NEW YORK -- The Yankees and Orioles were discussing a deal
Saturday that would send Jaret Wright to Baltimore for prospects.
Wright and Yankees teammate Mike Mussina filed provisionally for
free agency Saturday, awaiting decisions on team options for 2007.
New York had until Sunday to exercise a $7 million option on
Wright, a deal that carries a $4 million buyout. While the Yankees
have until Wednesday to decide on Mussina's $17 million option,
which has a $1.5 million buyout, the team and the pitcher's agent
have been discussing a new two-year contract in the $20 million to
$25 million range.
Wright, a right-hander who turns 31 next month, has been a
disappointment in two seasons with the Yankees. He was 5-5 with a
6.08 ERA in 2005, when he injured a shoulder and was limited to 13
starts, then went 11-7 with a 4.49 ERA this year, only rarely
lasting past the sixth inning.
A trade would leave Chien-Ming Wang and Randy Johnson, coming
off back surgery, as the only definite returning starting pitchers
for the Yankees, likely to be joined by Mussina. Yankees general
manager Brian Cashman admitted Thursday that the team can't count
on Carl Pavano, who hasn't pitched for the Yankees since June 2005
because of shoulder, backs, buttocks, elbow and rib injuries.
It was not clear which players the Orioles would send to the
Yankees if a deal was struck.
Colorado third baseman
Vinny Castilla also filed for free agency Saturday, the last
possible day, raising the total to 178. Free agents could start
negotiating money with all teams starting Sunday.