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Report: Brown lands in NY

Yankees agree to his contract perks

The New York Yankees completed a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Kevin Brown late last night, according to the Los Angeles Times.

 

The Yankees shipped righthander Jeff Weaver, two minor leaguers, and $3 million to the Dodgers as Yankee owner George Steinbrenner resolved the issues of Brown's contract perks, including the use of a chartered jet for the six-time All-Star and his family, according to baseball sources familiar with the negotiations, the report said. The clubs are expected to officially announce the deal today at the winter meetings. The Yankees also closed in on signing free agent outfielder Kenny Lofton to a two-year contract for about $6 million.

Brown agreed to waive his no-trade clause after the Yankees secured jet service under the terms of his seven-year, $105 million contract and addressed a clause that grants him high-priced seats at games. Team physicians still must exchange medical information before the commissioner's office can approve the trade.

A jet was the main sticking point in a major hot-stove league deal that finally got off the runway.

"Part of the reason Kevin's contract is not simplistic is because he's had a great career," said Dodgers general manager Dan Evans, who won't comment on the trade until it's officially finalized.

Brown, a hard-throwing righthander who turns 39 in March, will take over one of the spots in the rotation vacated by the retirement of Roger Clemens and the defection of Andy Pettitte to the Houston Astros.

Brown is owed $15 million in each of the next two seasons. He was 14-9 with a 2.39 ERA last season after injuries limited him to 19 starts in 2001 and 10 in 2002.

Weaver, 27, has become a whipping boy for fans at Yankee Stadium since the team acquired him from Detroit in July 2002. He was 7-9 with a 5.99 ERA last season, and allowed the 12th-inning homer to Florida's Alex Gonzalez that won the pivotal fourth game of the World Series.

As for the outfield, the Yankees held negotiations with Lofton's agent, Casey Close, one baseball source said. It was possible a deal worth between $6 million and $6.5 million could be finalized in the next few days.

According to major league sources, New York made an offer to outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, who is seen as an alternative to Gary Sheffield, whose $39 million, three-year deal still has not been completed.

Meanwhile, the Orioles made an offer of five years and $65 million to Guerrero, according to a report in the Washington Post citing team and industry sources. Those sources, who indicated the offer was similar to the Yankees' one, said the deal was rejected by Guerrero's agent but it gave the sides a starting point. Industry observers expect it may take a sixth guaranteed year and around $15 million to get Guerrero signed.

According to the Post sources, the Orioles made an offer to shortstop Miguel Tejada of three years and $27 million, while their offers to catchers Javy Lopez and Ivan Rodriguez -- one of which would be pulled if the other signs with the Orioles first -- were both two- or three-year deals at between $6 million and $8 million per year.

A Rocket launch?

Clemens is taking the weekend to decide whether he'd like to pitch for Houston, where he would join friend Andy Pettitte, he told Houston talk show hosts from KKRW-FM Radio.

Rumors have been circulating since Clemens announced his retirement that he would unretire and pitch near his home for the Astros. Clemens is technically a free agent, and can sign with any major league team.

When Pettitte decided on the Astros Thursday, that likely added to Clemens's motivation. Clemens and Pettitte were best friends on the Yankees.

However, Clemens was concerned that his Yankees' farewell gift -- a Hummer -- would be taken away if he decided to resume his career.

That's when KKRW's "Dean and Rog" show came up with a plan: They made a plea on the air yesterday morning for a Hummer they could offer to Clemens. Moments later, Hummer dealer Lee DeMontrond called in live with an offer.

When asked if he would be in an Astros uniform come April, Clemens said "maybe" and conceded that the Hummer offer made things interesting. The radio show's deal is good only until Monday morning.

Batista a Blue Jay

The Blue Jays, trying to revamp their rotation, agreed to a deal with free agent Miguel Batista on a $13.1 million, three-year contract. Since the season ended, Toronto has signed free agent starters Pat Hentgen and Batista and traded for Ted Lilly. The Blue Jays also lost Kelvim Escobar as a free agent to Anaheim. Batista, 32, was 10-9 with a 3.54 ERA for Arizona last season. He pitched in 36 games, making 29 starts. Batista will make $3.6 million next season, $4.75 million in 2005, and $4.75 million in 2006. He took a physical Thursday in Florida before the deal was completed . . . Larry Bowa received more job security as the Phillies exercised their 2005 option on the manager and added team options for 2006 and 2007. Bowa, the 2001 NL Manager of the Year, has led the Phillies to a 252-233 record in three seasons, twice finishing second . . . The Expos sold the rights to righthanded pitcher Julio Manon to the Kai Tigers of the Korean Baseball League.

Material from espn.com was used in this report.

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