Yankees ready to welcome Giambi into fold, Red Sox unload Everett

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2001

BOSTON -- While the New York Yankees prepared to welcome Jason Giambi and reached a preliminary deal to add outfielder Rondell White, their biggest rival got rid of its biggest problem.

The Red Sox traded erratic outfielder Carl Everett to the Texas Rangers early Thursday for left-hander Darren Oliver.

Boston had been trying to dump Everett all offseason. He clashed with two managers and hit .257 with 14 homers and 58 RBIs before his season ended Sept. 8 because of a knee injury.

''We're certainly not blind,'' Texas general manager John Hart said. ''Obviously, it's well documented the problems Carl has had in Boston. At the same time, we recognize the opportunity a new fresh start in Texas will provide for Carl.''

While Barry Bonds, Juan Gonzalez, Chan Ho Park, Gary Sheffield and Scott Rolen waited for their futures to be decided, there were no other trades Wednesday and the only free-agent signings announced involved Norm Charlton and Jose Guillen.

Charlton re-signed with the Seattle Mariners, the left-handed reliever agreeing to a $1.25 million, one-year contract. Arizona announced a $500,000, one-year deal with Guillen, a contract the outfielder agreed to weeks ago.

The Yankees, meanwhile, made plans for a Thursday news conference in New York to announce their seven-year agreement with Giambi, a deal worth about $120 million.

New York also reached a preliminary agreement on a $10 million, two-year contract with White, and closed in on a two-year deal for about $12 million with pitcher Sterling Hitchcock.

Boston was looking for pitching, and in Oliver the Red Sox get a 31-year-old left-hander who went 11-11 last season with a 6.02 ERA in 28 starts for the worst pitching staff in the major leagues. Oliver allowed 260 runners in 189 innings.

Everett is owed $17.15 million over the next two seasons, a commitment that made it difficult for Boston -- his fifth organization -- to find takers.

''It was a trade that was necessary for the team to move forward, and I think it was necessary for Carl to play in another market,'' Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said, adding the trade ''wasn't made on the basis of his overall skills.''

''It's been a struggle for the last year-and-a-half,'' Duquette said. ''This an extremely interested fan base. Some players can respond to the pressures of this market and play very well. ... It just didn't work out here.''

Oliver has one year remaining on a $19 million, three-year contract. He has a $5 million salary in 2002 and is owed $4.5 million of his $6 million signing bonus, with $1.5 million payable in 2002 and the remainder the following year.

''It was not a huge economic cost for us,'' Hart said, adding that money changed hands in the trade. ''We're here to play. We're not just here to be the good old Texas Rangers and get run over by clubs.''

Boston also gave free agent John Burkett a tour of Fenway Park.

''I was really impressed watching him pitch,'' Red Sox manager Joe Kerrigan said. ''He's really a lot smarter pitcher now. He understands that pitching is more than power. He understands that pitching is more brains than brawn.''

Duquette also met with the agent for free-agent second baseman Bret Boone, who has a $23.5 million, three-year offer to return to Seattle. It is not known if the Red Sox are interested.

Anaheim discussed a deal to send outfielder Darin Erstad to the Chicago White Sox for Chris Singleton, right-hander Jon Garland and two minor leaguers. But there was no indication if the proposed trade would be completed.

There also was no word on whether the Dodgers would trade Sheffield or re-sign Park, the top pitcher on the free-agent market.

Park is represented by Scott Boras, who has kept an unusually low profile during the first four days of the five-day session. Boras' other big free-agent client, Barry Bonds, has no known offers other than a proposal to return to the San Francisco Giants.

Philadelphia considered deals for Rolen, eligible for free agency after next season. Manager Larry Bowa called Rolen the best third baseman ever, better than Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt -- a former Phillies teammate.

Rolen doesn't want to discuss an extension with the Phillies, who have talked with Baltimore about a trade.

''I don't know if he's at the stage where he has decided to get out and pursue free agency,'' Bowa said. ''If he is, there's nothing that could change his mind. It sounds like he wants to pursue free agency.''

Among players eligible for salary arbitration, Milwaukee outfielder Mark Sweeney agreed to a $515,000, one-year contract.

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