Winter Meetings Ready To Kick Off

<b>ANAHEIM --</b> The baseball Winter Meetings kick off Friday morning, with executives from all 30 Major League teams ready to wheel and deal in the structure of the Anaheim Marriott. <br><br> A brief look at what's been done so far:

  • The Arizona Diamondbacks came to terms Thursday on a four-year, $45 million contract with infielder Troy Glaus, a deal which could inflate the market for free agent corner infielders.

    Glaus played in just 58 games last season due to injury, but has been one of baseball's top third basemen when healthy.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Jeff Kent to a two-year, $17 million deal. The four-time All-Star was present at the Winter Meetings and was actually able to surprise his parents by seating them in the front row with no idea what team he had signed with.

    When he described his father taking him to games at Dodger Stadium as a young boy, the usually hard-nosed Kent choked up.

    It is unknown what position the Dodgers will have Kent play: normally a second baseman through his 13-year career, it's quite possible that Kent could wind up playing first base.

  • The Chicago White Sox signed outfielder Jermaine Dye to a two-year, $10.15 million contract with an option for the 2007 season. The deal for Dye followed a verbal commitment earlier in the week and is viewed as the first step toward Magglio Ordonez's departure from the South Side.

  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves and the Oakland Athletics are discussing a trade that would send Tim Hudson to Atlanta for Marcus Giles and a pitching prospect. This would be the first crack at breaking up Oakland's vaunted 'Big Three' of Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito.

    Meanwhile, the Braves re-signed the ancient Julio Franco to a one-year contract, which seems to be the going rate for Atlanta first basemen in recent years.

  • The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Texas Rangers are interested in free agent first baseman Carlos Delgado, infielder Joe Randa and outfielder Richard Hidalgo.

  • A trade involving Cleveland Indians outfielder Matt Lawton may be brewing. The Indians are thought to be shopping Lawton, who is in the walk year of his contract, and a report published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week said the Tribe was interested in dealing Lawton to the Pirates for Arthur Rhodes. The New York Mets have also been mentioned as a possible destination for Lawton.

  • The San Diego Padres signed infielder Eric Young to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.

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