Renteria agrees to four-year deal with champs

Updated: December 16, 2004, 9:48 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- All-Star shortstop Edgar Renteria has agreed in principle to a $40 million, four-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, who beat his St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series when he grounded to the pitcher for the final out.

Edgar Renteria
St. Louis Cardinals
149 10 72 84 17 .287

The agreement contains a team option for 2009. Renteria must pass a physical, which is expected to be given Friday, for the deal to be finalized.

Boston spokesman Glenn Geffner declined comment.

Renteria's brother Edison told the AP that an agreement on the terms was reached Tuesday night.

"We will travel to Boston later this week to define the details of the four-year contract," he said in a telephone interview from Barranquilla, Colombia. "Edgar is very happy. The conditions are excellent."

"An All-Star and Gold Glove infielder would be a great addition to this or any other team," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said, not specifying a player, at a news conference to announce a $1 million, one-year agreement with pitcher John Halama.

The deal was first reported by The Boston Globe, which quoted the shortstop in a story posted on its Web site Wednesday.

"I like to play on a winning team like Boston, St. Louis or any team that has the opportunity to win," the paper quoted him as saying. His decision came down to the two pennant winners, and he said the Red Sox were "more interested in my playing for them."

The Red Sox intensified their efforts to sign Renteria after three-time Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez passed on Boston's three-year, $40.5 million offer and said he would sign with the Mets.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said at the winter meetings that Martinez would not necessarily be replaced by an equally pricey pitcher. Instead, money set aside for him or catcher Jason Varitek -- a free agent who is expected to could command $50 million over five years -- might instead be spent on upgrading at other positions.

"We will redeploy the money that would've been spent," Lucchino said after Martinez chose the Mets. "That's a considerable amount of resources to redeploy."

Renteria was a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner with a .289 career average in six years with the St. Louis Cardinals. He made the final out in Boston's sweep of the Cardinals, grounding out to pitcher Keith Foulke to give the Red Sox their first title since 1918.

The Red Sox had been worrying about a shortstop since last winter, when they tried to trade five-time All-Star Nomar Garciaparra before he entered the last year of his contract. The deal for then-AL MVP Alex Rodriguez fell through, but Garciaparra was so wounded by the trade talks that his attitude suffered and Boston sent him to the Chicago Cubs at the trading deadline.

The Red Sox got shortstop Orlando Cabrera, along with first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, in return, improving the defense that led the AL in unearned runs and sparking Boston to a wild-card berth.

Cabrera, who is also Colombian, batted .294 with six homers and 31 RBI with the Red Sox. He hit .288 and played errorless ball in the postseason as Boston won its first World Series since 1918.

The Cardinals have shown a lot of interest this offseason in signing Cabrera, a free agent.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press