Once Billy Beane received positive word on Ben Sheets' throwing session last week, the Oakland general manager pounced.
The pitcher’s agent had an impressive offer in hand from the Athletics practically by the time Sheets was done icing down his arm afterward. It was merely an hour later.
Oakland took a mighty gamble Tuesday on Sheets, agreeing to terms with the free-agent righty on a $10 million, one-year contract only 11 months after he underwent elbow surgery that sidelined him all of last season.
A four-time All-Star, the 31-year-old Sheets becomes the team’s second-highest paid player behind six-time Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez.
“We were either going to get him with what we had or we weren’t, and we had to be aggressive about it,” Beane said.
Tejada back to Orioles
Six years after signing Miguel Tejada to a top-dollar contract, the Baltimore Orioles welcomed back the 2002 AL MVP at a bargain price. Tejada received a $6 million, one-year contract after passing a physical.
A person familiar with the negotiations says outfielder Xavier Nady and the Cubs reached preliminary agreement on a one-year, $3.3 million contract. … Jim Thome and the Twins agreed on a one-year, $1.5 million contract, allowing the 39-year-old slugger to return to the division he knows well and play for a contender with his time in baseball winding down. ... The Yankees acquired outfielder Greg Golson from the Rangers for infielder Mitch Hilligoss in a swap of 24-year-old minor leaguers. ... Outfielder Jeremy Hermida and the Red Sox avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a non-guaranteed $3,345,000, one-year contract. ... Kansas City agreed to terms with four players. Details of the agreements with catcher Manny Pina, right-handed pitcher Blake Wood and left-handers Dusty Hughes and Edgar Osuna weren’t disclosed. ...
Texas Rangers closer Frank Francisco reached an agreement on a one-year contract worth $3,265,000 to avoid an arbitration hearing. … Free agent right-hander Jon Garland and the San Diego Padres agreed to a $5.3 million, one-year contract. ... New York Mets ace Johan Santana threw off a mound for the first time since elbow surgery last Sept. 1 and said he felt good. ... The Milwaukee Brewers and right-hander Carlos Villanueva agreed to a one-year, $950,000 contract, avoiding salary arbitration. ... The St. Louis Cardinals invited left-handed pitcher Rich Hill, formerly of the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles, to spring training. ... Catcher Carlos Ruiz finalized an $8.85 million, three-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, avoiding salary arbitration.