Pedro Martinez picked the New York Mets over the Boston Red Sox, and the Chicago White Sox dealt Carlos Lee to the Milwaukee Brewers for Scott Podsednik and a reliever yesterday...
ANAHEIM, Calif. Pedro Martinez picked the New York Mets over the Boston Red Sox, and the Chicago White Sox dealt Carlos Lee to the Milwaukee Brewers for Scott Podsednik and a reliever yesterday as baseball’s annual winter meetings finished with many top stars still searching for teams.
There were just five trades and seven free-agent signings finalized during the four-day session, but several teams struck preliminary agreements with free agents that will be completed later this week.
Four free-agent agreements were announced yesterday, topped by catcher Mike Matheny’s $10.5 million, three-year deal with San Francisco. Also, right-hander Esteban Yan agreed to a $2.25 million, two-year contract with Anaheim; right-hander Todd Jones finalized a $1.1 million, one-year deal with Florida; and outfielder Wil Cordero got a $600,000, one-year contract from the Washington-bound Expos, who also agreed to a minor-league deal with outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds.
In an agreement awaiting a physical, second baseman Jose Hernandez agreed to a $1.8 million, one-year contract with Cleveland. Late on Sunday, Toronto and free-agent third baseman Corey Koskie reached preliminary agreement on a $17 million, three-year contract.
As teams headed home, many top free agents remained on the market, including Carlos Beltran, Derek Lowe, Eric Milton, J.D. Drew, Edgar Renteria and Moises Alou.
Among the deals awaiting completion were Carl Pavano’s four-year contract with the Yankees worth about $39 million, and David Wells’ two-year pact with Boston.
Making the biggest splash of the meetings, Martinez closed in on a four-year deal with the Mets. 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 source said.
Martinez, 33, must pass a physical before the Mets complete the deal.
New York initially offered a $37.5 million, three-year contract with a $12.5 million team option for 2008. An agent who spoke with the Mets said New York’s proposal was worth about $52 million.
Boston’s final proposal was a $40.5 million, three-year deal that contained a club option for 2008, a baseball official said.
“We put our best foot forward and made an offer that makes sense to the club,” Red Sox GM Theo Epstein said. “We think it’s a fair and generous offer.”
Boston is replacing team physician Bill Morgan, who helped stitch together a World Series title by suturing Curt Schilling‘s ankle and allowing him to stay in the postseason rotation. “I don’t think we would have won the World Series had he not been there,” Schilling said.
The Red Sox declined to comment on Morgan’s departure, but Schilling said he was told the team wanted to affiliate with a team of specialists rather than one all-purpose doctor.
Negotiators for team owners and the players union meet yesterday in New York in an attempt to agree on a stricter testing program for steroids and other performance-enhancing substances. Commissioner Bud Selig wants revised policies in place before the start of spring training in February.