Cabrera to Anaheim, Miller let go by Astros

Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2004

NEW YORK — Anaheim gave shortstop Orlando Cabrera a $32 million, four-year deal on Monday night, and the Houston Astros cut Wade Miller when they refused to offer the injured pitcher a 2005 contract.

On a busy day of deals among players eligible for salary arbitration, Minnesota outfielder Jacque Jones agreed to a $5 million, one-year contract, and Toronto right-hander Justin Speier got a $4.15 million, two-year agreement.

Forty-one players on rosters weren't offered contracts by Monday's midnight deadline and became free agents. The group included Josh Phelps of Cleveland, Eric Munson of Detroit and Scott Schoeneweis of the Chicago White Sox.

Among players who were already free agents, two left-handed relievers agreed to two-year contracts, with Steve Kline getting $5.5 million from Baltimore and Kent Mercker $2.6 million from Cincinnati. Los Angeles and left-hander Wilson Alvarez finalized a $4 million, two-year agreement, and Texas completed its $1.8 million, two-year deal to re-sign outfielder David Dellucci.

The big three-way trade that would send Randy Johnson from Arizona to the Yankees could be sent to commissioner Bud Selig for approval Tuesday. The deal also involves Los Angeles, which would send outfielder Shawn Green to the Diamondbacks.

''I've gone through different stages going back to last Friday,'' Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said. ''At times, I thought it was going to happen and times when I didn't think it would. We're still on a roller-coaster.''

The Yankees also are moving ahead on another front. New York owner George Steinbrenner is scheduled to meet with free-agent center fielder Carlos Beltran on Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.

On the trade front, San Diego acquired outfielder Dave Roberts from Boston for outfielder Jay Payton, infielder Ramon Vazquez, minor league right-hander David Pauley and $2.65 million.

''This is a dream come true,'' said Roberts, who has lived in San Diego County since he was 12. ''After winning the World Series you don't think it can get any better, but it has.''

Cabrera replaces spunky shortstop David Eckstein, who was not offered a contract by the Angels. Cabrera was dealt from the Montreal Expos to Boston in July and helped the Red Sox win their first World Series title since 1918.

''He's a guy who can hit the ball out of the park, and he can run, too,'' said Angels general manager Bill Stoneman, a former Expos executive. ''He should give us some more range than David gave us, and a better arm from that position.''

Boston replaced Cabrera last week with two-time Gold Glove winner Edgar Renteria, who left St. Louis to accept a $40 million, four-year offer from the Red Sox.

Miller, who made $3.4 million this year, was 7-7 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts before a rotator cuff injury sidelined him for the season on June 26. At the time, the right-hander said he thought rest would cure the problem and that he could avoid surgery.

Jones, known for excellent defense, hit .354 with 24 homers and 80 RBIs. The Twins also agreed to one-year deals with second baseman Luis Rivas ($1,625,000) and designated hitter Matthew LeCroy ($750,000).

Others who agreed to one-year contracts were Cincinnati infielder D'Angelo Jimenez ($2.87 million), Cleveland second baseman Ronnie Belliard ($3 million); Baltimore outfielder Jay Gibbons ($2.6 million) and pitcher Bruce Chen ($550,000); Oakland right-hander Chad Bradford ($1.4 million) and second baseman Mark Ellis ($400,000); Detroit outfielder Alex Sanchez and Brandon Inge ($1.35 million each); Expos left-hander Joey Eischen ($1.04 million) and right-hander T.J. Tucker ($657,000); Pittsburgh first baseman Daryle Ward ($950,000); Chicago Cubs infielder Jose Macias ($825,000); New York Mets catcher Vance Wilson ($760,000); Philadelphia left-hander Aaron Fultz ($550,000); Los Angeles infielder Olmedo Saenz ($650,000) and pitcher Giovanni Carrara ($550,000); Toronto infielder John McDonald ($400,000); and St. Louis pitcher Mike Lincoln ($360,000).

Even before Monday's deadline, some players agreed to deals. St. Louis left-hander Ray King got a $4.6 million, two-year contract late Friday and Chicago White Sox outfielder Timo Perez agreed to a $1 million, one-year deal.

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