Catcher Javy Lopez Signs With Orioles
Dec. 23, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) _ If Texas owner Tom Hicks sticks to his plan, Alex Rodriguez will know by Tuesday night whether he'll be with the Rangers or Red Sox next season.
There was little indication Monday whether Texas and Boston were still discussing the trade that would send Rodriguez, the AL MVP, to the Red Sox for outfielder Manny Ramirez.
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino proclaimed the trade ``dead'' Thursday, blaming the players' association for rejecting the changes to A-Rod's contract that Boston had proposed. On Sunday, Hicks set a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline for the deal.
On Monday, in response to an e-mail from The Associated Press, Red Sox owner John Henry did not alter his team's position or say that his club would contact the Rangers before the deadline.
If the transaction is to be revived, Henry said, ``I don't believe there are any public statements I could make that would be helpful to the process other than to say that although there have been disagreements, I believe the principals involved on all sides have had good intentions thus far.''
Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, thinks Tuesday's deadline was the final one.
``Tom Hicks told me he's setting forth his plan for 2004 beginning Wednesday,'' Boras said. ``He said the team needed to make moves and put their marketing plan together.''
Meanwhile, Javy Lopez became the latest star to migrate to the AL East.
Lopez agreed to sign with Baltimore a week after shortstop Miguel Tejada, the 2002 AL Most Valuable Player, got a $72 million, six-year contract from the Orioles. Baltimore also had been talking with Ivan Rodriguez, another free-agent catcher, but opted to go with Lopez, who hit .328 last season for Atlanta last season with 43 homers and 109 RBIs, both career highs
``Javy was the targeted guy that we were looking at in the process, and he's thrilled to be aboard,'' Orioles vice president Mike Flanagan said.
Flanagan said negotiations will continue through the holidays with the agent of outfielder Vladimir Guerrero. Flanagan called Guerrero ``an important piece we want to consider.''
Milwaukee agreed to a $700,000, one-year contract with Ben Grieve. The 1998 AL Rookie of the Year took a steep cut from his $5.5 million salary last season with Tampa Bay after hitting .230 with four homers and 17 RBIs.
The Brewers also agreed to a $600,000, one-year contract with catcher Gary Bennett and a minor league contract with right-hander Adrian Hernandez.
Colorado agreed to a $550,000, one-year contract with catcher Todd Greene. In addition, Oakland finalized its $9.2 million, three-year deal with left-hander Arthur Rhodes, and the New York Yankees finally announced their $6.4 million, two-year agreement with right-hander Paul Quantrill.
Nine players signed among the 58 cut loose by their teams Saturday when they failed to receive offers of 2004 contracts. Left-hander Armando Almanza was the only one to change teams, agreeing to a $500,000, one-year contract with Atlanta.
Outfielder Gabe Kapler took a cut from $3.4 million to $750,000 to stay with the Boston Red Sox. Right-hander Scott Strickland, coming off reconstructive elbow surgery, saw his salary slashed from $950,000 to $650,000 by the New York Mets.
Minnesota infielder Augie Ojeda agreed to a one-year contract that pays him $320,000 if he is in the major leagues. Re-signing with minor league contracts were Mets left-hander Pedro Feliciano and right-hander Jeremy Hill, Detroit left-hander Andy Van Hekken, Texas outfielder Jason Tyner and Florida right-hander Toby Borland.
Right-hander Jason Marquis, eligible for salary arbitration, agreed to a $525,000, one-year contract with St. Louis, which acquired him from the Braves during the winter meetings.
AP Sports Writer Howard Ulman in Boston contributed to this report.