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Braves Add Ortiz, Byrd to Their Staff

NEWSWIRE

December 18, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

Quickly remaking their starting rotation, the Atlanta Braves acquired Russ Ortiz from San Francisco on Tuesday and signed free-agent Paul Byrd to a $10 million, two-year contract.

The Braves already had landed Mike Hampton in a trade and lost Tom Glavine to the New York Mets. Greg Maddux -- like Glavine, a free agent -- has until Thursday to accept the Braves' offer of salary arbitration.

To get Ortiz, Atlanta sent pitcher Damian Moss and minor league pitcher Manuel Mateo to San Francisco.

Ortiz, a 27-year-old right-hander, was 14-10 last season with a 3.61 earned-run average, helping the Giants reach the World Series.

Ortiz is to earn $4.6 million in 2003, and the Braves have a club option for $5.7 million in 2004 with a $300,000 buyout. The option could increase by as much as $900,000 based on the number of innings he pitches next season.

Byrd, 32, pitched for Atlanta in 1997 and 1998 before being put on waivers and claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies, for whom he went 15-11 in 1999. He was 17-11 last season with a 3.90 ERA for the Kansas City Royals. He gets $3 million next season and has a $7 million player option for 2004.

Moss, 26, went 12-6 with a 3.42 ERA as the Braves' fifth starter last season, his first in the majors.

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The St. Louis Cardinals and veteran catcher Joe Girardi have agreed to a one-year, $750,000 contract. The Cardinals also announced that outfielder-catcher Eli Marrero agreed to a two-year, $4.5 million contract extension through 2004. Pitcher Garrett Stephenson also agreed to a one-year, $800,000 deal.... The Chicago Cubs signed outfielder Troy O'Leary to a one-year, $750,000 deal. With incentives, O'Leary could earn $1 million.... Norm Charlton, once one of the best relievers in baseball but now a 39-year-old question mark coming off rotator cuff surgery, has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners.... Boston agreed to a one-year deal with utilityman Jeremy Giambi.... The Astros are in "serious negotiations" with free agent second baseman Jeff Kent, Houston owner Drayton McLane Jr. told a local television station.

Boxing

Although promoter Bob Arum says that the Sept. 13 Oscar De La Hoya-Shane Mosley rematch will be held in Las Vegas, either at Mandalay Bay or the MGM Grand, Staples Center president Tim Leiweke isn't going down without a fight.

"We are going to get that fight," insisted Leiweke, who called Arum on Tuesday to state the case for his arena, which played host to the first De La Hoya-Mosley fight in 2000.

Staples Center paid a $5.5 million site fee for that first fight. Leiweke concedes the price will be higher this time, but said, "We are not going to get into a situation where we have to charge the fans ridiculous prices."

Marilyn Salcido (9-3-3, two knockouts) and Para Draine (11-5-1, three KOs) will meet tonight in a scheduled 10-round fight for the International Female Boxing Assn.'s vacant bantamweight title in the main event of a five-bout card at the Irvine Marriott. It will be a rematch of their last fight on Aug. 17, which ended in a draw.

Also on the card: light heavyweight Joe Pastorello (4-0, two KOs) of Anaheim will meet Dimitrique Edwards (5-2, three KOs) of Pomona.

Miscellany

The PGA Tour is taking away five cards from its qualifying tournament and giving those spots to the Nationwide Tour. Previously, the top 15 from the developmental tour money list earned their exempt cards. That will increase to the top 20. Only the top 30 and ties -- instead of the top 35 -- will advance from Q-school.

A judge ruled against a media company that sued the PGA Tour for the right to sell the tour's real-time scoring to other media outlets. Morris Communications, which owns The Florida Times-Union and The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, said it would appeal the 34-page summary judgment.

Andy Irons, who already had clinched the Assn. of Surfing Professionals' 2002 world title, edged Shane Dorian in the final of the Xbox Pipeline Masters.

Irons, 24, not only won the $250,000 competition, but the more prestigious overall Vans Triple Crown of Surfing championship on Oahu's North Shore.

Irons, who had accumulated enough points to clinch the world title despite failing to advance beyond the quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Cup at Sunset Beach, methodically worked his way into the final at Pipeline and registered a score of 8.4 out of a possible 10 with six minutes left to pull past Dorian.

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