Yankees sign Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard to minor league contracts

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According to Sweeney Murti of WFAN, the Yankees have signed Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard to minor league contracts. They’ll both get invites to spring training.

The oft-injured Chavez has played in a grand total of 154 games since the start of the 2007 season, but worked out for a number of teams this winter, including the Dodgers and the Blue Jays. The 33-year-old batted .234/.276/.333 with one home run and 10 RBI over 123 plate appearances with the A’s last season, but didn’t play another game in the big leagues after going on the disabled list with neck spasms in May. It’s hard to see a fit for the former Gold Glover, even if he’s healthy.

Belliard, who turns 36 in April, was released by the Dodgers last September after batting just .216/.295/.327 with two home runs and 19 RBI over 185 plate appearances. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that Belliard would earn a base salary of $825,000 plus incentives if he makes the team, but he’ll have to beat out Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena in order to win a roster spot.

Derek Jeter-Jeb Bush reportedly in agreement to purchase the Marlins

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UPDATE: In the wake of the earlier reports now come multiple reports that, yes, Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush are in agreement to purchase the Miami Marlins. No one in the know is commenting officially, however.

A purchase price is not yet known, though it is expected to be, at a minimum, $1.4 billion, which was the sale price of the Mariners last year. Reports are that Jeter and Bush are still seeking funding sources, but that rival groups have dropped out and that Jeff Loria and the Jeter-Bush team have a handshake agreement.

There are, as we have seen in recent years, a few hurdles to get over, primarily the finalization of funding. But at the moment it appears as if Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush are going to be the next owners of the Miami Marlins.

2:44 PM: There are a couple of confusing and potentially conflicting reports swirling about the Miami Marlins sale right now.

When last we heard, there were two high-profile groups with reported interest. One run by Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and politician Jeb Bush. The other run by Hall of Famer Tom Glavine and . . . son of politician, Tagg Romney.

Today Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg reported that the Jeter-Bush group has “won the auction” for the team. Mike Ozanian of Forbes reported earlier in the day, however, that they haven’t “won” anything. They merely remain the last group standing and that they have submitted a “non-binding indication of interest,” which, as the name suggests, means very little formally. They’re still seeking funding sources. Ozanian reports that the Glavine-Romney team is out.

That’s all a bit confusing, but given how team sales tend to go — slowly, with pretty established and plugged-in sports business types deliberately reporting the progress of negotiations — Ozanian’s report feels a bit more credible. Either way, I’d say it’s way, way too early to photoshop a Marlins cap on old pictures of Derek Jeter just yet.

UPDATE: Then there’s this:

Which does make it sound more official, but leaves open the question of whether Jeter and Bush have the money together.

The first native Lithuanian in MLB history made his debut last night

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Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.

Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.

That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.

Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.