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BASEBALL NOTES

Red Sox sign reliever, get closer to deal with Drew

December 01, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

The Boston Red Sox agreed to a contract with a Japanese pitcher -- no, not that one.

In the midst of negotiations with potential ace Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox agreed Thursday to a $2.5-million, two-year contract with left-handed reliever Hideki Okajima, a deal that includes a $1.75-million team option for 2009.

The Red Sox also moved closer to signing free agent outfielder J.D. Drew. The sides are in the drafting stages of a $70-million, five-year contract that is expected to be announced next week, a person familiar with the talks said on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized.

Boston has until Dec. 14 to sign Matsuzaka, the ace of the Seibu Lions and MVP of this year's World Baseball Classic. The Red Sox bid $51,111,111 in the posting process for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka.

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Barry Zito met with the Texas Rangers, the team that failed to sign the ace left-hander after drafting him in 1998.

Zito and his agent, Scott Boras, visited with Rangers owner Tom Hicks, General Manager Jon Daniels and other team officials.

A year after the Rangers drafted Zito in the third round, Oakland made him a first-round pick in 1999 out of USC.

Zito went 102-63 in 222 starts for the Athletics the last seven seasons.

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The waiting continues for Tom Glavine to decide whether he'll pitch for the New York Mets or Atlanta Braves in 2007. The Mets now expect the left-hander to notify them next week, rather than this week, of his intentions, a person familiar with the situation said.

The Mets thought they would have Glavine signed and secured by now. Instead, the 40-year-old has spent more than a month huddling with his family in Atlanta.

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