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Radke gets $18M; Cards re-sign Morris

Minnesota Twins: Brad Radke stayed with the
Minnesota Twins, agreeing Tuesday night to an $18 million, two-year
contract.

The Twins also offered arbitration to third baseman Corey Koskie, left-hander Terry Mulholland and catcher Henry Blanco. However, Blanco agreed to a two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.

"I think it turned out for the best for both sides," Radke
said. "It feels good. You know, the Twins always said that I was
their top priority to sign this year and I feel the same way.

"I feel the Twins were my first priority, and I'm just glad it
got done," he said.

Radke formed a dominant duo with Johan Santana at the top of the
Twins' rotation last season. He went 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA in 219
2/3 innings.

Teams had until midnight ET to offer their own eligible players binding arbitration.

If a team opts not to offer one of its free agents arbitration, the player is unable to re-sign with the team until May 1.

Players offered arbitration, have until Dec. 19 to accept. Even if players decline to go before a panel that would decide 2005 salaries, teams get to extend their negotiating windows until Jan. 8.

If a player offered arbitration leaves, the team receives a compensatory draft pick tied to the player's level of success over the past two years. That pick is the main reason many small-market clubs will offer the arbitration, knowing full well that a player has no intention of re-signing with the teams.

St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Morris will return, agreeing to a $2.5 million, one-year
contract that allows him to earn an additional $4.5 million in
performance bonuses.

The NL champions also re-signed two other players, reaching
one-year deals with right-hander Cal Eldred ($600,000) and
outfielder John Mabry ($725,000).

The Cardinals offered salary arbitration to free-agent shortstop
Edgar Renteria and catcher Mike Matheny, but did not make offers to
right-hander Woody Williams, left-handed reliever Steve Kline and
outfielder Ray Lankford, who was considering retirement.

Atlanta Braves: The club severed its ties to J.D. Drew, deciding not to offer salary arbitration to the
outfielder after his breakthrough season.

The Braves lost another key player, as
well. Fifteen-game winner Jaret Wright signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the New York Yankees, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark is reporting.

Drew hit .305 with 31 homers, 93 RBI and 12 stolen bases,
helping the Braves win their 13th straight division title. For the
first time, he made it through the season without going on the
disabled list.

But the Georgia native priced himself out of Atlanta's budget
with the best season of his career. The Braves plan to keep their
payroll around $80 million, the same level as this past season.

Atlanta did offer arbitration to Wright, along with two other
players the team hopes to bring back: pitcher Paul Byrd and first
baseman Julio Franco.

The Braves declined arbitration for another 15-game winner, Russ Ortiz, their former No. 1 starter who struggled late in the season.
Losing Wright and Ortiz could signal a return to the starting
rotation for closer John Smoltz, who had 44 saves last season.

The Braves did not offer arbitration to reliever Antonio Alfonseca, who went 6-4 with a 2.57 ERA setting up for Smoltz.

Chicago White Sox: The club cut ties with Magglio Ordonez, declining to offer arbitration to their
All-Star right fielder.

The White Sox also did not offer arbitration to shortstop Jose Valentin, second baseman Roberto Alomar, and his brother, catcher
Sandy Alomar Jr.

Ordonez is a career .307 hitter with 187 homers and 703 RBI,
but the decision was no surprise because the White Sox were never
able to evaluate his surgically repaired left knee. Ordonez only
played 52 games last season because of the injury, and had a second
surgery in September.

Ordonez missed 36 games after injuring his left knee May 19,
then went on the disabled list for good on July 22 with bone marrow
edema. Ordonez is scheduled to hold a workout at this weekend's
winter meetings, but that was too late for the White Sox, who
couldn't risk offering him arbitration without more details on his
health.

Toronto Blue Jays: Carlos Delgado was not offered salary arbitration,
leaving one of the biggest stars in franchise history to look for a
new team.

The move was not a surprise for the cost-conscious Blue Jays
because Delgado could command one of the richest free-agent
contracts of the offseason.

Delgado told The Toronto Sun he already received offers from
Texas and Seattle in addition to the Blue Jays.

Now the Blue Jays can't re-sign the first baseman before May 1,
and they will not get any compensation if he goes to another club.

Delgado has spent his entire 12-year career with Toronto,
batting .282 with 336 home runs, 1,058 RBI and a .392 on-base
percentage. The two-time All-Star finished second in AL MVP voting
in 2003, then hit .269 with 32 homers and 99 RBI in 128 games last
season.

The Blue Jays also declined to offer arbitration to outfielder
Dave Berg, left-hander Valerio De Los Santos, shortstop Chris Gomez
and right-hander Pat Hentgen, who came off the voluntarily retired
list last month. The team did offer arbitration to catcher Gregg
Zaun.

Anaheim Angels: The club declined to offer
salary arbitration to free-agent third baseman Troy Glaus, cutting ties with the 2002 World Series MVP.

The Angels also did not offer arbitration to pitcher
Aaron Sele,
first baseman Andres Galarraga and infielder Shane Halter.

A three-time All-Star, the 28-year-old Glaus missed most of last
season because of a right shoulder injury that required surgery on
May 21. He batted .251 with 18 homers and 42 RBI in 58 games.

Glaus led the AL with 47 homers in 2000, then hit 41 the
following year. He has three 100-RBI seasons, but shoulder injuries
have slowed him the past two years. He was selected by the Angels
with the third overall pick in the 1997 draft.

Florida Marlins: Carl Pavano was offered salary arbitration as the Marlins held out a sliver of hope that their best starter will return in 2005.

The Marlins announced the move moments before the deadline. Pavano, 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA for Florida last season, was in
Seattle on Tuesday, continuing his tour of visits with potential suitors. He's already met with Baltimore, Detroit, the Yankees and Red Sox and plans to see Anaheim officials later this week.

It's unknown if Pavano will consider Florida's arbitration
offer; his agent, Scott Shapiro, was meeting with Mariners
officials late Tuesday night when the team announced its decision.

"I'm not in a position to comment at this time," Shapiro said
when asked about the offer.

The fiscally challenged Marlins offered Pavano a $21 million,
three-year deal weeks ago, but he's expected to command
significantly more on the free agent market. Florida says it has
lost more than $38 million over the last two seasons, and its 2005
payroll isn't expected to grow much from this year's $53 million
mark.

Oakland Athletics: The club declined to offer
arbitration to four free agents, including power-hitting outfielder Jermaine Dye.

The A's also declined arbitration for second baseman
Mark McLemore and relievers Jim Mecir and Chris Hammond. Oakland is now
unable to negotiate with the four players before May 1, and won't
receive compensation if they sign with other teams.

Oakland declined a $14 million option on Dye in October. He
batted .265 with 23 homers and 80 RBI last season, hitting just
.231 after the All-Star break.

The oft-injured slugger also sprained his left thumb down the
stretch and missed several important games for Oakland's playoff
hopes. The A's were unwilling to risk a hefty arbitration ruling,
particularly after acquiring highly paid catcher Jason Kendall last
month from Pittsburgh.

Oakland also declined an option on Hammond in October. He went
4-1 with a team-low 2.68 ERA out of the bullpen, but missed six
weeks with a strained left shoulder.

Mecir and McLemore both are contemplating retirement. Oakland's
other free agent, catcher Damian Miller, already signed a
three-year deal with Milwaukee.

Houston Astros: Carlos Beltran and Roger Clemens, two All-Stars who helped the team win its first playoff series in club history, were offered salary arbitration.

However, second baseman Jeff Kent was not offered arbitration and will not return to the team.

"We felt like we made some very fair offers to Jeff," new Astros general manager Tim Purpura said. "It just didn't work out."

In addition to Kent, relievers Dan Miceli and Darren Oliver were also not offered arbitration.

Free-agent outfielder Orlando Palmeiro agreed to an $800,000, one-year contract and right-handed reliever Russ Springer was signed to a minor league contract.

The negotiations are just starting with Beltran, whose postseason performance -- .417, four homers, five RBI, four steals in the NLCS; .455, four homers, nine RBI in the Division Series -- made him baseball's biggest offseason catch.

"We've accomplished one of the steps," Purpura said. "We know where we stand and we're ready to get started."

Meanwhile, the 42-year-old Clemens, who won his record seventh Cy Young Award a month ago, is again considering retirement.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Adrian Beltre and three other free agents
were offered salary arbitration.

Pitchers Odalis Perez and Wilson Alvarez and catcher
Brent Mayne
also were offered arbitration.

Outfielder Steve Finley, pitcher Jose Lima, catcher
Todd Hundley, pitcher Hideo Nomo, second baseman Jose Hernandez and
pitcher Paul Shuey were not offered arbitration along with
Robin Ventura, who said he is retiring.

Earlier Tuesday, the Dodgers reached a $1.3 million, one-year
deal with
arbitration-eligible pitcher Elmer Dessens, who went 1-0 with a
3.20 ERA in 19 2/3 innings last season after being acquired from
Arizona on Aug. 19. Los Angeles has a $1.3 million option for 2006,
but Dessens can void it.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The club offered salary
arbitration to first baseman Richie Sexson, trying to
make the best of what potentially was their worst deal ever.

The Diamondbacks sent six players, including 2004 National
League doubles leader Lyle Overbay, to Milwaukee for Sexson last
year. Then the slugger tore the labrum in his left shoulder twice
and was done by late May.

Sexson, who received $8.6 million for his 23-game season, filed
for free agency last month and has given no indication that he
plans to return to a team that lost 111 games and recently bungled
the hiring of manager Bob Melvin by first offering the job to Wally
Backman.

Diamondbacks general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. did not return
phone calls to his office about the team's 10 other free agents:
outfielders Danny Bautista and Quinton McCracken; infielders
Carlos Baerga and Greg Colbrunn; and relievers Matt Mantei,
Mike Fetters,
Jeff Fassero, Shane Reynolds, Scott Service and Steve Sparks.

The big names among them were Bautista, a World Series hero for
Arizona in 2001, and Mantei, who was acquired in 1999 as the closer
of the future. The right-hander had elbow surgery in 2002, played
well in 2003 but appeared in only 12 games last year, going 0-3
with an 11.81 ERA and four saves.

San Francisco Giants: The club cut ties with
closers Dustin Hermanson and Robb Nen, one week after
signing Armando Benitez to a free-agent contract.

The Giants declined to offer salary arbitration to Hermanson,
Nen and right-hander Dave Burba before Tuesday night's deadline.
The team did offer arbitration to lefty specialist Jason
Christiansen.

Nen, 35, has not pitched in more than two years because of an
injured shoulder and has not decided whether to try to mount a
comeback. If he does, he could sign a minor league contract with
the team but not pitch in the majors until May 1.

Nen, who saved 206 games for the Giants from 1998-2002, has made
nearly $18 million while spending the past two seasons on the
disabled list. He has undergone three shoulder operations since
last pitching in the 2002 World Series. He has 314 career saves.

Philadelphia Phillies: Left-handed reliever Rheal Cormier is
returning, agreeing to a $5.25
million, two-year contract.

Cormier was 4-5 with a 3.56 ERA last season, his fourth year
with the Phillies. He will earn $2.25 million in 2005 and $2.5
million in '06. There's a club option for $3 million in 2007 with a
$500,000 buyout.

Cormier's best season was in 2003, when he was 8-0 with a 1.70
ERA in 56 games. The 12-year veteran is 69-59 with a 4.01 ERA and
two saves in 556 career games with St. Louis, Boston, Montreal and
the Phillies.

The Phillies didn't offer salary
arbitration to starters Kevin Millwood and Eric Milton.

The club did, however, offer arbitration to second baseman Placido Polanco, and outfielder Doug Glanville.

Relievers Roberto Hernandez and Todd Jones were not offered arbitration.

Texas Rangers: Outfielder David Dellucci was offered
salary arbitration, giving
the two sides extra time to negotiate a new contract.

While keeping open the possibility of Dellucci staying, the
Rangers didn't offer arbitration to nine other free agents after an
improbable pennant chase. That group included utility player
Eric Young, right-hander Jeff Nelson and outfielders Brian Jordan and
Rusty Greer, a fan favorite who has played just once since June
2002 after a series of different surgeries.

Dellucci wants to stay in Texas with manager Buck Showalter, who
he also played for in Arizona, but doesn't want another one-year
deal like the Rangers had offered before Tuesday. At least two
other teams have talked to Dellucci about a two-year contract.

Of 12 free agents the Rangers had, only right-hander
John Wasdin
and second baseman Manny Alexander signed before the arbitration
deadline. Both agreed to minor league deals last month that include
invitations to spring training.

Designated hitter Herbert Perry and right-handed reliever Jay Powell, both Rangers the last three seasons, didn't expect to
return. They were both limited by injuries, Perry playing in just
49 games and Powell pitching just 24 innings.

The other free agents were third baseman Andy Fox and
Jeff Zimmerman, an All-Star reliever as a rookie in 1999 who had 28
saves in 2001.

San Diego Padres: David Wells was offered salary arbitration, giving the Padres until Jan. 8 to re-sign the 41-year-old left-hander.

"Wells was an important part of our club last season and we
felt it was imperative to offer arbitration to extend our
negotiation period to ensure that David would be back in a Padre
uniform in 2005," GM Kevin Towers said.

The Padres declined to offer arbitration to free agent
infielders Rich Aurilia, Robert Fick, Alex Gonzalez and Dave Hansen, as well as right-handers Andy Ashby and Antonio Osuna.

Wells was 12-8, with a 3.73 ERA last season. He earned $1.25
million in base pay and another $4.75 million in incentives by making 31 starts.

Wells wanted to return to the Padres, but he wanted a guaranteed
contract instead of one loaded with incentives like the one he
signed. The Padres balked at giving Wells guaranteed money because
of his age -- he'll turn 42 on May 20 -- and his history of injuries.

Seattle Mariners: The club agreed to a $1.75 million,
one-year contract with catcher Dan Wilson, bringing back a fan
favorite who represents a link to the team's historic 1995
breakthrough.

The club also offered left-hander Ron Villone salary arbitration, when the two sides were unable to agree to a new contract.

The 35-year-old Wilson hit .251 with two home runs and 33 RBI
in 103 games last season, his 11th with the Mariners. He is valued
for his leadership and as a tutor to young catcher Miguel Olivo,
obtained in a midseason trade.

Wilson, an All-Star in 1996, started 91 games behind the plate,
the 11th straight year he's led the Mariners in starts by a
catcher. He also led the club with five sacrifice flies and ranked
second with eight sacrifice bunts.

Last season, Wilson got his 1,000th hit with Seattle, one of
only six players in franchise history to reach that milestone with
the Mariners.

Kansas City Royals: Kevin Appier agreed to another comeback
attempt and settled with the club on a minor-league contract.

Appier, who turned 37 Monday, made just two starts last season,
going 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in four inning. The right-hander, coming
off surgery for a torn elbow tendon, left his April 23 start
against Minnesota after one inning, went on the disabled list and
didn't pitch again.

If he's added to the Royals' major league roster, he would get a
$500,000, one-year contract.

Kansas City declined to offered arbitration to
Juan Gonzalez, third baseman
Joe Randa, utilityman Desi Relaford and catcher Kelly Stinnett.

As for players on the 40-man roster, the Royals said they plan
to offer Jeremy Affeldt a contract by the Dec. 20 deadline. Kansas
City has not decided whether to offer a contract to right-hander Miguel Asencio, coming off elbow ligament replacement surgery.

New York Mets: The club signed reliever Mike DeJean to a $1.15 million, one-year contract , but declined to offer salary arbitration to Al Leiter and Richard Hidalgo.

The Mets also cut ties with reliever John Franco, their
44-year-old team captain who had pitched with New York since 1990.

The Mets also declined to offer arbitration to right-hander Ricky Bottalico, retiring infielder Todd Zeile and first baseman Mo Vaughn.

DeJean was acquired July 19 from the Orioles for outfielder Karim Garcia. The right-hander pitched in 17 games for the Mets, going 0-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

Colorado Rockies: The club offered arbitration to
pitcher Jamey Wright and catcher Todd Greene,
anticipating they'll both return to the team next season.

Wright went 1-2 with a 4.12 earned-run average after being
acquired out of Kansas City's minor league system last July. He
will compete for a spot in the team's starting rotation next year.

Wright was the team's first-round draft pick in 1993 -- supposed
to be one of the cornerstones of the franchise -- and this is his
second stint in Colorado.

The Rockies refused to offer arbitration on Jeromy Burnitz,
deciding to part ways with their home-run leader from 2004.

In October, the Rockies and Burnitz parted when they agreed not
to exercise a $3 million mutual option, and the outfielder received
a $250,000 buyout. Burnitz, 35, led the Rockies with 37 home runs
last season and was second with 110 RBI.

In addition to Burnitz, the Rockies did not offer arbitration to
pitchers Shawn Estes and Steve Reed, infielder Royce Clayton and
outfielder Mark Sweeney.

Baltimore Orioles: B.J. Surhoff agreed on a one-year, $1.1 million contract.

Surhoff batted .309 with eight homers and 50 RBI in 100 games
in 2004. The free-agent outfielder spent the last two seasons in
Baltimore, and was not eager to go elsewhere.

The 40-year-old Surhoff is a .283 career hitter with 183 homers
and 1,119 RBI in 18 major league seasons. He was drafted No. 1
overall by the Brewers in 1985.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.