Chavez was expected to start in center

Washington Nationals: The club sent outfielder Endy Chavez to Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday, shaking up a struggling
lineup less than a week before opening day.

Chavez had been expected to start in center field and hit in the
leadoff spot. But he struggled this spring, with a .212 batting
average, a .257 on-base percentage and only two walks.

Last season, he hit .277 and stole 32 bases for the Expos, and
the team wanted him to get on base more to spark the offense.

But his problems in the exhibition season have contributed to
the team's lackluster attack. The Nationals scored just 11 runs
over six games heading into Tuesday night's game against the New
York Mets.

Washington also optioned right-handers Gary Majewski and Jon Rauch to its top minor league affiliate, finalizing the 11-man
pitching staff and getting the roster down to 26 players, one over
the limit.

Robinson said the team will wait until Saturday or Sunday to
make the final roster move. Infielders Carlos Baerga and Tony Blanco appear to be battling for that last spot, although it's
possible the Nationals could keep both if third baseman
Vinny Castilla -- who's been out with a hyperextended left knee -- isn't
ready for opening day.

St. Louis Cardinals-Boston Red Sox: The Cardinals traded left-handed reliever Mike Myers back to the Red Sox.

The team were still discussing what St. Louis will get in return, Cardinals spokesman Brian Bartow said.

Myers returns to the Red Sox after failing to re-sign with them following the 2004 season. He was part of the team that beat St. Louis in the World Series, ending a Boston drought dating to 1918. He pitched in five AL playoff games, but not in the World Series.

The 35-year-old Myers signed a one-year, $600,000 deal with the Cardinals in December. In nine spring training appearances, he had a 2.38 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.

The sidearming Myers was competing for a spot in the St. Louis bullpen with fellow lefties Bill Pulsipher and Randy Flores. Ray King is expected to be the team's left-handed setup man.

Boston obtained Myers from Seattle last August. He was 1-0 with a 1.47 ERA in 25 appearances for the Red Sox.

Myers was 5-1 with a 4.64 ERA overall last year and made 75 relief appearances, sixth-most in the AL. He has made more appearances than any other pitcher in the major leagues since 1996, his first full season.

Seattle Mariners: Manager Mike Hargrove confirmed what was becoming apparent in the past week -- left-hander
Jamie Moyer will be the club's starter on Opening Day.

Moyer was lined up in the spring rotation to pitch Monday's game
against the Minnesota Twins in Seattle. Going into Wednesday's
appearance against Kansas City, he was 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA this

"It's a privilege and an honor," said Moyer, who also pitched
Seattle's openers in 2000 and 2003. "There is a lot of emphasis
put on Opening Day."

Moyer won 21 games and was an All-Star in 2003, but he's trying
to bounce back from a 7-13 season last year. He's one of the most
popular Mariners, known in Seattle for his charity work as much as
his pitching.

Moyer said he'll treat it like any other start.

"There is a lot of excitement, but there's also excitement on
July 28 when you pitch," he said. "That never changes. I'm trying
not to make more of it than it is."

San Francisco Giants: The club will honor two
Hall of Fame pitchers this season, dedicating a statue to Juan
Marichal and retiring Gaylord Perry's number.

Marichal's statue will be unveiled on May 21 before a game
against Oakland and Perry's No. 36 will be retired July 23 before a
game against Florida.

"It is only fitting that we would pay tribute to two former
Giants pitching legends -- Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry -- and to
permanently recognize them for their many contributions to this
organization," owner Peter Magowan said Tuesday.

The Giants will dedicate a nine-foot bronze statue of Marichal,
featuring his famous high-leg kick, at Lefty O'Doul Plaza outside
SBC Park. The Giants also have statues of Willie Mays and Willie

Marichal played 14 seasons with the Giants, going 238-140 and
posting six 20-win seasons. He also pitched the first no-hitter in
San Francisco history on June 15, 1963, against Houston.

Perry, who pitched for the Giants from 1962-71, went 134-109 with a 2.96 ERA for San Francisco and ended
up winning 314 games in his career. He pitched a no-hitter on Sept.
17, 1968, against St. Louis and also became the first pitcher ever
to win Cy Youngs in both leagues, winning the AL award with
Cleveland in 1972 and the NL award with San Diego in 1978.

New York Yankees-Los Angeles Angels: The Yankees acquired minor league
catcher Wil Nieves from the Angels for right-hander
Bret Prinz.

By trading for Nieves the Yankees filled a hole created when
they sent top prospect Dioner Navarro to Arizona in the deal for
Randy Johnson in January.

Nieves will be assigned to Triple-A Columbus, but Yankees
general manager Brian Cashman said Nieves could be the first player
called up if Jorge Posada or John Flaherty are injured.

"It will add depth at catcher," Cashman said.

Nieves hit. 297 with 10 homers and 53 RBI in 108 games last
season for Triple-A Salt Lake.

Prinz went 1-0 with a 5.08 ERA in 26 games with New York last
season. He also made 29 appearance, going 3-1, for Columbus.

Cleveland Indians-Chicago Cubs: Cliff Bartosh, unable to land a spot
in Cleveland's revamped bullpen, was traded by the Indians to the Cubs for minor league right-hander Ronald

Bartosh was out of options with the Indians, who had been trying
to work out a deal for the left-handed specialist. The 25-year-old
appeared in 34 games for Cleveland last season, going 1-0 with a
4.66 ERA. He struck out 25 in 19 1/3 innings.

Bartosh took the loss in Tuesday's exhibition game at Kissimmee,
when the Houston Astros rallied for three runs off him in the ninth
inning for a 7-6 win. He became expendable after the Indians traded
for Arthur Rhodes during the offseason and Scott Sauerbeck's return
from shoulder surgery, giving Cleveland two veteran left-handed

This spring, Bartosh went 0-1 with three saves in six

Bay went 11-9 with a 3.10 ERA in 28 starts for Lansing (A) last
season. In his first two seasons of pro ball, the 21-year-old is
19-12 with a 3.02 ERA. He'll like start the season with Cleveland's
Kinston (A) affiliate.

Milwaukee Brewers: The club released right-handed
reliever Brooks Kieschnick after he cleared waivers,
parting with a fan favorite who made the successful transition from
outfielder to pitcher two years ago.

In two seasons, Kieschnick went 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 74 relief
appearances for Milwaukee and hit .286 with eight homers and 19
RBI in 133 at-bats.

Like the rest of the Brewers' bullpen, he had a tough spring,
compiling a 5.68 ERA in seven relief appearances. He also went
4-for-12 at the plate with a double and two RBI.

He said he's sure he'll find work when he becomes a free agent

Drafted by the Cubs after a standout college career at the
University of Texas, Kieschnick played parts of four seasons with
the Cubs, Reds and Rockies. In 2003, he tried out his stuff on the
mound in Milwaukee, where his ability to eat up innings and also
provide some pop at the plate provided manager Ned Yost with a rare

The Brewers also outrighted right-hander Ben Diggins to Class-A
Brevard County on Monday.

New York Mets-Seattle Mariners: The Mets acquired infielder Benji Gil from the Mariners for cash.

Out of the majors since 2003, Gil will report to the Mets' minor
league camp. He hit .304 (7-for-23) with one homer and three RBI
this spring for Seattle.

Gil, 32, has a career .237 average over eight seasons with the
Angels and Rangers. He was a part-time player on the Angels' 2002
World Series championship team, going 8-for-12 during the

Houston Astros: Veteran right-hander Dave Burba, a contender to become Houston's fifth starter, was among several players sent to the Astros' minor league camp.

The other players sent down were catchers Dax Norris and Chris Tremie, pitchers Phil Norton and Travis Driskill, infielders Mike Coolbaugh and Carlos Rivera and outfielder Trenidad Hubbard.

The Astros have 29 players in the major league camp and must trim the roster to 25 by Sunday. Houston opens the regular season April 5 at home against St. Louis.

Burba, a 12-year veteran, signed a minor-league contract with the Astros in January. He appeared in four spring training games, going 1-1 with a 9.26 ERA in 11 2/3 innings.

Brandon Duckworth and Ezequiel Astacio remain in competition to be Houston's fifth starter.

Detroit Tigers: Right-hander Jeremy Bonderman will start Opening Day for the Tigers on Monday against the Royals.

"It's a stepping-stone of where I want to go," Bonderman told the Detroit Free Press. "Now I've got to go out and do something."

Although manager Alan Trammell had pegged Jason Johnson as the potential opener starter earlier in the spring, Bonderman earned the start with consistent outings while Johnson struggled.

Oakland Athletics: Baseball's owners could approve the sale of the A's to developer Lewis Wolff and his partners on Wednesday.

During a conference call, the group is expected to get 75 percent approval needed for the reported $175 million deal, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Wolff, commissioner Bug Selig and A's officials reportedly met in Arizona over the weekend.

Florida Marlins: Two Marlins fans are sitting on their hopes for free season tickets.

Either Anthony Prudenti or Niriam Lauzurique, who have been sitting in seats at the stadium since Monday morning, will win two infield box seats.

They are allowed three meals a day and five-minute breaks avery four hours, but no reading, cell phones, electronics or napping. Sleep is allowed from midnight to 4 a.m.

"It takes an idiot, really," Prudenti told the South Florida-Sun Sentinel. "Season tickets are expensive."

Ten finalists in the contest sponsored by the team and a radio station received 20-game packages. Only four wanted to sit for the tickets, and two quit Monday.

If neither Prudenti nor Lauzurique is eliminated by Friday, the winner will be chosen in a trivia contest.

Los Angeles Angels: Pitcher Evan Thomas was reassigned to minor
league camp.

The 30-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 14.44 ERA in four
spring training games with one start. Thomas signed with the Angels
as a minor league free agent in December after a 2004 season split
between independent Camden and Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate.

Thomas, a native of Miami, finished the 2004 season with a
combined 11-2 record, two complete games, one shutout and a 3.99
ERA in 21 games.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.