Padres sign Linebrink, Asencio; outright May

The San Diego Padres signed Scott Linebrink to a two-year deal worth $2.275 million with a club option for 2007 that has a chance to be guaranteed if he meets certain incentives. The Friars also signed Miguel Asencio and outrighted left-hander Darrell May to Triple-A Portland.

Scott Linebrink will earn salaries of $910,000 this season and $1.365 million in 2006 after teaming up with Trevor Hoffman and Akinori Otsuka to form a dominant bullpen in San Diego.

Linebrink went 7-3 with a 2.14 ERA in 73 relief appearances with the Padres last season.

The club option, worth $1.75 million, will become guaranteed if Linebrink pitches a combined 100 games or more in 2005 and 2006. The price of the option could escalate to $2.25 million, depending on appearances in the first two seasons.

"Scott Linebrink has emerged as one of the premier set-up men in the Majors and we are excited to have him under contract through the 2006 season," said Towers. "He did a great job for us last season and was a key member of the solid bullpen that contributed to the club's overall success in 2004." The Padres also agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Miguel Asencio. Asencio, 24, did not pitch in 2004 after recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery. A right-hander, Asencio made eight starts with Kansas City back in 2003, going 2-1 with a 5.21 ERA.

Asencio was originally, signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as a non-drafted free agent on March 2, 1998. He joined Kansas City after being selected by the Royals in the 2001 Rule 5 Draft.

In somewhat of a surprise, Darrell May was outrighted to Portland, meaning he will have to fight to get the fifth spot in the rotation, a spot that seemed to be all but his.

May was 9-19 with a 5.61 ERA with Kansas City in 2004 and has allowed 96 homers over the last three years.

May joined the team, along with right-handed reliever Ryan Bukvich, in exchange for outfielder Terrence Long and minor league pitcher Dennis Tankersley - a trade consummated in November with the Royals.

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