Jordan back with Braves
Published: Thursday, January 20, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 20, 2005 at 1:57 a.m.
NEW YORK - While Carlos Delgado scheduled meetings with teams trying to sign him, Brian Jordan and Esteban Loaiza found new homes Wednesday.
Delgado is to meet today in Puerto Rico with the New York Mets and on Friday with the Texas Rangers.
''We hope that these meetings, along with my discussion yesterday with the Florida Marlins, will make it possible to conclude the negotiations for Carlos in the near future,'' the first baseman's agent, David Sloane, said in an e-mail Wednesday.
He did not mention Baltimore, the fourth team courting Delgado.
Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez has tried to recruit Delgado and is interested in a prominent player mentioned in trade talk this winter.
''I've also talked to Sammy Sosa, and he told me that it would be an honor to play with me in New York,'' Martinez said, referring to the Chicago Cubs' star outfielder.
Jordan returned to Atlanta, where he starred for the Braves and the NFL's Falcons. The outfielder, who will be 38 by opening day, got a $600,000, one-year contract from Atlanta that allows him to earn an additional $400,000 in performance and roster bonuses.
''I'm in great shape, back in my football days shape,'' Jordan said. ''I've worked hard to get to this point.''
Jordan, slowed by injuries, has not played in more than 66 games since 2002, and he hit .222 with five homers and 23 RBIs for Texas last season.
''The doctors were very, very positive about his condition overall,'' Braves general manager John Schuerholz said. ''The whole key is if he stays physically strong and healthy and doesn't get banged up and have a debilitating injury, he's going to be productive for us.''
Loaiza agreed to a $2.9 million, one-year contract with the Washington Nationals, who also gave an $800,000, one-year deal to reliever Antonio Osuna.
Loaiza went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA and a league-leading 207 strikeouts for the Chicago White Sox in 2003, was the AL starter in the All-Star game and finished second in Cy Young Award voting behind Toronto's Roy Halladay. He struggled with his velocity last year, going 9-5 with a 4.86 ERA for the White Sox, then was traded to the New York Yankees and went 1-2 with an 8.50 ERA in 10 regular-season games.
''Of course, he's a gamble,'' Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. ''Obviously, if he was coming off the year he had a year ago, we couldn't afford him.''
Milwaukee agreed to an $800,000, one-year contract with free-agent reliever Ricky Bottalico and settled its arbitration case with Brooks Kieschnick in a $550,000 deal that contains bonuses for pitching and hitting.
Texas agreed to a $1.1 million contract with right-hander Carlos Almazer, leaving 37 players in arbitration among the 89 who filed last Friday.
Pitcher Tony Saunders, who retired in 2000 after breaking his left arm for the second time, agreed to a minor league contract with Baltimore. On May 26, 1999, he broke the humerus bone in his left arm while throwing a pitch in a game at Tampa Bay.
''The last four years, I never really thought about it because of how it ended,'' he said. ''It didn't end where someone told me I wasn't good enough. It ended on a very bad injury. Did I miss the game? Most definitely. But it was never really a thought to come back and pitch again.''
Also agreeing to minor league contracts were pitcher Aaron Sele and infielder Ricky Gutierrez (Seattle), pitcher Jose Jimenez (Arizona), infielder Jose Offerman (Philadelphia), third baseman Dean Palmer (Detroit), and infielder Shane Halter and outfielder Marty Cordova (Tampa Bay).
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