First baseman Adam Dunn is joining the Chicago White Sox, reaching a preliminary agreement on a $56 million, four-year contract.
The free-agent deal is subject to the first baseman passing a physical, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
It was a busy day for all teams. Clubs had until midnight EST to offer contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters – White Sox closer Bobby Jenks and Atlanta outfielder Matt Diaz were among those let go.
The White Sox had been seeking a left-handed power hitter, and the 31-year-old Dunn batted .260 with 38 homers with 103 RBI – and 199 strikeouts – for Washington last season.
Pat Burrell decided to stay with the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, agreeing to a one-year contract. San Francisco signed him after he was released by Tampa Bay in May, and the 34-year-old hit .266 with 18 homers and 51 RBI in 96 games.
Miguel Tejada’s $6.5 million, one-year contract with the Giants was announced after he passed his physical. The infielder hit .269 with 15 homers and 71 RBI this season for Baltimore and San Diego.
Left-hander Hisanori Takahashi agreed to a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels after going 10-6 with eight saves and a 3.61 ERA in 12 starts and 41 relief appearances last season for the New York Mets. He took over as closer after Francisco Rodriguez got hurt.
Right-hander Javier Vazquez finalized his $7 million, one-year deal with Florida after passing a physical. He was 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA this year in his return to the New York Yankees, getting dropped from the rotation in the second half.
“I’m at a point in my career where I’m not looking for too many more years,” the 34-year-old Vazquez said.
Utilityman Eric Hinske stayed with the Atlanta Braves for a $1.45 million, one-year contract that includes a team option for 2012. The 33-year-old hit .256 with 11 homers and 51 RBI last season.
The Yankees increased their contract offer to Derek Jeter, a person familiar with those negotiations said, also speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.
Cliff Lee, the free-agent left-hander sought by the Yankees, got another visit in Arkansas on Tuesday from the Texas Rangers, who are hoping the free-agent ace will return after helping them reach the World Series for the first time.
“It’s no secret we want Cliff, and we will do what we can to get him,” Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said.
Also, shortstop Alexei Ramirez’s $2.75 million was exercised by the White Sox.
Along with Jenks and Diaz, other players not offered contracts by their teams were Baltimore pitcher Matt Albers, Detroit pitcher Zach Miner and Yankees pitchers Alfredo Aceves and Dustin Moseley. Among those agreeing to deals were Cubs infielder Jeff Baker ($1,175,000), Yankees pitcher Sergio Mitre ($900,000), Twins pitcher Pat Neshek ($625,000) and outfielder Jason Repko ($600,000), Toronto pitcher Dustin McGowan ($450,000), Cleveland right-hander Joe Smith and Florida right-hander Burke Badenhop.
Former New York Yankees World Series hero Jim Leyritz was sentenced Thursday to one year’s probation and fined $500 for a drunk driving conviction, a far lesser penalty than he had faced before a jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., decided he wasn’t responsible for a woman’s death in a 2007 traffic crash.
Circuit Judge Marc Gold imposed the sentence for the misdemeanor on the 47-year-old former ballplayer, who was acquitted last month of DUI manslaughter in the death of 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch. Leyritz could have gotten up to 15 years if convicted of manslaughter.