Reliever finalizes three-year, $10.5M deal

Updated: November 30, 2006, 5:52 PM ET
Associated Press

Chad Bradford
Bradford

BALTIMORE -- Chad Bradford was anxious for a quick agreement, and the Baltimore Orioles complied.

"This was such a good fit that the choice was easy," Bradford said Thursday after finalizing a $10.5 million, three-year contract.

The 32-year-old right-hander was 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA last year with the New York Mets but he said the Mets "couldn't get close" on dollars or years.

"He's certainly a veteran that has been through everything in the game from success to injury. We see him as a stabilizing force on a relatively young pitching staff," Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan said.

Baltimore also finalized a $900,000, one-year contract with Scott Williamson. Baltimore had added four relievers during the offseason, also agreeing to deals with right-hander Danys Baez ($19 million over three years) and left-hander Jamie Walker ($12 million over three years).

Bradford began using a submarine delivery when he was 15, after a high school coach started working with him to change his motion.

"That's my arm slot. That's where I feel most comfortable," he said.

Baltimore been trying to strengthen a bullpen that went 19-25 with a 5.25 ERA and 35 saves in 56 opportunities last season.

Keeping the ball in the park is where Bradford can help.

"He's only allowed a couple of home runs in the last two seasons, something the club was prone to last season," Flanagan said.

Bradford said the Orioles' offseason moves and his knowledge of the American League factored into his decision.

"We're a unit down there and you put all those pieces together and we're going to be good," he said.

Baltimore also has a pending deals with first baseman Kevin Millar ($2.75 million) and backup catcher Paul Bako ($900,000).


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press