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    MLB notes: Phillies sign Burnett, put Hamels on shelf

    On the day Cole Hamels announced he won’t be ready for the season opener, the Philadelphia Phillies helped their ailing starting rotation.

    A person familiar with the deal said that A.J. Burnett agreed to a one-year contract with the Phillies on Wednesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Phillies haven’t made an official announcement.

    Burnett’s deal reportedly is worth $16 million. If Hamels is healthy, he gives the Phillies a formidable top three along with Cliff Lee.


    Kyle Kendrick is slotted to be fourth in the rotation. Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, and Cuban righty Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will compete for the fifth spot.

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    Hamels told reporters in Clearwater, Fla., that he has left biceps tendinitis, but expects to pitch in April.

    Burnett was 10-11 with a 3.30 ERA for Pittsburgh last season. The 37-year-old righthander is 147-132 with a 3.99 ERA in 15 major league seasons.

    Hamels initially said he felt discomfort in his shoulder. He called the ailment a ‘‘kink in the system’’ after he rebooted his throwing program in mid-to-late November.

    A three-time All-Star and MVP of the 2008 World Series and NLCS, Hamels is coming off a poor year. He was 8-14 with a 3.60 ERA in his first full season after signing a $144 million, six-year deal in July 2012.

    Iwakuma sidelined


    Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will not throw for 4-6 weeks because of an injury to the middle finger of his right hand.

    Iwakuma reported to camp Wednesday and had a splint on the finger. He’s been diagnosed with a strained tendon and will be re-examined by a hand specialist in three weeks. The injury isn’t expected to require surgery, but he’ll likely miss all of spring training.

    Iwakuma said his finger got caught as he tried to retrieve a ball in some netting while working out in Southern California in January.

    In other news from the Mariners camp, Jesus Montero apologized to teammates after joining the team for the first time since receiving a 50-game suspension after being connected to baseball’s Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug investigation.

    “I know I made a bad mistake last year and I don’t know what I was thinking,’’ he said. “But I’m here right now this year to be better and to help the team to win.’’


    Montero is coming off a rough 2013. The catcher’s struggles with hitting and defense got him sent down to Triple-A Tacoma, where he was moved to first base. Then came a torn meniscus that required season-ending knee surgery and the suspension.

    Upgrades for Cubs

    The Cubs unveiled their state-of-the-art spring training facility in the Arizona desert as chairman Tom Ricketts remained hopeful that work on their historic home back in Chicago will begin soon. Ricketts spoke at the ribbon-cutting for Cubs Park in Mesa, their new publicly funded stadium and training complex. Pitchers and catchers report Thursday, and players will be greeted by a sparkling new facility. In Chicago, meanwhile, the $500 million overhaul to Wrigley Field remains on hold. The Cubs want to install a 650-square-foot sign in right field with a guarantee that the neighboring rooftop owners won’t slow construction with a lawsuit. The rooftop owners, who hand over a percentage of their revenue to the team, are balking amid concerns about blocked views . . . All-Star closer Greg Holland agreed with the Royals to a one-year contract worth $4,675,000, the final player to reach a deal among Kansas City’s players in arbitration. Holland went 2-1 with a 1.21 ERA and a franchise-record 47 saves last season . . . Righthanded reliever Jose Valverde and the Mets agreed to a minor league contract. The three-time All-Star has struggled with control in recent years and was released by the Tigers in August . . . Righthander Kyle Davies agreed to a minor league contract with the Indians..