Brown must approve trade to Yankees

LOS ANGELES -- Kevin Brown is probably headed to New York,
giving the Yankees a replacement for Andy Pettitte in their
starting rotation and the Los Angeles Dodgers some financial flexibility.

The Yankees and Dodgers agreed to the outline of a tentative
trade Thursday, with Brown going to the Yankees for right-hander
Jeff Weaver, two minor leaguers and $3 million, two baseball
officials said on condition of anonymity.

Brown, who has the right to block a trade, must approve any deal
and has not yet been asked about it, agent Scott Boras said.

All players must pass physicals, and the Yankees want to review
Brown's contract before signing off on the swap, the officials

"Obviously this is something Kevin has to look into and see,"
Boras said. "He told the Dodgers if there is a deal that comes up,
he would approve something if that helped them in their

"He told them if he was going to leave LA, it was going to
have to be with an East Coast team, something close to his

Meanwhile, other teams said the Dodgers were in discussions with
the St. Louis Cardinals to acquire outfielder J.D. Drew, perhaps
for Weaver.

Dodgers general manager Dan Evans wouldn't comment on the
potential trades, but did say Thursday night the team was "well
down the line on a number of things."

"With any trade discussion, it's not over until it's over,"
Evans said from New Orleans, where the winter meetings begin
Friday. "We're involved in a number of discussions.

"I'm coming down here with a game plan to try and move forward

Evans said the pending sale of the Dodgers from News Corp. to
Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt wouldn't keep him from
making trades or signing free agents.

"Our needs are our needs," Evans said. "If we get something
done that we think is a good move and Bob Daly approves, we'll move
forward. As a courtesy, we'll notify the transition team."

Daly has said he plans to leave as managing partner, chairman
and chief operating officer of the Dodgers once the proposed sale
of the team is completed.

Brown, who turns 39 in March, signed baseball's first $100
million contract with the Dodgers five years ago -- a seven-year,
$105 million deal that has two seasons remaining at $15 million

The hard-throwing right-hander was 14-9 with a 2.39 ERA as part
of baseball's best pitching staff last year, but has pushed for a
trade closer to his home in Macon, Ga.

Injuries limited Brown to 19 starts in 2001 and 10 in 2002, but
he rebounded to make 32 starts last season, when he had the
second-lowest ERA in the NL behind Jason Schmidt.

Pettitte, a 21-game winner with New York last season, agreed to
terms of a three-year, $31.5 million contract with the Houston Astros after weighing a new offer from the Yankees on Wednesday

Weaver, 27, has struggled since the Yankees acquired him from
Detroit in July 2002, failing to keep his spot in the rotation. He
was 7-9 with a 5.99 ERA last season, and allowed the 12th-inning
homer to Florida's Alex Gonzalez that won the pivotal fourth game
of the World Series.

Weaver is owed $15.5 million over the next two seasons: $6.25
million next year and $9.25 million in 2005.

The Dodgers are desperately in need of offense, with glaring
holes at first base and left field. They were 85-77 last season and
weren't eliminated from contention for the NL wild-card berth until
the final week despite hitting just .243 and scoring 574 runs -- the
fewest in the majors.

The Dodgers' team ERA of 3.16 was the lowest in the big leagues.

Another free agent the Yankees are dealing with, outfielder Gary Sheffield, is confident he will sign with New York despite
differences that have jeopardized the deal.

"We'll get it done," Sheffield told The Associated Press on
Wednesday night as he watched the Maryland-Florida basketball game
from the stands.

Sheffield, who became a free agent after playing for Atlanta the
last two seasons, agreed with New York owner George Steinbrenner on
the parameters of a deal that would be worth $39 million over three
seasons, the baseball official said. But the sides have argued over
deferred money and a no-trade clause.