Derek Lowe's durability -- and price tag -- were too much for the Indians to resist.

Cleveland acquired the righthander from the Atlanta Braves yesterday for minor-league lefthander Chris Jones, a low-risk move designed to bolster the Indians' starting rotation. The Indians will have to pay Lowe, 38 -- a 15-year veteran who has 166 career wins -- $5 million of the $15 million he's scheduled to make in 2012.

General manager Chris Antonetti said Lowe will join Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin and Fausto Carmona in the starting rotation.

Lowe has pitched in both leagues as a starter and closer. One of only three pitchers in history with more than 160 wins and 80 saves, he went 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA in 34 starts in 2011.

The Indians declined Grady Sizemore's $9-million option for 2012, making the popular but injury-plagued centerfielder eligible for free agency. Antonetti hasn't ruled out re-signing him, but the price has to be right. Injuries have sabotaged Sizemore's career, limiting him to 210 games the past three seasons.

Nationals keep DaveyDavey Johnson has hardly tempered expectations for his Washington Nationals in 2012.

"Winning the pennant. Winning the division. Winning the National League," Johnson said of his goals on a conference call with reporters Monday, when the Nationals announced they were picking up his managerial option for next season.

"I couldn't have said that last spring. I didn't think the talent was ready," said Johnson, 68, who spoke with even more optimism about his Mets 25 years ago before leading them to the 1986 world championship. "But after being there and seeing the progress that some of the young players made, I think we definitely can contend. And I would be sorely disappointed if we didn't do just that. The talent's there."

The Nationals (80-81) went 40-43 under Johnson after he replaced Jim Riggleman. "I like the way we stack up against everybody in our division," Johnson said. "I'm not just sticking out my chest and saying some hot air. My baseball instincts tell me . . . that we can get there."

Extra basesThe Rays exercised their $7.5-million contract option on rigthhander James Shields and picked up a $3.3-million option on reliever Kyle Farnsworth . . . Jason Giambi, 40, and the Rockies have exercised their mutual option on his $1-million contract . . . Former Met Joe McEwing will be the third-base coach under new White Sox manager Robin Ventura . . . The Padres introduced Josh Byrnes as their new general manager . . . The Red Sox have interviewed Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin for their managerial job.

-- AP

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