(it just doesn’t sound the same without a bite taken out of the top right hand corner)

2B Mark Loretta has signed a one-year deal with Houston (ABC.com), with a salary that could reach $3.5 million. Loretta’s agent claims his client will play “all over the infield”, which could be one of the more unique cost-cutting methods of Drayton McLane’s ownership.

The Yankees have inked 1B Doug Mientkiewicz to a one-year contract, which opens the door for the very real possibility that George Steinbrenner might someday assume ownership of the ball from the last out of the 2004 World Series. Still, as George’s parade of ex-Mets goes (Cone, Strawberry, Gooden), Mientkiewicz represents a slight dip in profile.

Reliever Keith Foulke has signed a one year pact with the Indians worth $5 million. In case you’re wondering, there’s no shortage of Burger King franchises in the Greater Cleveland area.

Newsday’s Ken Davidoff
reports the Randy Johnson trade to Arizona is pretty much done and dusted.

Johnson, 43, who is set to make $16 million this season, has accepted — through back-channel conversations — a $10-million salary for 2008, in return for waiving his no-trade clause. It’s possible that Johnson will help out the Diamondbacks and defer some of his 2007 salary. Ultimately, Johnson will earn a total of $26 million for the next two seasons. Arizona also owes Johnson $40 million in deferred money from the five-time Cy Young Award winner’s previous stay with the Diamondbacks, from 1999 through 2004.

It has been established, furthermore, that the Yankees will receive veteran reliever Luis Vizcaino in the deal. As of last night, however, it had not yet been determined which highly regarded young pitcher — most likely either Dustin Nippert, Ross Ohlendorf or Micah Owings — would join Vizcaino in heading to New York.