Disenchanted Red Sox dump Renteria on Braves

Friday, December 9, 2005

Boston traded away the former Cardinals shortstop after just one season.

DALLAS -- Baseball executives finished the winter meetings with a flurry of deals before heading home, with the Boston Red Sox giving up on shortstop Edgar Renteria and the New York Yankees getting rid of second baseman Tony Womack.

On the fourth and final day of the busiest winter meetings in years, Boston sent Renteria to the Atlanta Braves for Andy Marte.

Perhaps the Orioles' Miguel Tejada could wind up as his replacement in Boston. The All-Star shortstop said Thursday he wants out of Baltimore, which signed him to a $72 million, six-year contract before the 2004 season.

"I've been with the Orioles for two years and things have not gone in the direction that we expected, so I think a change of scenery would be the best," Tejada said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from his home in Bani, Dominican Republic.

"I've done many things with this team and I've not seen results, and the other teams are getting stronger while the Orioles have not made any signings to strengthen the club," said Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP.

Renteria won Gold Gloves in 2002 and 2003, then helped St. Louis win the NL pennant in 2004. He signed a $40 million, four-year deal with the Red Sox but led the major leagues with 30 errors last season.

Boston agreed to pay $8 million of the $26 million he is owed in the next three seasons -- plus the $3 million buyout if his 2009 option is declined.

"We looked at his time in the National League and we believe that when he gets back to the National League in Atlanta, he will return to the Renteria of old," said Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz, who sent third base prospect Andy Marte in the deal.

Boston also is exploring trading 2004 World Series MVP Manny Ramirez, and teams want the Red Sox to pay some of the $57 million owed to the left fielder over the next three years.

Womack had signed with the Yankees after hitting .307 as Renteria's St. Louis teammate in 2004, but he lost his starting job a month into last season. New York received infielder Kevin Howard and outfielder Ben Himes in the trade, and will send $900,000 to the Reds to offset part of Womack's $2 million salary next season.

New York also reached a preliminary agreement on a $2.4 million, two-year contract with lefty reliever Mike Myers, who was 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 65 games last season as Boston's left-handed specialist.

"The Yankees were one of my targeted teams this winter," Myers said. "Just knowing a couple of the other guys, I don't think it will be hard to fit in there. ... I'm excited."

There were more than a dozen trades and 20 free-agent signings at the meetings.

Detroit was busy, agreeing to a $16 million, two-year contract with left-hander Kenny Rogers and an $11 million, two-year deal with closer Todd Jones. The Tigers announced Jones' contract but didn't confirm Rogers' agreement.

Jones was 1-5 with a 2.10 ERA and 40 saves last season for the Florida Marlins, his sixth team since leaving Detroit.

"I'm glad to be back. I'm glad to be in the mix," he said. "At this stage of my career, I have to find ways to connect. Detroit is an easy connection for me."

Also, the Baltimore Orioles and catcher Ramon Hernandez reached a preliminary agreement on a $27.5 million, four-year contract, a deal subject to a physical. There also was talk that third baseman Bill Mueller and the Los Angeles Dodgers were negotiating a deal.

In other free-agent news, Colorado agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year deal with reliever Jose Mesa, the Kansas City Royals agreed to a two-year contract with pitcher Elmer Dessens and infielder Jose Valentin agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Mets worth $912,500.

First-baseman outfielder Mark Sweeney got a $1.8 million, two-year contract with San Francisco, and outfielder Orlando Palmeiro stayed with Houston for $1.9 million over two years.

The Cincinnati Reds finalized their trade that sent popular first baseman Sean Casey and $1 million to the Pittsburgh Pirates for left-hander Dave Williams. The deal had been tentatively agreed to Tuesday, subject to physicals.

"Hopefully the fans will warm up to me and give me a chance," said Williams, who led the Pirates with 10 wins last season. "To get traded for somebody like that or even be in the same sentence, it's a huge compliment."

Pittsburgh also sent utilityman Rob Mackowiak to the World Series champion Chicago White Sox for left-handed reliever Damaso Marte, a deal also pending physicals, according to a baseball official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been finalized yet.

Late Wednesday, 26 free agents were offered salary arbitration by their former teams. They have until Dec. 19 to accept and can re-sign through Jan. 8.

But there were 121 free agents who were declined arbitration. They can't return to their former clubs until May 1. Among those turned down was Angels catcher Bengie Molina, a key part of a team that won the AL West.

In a late-night trade, All-Star second baseman Alfonso Soriano was sent from the Rangers to the Washington Nationals for Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge and a minor league pitcher. Physicals must be completed before the deal is finalized.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels had hoped to get pitching for Soriano but instead will save about $5 million with the swap.

"We couldn't invent a deal out there that wasn't," he said. "You can't look at the trade in a vacuum. ... It allows us to pursue pitching in other ways."

Associated Press Writer Dionisio Soldevila contributed to this report from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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