- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 22, 2011

GOODYEAR, ARIZ. (AP) - Orlando Cabrera knows he’ll face retirement someday, but he plans on playing beyond 2011.

The infielder, who signed a free-agent contract with the Cleveland Indians last week, denied a report that he will retire following this season.

Cabrera said he was misunderstood in an interview he gave to a radio reporter in his native Colombia. The report was then picked up by a Colombian newspaper.

Approached by reporters following Tuesday’s workout, Cabrera laughed when asked about the story.

“No, no, no,” he said about retiring. “Especially if we win the World Series this year. I’ll have to come back.”

Cabrera, 36, signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Indians and is the favorite to win the second base job. He has played shortstop, where he has won two Gold Gloves, through most of 14-year career. Cabrera is a lifetime .274 hitter.

“I said at some point there was going to be one of these years I wasn’t going to play anymore,” he said. “I’ll go year by year. I feel like I can play for many years. I don’t feel old at all.”

Cabrera said that whenever he retires, he would like it to be his decision.

“I’ve seen guys get old and beg for jobs and stuff like that,” he said. “I want to go out on my own terms if I get the opportunity to do it.”

Cabrera batted .263 with Cincinnati last season. He was on a one-year contract with a club option for 2011, which the Reds declined. Cabrera wasn’t offered a multiyear deal by any team this offseason.

Cabrera thinks his transition to second base has gone well.

“It’s been awesome,” he said. “That’s another challenge. Maybe it will extend my career another two or three years. You never know.”

Manager Manny Acta doesn’t think Cabrera will have a problem playing second.

Orlando’s not going to have any issues,” Acta said. “I hit ground balls to him. Everything was effortless. He’s so fundamentally sound, I don’t think he’s going to affected by the move.”

Acta thinks Cabrera’s presence will have a stabilizing impact on Cleveland’s infield.

“He’s a veteran guy,” Acta said. “He knows what it takes to get ready for the season. He’s been around the block. He knows what to do.”

NOTES: Acta said RHP Anthony Reyes, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2009 because of elbow problems, has a chance to win the fifth spot in the rotation. “He could be an interesting sleeper in this camp,” he said. … The hitters took batting practice off pitchers for the first time Tuesday. That included OF Grady Sizemore, who is trying to come back from microfracture knee surgery. … Acta said the battle to back up C Carlos Santana could go to the final days of camp. Lou Marson, Paul Phillips, Luke Carlin and Juan Apodaca are the candidates.

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