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BASEBALL ROUNDUP \ News and notes



Published: Fri, January 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Yankees: Randy Johnson and the Yankees reached a preliminary agreement on a $32 million, two-year contract extension, leaving only a physical as the final step needed to finishing the drawn-out process of finalizing the trade Arizona and the Yankees agreed to Dec. 30. Johnson, a five-time Cy Young Award winner, waived his no-trade clause as part of the agreement negotiated by agents Barry Meister and Alan Nero, a baseball official and a person close to Johnson told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Arizona will receive pitchers Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey, catcher Dioner Navarro and $9 million in the swap for the 41-year-old left-hander. The Yankees, Diamondbacks and agents for the players were working Thursday on the logistics of arranging the medical exams, which probably won't take place until next week. Arizona also had a preliminary agreement in place to trade Navarro and pitching prospect William Juarez to Los Angeles for outfielder Shawn Green and $8 million. But that deal appeared to be falling apart because the Diamondbacks and Green failed to agree to an extension,

White Sox: A.J. Pierzynski agreed to a $2.25 million, one-year deal. Pierzynski gives the White Sox the veteran catcher they wanted, as well as more left-handed power in the lineup. He's one of the better offensive catchers in the league, a career .294 hitter who has batted above .300 twice and was an All-Star in 2003. Over the last four years, he ranks second among all catchers with 127 doubles, third with a .293 average and seventh with a .438 slugging percentage.

Tigers-Mets trade: New York traded catcher Vance Wilson to Detroit for minor league infielder Anderson Hernandez. Wilson will back up Ivan Rodriguez. In 67 games for the Mets last season, he hit .274 with four homers and 21 RBIs, and threw out 11-of-32 (34 percent) runners who tried to steal. In 267 games in the majors, the 31-year-old Wilson hit .254 with 17 home runs and 92 RBIs. Hernandez, 22, hit .283 in 138 games at Double-A Erie and Class A Lakeland last year.

Nationals: Brad Wilkerson agreed to a $3.05 million, one-year contract. Wilkerson hit .255 with 32 home runs, 67 RBIs, 112 runs scored and 13 stolen bases last season and was voted the team's MVP. He played 78 games at first base and 76 in the outfield and was frequently used as the leadoff hitter. He led the majors with nine first-inning home runs. His signing leaves three arbitration-eligible players on the Nationals roster: first baseman Nick Johnson and pitchers Tony Armas Jr. and Tomo Ohka.

Cardinals: Free-agent second baseman Mark Grudzielanek agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract. Grudzielanek, who can earn up to $500,000 in performance bonuses, will replace Tony Womack, who played one season batting leadoff for the Cardinals before signing last month with the New York Yankees. Grudzielanek, 34, batted .307 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 81 games for the Chicago Cubs last season despite missing more than two months because of an inflamed Achilles' tendon.

Rockies: Outfielder Dustin Mohr and utility player Desi Relaford agreed to $1.05 million, one-year contracts. Mohr, 28, became one of San Francisco's more popular players last year after being traded from Minnesota before the season, but became expendable after the Giants signed Moises Alou. Mohr appeared in 117 games -- 64 starts -- hitting .274 with seven homers and 28 RBIs. Relaford, 31, will give the Rockies plenty of versatility. The switch hitter played six positions for Kansas City last season, hitting .221 with six homers and 34 RBIs in 114 games.

Blue Jays: Free-agent catcher Gregg Zaun agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees him $1.05 million. Zaun hit .269 with six home runs and 36 RBIs in 107 games with Toronto last season.

Marlins: Right-hander Ismael Valdez agreed to a one-year contract. Valdez, who made $800,000 last season, was 14-9 with a 5.13 ERA in 2004 for San Diego and Florida; he went 5-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 starts with the Marlins. Also, the club finalized its $750,000, one-year contract with right-hander John Riedling, a deal that contains $100,000 in performances bonuses.

Red Sox: Former Boston catcher Bill Haselman was hired as the team's bullpen coach, replacing Euclides Rojas. The Red Sox also agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Josias Manzanillo.

Associated Press




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