Cliff Lee's first spring training with the Seattle Mariners is off on the wrong foot.

Lee is recovering from minor foot surgery and will be limited when pitchers and catchers report to Seattle's camp in Arizona this month.

"We decided Lee should have the surgery as soon as possible, rather than try to pitch with the discomfort during the year," general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a release yesterday. "To get it out of the way and have it behind us is important."

Seattle's biggest offseason acquisition had surgery Friday in his native Arkansas to remove a bone spur that broke loose and was floating in his left foot.

Lee's foot is not in a cast, and he is continuing his upper-body exercise program. The Mariners said the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner will "gradually return to all normal baseball activities" over the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Zduriencik acquired Lee from the Phillies in a deal that gave Seattle one of baseball's best pair of aces, along with 2009 AL Cy Young Award runner-up Felix Hernandez.

Lee went 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA for the Phillies after he was acquired from Cleveland on July 29. He was even better in the playoffs, going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts and earning both of the Phillies' wins in the World Series against the Yankees.

The 31-year-old lefthander has 1 year and $9 million remaining on his contract.

Seattle's first workout for pitchers and catchers is Feb. 18 in Peoria, Ariz.


* The Chicago White Sox are taking Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio's No. 11 out of retirement for newly acquired 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel. A Venezuelan like Aparicio, Vizquel will wear the number as a tribute to his countryman. The 1956 AL Rookie of the Year with the White Sox, Aparicio was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984 - the same year his number was retired. Vizquel has worn 13, but in Chicago, that number belongs to manager Ozzie Guillen. And he wasn't about to relinquish it.

"Ever since I signed with the White Sox, the first thing Ozzie Guillen said [was]: 'You can forget about 13, that's going to be my number,' " Vizquel said. "He knows that's my number and I really would love to wear it. But I think what Ozzie Guillen has done for the Chicago White Sox, winning them a championship and all the years that he played there, No. 13 already has a name . . . As long as a Venezuelan is wearing it, I'm pretty happy with it."

* The Milwaukee Brewers are erecting a statue of commissioner Bud Selig outside Miller Park and will unveil it Aug. 24. Selig headed a group that bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970, moved the franchise to Milwaukee and renamed it the Brewers. He became commissioner in 1992.

Selig's foundation donated statues of Hank Aaron and Robin Yount that were unveiled when Miller Park opened in 2001. Selig's statue, which will be more than 7 feet tall, will be built by the same designer, Brian Maughan.

* Former ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips says he is "totally responsible" for the 2009 sex scandal that cost him his job and said he is "working my tail off to try to save my marriage." Phillips, also a former New York Mets general manager, made his comments on NBC's "Today" show, his first public comments since spending 45 days in a Mississippi clinic being treated for what he described as a sex addiction.

* St. Louis second baseman Skip Schumaker agreed to a 2-year, $4.7 million contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing.

* Outfielder Marcus Thames agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees. Thames hit .252 with 13 homers and 36 RBI with Detroit last year.