Reliever agrees to two-year deal

NEW YORK -- Greg Maddux left Atlanta, Ivan Rodriguez said
goodbye to Florida and the New York Mets welcomed Japanese
shortstop Kazuo Matsui on a busy Sunday night in baseball.

Around the league, teams and players negotiated last minute deals, entered arbitration or moved toward cutting ties as the late night deadline approached.

Teams had until midnight to offer arbitration to their former
players who became free agents, and players offered arbitration
have until Dec. 19 to accept the offers. Those players not offered
arbitration can't re-sign until May 1.

Seattle Mariners: Reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa agreed to a $6.3 million, two-year

"I was really holding my breath on this one," Mariners manager
Bob Melvin said. "Re-signing Shiggy, as valuable and versatile as
he is, was a priority for us."

The 35-year-old right-hander gets a $500,000 signing bonus and
salaries of $2.5 million next season and $2,975,000 in 2005.
Seattle has a $3.1 million option for 2006 that could become
guaranteed under certain conditions. There is a $325,000 buyout.

The Mariners didn't offer salary arbitration to
Gold Glove outfielder Mike Cameron, who spent four seasons in
Seattle. He arrived in the trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to

"I don't feel great about it," general manager Bill Bavasi
said. "This guy filled some pretty big shoes. From the outside
looking in, he made people forget Junior pretty quick."

Besides Cameron, the Mariners didn't offer arbitration to lefty
reliever Arthur Rhodes, right-handed reliever Armando Benitez,
outfielder John Mabry, infielder Mark McLemore and shortstop Rey

Raul Ibanez, a free agent who signed last month, will play in
left with Ichiro Suzuki in right. Winn, who played in left last
season, moves to center, though Bavasi acknowledged the team will
consider upgrading.

Colorado Rockies: Steve Reed agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees him $625,000 just before the deadline for teams to offer
salary arbitration to their players.

Reed's deal, reached Sunday night, calls for a $600,000 salary
next year. Colorado has a $650,000 option for 2005 with a $25,000

Colorado offered arbitration to free agents Greg Norton and Mark
Sweeney and declined arbitration to third baseman Chris Stynes,
left-hander Darren Oliver and catcher Greg Zaun.

Anaheim Angels: The Angels announced they
would not offer salary arbitration to infielder Scott Spiezio and outfielder Eric Owens.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks ended their three-year relationship with Miguel Batista when they failed to
offer the free agent right-hander arbitration.

Diamondbacks general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said that the
team could not afford the "multiyear contract for significant
dollars" that Batista wants.

The Diamondbacks let three other former players go -- outfielders
Raul Mondesi and Felix Jose, and left-handed reliever Mike Myers. A
fifth player, first baseman Mark Grace, has retired and will join
the Arizona broadcast team.

Another player who would have been on the list, utility
infielder Carlos Baerga, re-signed with the Diamondbacks on Friday.

Batista's departure leaves Arizona with three returning starters
-- Randy Johnson, Brandon Webb and Elmer Dessens.

Boston Red Sox: Todd Walker, who hit five homers in this year's AL
playoffs, was one of six free agents not offered salary arbitration
by the Red Sox.

The only free agent eligible for arbitration retained by Boston
was David McCarty, an outfielder and first baseman who hit .407 in
16 games after being claimed on waivers from Oakland on Aug. 5. He
agreed to a minor league contract and was invited to spring

If he is added to the major league roster, McCarty would get a
$500,000, one-year deal.

In addition to Walker, Boston did not offer salary arbitration
to pitchers John Burkett, Jeff Suppan, Todd Jones and Robert Person
and catcher Bill Haselman.

Walker played one season for Boston at second base and hit .283
with 13 homers in 144 games. He wanted to return, but the Red Sox
preferred that a better fielder who makes less money play the

The five homers broke a team playoff record of four set by Nomar
Garciaparra and John Valentin in 1999.

Suppan, obtained from Pittsburgh just before the trade deadline
on July 31, was a disappointment with a 3-4 record and 5.57 ERA in
11 games. Burkett went 12-9 with a 5.15 ERA in his second season
with Boston.

Jones was 2-1 with a 5.52 ERA in 26 relief appearances after
joining Boston on July 2 as a free agent after pitching 33 games
for Colorado last season. Person pitched seven games for the Red
Sox and spent most of the season in the minors.

Haselman went 0-for-3 in four games with Boston.

Kansas City Royals: The Royals re-signed right-handed pitcher Jason Grimsley for $1 million. Grimsley was 2-6 last season with a 5.16 ERA in 76 games.

Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers re-signed Dave Burba, agreeing Sunday to a minor league contract.

Burba would get a $440,000, one-year year contract if he's added
to the major league roster. He could earn an additional $45,000 in
performance bonuses.

Burba went 1-1 with a 3.53 ERA in two starts and 15 relief
appearances over 43 1-3 innings last season for the Brewers, who
signed him to a minor league contract in May and brought him up
June 27. He faced a midnight EST deadline to re-sign.

Milwaukee offered salary arbitration to catcher Eddie Perez and
outfielder John Vander Wal, according to Brewers director of media
relations Jon Greenberg. They have until Dec. 19 to accept and may
sign with the Brewers through Jan. 8.

While Vander Wal was not on the original list of 24 free agents
offered arbitration compiled by the commissioner's office, he was
later added.

Free agent catcher Keith Osik, shortstop Royce Clayton and
pitchers Glendon Rusch and Todd Ritchie weren't offered arbitration
and can't re-sign until May 1.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates did not offer salary
arbitration to free agents Reggie Sanders, Matt Stairs and Julian

The Pirates effectively cut ties to all four, even though they
told Stairs at the end of last season that they wanted to re-sign
him. Free agents not offered arbitration can't re-sign with their
former clubs until May 1.

Sanders (.287, 31 homers and 85 RBIs) and Stairs (.292, 20
homers, 57 RBIs) were the Pirates' most consistent power hitters
last season. But Sanders likely would have tripled his $1 million
salary in arbitration, and the Pirates wanted to cut Stairs' salary
from $900,000 to $700,000 despite his productive season.

Tavarez (3-3, 3.63 ERA, 11 saves) was the Pirates' most
effective reliever in September, but they believe they can pick up
a comparable pitcher on the open market. He made $750,000 last

General manager Dave Littlefield stockpiled a number of
relatively inexpensive free agents by spring training -- Sanders,
Stairs, Tavarez, outfielder Kenny Lofton and reliever Matt Herges
among them. All had productive seasons, although Herges wound up
with the Giants and Lofton was dealt to the Cubs.

Because they didn't offer arbitration, the Pirates will not
receive draft picks as compensation from the teams that sign the

San Francisco Giants: The Giants brought back first
baseman J.T. Snow and added outfielder Michael Tucker.

Snow agreed to a one-year contract with a team option for 2005
that guarantees him $1.75 million, while Tucker agreed to a $3.5
million, two-year deal.

The Giants declined his $6.5 million after the season.

His new deal calls for a $1.5 million salary next year and gives
the Giants a $2 million option for 2005 with a $250,000 buyout. The
option would become guaranteed if he has 450 plate appearances next

Tucker, a nine-year major league veteran, played at least 20
games in every outfield position last season for the Kansas City
Royals and would be a likely fit in right field, where a spot was
left vacant when the Giants declined their $4 million option on
Jose Cruz Jr. in October. But the Giants aren't calling him the
starter yet.

St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals brought back two of their relievers, agreeing to a $1.7 million, one-year contract
with left-hander Steve Kline and a $900,000, one-year deal with
right-hander Cal Eldred.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays:As expected, the Devil Rays did not offer salary arbitration to five of their former players who
became free agents, including first baseman Travis Lee, outfielder
Ben Grieve and shortstop Rey Ordonez.

Outfielder Al Martin and utility man Terry Shumpert also were
not offered arbitration.

The team and Lee both declined the player's mutual option for
next season after the first baseman hit .275 with 19 homers and 70
RBIs in 2003. The Devil Rays filled his spot in the lineup last
month when they traded for Tino Martinez.

Toronto Blue Jays: Right-hander Kerry Ligtenberg and the Blue Jays agreed Monday to a $4.5 million, two-year contract.

The 32-year-old Ligtenberg went 4-2 with one save and 3.34 ERA
in 68 games with the Baltimore Orioles last season. The Orioles
declined a $1.2 million option and opted not to offer him salary

"We're very pleased," Ligtenberg's agent, Lonnie Cooper said.
"Toronto showed a commitment. It's one of the teams that Kerry
wanted to play for."

The Blue Jays need a setup man for their inexperienced bullpen.
Cooper said they talked about Ligtenberg possibly being the closer.

He has a career mark of 16-14 with 45 saves and a 3.09 ERA in
322 relief appearances with Atlanta and Baltimore.

"Kerry just wants to make a contribution to a team. He's played
in different roles before. He's willing to do whatever it takes,"
Cooper said.

Ligtenberg will make $2 million in 2004 and $2.5 million in

Cincinnati Reds: Reliever Todd Van Poppel agreed to a minor
league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, who invited him to spring
training with a chance to make the major league staff.

Van Poppel, 31, was released by Texas last season and signed a
minor league deal with Cincinnati.

The deal, agreed to before Sunday's midnight deadline, would
give him a $300,000, one-year contract if he is added to the major
league roster. The money would be offset against the $3 million he
is owed from Texas, which released him last May.

On Monday, the Reds hired former Houston Astros general manager
Bill Wood as a special assistant.

Cincinnati also decided not to offer coach Ray Knight another
contract. Knight, who managed the Reds in 1996-97, was the bench
coach the last two years under Bob Boone.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.