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Wright, Mets agree to $138M deal; Hanson traded


Wright, Mets agree to $138M deal; Hanson traded

David Wright agreed to the richest contract in Mets history, Tommy Hanson was traded to the Angels and Brian Wilson became a free agent on a busy day in baseball when dozens of players were dumped by their teams.

Houston scooped up Philip Humber, hoping he's a perfect fit, and Mariano Rivera returned for another season with the Yankees. He'll be throwing to a new catcher, though, after Russell Martin completed his $17 million, two-year deal with Pittsburgh on Friday.

Jair Jurrjens, Mark Reynolds, Mike Pelfrey and Geovany Soto were among the most notable names who became free agents Saturday after their former clubs declined to tender them contracts for next season.

Teams had until midnight EST on Friday to make 2013 offers to unsigned players on 40-man rosters. Clubs can re-sign those players, but by letting them go free now they are permitted to cut their pay by more than 20 percent.

Wilson, the All-Star closer with the overgrown beard who missed nearly all of last season with an elbow injury, was among 40 non-tendered players. The World Series champion San Francisco Giants chose not to offer him a contract as he recovers from a second Tommy John surgery.

Wright and the Mets settled on a $138 million, eight-year deal, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The agreement replaces the All-Star third baseman's $16 million salary for next season and includes $122 million in new money, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been finalized.

Some of the money in Wright's deal will be deferred.

A homegrown fan favorite, Wright is the club's career leader in several major offensive categories, including hits, RBIs, runs and walks. He turns 30 on Dec. 20 and would have been eligible for free agency after next season.

Wright plans to attend teammate Daniel Murphy's wedding in Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend, then travel to New York for a physical. His big deal probably will be announced at next week's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., the person said.

Atlanta shipped Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels for former closer Jordan Walden, clearing a spot in the Braves' rotation for Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado or another young starter.

Hanson's velocity decreased as he battled rotator cuff tendinitis in 2011 and a lower back strain in 2012. But the 26-year-old right-hander was 45-32 with a 3.61 ERA in 108 starts over four big league seasons with the Braves.

``It's a good risk on a pitcher we really believe in,'' Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said.

Walden had 32 saves in 2011, making the All-Star team as a rookie, but lost his closer's role to Ernesto Frieri this year and finished 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA. He became expendable when the Angels agreed this week to a $3.5 million, one-year contract with reliever Ryan Madson.

Walden gives Atlanta another hard-thrower for its bullpen to help set up dominant closer Craig Kimbrel. His fastball has been clocked at close to 100 mph, and he had 48 strikeouts in 39 innings last season.

``We've been focused on adding a power arm to our bullpen all offseason,'' Braves general manager Frank Wren said. ``We felt if we added one power arm we would have a bullpen that would stack up with the best bullpens in our league. Jordan Walden has closing experience and the kind of arm that will stack up well in a seventh- and eighth-inning role for us.''

The ninth inning in New York belongs to Rivera, who accepted a cut in guaranteed money when he finalized a $10 million, one-year contract after missing most of the season with a knee injury.

The career saves leader, who turned 43 on Thursday, took a cut from his $30 million deal that covered the last two years - but he can earn additional money in award bonuses.

Rivera was limited to nine games this year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while shagging fly balls during batting practice in Kansas City on May 3.

``Like I've been saying, I didn't want to go out like that,'' he said in a statement. ``I didn't want that to be the last image. But it wasn't an easy decision because there's more than just baseball with me. ... I'm not just coming back to play. I'm coming back to win.''

Rivera, with 608 saves in the regular season and 42 more in the postseason, is a 12-time All-Star. The Yankees say his recovery from June 12 knee surgery will be complete by opening day.

By then, Martin will be handling a new pitching staff in Pittsburgh after spending the past two seasons with New York.

The free-agent catcher goes from a franchise that's won a record 27 World Series titles to a team that has endured a record 20 consecutive losing seasons.

``It's going to be different,'' Martin said. ``It's going to be a challenge but I think the Pirates have a young and electric club. There is a lot of talent there and I don't think we're as far away from winning as maybe people outside baseball think we are.''

Humber, who threw a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox last season, was claimed off waivers by the Astros and agreed to a one-year contract. He gets an $800,000 salary next year and Houston holds a club option for $3 million in 2014 with a $50,000 buyout.

The 29-year-old right-hander went 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA in 26 games last season, including 16 starts.

Wilson was the 2010 major league saves leader with 48, but made only two appearances for the Giants this year after experiencing elbow trouble in April. He underwent ligament-replacement surgery April 19, his second such procedure on his pitching elbow after also having it done while in college at LSU in 2003, and missed the team's run to its second championship in three years.

The 30-year-old Wilson, who earned $8.5 million during his injury-shortened 2012 season, would be due to make at least $6.8 million next year under the rule limiting pay cuts to a maximum of 20 percent. By letting him go free, the Giants can sign him for a lower price, though the pitcher has apparently already hinted he will look for work elsewhere.

During the club's latest postseason run, Sergio Romo proved to be a reliable ninth-inning option in Wilson's place.

``I like our choices, including him being one, as we start the regular season,'' Giants general manager Brian Sabean said.

Jurrjens, an All-Star in 2011, was non-tendered by the Braves after getting demoted to the minors last season. Atlanta also declined to offer a 2013 contract to reliever Peter Moylan, but claimed right-hander David Carpenter off waivers from Boston.

The Red Sox cut ties with outfielder Ryan Sweeney and pitchers Scott Atchison and Rich Hill. Jack Hannahan was let go by Cleveland, clearing the way for youngster Lonnie Chisenhall to start at third base.

Baltimore chose not to offer a contract to Reynolds, the strikeout-prone slugger who hit 23 home runs last season after connecting for 37 the previous year.

Pelfrey, a 15-game winner in 2010, made only three starts this year before having season-ending Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. The Mets let him go Friday, along with outfielder Andres Torres and reliever Manny Acosta.

Washington cut ties with pitchers Tom Gorzelanny and John Lannan as well as catcher Jesus Flores.

Soto, once an All-Star catcher and the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year, was let go by Texas.

Other players not offered contracts included pitcher Manny Parra (Milwaukee), outfielder Nate Schierholtz (Philadelphia), pitcher Jeff Karstens (Pittsburgh), outfielder Ben Francisco (Tampa Bay), third baseman Ian Stewart (Cubs) and reliever Daniel Schlereth (Tigers).

In other moves, the Angels claimed outfielder Scott Cousins off waivers from Seattle, the Yankees claimed right-hander Jim Miller off waivers from Oakland, and Miami claimed first baseman-outfielder Joe Mahoney off waivers from Baltimore.

Arizona released right-hander Brad Bergesen, and the Yankees designated infielder Jayson Nix for assignment.

Players agreeing to one-year contracts that avoided arbitration included Pittsburgh pitcher Charlie Morton ($2 million), Kansas City second baseman Chris Getz ($1.05 million), Oakland first baseman Daric Barton ($1.1 million) and infielder Adam Rosales ($700,000), and Indians right-hander Blake Wood ($560,000).

The Pirates also made a pair of small trades, acquiring minor league right-hander Zach Thornton from Oakland for reliever Chris Resop, and minor league pitcher Jhondaniel Medina from Baltimore for infielder Yamaico Navarro.

Elsewhere, former big leaguer Chan Ho Park announced his retirement. The first South Korean-born player in the majors and a 2001 All-Star, he holds the major league record for wins by an Asian pitcher (124).


AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

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Orioles sign former Nationals lefty Gorzelanny

Orioles sign former Nationals lefty Gorzelanny

BALTIMORE—The Orioles signed veteran left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny to a minor league contract. The 34-year-old Gorzelanny made his debut with Norfolk on Sunday, pitching a third of an inning, allowing a hit and walking a batter.

Gorzelanny was released by Cleveland on July 9. He’s pitched 12 seasons in the majors with the Pirates, Cubs, Brewers, Tigers, Indians, and was with the Nationals in 2011 and 2012.

In seven games with Cleveland, Gorzelanny was 1-0 with a 21.00 ERA, and in his major league career, he’s 50-53 with a 4.40 ERA. 

Gorzellany has relieved more than he’s started in the major leagues, and in the Orioles’ continuing search for a left-hander, can serve as insurance. 


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Orioles look to stay hot as series against Rockies begins

Orioles look to stay hot as series against Rockies begins

Tonight's Game:

Colorado Rockies (47-51) vs. Baltimore Orioles (57-40), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Starting pitchers:

Jorge De La Rosa (6-7, 6.07) vs. Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.69)

Keys to the Game:

— Gallardo must pitch more effectively. In his last start, he lasted seven innings, his longest in more than a year, but he allowed four runs. 

— For the third time this season, the Orioles are 17 games over .500. Can three more home games push them higher?

News and Notes:

— Chris Davis has just two hits since the All-Star Break and is 0-for-18 since July 16.

— Caleb Joseph has caught six straight games and he's 7-for-14 in his last four games though he still hasn't driven in a run.

— Gallardo is 0-5 with a 6.08 ERA in 10 games against Colardo.  

— Carlos Gonzalez is 7-for-17 (.412) against Gallardo. 

— Both the Orioles and Rockies have won four straight. 

— In De La Rosa's last start, he allowed nine runs (seven earned) on 11 hits in four innings against Tampa Bay. 


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Nolan Reimold's home run helps Orioles sweep Indians

Nolan Reimold's home run helps Orioles sweep Indians

BALTIMORE—Nolan Reimold hadn’t had many big hits recently. In fact, he hadn’t had many hits at all. Reimold broke out of an 0-for-16 slump with a two-run, game-ending home run.

It was his first home run since May 29, and just his second RBI since June 1.

The big home run gave the Orioles a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians, 5-3 before 37,821 at Oriole Park on Sunday. 

It was Reimold’s fifth home run of the season and the third game-ending homer of his career, but his first in nearly five years. 

With Joey Rickard on the disabled list, Reimold should be getting more opportunities to play. Reimold faced right-handed Cody Allen (2-4), and wasn’t expecting to hit for the left-handed Julio Borbon. 

“Actually I was really surprised. I was down underneath ready to pinch run in case they wanted me to do that. I wasn’t really expecting to hit with the righty out there. So, I’m glad he did pinch hit me,” Reimold said. 

“I haven’t been swinging the bat very well lately as it is. I was just in the cage a few innings before trying to work on some things.”

Pedro Alvarez struck out to start the ninth, but the ball got by Roberto Perez. Perez quickly retrieved the ball, but it hit Alvarez in the back and squirted away for an error.

“As long as I have been playing baseball the rule is you run down the baseline,” Alvarez said. “I saw the ball get away from him and I just ran down to first base. The ball crossed my path at some point, ricocheted off me and I beat the throw. I just think that's playing the game the right way.”

Ryan Flaherty’s bunt sent Alvarez to second, and after Caleb Joseph struck out, Reimold had the big hit on a 2-0 count.

“Nolan works hard at it. I know the hitting coaches said they’ve been working on a couple things the last couple days and think he’s real close. I think the key to it was laying off two breaking balls where you get into a hitter’s count and get a fastball,” manager Buck Showalter said.  

Darren O’Day (3-1), who in his first appearance since June 1 due to a strained right hamstring, struck out the side in the ninth and got the win. He seemed somewhat surprised to be in the game. 

“I did one rehab outing and you’d think that it’d be a game where we were down by a couple runs, just get your feet wet, but oddly enough I was more calm today than I usually am. I think it’s just being gone, being away from the guys and the competition, makes you appreciate what you get to do and to be in the moment and get to pitch in a big spot. There is guys standing out there in 90-something degrees and to be able to keep that going and perform in that arena I think it really helped me a lot,” O’Day said. 

Worley pitched seven innings, his longest outing since Sept. 21, giving up two runs on five hitsTyler Naquin’s RBI double and Perez’s sacrifice fly gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead in the fourth.

The Orioles tied it in the fourth, Jonathan Schoop led off with a double and scored on Manny Machado’s single. Machado took second on the throw home and moved to third on Chris Davis’ infield out. Mark Trumbo walked.

Alvarez grounded to short, and Trumbo was out at second, and first base umpire Brian Gorman called Alvarez out at first, but it was quickly overruled after a replay challenge. Machado scored from third to tie the game at 2. 

Schoop hit a homer in the fifth, his 17th to give the Orioles (57-40) a 3-2 lead. 

After Naquin’s double, Worley retired 11 straight and left it up to Brad Brach for the eighth. 

Brach began by allowing a single to Jason Kipnis. Francisco Lindor grounded to Schoop at second, but with Kipnis passing him, Schoop tried to field it too quickly as was charged with an error. 

Mike Napoli’s single scored Kipnis and Cleveland (56-41) tied it at 3.

The Orioles are now 36-14 at home. 

“I don't know what it is but for some reason when we do come home we do seem to play all-around better. I don’t know if it’s because of our home fans or what, but we just seem to click. When we need big hits, we get it done,” Worley said.  

NOTES: Hyun Soo Kim was 0-for-3 in his rehab start at Bowie. …Jorge De La Rosa (6-7, 6.07) faces Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.69) on Monday night as the Colorado Rockies begin a three-game series with the Orioles.