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December 18, 2012
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MLB Roundup: 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 one-year contract with 37-year-old reliever Koji Uehara, a deal agreed to two weeks ago at 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.

In seven seasons, Drew is hitting .265 with 77 homers and 349 RBIs.

With several top prospects needing more seasoning, the Red Sox are adding players who can help until, and perhaps after, those youngsters are ready.

So far this offseason, they've agreed to $39 million, three-year contracts with outfielder Shane Victorino and first baseman-catcher Mike Napoli; a $26.5 million, two-year deal with right-hander Ryan Dempster; a $10 million, two-year contract with outfielder Johnny Gomes and a $6.2 million, two-year deal with catcher David Ross.

Napoli's deal hasn't been finalized yet while the Red Sox address their concerns about his health.

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.

If Nakajima can have anywhere the success that Cespedes had as a rookie, the A's would be ecstatic. Cespedes was major part of the team's surprising season, batting .292 with 23 homers and 82 RBIs to help lead Oakland to the AL West title and first playoff appearance since 2006.

The A's achieved that despite having the lowest payroll in baseball at $59.5 million and they didn't need to break the bank to sign Nakajima. The contract also includes a $5.5 million club option for 2015, but Oakland's top draft pick last year, high school shortstop Addison Russell, could be ready for the majors by then.

PHILADELPHIA - Pitcher John Lannan and the Philadelphia Phillies have finalized a $2.5 million, one-year contract.

The 28-year-old lefty was 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in six starts for the NL East-champion Washington Nationals this year. He also made 24 starts for Triple-A Syracuse, going 9-11 with a 4.30 ERA.

Lannan's deal includes performance incentives. He gets $200,000 each for 150, 160, 170, 180 and 190 innings, $250,000 each for 200 and 210 innings and $250,000 for 31-34 starts.

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland Athletics have agreed to terms of a two-year contract with shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan's Seibu Lions.

The deal announced Tuesday runs through the 2014 season and includes a club option for 2015.

Nakajima, a seven-time Pacific League All-Star, has a .302 batting average with 149 home runs, 664 RBIs and 134 stolen bases over 11 seasons with Seibu.

He would fill a big void for Oakland, which traded away shortstop and second baseman Cliff Pennington to Arizona in an Oct. 21 trade that brought outfielder Chris Young to the A's.

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 of 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, 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.


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The Summit Daily Updated Dec 18, 2012 07:53PM Published Dec 18, 2012 07:51PM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.