Reese, who spent the last two seasons with Pittsburgh, got a
$200,000 signing bonus and an $800,000 salary for 2004. The
two-time Gold Glove winner also can earn $600,000 in performance
"He turned down a pretty significant amount of money to do this
with the Red Sox because he wanted to be a part of this, part of
the situation, part of the atmosphere," said Mike Nicotera,
Reese's agent. "There were definitely quality clubs that were
offering him what I would term as significantly more money."
Boston needed a replacement for second baseman Todd Walker, who
became a free agent and cannot re-sign with Boston until May 1. He
hit .283 with a team season record of five playoff homers.
Last week, the Red Sox signed second baseman Mark Bellhorn, who
played with Colorado last season.
Boston also agreed Tuesday to deal with two right-handed
pitchers it had let go Saturday. Edwin Almonte received a
minor-league contract and would get a deal for the $300,000 minimum
if he's added to the 40-man roster. Jason Shiell got a one-year
contract that would pay him at a yearly rate of $303,000 in the
major leagues and $72,000 in the minors.
The Red Sox originally obtained Reese on Dec. 19, 2001, in a
trade with Colorado. But they let him become a free agent two days
later rather than offer a 2002 contract, which would have made him
eligible for salary arbitration. They hoped at that time he would
sign a multiyear contract with them but he signed instead with the
Pirates on Jan. 30, 2002.
Reese was sidelined by a torn thumb ligament last season and hit
.215 in 37 games but had at least 421 at-bats in each of his
previous four seasons, three of them with Cincinnati. He became a
free agent after the World Series.
Reese won Gold Gloves with Cincinnati in 1999 and 2000. He stole
38 bases with the Reds in 1999.