Around the Cactus League

Texas Rangers:
An incredible bargain for the Texas Rangers at about $3.5
million this season, three-time All-Star shortstop Michael Young said after
arriving at camp that he's concentrating on the season and not his
contract, though there have been some talks between the team and
his agent about a new deal.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels wouldn't go into specifics
about any contract discussions regarding Young.

"The only thing I'm going to say at this point is that we
certainly recognize how important Michael is to this team and to
our community back home," Daniels said. "Certainly, we want to
have him for some time."

Two lockers down from Young, switch-hitting slugger and past
All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira also made his first appearance
in camp, two days before the first full-squad workout.

Teixeira signed a $15.4 million, two-year contract and avoided
salary arbitration before last season, but will be eligible for
arbitration again after this season.

"I don't even think about that right now," Teixeira said. "We
have too many good things going on here to be distracted by
contract issues."

Elsewhere in the Cactus League:

Chicago Cubs:
Manager Lou Piniella said he was "embarrassed" when reports that he
would replace New York Yankees manager Joe Torre circulated in
October, and there was never any truth to them.

"There was nothing
to it," he said.

With several New York reporters at Cubs camp, the
subject came up on Wednesday. Piniella "purposely" did not see
owner George Steinbrenner during the offseason until they went to
lunch two weeks ago -- even though they both live in Tampa -- because
he didn't want people to get the wrong idea. "Now, I can go have
lunch with him anytime I want," said Piniella, a former Yankees

Colorado Rockies: Manager Clint Hurdle said new acquisition Willy Taveras will more
than likely hit at the top of the order.

"We want Willy in the
best position to have the most success," Hurdle said.

Taveras came
to Colorado in the December trade with the Houston Astros for Jason

Kazuo Matsui is also being considered for the leadoff
spot but will more than likely be second in the order, Hurdle said.

Los Angeles Angels: The Los Angeles Angels said Wednesday that
prized shortstop prospect Brando Wood will work part-time at third
base this spring.

Wood was to take infield practice at third on Thursday and will
be switched from shortstop to third base every other day, Angels
manager Mike Scioscia said.

The Angels also announced that they have signed five players for
the season: second baseman Howie Kendrick; first baseman
Casey Kotchman; catcher Jeff Mathis; right-handed pitcher Dustin Moseley
and left-handed pitcher Phil Seibel.

San Diego Padres: Todd Greene, a non-roster invitee, dislocated his right
shoulder during a drill and likely will miss the remainder of
spring training.

"It's just a freakish thing," manager Bud Black
said. "It was the most benign of drills."

The injury removes a
right-handed bat off the bench. Greene hit .289 with two homers and
17 RBIs in 61 games for the San Francisco Giants last year.

San Francisco Giants: Closer Armando Benitez faced
hitters for the first time since Sept. 2, when he took the mound
against a group that included Barry Bonds, Roberts, Randy Winn and
Rich Aurilia.

"I feel like I am at 80-85 percent," said Benitez, whose season was cut short due to knee inflammation. "More
important, I don't feel any pain and I used my legs."

Also, Omar Vizquel would like to set up an informal meeting this spring to discuss getting an extension on his expiring contract,
though Giants general manager Brian Sabean isn't ready to commit to
such discussions with the 11-time Gold Glove shortstop.

The Giants' top prospect at shortstop is Emmanuel Burris, a
switch-hitter selected 33rd overall in last year's draft as
compensation for losing lefty reliever Scott Eyre in free agency.