "I couldn't see it."

--INF Drew Cumberland has looked sharp at the Padres advanced minor league camp during the first days of his comeback. Cumberland hasn't played since the middle of the 2010 season due to vertigo-like symptoms.

--LHP Joe Thatcher scored the first hole-in-one of his Feb. 24 on the par-three, 176-yard 17th hole at the Boulder Golf Club in Scottsdale. "I saw it all the way into the hole on the third bounce," said Thatcher, a "15-handicapper," who used a four-iron. Padres RHP Luke Gregerson witnessed the ace.

BY THE NUMBERS
5 -- Padres on the 40-man roster who have common roots in the University of Miami. The four are 1B Yonder Alonso (2006-2008), Cs Eddy Rodriguez (2004-2006), Jason Hagerty (2007-2009) and Yasmani Grandal (2008-2010) and OF Blake Tekotte (2006-2008).

QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's good for the game, but we should have had this rule five years ago." -- Padres manager Bud Black after Major League Baseball announced adding a second wild-card team to the playoffs starting with this season. The Padres would have qualified as the National League's second wild card team in both 2007 and 2010.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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