Mantei joins crew of Sox set-up men

Boston Red Sox:
Free agent reliever Matt Mantei and the Red Sox agreed to a $750,000, one-year contract.

Mantei, who has been with Arizona since 1999, missed most of
last season with shoulder tendinitis. In 12 games, he was 0-3 with
an 11.81 ERA and four saves.

As the Diamondbacks' closer in 2003, the right-hander was 5-4 with 29 saves and a 2.62 ERA. In a 10-year major league career with Arizona and Florida, Mantei is 13-18 with 93 saves and a career
3.86 ERA.

Mantei joins a Red Sox bullpen that already has an established closer in Keith Foulke. Setup men Mike Timlin and Alan Embree are also under contract with the World Series champions.

Texas Rangers: Six-time All-Star catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. signed a $550,000 contract Wednesday with the Rangers to be a part-time player next season.

The Rangers anticipate the 38-year-old Alomar being a backup to
Rod Barajas and playing no more than 60 games. Gerald Laird, the AL rookie of the month last April before breaking his thumb, will likely start next season at Triple-A Oklahoma.

Alomar became a free agent after the Chicago White Sox didn't
pick up his option for 2005. He hit .240 with two homers and 14
RBI in 50 games.

In 16 big league seasons with San Diego, Cleveland, the White Sox and Colorado, Alomar has a .273 average with 111 homers and 557 RBI. He has caught 1,237 games in the majors.

Chicago White Sox:
Pitcher Dustin Hermanson and the White
Sox agreed on a two-year, $5.5 million contract that
contains a club option for 2007.

Hermanson, who became the Giants' closer in August and saved 17
games in the stretch, was not offered arbitration by San Francisco.

Hermanson will be paid $2 million in 2005 and $3 million in 2006
with the club holding an option for 2007 at $3.5 million. There is
a buyout of $500,000.

The 31-year-old right-hander was 6-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 47
games, including 18 starts, with San Francisco last season. He
opened the year in the rotation, going 4-4 with a 4.59 ERA.

Washington Nationals:
The Expos sold the contract of outfielder Val Pascucci to the Lotte Marines of Japan's Pacific League for $300,000.

Pascucci, 26, hit .177 with two home runs and six RBI last season.

Lotte manager Bobby Valentine has been looking for a
right-handed hitter to accompany the team's other major league
imports, former New York Mets Benny Agbayani and Matt Franco.

Toronto Blue Jays:
Carlos Delgado was not offered salary arbitration by the Blue Jays before the deadline, leaving one of the biggest stars in franchise history to look for a new team.

The move was not a surprise for the cost-conscious Blue Jays because Delgado could command one of the richest free-agent contracts of the offseason. Delgado has received offers from Texas and Seattle in addition to a $12 million, two-year deal offered by the Blue Jays.

"They spoke to us the day after the season ended. They made a
two-year contract offer that wasn't going to cut it," Delgado
said. "After that nothing really happened."

Now the Blue Jays can't re-sign the first baseman before May 1,
and they will not get any compensation if he goes to another club.

Delgado said he'd consider playing for the New York Yankees, who
declined to offer arbitration to first baseman John Olerud and Tony Clark.

"If New York comes my way, and talks to me, obviously I will
consider it," Delgado said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.