Uribe agrees to three-year, $9.75M deal

Updated: December 16, 2004, 9:47 PM ET
Associated Press

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox agreed to a $9.75 million, three-year deal with infielder Juan Uribe on Thursday, avoiding arbitration.

Uribe hit .283 and set career highs with 23 home runs and 74 RBI last season, his first with the White Sox after being acquired from the Colorado Rockies. He hit .355 with seven homers and 26 RBI over the final 32 games.

Uribe also gave the White Sox some versatility in the infield, playing 77 games at second base, 38 at short and 27 at third.

Under the deal, Uribe will make $2.15 million next season, $3.15 million in 2006 and $4.15 million in 2007. The club has a $5 million option for 2008 with a $300,000 buyout.

Uribe is a career .266 hitter with 47 home runs and 209 RBI in four years with the Rockies and White Sox.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox lineup card from Game 4 of the 2004 World Series brought a site-record bid of $165,000 on MLB.com.

A collection of World Series championship memorabilia went on sale Dec. 7 on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball. The bidding for the lineup card, which ended Tuesday night, was a record for a game-used and autographed item. The bidder was not identified.

Other Red Sox memorabilia included a game-issued World Series base signed by series MVP Manny Ramirez, an ALCS base signed by series MVP David Ortiz and baseballs and bases from all four World Series games against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Minnesota Twins: The Twins and 41-year-old left-hander Terry Mulholland agreed to terms Thursday on a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.

Mulholland went 5-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 39 appearances over 123 1/3 innings for Minnesota last season, stabilizing the fifth spot in the rotation after several young candidates struggled. He went 4-5 with a 4.95 ERA in 15 starts, throwing six innings or more in eight of those outings.

The Twins' third straight division title and Mulholland's versatility and durability made a desire for his return mutual.

"We could depend on him, and he was a good presence -- especially with some of the young pitchers that were around," general manager Terry Ryan said. "From what he accomplished last year, I'm not sure there's going to be many people who are going to run him out of work."

By beating Detroit in July, Mulholland also became just the third pitcher in major-league history to earn a victory against all 30 teams. When Minnesota acquired him from Seattle in April for cash, Mulholland joined his 10th different club over 16-plus seasons.

Mulholland's 46 career complete games rank 11th among active players. He was a 24th-round draft pick of San Francisco in 1984.

Anaheim Angels: Highly touted Cuban prospect Kendry Morales is officially a member of the Angels.

The Angels announced two weeks ago they had agreed to terms on a six-year contract with Morales, conditional upon the 21-year-old switch-hitter receiving clearance from the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

That came Thursday, when Morales received a license from the OFAC, clearing him to work in the United States. He defected from Cuba in June and now lives in the Dominican Republic.

The Angels added Morales to their 40-man roster and designated right-hander Bobby Jenks for assignment. Jenks, the Angels' fifth-round pick in 2000, only made three appearances for Triple-A Salt Lake last year before being shut down in June with elbow problems.

Morales plays first base, third base and the outfield. He was the first baseman and cleanup hitter for Cuba at the 2003 World Cup in Havana, and his grand slam helped the Cubans beat Taiwan 6-3 in the finals.

The Angels were able to sign Morales because a Cuban player who acquires residency in a third country is eligible for free-agent status.

Morales became a sensation in Cuban baseball two years ago while playing for a team called the Industrialists, hitting .324 with 21 home runs, 82 RBI and 60 runs scored. He was immediately called up to the national team.

Cuban authorities, however, later cut Morales from both the national team and the Industrialists because they suspected he wanted to defect during a pre-Olympic tournament in Panama last year. They also did not select him to be on the team that competed in the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo in 2003.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays signed left-hander Scott Downs to a minor-league contract on Thursday with an invitation to spring training.

Downs went 3-6 with a 5.14 ERA in 12 starts with Montreal last season. He went 10-6 with a 3.53 ERA for Triple-A Edmonton.

Downs, 28, is 7-10 with a 5.41 ERA in 32 career starts in the majors.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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