A’s agree on $6.5M, 2-year contract with Nakajima
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane hopes he got another significant addition from the international market.
The A’s finalized a $6.5 million, two-year contract with Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima on Tuesday, filling a void created by the departures of Cliff Pennington and Stephen Drew.
This marks the second straight offseason that Beane has added a prominent international player, with the team having signed Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes to a $36 million, four-year deal last winter. Beane said there is much more information available about foreign players, making signing them less risky.
Rays sign Hernandez, was known as Fausto Carmona
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have signed right-hander Roberto Hernandez, the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona.
The one-year deal announced Tuesday is worth $3.25 million.
The 32-year-old Hernandez has pitched seven years in the majors, all with Cleveland. He was 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA last season.
Hernandez was arrested last winter in the Dominican Republic on false identity charges. They were dropped after he completed a work program. Major League Baseball later suspended him for three weeks. Hernandez sprained his right ankle in August and missed the rest of the year.
Hernandez is 53-69 with a 4.64 ERA in the majors. He was 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA in 2007 when Cleveland last made the playoffs.
Hernandez can earn performance bonuses with Tampa Bay as both a starter and reliever.
AP source: Red Sox agree to deal with Stephen Drew
BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox moved forward with their strategy of giving free agents short-term contracts by reaching a $9.5 million, one-year agreement with shortstop Stephen Drew.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Drew will take a physical before the deal can be finalized. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not complete.
Boston also finalized a $4.25 million, one-year contract with 37-year-old reliever Koji Uehara, a deal agreed to two weeks ago atr the winter meetings.
Drew hit .250 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 39 games for the Oakland Athletics last season after being traded by Arizona on Aug. 20. In 40 games with the Diamondbacks, he hit .193 with two homers and 12 RBIs. Drew, 29, is the brother of former Boston outfielder J.D. Drew and had been with Arizona for his entire big career until the trade.
Twins agree to 1-year deal with Pelfrey
MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Pelfrey once was a promising prospect for the New York Mets, a groundball-inducing machine who chewed up innings and bats with a hard sinker that tumbled out of his 6-foot-7 frame.
He’s 28 years old now, coming off Tommy John surgery and was sitting in the free agent bargain bin, which is where the Minnesota Twins have been shopping for starting pitchers all offseason.
The Twins agreed to terms with the right-hander on a $4 million, one-year contract Tuesday, adding him to the mix in a starting rotation filled with “pitch-to-contact” guys who rely more on their defense making plays behind them than they do striking hitters out with overpowering stuff.
Pelfrey went 50-54 with a 4.36 ERA in seven seasons with the Mets, including a four-year run in which he pitched at least 184 innings and topped 200 innings twice.
But he has averaged just 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings, which means he fits right in with a Twins rotation built on light-throwing, location-oriented arms.
Astros agree to $2.9 million deal with Carlos Pena
HOUSTON — The Houston Astros wanted to add power to their lineup and a veteran presence to their young team.
They think they got both by agreeing to a $2.9 million, one-year contract with Carlos Pena.
Pena will be the Astros’ designated hitter, addressing a key need as they prepare for their first season in the American League. But Luhnow said Pena could also play first base.
The 34-year-old Pena, who spent last season in his second stint with Tampa Bay, hit .197 with 19 home runs and 61 RBIs in 2012, when he made $7.5 million.
In addition to his base salary, he can earn $1.4 million in performance bonuses, $233,333 each for 350, 400, 450, 500, 550 and 600 plate appearances.
Knicks’ Stoudemire has 1st practice of season
NEW YORK — Amare Stoudemire practiced for the first time this season Tuesday, though the Knicks forward isn’t sure when he can return.
Stoudemire scrimmaged with Erie, the Knicks’ NBA Development League affiliate, which was practicing at the Knicks’ training center. The Knicks weren’t planning to have a full-court workout, so they decided to give Stoudemire work with the BayHawks.
Stoudemire has been out all season after left knee surgery. He told reporters he felt soreness after the practice, but has been very pleased with his progress.
The Knicks have three more games on their six-game homestand, then travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Christmas. Stoudemire said he doesn’t know if he will be ready for any of those games.
He also added he would be willing to come off the bench if necessary, saying “whatever it takes to win, that’s the goal.”
By wire sources