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Urbina signs one-year, $3.5M deal

Free agent reliever Ugueth Urbina signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

The deal, with $2 million deferred, reunites him with former Florida catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
There is also a $4 million option for the 2005 season with a $500,000 buyout. Urbina made about $4.5
million last year.

Cut loose by the Marlins after they won the World Series, Urbina
took his time choosing a new team. Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Montreal,
Minnesota and San Francisco were among several clubs that talked to
him, and he also attracted interest in Japan.

Urbina worked out with the Tigers this week while manager Alan
Trammell watched. Detroit set an AL record with 119 losses last
season, and no reliever on the staff had more than five saves.

On Thursday, the Tigers sent Matt Anderson back to Triple-A
Toledo. The top pick in the 1997 draft and once projected as
Detroit's closer of the future, the hard-throwing righty has been
limited to a total of 35 games the last two years because of
shoulder trouble.

The Tigers were busy in the offseason, trying to upgrade a team
that came within one loss of matching the modern mark for defeats
set by the 1962 New York Mets.

Along with giving Rodriguez a $40 million, four-year deal, the
Tigers acquired outfielder Rondell White, second baseman Fernando Vina,
shortstop Carlos Guillen, pitcher Jason Johnson and reliever
Al Levine during the winter.

Urbina started last season with Texas and had 26 saves before
being traded to the Marlins. He split the closer's role with Braden Looper
down the stretch, then earned two saves against the New York
Yankees in the World Series.

Urbina's friendship with Rodriguez was a deciding factor in
settling on Detroit.

"Pudge has called me several times. He called three days ago.
He said, 'I really want you to play with me,' " Urbina said this
week.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.