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Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Pedro picks Mets over Red Sox, sides try to close deal.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Pedro Martinez closed in on a four-year deal with the New York Mets, and the Boston Red Sox resigned themselves Monday to losing the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

"He was a great member of the Red Sox team for seven years, and a certain Hall of Famer," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino told The Associated Press in an e-mail. "He will be missed, and we are disappointed to have lost him to the Mets and the National League."

Martinez's agent, Fernando Cuza, told the Mets he will attempt to work out a deal with them after New York guaranteed a fourth year, a person involved in the talks said on condition of anonymity.
(Yahoo!)

Giants agree to three-year deal with Matheny. $10.5 million. (Yahoo!)

White Sox trade Carlos Lee to Milwaukee for Podsednik, Vizcaino. (Yahoo!)

Hidalgo agrees to $5 million, one-year contract with Texas. (Yahoo!)

Free Agent Wrap-Up: The First Wave. "Last month I opined that the top free agent second baseman was Placido Polanco, and not Jeff Kent, at least when age and likely salaries were taken into account. I still stand by that and think whichever team ends up with Polanco is going to get one of the better bargains of the offseason, but Kent is still a fine pickup for the Dodgers. The two-year contract has minimal risk, which is important considering Kent will be 37 next year, and although $8.5 million a year is a little pricey, the Dodgers aren't going to be hurting for money anytime soon and they're not on the hook for any draft picks." (The Hardball Times)

Free Agent Wrap-Up: The Second Wave. "Yankee Stadium, while a pitcher's ballpark, doesn't deflate offense nearly as much as Pro Player, and Pavano will now have to face a DH instead of a pitcher each time through the lineup. Plus, New York's defense won't be in the same league as Florida's, even if they end up with Carlos Beltran in center field. In other words, Pavano may have seen his last ERA in the threes for a while, and I wouldn't be surprised if his ERA is closer to 5.00 than 3.00 in 2005. For all the money they're throwing around and all the talk about improving their rotation, the Yankees look like they're basically collecting middle-of-the-rotation starters and paying premium money in doing so." (The Hardball Times)

Winter Wonderland — Day One. Richard Lederer reports from the Winter Meetings.
I look across the lobby and see a crowd gathered. I think to myself, “There must be something going on.” Not one to sit back, I walk over and notice Scott Boras in the midst of several reporters — most of whom had MLB.com press credentials. I sneak in there and ask Boras if the Finley signing now takes the Angels out of the running for Carlos Beltran.

I don’t think the Angels ever had an interest in signing him. They have invested $12 million per year in (Garret) Anderson and another $14 million in (Vladimir) Guerrero. They already have a lot of money tied up in their outfield.

Boras said that he didn’t expect to consummate a deal for Beltran before the holidays. In response to a question from a reporter, the super agent tells us that he and the Red Sox have agreed to the money on the first four years of a five-year deal for Jason Varitek. He indicated that the terms of the fifth year were still being negotiated.
(Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Winter Wonderland — Day Two. "Speaking of kicks, I can’t help but look up to see the expressions on Jon’s and Peter’s faces when 'Scoop' Carroll tells us that Adrian Beltre is all but signed and sealed in Seattle. The Dodgers apparently haven’t even made an offer yet but Scott Boras is hopeful of giving DePo one last shot. By my way of thinking, Bill Bavasi has gotta come away from the meetings with either Beltre or Carlos Beltran in tow. Roll the dice, hope whoever you sign comes up big — all the while knowing that if they don’t, you’re not gonna be around at the end anyway." (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)

Winter Wonderland — Day Three. Richard re-writes a holiday classic. (Rich's Weekend Baseball BEAT)




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