Ortiz figures to face Johnson

Boston Red Sox: With the Red Sox scheduled to face New York Yankees left-hander Randy Johnson in the team's season-opening game, manager Terry Francona already has some ideas for his lineup. David Ortiz, who has never faced Johnson, will likely be in there, while Trot Nixon will sit.

"It'll be interesting to see how this all transpires," Francona told The Boston Globe. "Not many good left-handers face [Johnson]. I'm not taking anything away from this guy's talent, but he never faces the real lineup because he's the one guy that makes managers change their lineup. We're probably the one team that can throw out some right-handed hitters."

In all likelihood, the Red Sox will only send up two left-handers to face Johnson: Ortiz and Johnny Damon.

Newcomer Jay Payton is the top candidate to spell Nixon in right field.

San Diego Padres: Right-hander Jake Peavy has agreed to the terms of a four-year contract with the Padres.
San Diego, which holds an option for a fifth year, plans to
announce the deal after obtaining an insurance policy on Peavy.
"I'm just glad its over, and we don't have to worry about it
anymore" said Peavy, who led the majors with a 2.27 ERA last
season. "You got one thing on your brain, and that's getting
people out and winning ballgames. That's what I'm excited about."
Peavy, who went 15-6 last year, could have
accepted a one-year deal worth about $500,000 and taken his chances
next winter in his first year of salary arbitration. But he opted
for a long-term deal with the team that drafted him in the 15th
round out of high school in 1999.
"Both sides are a little unhappy, and I think that's a sign of
a good deal," Peavy, 23, said. "That's when you know both sides gave a
little bit."
Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, said negotiations were close to
falling apart until Peavy stepped in and agreed to extend the
length of the contract from three to four years, with the option
wiping out his first year of free agency. As a concession, the
Padres agreed to include performance bonuses and escalators that
could increase the value of the deal.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Former Arizona third baseman Matt Williams was
hired as a special assistant to Jeff Moorad, the Diamondbacks' general partner.

Williams, who joined the expansion Diamondbacks in 1998, has been working as an adviser to manager Bob Melvin during spring training. He will assist the team in the baseball operations department and do some broadcasting on radio and television.

Williams retired from playing in 2003 after 17 major league seasons.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Catcher David Ross, first baseman Hee-Seop Choi and right-handed relievers Yhency Brazoban and Duaner Sanchez have agreed to terms of 2005 contracts with the Dodgers.

All four players figure to open the season on the big-league
roster, with Ross and Choi penciled in as starters.

Other players who agreed to terms were right-handers Edwin
Jackson and Joel Hanrahan, left-handers Derek Thompson, Frank
Brooks and Orlando Rodriguez, infielders Willy Aybar and Joe
Thurston, and outfielders Jason Grabowski, Chin-Feng Chen and Henri Stanley.

In addition, former Dodgers outfielder Mike Marshall was hired
as manager of the Double-A El Paso Diablos. Marshall played for the
Dodgers from 1981-89.

Texas Rangers:
Pedro Astacio and Ricardo Rodriguez, pitchers the club hopes will be in their starting rotation,
both threw scoreless innings in the team's first intrasquad
game of the spring.
Rodriguez was with Texas last year, but his season ended in July
when his right elbow was broken by a line drive. Astacio, a
35-year-old right-hander with just one start since shoulder surgery
in 2003, signed as a free agent.
Astacio threw 13 pitches, allowing only a one-out double to
outfielder Ramon Nivar. He got his outs on a grounder and two
"I don't feel I have to prove I'm healthy, but every game,
every pitching opportunity is important," Astacio said. "It's
good to see some hitters. That's what spring is all about. I feel
really good."
While Rodriguez has to prove himself as one of several
candidates for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation, Astacio
seems certain of a spot if he stays healthy.
Rodriguez threw 17 pitches. The only runner against him reached
on an error, and he had a strikeout.

Seattle Mariners: Injury-prone outfielder Chris Snelling will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee, the team announced.

Snelling, 23, is expected to be out about six weeks following
the cartilage surgery.

It's the same knee in which Snelling suffered a torn ACL during
the 2001 season.

Snelling, an Australian, had an MRI on the knee last week. The
results were announced after Mariners medical director Dr. Larry
Pedegana reviewed the MRI in Seattle.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. Matt Maddux of Phoenix.

Snelling missed the entire 2004 season because of surgeries to
his right hand and right wrist.

In 2003, he hit .269, with three home runs and 10 RBI, in 18
games at Triple-A Tacoma and .333, with three homers and 25 RBI,
in 10 games at Double-A San Antonio.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.