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Arizona Looks To Mexico For Talent

Spring training

The Arizona Diamondbacks, hoping to mine another source of talent and win fans in Mexico, completed an affiliation agreement on Monday with a team in the Mexican League.

“We think Mexico represents a source of major league players,” general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said of the agreement with the Nuevo Laredo Owls of the state of Tamaulipas.

The Diamondbacks, a 1998 expansion team, will field teams this summer in the Arizona Rookie League, the instructional Dominican Summer League and the short-season Class A Pioneer League.

Under an accord between major league baseball and Mexico, U.S. teams are not allowed to sign Mexican players unless they are under contract to a Mexican professional team.

Injury updates

Texas Rangers shortstop Benji Gil will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back, and could be sidelined six to eight weeks… . Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones will be sidelined from one to two weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a floating bone chip from his right knee.

Ballpark figures

San Francisco voters will decide today whether to change the city’s waterfront zoning to permit the Giants to build a 42,000-seat ballpark in China Basin.

The vote on Measure B marks the fifth time since 1987 the Giants have sought public approval for a new ballpark to replace windy, 36-year-old Candlestick Park… . Milwaukee Brewers president Bud Selig made an 11th-hour presentation hoping to convince a baseball district board that the team can live up to its $90 million commitment for a new stadium.

Dibble, Browning bid farewell

Fiery Rob Dibble, a two-time N.L. All-Star and member of the “Nasty Boys” bullpen of the 1990 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds, retired from baseball. He was 0-2 with a 24.55 ERA in 3-2/3 innings with the Chicago Cubs this spring… . Tom Browning, who pitched a perfect game in 1988, told the Kansas City Royals he was retiring after deciding he could not come back from the broken arm he sustained in 1994.

Around the league

The Texas Rangers signed middle infielders Jeff Frye and Spike Owen to minor league contracts… . Danny Cox, a middle reliever for Toronto the last three seasons, was released by the Blue Jays… . Former Mariners pitcher Dave Fleming, unable to find his control this spring, was released by the Kansas City Royals. The Royals said former Mariners pitcher Jim Converse, who was sent back to Kansas City on Sunday, will undergo an MRI test on his shoulder… . The California Angels placed right-handed pitchers Steve Ontiveros and Bryan Harvey on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 24… . New York Mets pitcher Pete Harnisch will start the season on the 15-day disabled list… . John Doherty was waived by the Detroit Tigers and claimed by the Boston Red Sox.

Tags: baseball