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MLB: Braves trading Soriano

Associated Press
The baseball notebook …
INDIANAPOLIS ó A person familiar with the deal says the Atlanta Braves are close to trading reliever Rafael Soriano to the Tampa Bay Rays for pitcher Jesse Chavez.
The teams were waiting for the medical reports to be approved, the person told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn’t been finalized.
Soriano had 27 saves last season for Atlanta. This week, he agreed to the Braves’ offer of salary arbitration.
The Braves recently signed free agent relievers Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito. That made Soriano expendable, and the Rays were looking for late-inning relief help.
RED SOX-RANGERS
INDIANAPOLIS ó The Boston Red Sox are discussing a trade that would send 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers.
The 35-year-old third baseman was an All-Star four times from 2002-07, hitting .324 with 21 homers and 120 RBIs in 2007. But he slumped to 73 RBIs in 2008 and 75 RBIs this year, hitting 17 homers each season.
Lowell was slowed by surgery in October 2008 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip and remove a bone spur on a thigh bone. He is owed $12 million in 2010, the final season of a $37.5 million, three-year contract.
HARDEN-RANGERS
INDIANAPOLIS ó Rich Harden and the Texas Rangers completed a one-year contract Thursday that guarantees the right-hander $7.5 million.
The deal calls for a $6.5 million salary next year and includes an $11.5 million mutual option for 2011 with a $1 million buyout. Harden can earn an additional $250,000 next year in performance bonuses.
The oft-injured Harden had to pass a physical before the agreement was finalized.
Harden struck out 171 batters in 141 innings last season, going 9-9 with a 4.09 ERA for the Chicago Cubs.
Harden, who turned 28 last month, is 50-29 with a 3.39 ERA in seven big league seasons.
BOOF TRADED
MINNEAPOLIS ó The Minnesota Twins have traded right-hander Boof Bonser to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later or cash.
Bonser missed all last season after having surgery on his pitching shoulder. He was 18-25 in his career with the Twins with a 5.12 ERA.
FELIZ TO ASTROS
INDIANAPOLIS ó The Houston Astros landed a new third baseman on the final day of the winter meetings, agreeing Thursday to a $4.5 million, one-year contract with Pedro Feliz.
The 34-year-old hit .266 with 12 homers and 82 RBIs last season for NL champion Philadelphia Phillies, who declined a $5.5 million option for 2010 and opted to pay a $500,000 buyout.
– INDIANAPOLIS ó Reliever Brandon Lyon reached a preliminary agreement with the Houston Astros on a $15 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.
The deal is subject to the 30-year-old right-hander passing a physical.

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