BASEBALL ROUNDUP \ News and notes
Rangers: Sammy Sosa and Texas wrapped up weeks of negotiations and agreed to a minor league contract that was to be announced today. The 38-year-old Sosa is fifth on the career list with 588 home runs, but hasn't played in the major leagues since 2005. He will have to go to spring training and earn his spot on the roster with the Rangers, the team he began his career with in 1989. Sosa wasn't scheduled to attend the news conference, but was expected to address the media by telephone. He returned home to the Dominican Republic after his second workout for the Rangers, two weeks ago in Texas. Sosa also worked out for Texas in the Dominican Republic this month. If Sosa is placed on the Rangers' 40-man roster, his contract likely will have a base salary of about 500,000. He would have the chance to earn additional performance bonuses. Texas rookie manager Ron Washington has said Sosa would be primarily a designated hitter if he makes the team, but would still play a few games in the outfield. He could bat fifth in the Rangers' lineup behind switch-hitting slugger Mark Teixeira and All-Star shortstop Michael Young.
Astros: Nolan Ryan was at pitching camp on Monday and said he was feeling well after a stint in the hospital last weekend. The 59-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher was released from the hospital Saturday evening after being admitted Friday for what he said was an artery spasm. "I have a condition where I have a spasm of the artery that leads into my heart," he said. "So when it does spasm, it's treated with medication. I basically hadn't been on medication for three or four years now and I just had a flare-up. So what it indicates is that I'm probably going to have to stay on medication." The condition was discovered when Ryan had double-bypass heart surgery in 2000. He said he's had the spasms before, but they usually pass quickly. This time he had two within a 10-minute span, which led to his hospitalization. "You have all the symptoms of a heart attack when it happens," he said. "So you don't know if you're having a heart attack or if you're having a spasm, because there's no way to distinguish it." Ryan said he won't be able to exert himself physically in the camp for minor leaguers, which runs through Friday, but that he'll be "able to do everything I need to do."
Red Sox: Curt Schilling said Monday he will not retire at the end of the 2007 season as previously indicated and plans to pitch in 2008. The 40-year-old Schilling made his comments on WEEI-AM radio and confirmed them to The Associated Press. The right-hander's contract with the Red Sox ends after the 2007 season, but he said he was in discussions for an extension. If Schilling, who acts as his own agent, can't work out a deal in Boston, he will pitch for another team -- but not the New York Yankees. "I'm in discussions with the Red Sox, we had talked last week and there's a lot going on obviously right now, but where I'm going to play beyond 2007 ... I hope it's Boston," he told the radio station. "This is where I want to play and in the days leading up to spring training we'll figure it out one way or the other. If I go into this season without a contract from the Red Sox then I will go out and find a home for 2008." Schilling told the station he decided to play beyond the 2007 season after discussions with his family.
Around the horn: Baltimore claimed pitcher Jeremy Guthrie off waivers from Cleveland and added the right-hander to their 40-man roster. ... Outfielder Preston Wilson agreed to a 1 million, one-year contract with the Cardinals after helping St. Louis win its first World Series title in 24 years. ... Right-hander Claudio Vargas and the Brewers agreed to a 2.5 million, one-year contract, halfway between the 2.85 he had asked for and the 2.15 million the team had offered. ... Jeff Weaver passed his physical and finalized a one-year contract with the Mariners worth 8,325,000.
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