Indians sign Anderson to one-year contract
Cleveland Brady Anderson was a bargain the Cleveland Indians couldn't afford to pass up. Anderson, released last month by Baltimore after 14 years with the Orioles, signed a one-year deal Thursday with the Indians, who had been shopping for an outfielder and leadoff hitter. The deal includes club options for 2003 and '04.
Baltimore released Anderson after he batted just .202 with eight homers and 45 RBIs last season. Anderson, who turns 38 in January, has played most of his career in center field, but will play left field for the Indians. He had his best year in '96 when he batted .297 with 50 homers and 110 RBIs. The Indians will pay $200,000 of Anderson's salary, with the Orioles picking up the remaining $3.8 million for next season.
Anderson replaces leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton, who hit a .261 in his 10th year with the team and is now a free agent. Although the 34-year-old Lofton is younger and faster than Anderson, he will also be more expensive.
Dodgers, Beltre reach agreement
Los Angeles Third baseman Adrian Beltre agreed to a $2.3 million, one-year contract with Los Angeles on Thursday. Beltre, who had been eligible for salary arbitration, can earn an additional $250,000 in incentives based on plate appearances.
Beltre, 22, hit .265 with 13 home runs and 60 RBIs in 126 games last season. He began the season on the disabled list, recovering from appendix surgery in the offseason. After coming of the DL on May 12, he played in every game, stealing 13 bases and posting a career-high 17-game hitting streak the longest by a Dodgers player in six years.
Braves sign catcher
Atlanta Backup catcher Paul Bako signed a one-year, $750,000 contract Thursday to stay with the Atlanta Braves. Bako can earn another $50,000 in performance bonuses. The left-handed hitting Bako, who was eligible for arbitration, batted .212 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 61 games last season as a backup to Javy Lopez.
McLemore signs deal to stay in Seattle
Seattle Free agent Mark McLemore agreed Thursday to a two-year contract worth about $6 million to remain with the Seattle Mariners. McLemore, 37, played six positions this season left field, third base, shortstop, second base, center field and right field helping the Mariners to an AL record 116 wins.
McLemore said he accepted less money to stay with the Mariners. Several other teams wanted him specifically to play left or second. He finished the year with a .286 batting average, his highest since 1996.
Perez breaks hand
New York New York Mets outfielder Timo Perez broke a bone in his right hand during the Dominican Winter League and will have surgery today. Perez is expected to be completely healed from the operation on his hamate bone by March 1.
Giants keeping Santiago
San Francisco Catcher Benito Santiago, who resurrected his career last season with San Francisco, re-signed with the club on Thursday. Santiago agreed to a two-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Santiago, who has played for seven teams in his 16-year major league career, hit .262 with six homers and 45 RBIs last season.
Businessman eyes Twins
St. Paul, MInn. Major league baseball will let Alabama businessman Donald Watkins pursue the Twins at the same time he considers purchasing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Twins president Jerry Bell told Congress on Thursday.
Giambi leaning to Yanks
New York Jason Giambi has made the decision to play in New York. He's so sure that the details of a contract are all but worked out to the letter that he has told confidants he will soon be the first baseman for the Yankees. The Yankees, though, denied Thursday that a deal was done. The Yankees, however, have come to terms with free agent middle reliever Steve Karsay, who agreed to a four-year deal worth about $21 million.