The Sporting News’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed free-agent P Russ Ortiz to a 4 year, $33 million dollar contract.
The Anaheim Angels officially bailed out of the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes by signing 39 year old CF Steve Finley to a two year deal worth somewhere between $15 and $20 million. Writes the LA Times’ Mike DiGiovanna,
If the Angels are to keep their 2005 payroll in the $100-million range or less, a target owner Arte Moreno has mentioned on several occasions, they would have about $20 million to allocate to new players this winter. Had they continued to pursue Beltran, who could cost $15 million a year or more, they would have had no more than $5 million left for other players.
By signing Finley, who hit .271 with 36 home runs and 94 runs batted in last season, the Angels will have at least another $10 million to play with, which would be enough to sign just about any of the free-agent pitchers remaining on the market.
“They have holes to fill,” said one source familiar with the Angels’ thinking. “You don’t want to back yourself into a corner with one signing.”
Plus, to get Finley, the Angels had to act quickly. The 16-year veteran, who made $6.75 million last season, had attractive offers from Detroit and Arizona, and San Francisco hoped to sign him before the winter meetings, which begin today at the Anaheim Marriott.
With negotiations for Beltran expected to drag deep into December and possibly January, Stoneman decided to go with a less expensive but still-attractive option in center.