Te’o improves 40 time, won’t attend draft
Manti Te’o was more comfortable at home.
That’s what an improved 40-yard dash time suggests, as does Te’o revelation Tuesday after Notre Dame’s pro day that he will pass on an invitation to attend the draft in New York and watch the event privately with family.
Te’o, one of several Notre Dame prospects working out for NFL scouts Tuesday in South Bend, Ind., Tuesday, made good on his promise to improve his poor workout numbers at the Scouting Combine last month.
Te’o ran his two 40-yard dashes in the 4.7-4.75 range, shaving more than one-tenth of a second off of his pedestrian 4.81 clocking in Indianapolis.
One of the most scrutinized players in the 2013 NFL Draft class, Te’o was considered a first-round pick in 2011 as a junior. He opted to return to school and was an All-American for the Fighting Irish, who went undefeated to reach the BCS national championship game against Alabama.
Te’o’s poor performance in that game, coupled with the international news story of Te’o being tricked into falling for a girl who didn’t exist by childhood friends, but him under the microscope with media and virtually everyone with an opinion.
Indians re-sign Matsuzaka, Capps
The Cleveland Indians re-signed pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps to minor-league deals, the team announced Tuesday.
The Indians had released the duo recently to avoid paying a $100,000 retention bonuses. The two righties each has major-league service time, but will likely head to Triple-A Columbus.
Matsuzaka made 11 starts last year in his final season for the Boston Red Sox, but posted a 8.28 ERA in 45 2/3 innings. He is 50-37 for his career, including an 18-3 mark in 2008.
Capps spent the previous 2 1/2 seasons with the Minnesota Twins. He worked only 29 1/3 innings last season, but recorded 14 saves.
Yankees sign Overbay, claim pitcher
The New York Yankees signed first baseman Lyle Overbay to a minor-league deal Tuesday, hours after he was released by the Boston Red Sox, according to a Newsday report.
The 36-year-old batted .259 in 131 plate appearances for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves last season. He was pushed out of Boston’s first-base picture after the team’s acquisition of Mike Carp.
He may find playing time with the Yankees due to the wrist injury suffered by Mark Teixeira.
The Yankees also claimed right-handed pitcher Dan Otero off waivers from the San Francisco Giants. The 28-year-old made his Major League debut with the Giants last season, and posted a 5.84 ERA in 12 1/3 innings.
Giants’ Rogers claims jewelry stolen
New York Giants defensive tackle Shaun Rogers told police that $440,000 worth of jewelry was stolen last weekend while he stayed at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, according to an ESPN.com report.
Citing a Miami Beach Police report, Rogers said he, two friends and a woman they met at a club had returned to Rogers’ room at around 7 a.m. The 34-year-old put his valuables in the safe, but they were missing when he woke up around 12:30 p.m., His friends were still in the room, but the woman was gone.
Among the items claimed to be gone are $100,000 diamond earrings, a $100,000 watch, a $60,000 watch, a $50,000 gold necklace, a $70,000 diamond Cuban necklace and three gold bracelets worth $60,000.
Orioles’ Betemit out for at least 6-8 weeks
Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Wilson Betemit, using crutches and wearing a large brace on his right knee, spoke to reporters Tuesday about the injury that will keep him out for at least six to eight weeks.
Betemit was diagnosed with a Grade 2/3 posterior cruciate ligament tear and will stay in Sarasota, Fla. for a few weeks before starting a rehab program. He was told Monday night that the injury won’t require surgery, and is better news than any injury to his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which could have ended his 2013 season before it began.
“It felt like my legs, my bones, felt like I had broke everything,” Betemit told reporters. “Then yesterday after they took me to the MRI, they told me it was my ligament in the back, everything is connected, but it’s stretched too much. That’s why I have to wear this (brace) so I can connect them back.”
Steelers close door on Harrison
The Pittsburgh Steelers informed linebacker James Harrison that the team won’t be re-signing him, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.
The 34-year-old was cut March 9 after he refused to take less money, and the Steelers chose not to pay his $6.57 million salary for 2013.
Few teams have expressed interest. Harrison was making visiting Baltimore on Sunday when the Ravens signed Elvis Dumervil.
With Harrison gone, 2009 second-round pick Jason Worilds is likely to step in at linebacker.
RHP Young opts out of deal with Nationals
Righthanded pitcher Chris Young opted out of his minor league contract with the Washington Nationals after making one final appearance for the team Monday.
Young allowed one unearned run in a start against the Houston Astros on Monday, giving him a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings this spring.
There was no room for him in the Nationals’ loaded rotation, so he’ll look for a big-league contract with another team.
“I’m realistic that the roster is full. I understand that,” Young told reporters. “We’ve talked about maybe trying to work something to where I can stay. We’re not there right now. But there’s interest from other clubs. I just have to weigh all the options and see what’s best for me and my family.”
Young, 33, was 4-9 with a 4.15 ERA for the New York Mets last season.
Raiders sign offensive tackle Barron
Veteran free-agent offensive tackle Alex Barron signed with the Oakland Raiders, general manager Reggie McKenzie announced Tuesday.
A former first-round pick, Barron has started at left and right tackle during his NFL career. He’s appeared in 87 games. He is the first offensive player signed by the team since free agency began March 12.
Barron was drafted 19th overall by the St. Louis Rams in 2005, and played in 76 games in five seasons with the team. He was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in 2010, and also spent time in training camp with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks in 2011 and 2012, respectively.