Criticized for not spending enough on free agents in recent years, the Indians splurged on another star.
The club agreed to terms Monday with outfielder Michael Bourn on a four-year, $48 million contract. It’s the second major deal this winter for the Indians, who signed free agent Nick Swisher to a four-year, $56 million contract in January.
Bourn, who was an All-Star with Atlanta last season, must pass a physical later this week in Goodyear, Ariz., before the deal can be completed. Bourn batted .274 with nine homers, 57 RBIs, and 42 steals last season for the Braves.
As long as there isn’t a hang-up, the 30-year-old Bourn, who has remained on the market all winter, will move into the Indians’ starting lineup. He played center field last season and would give an immediate boost to a Cleveland team that has lost at least 90 games in three of the past four seasons.
Carpenter wants to pitch
Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter hasn’t ruled out pitching again, including this year.
Carpenter, 37, met with reporters at Busch Stadium as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training in Jupiter, Fla. Last week, the team said it wasn’t counting on the longtime staff ace this season, shut down this time because of apparent circulation problems that left his pitching hand aching and discolored for hours after he left the mound.
Against odds, perhaps, there’s dogged optimism.
‘‘Maybe I don’t ever want it to end,’’ Carpenter said. ‘‘I don’t think I’ll ever retire, to be honest with you. I’ll never say that word. There might always be hope.’’
The 2005 NL Cy Young winner underwent radical surgery last July to relieve nerve compression in the shoulder that involved removing a rib.
Okajima to join A’s
Free agent lefthander Hideki Okajima agreed to a minor league contract with the Athletics, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said. The deal is pending a physical, which could take place Tuesday. Okajima, 37, spent the 2007-11 seasons with the Red Sox, then signed a minor league deal with the Yankees and was released at the start of spring training when he failed a physical . . . Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and the Reds agreed on a one-year contract for $7,375,000, leaving starters Mat Latos and Homer Bailey as the only Cincinnati players in salary arbitration. Choo made $4.9 million last season with Cleveland . . . Outfielder Scott Hairston and the Cubs finalized a two-year contract worth $5 million plus incentives. Hairston, 32, hit .263 with a career-high 20 homers and 57 RBIs last year in his second season with the Mets . . . Derek Jeter ran for the first time since breaking his left ankle in October, another step toward being in the Yankees’ lineup on Opening Day . . . Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra will not go to spring training as a guest instructor with the Yankees because the 87-year-old’s travel is limited . . . Edith Houghton, one of the first female scouts in major league baseball, died Feb. 2 at the age of 100. After a playing career that included a stint with the Philadelphia Bobbies, Houghton worked for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1946-52, and also had a decorated career in the military.