Originally created 01/30/98

Tribe backs off on Knoblauch



Clevland Indians' general manager John Hart said Thursday he has stopped talking with Minnesota about a trade for Chuck Knoblauch, while Atlanta's John Schuerholz called a deal for the All-Star second baseman "very unlikely."

"We don't intend to make any more moves until we get to spring training and see what our team looks like," said Schuerholz, the Braves' general manager.

The Twins want to trade Knoblauch, a four-time All-Star and career .304 hitter, before spring training. The New York Yankees are still in the running, with owner George Steinbrenner, general manager Bob Watson and manager Joe Torre expressing interest.

INDIANS INK BERROA:

Stymied in their attempts to get Chuck Knoblauch in a trade with Minnesota, the Cleveland Indians signed designated hitter Geronimo Berroa to a $2.2 million, one-year contract on Thursday.

Berroa, 32, hit .283 with 26 homers and 90 RBI last season with Oakland and Baltimore. He joins a lineup already packed with power hitters Jim Thome, David Justice, Manny Ramirez and Travis Fryman.

ORIOLES SIGN GUILLEN:

The Baltimore Orioles added another over-30 veteran to their spring-training roster Thursday, agreeing to a minor-league contract with longtime Chicago White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen.

Guillen, 34, will be invited to spring training and is expected to compete for a backup job. Most of his experience is at shortstop, although he said he can play all the infield positions and worked two games in the outfield with Chicago.

The free agent selected the Orioles after speaking with St. Louis, San Francisco, Kansas City and the White Sox.