MESA, Ariz. — The Chicago Cubs have signed veteran outfielder Shane Victorino to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday.

The 35-year-old Victorino will compete for one of Chicago’s final roster spots. He joins an outfield that already includes Jason Heyward, Dexter Fowler, Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler. The Cubs reached the NL Championship Series last year.

Victorino helped Philadelphia win the 2008 World Series and starred when Boston won the 2013 championship. Injuries have limited his time in recent seasons and he hit only .230 in 71 games for Boston and the Los Angeles Angels last season.

During the winter, Victorino hit with Fowler and third baseman Kris Bryant in the Las Vegas area. Victorino says he’s healthy now.

“I cannot be more excited,” Victorino said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

“You can’t put a value on being a winner and winning a championship,” he said. “That’s the goal. It’s not about playing time. It’s about winning. Obviously, I’ve got to win my job on the team.”

RANGERS: Ace Yu Darvish is close to getting back on a full-size mound for the first time in nearly a year after elbow surgery.

Darvish threw 25 pitches off a half-mound Friday at spring training. It was the third time in five days he did that.

New Texas pitching coach Doug Brocail said it was another “really good day” for Darvish.

If Darvish recovers from his latest bullpen session with no issues, his next one will be off a regulation mound. That could be Sunday or Monday.

INDIANS: Outfielder Abraham Almonte was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid generally used by veterinarians on horses.

The 26-year-old outfielder will not be allowed to play in regular season games until July, but can play in spring training.

Almonte was likely to compete for a starting job in the outfield while Michael Brantley works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Cleveland agreed to a minor league deal with 33-year-old outfielder Will Venable.

CARDINALS: Star catcher Yadier Molina is hoping his injured left thumb heals enough for him to play on opening day.

Recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament, Molina took part in his first catching drills of the spring Friday.

Molina put on the gear to catch slow-speed pitches and block balls from a pitching machine prior to the Cardinals’ full-team workout. He wore a splint under the glove to help protect his thumb.

He aims to play April 3 when the NL Central champions open at Pittsburgh.

“That’s what I want,” he said. “It’s still too soon to say, but that’s what I want. That’s my goal.”