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Red Sox about to sign a four-year deal with Edgar Renteria

ANAHEIM--The Red Sox are on the verge of signing free-agent shortstop Edgar Renteria, several baseball officials said today, to a four-year deal in the $40 million range.

No official announcement was issued by Sox officials this afternoon. GM Theo Epstein was meeting with Fernando Cuza, agent for Pedro Martinez, in hopes of concluding a deal for the Dominican ace. The Sox have guaranteed a third year in their offer, raising the value of the deal to $38.5 million, plus an additional $2 million in incentives.

Cuza met Friday night with the New York Mets, the other club that has aggressively pursued Martinez, and expected to meet again with Mets GM Omar Minaya again today.

The Sox also met with Scott Boras, agent for catcher Jason Varitek, on Friday night, and were scheduled to meet again Sunday night.

Renteria, 29, played the last six seasons for the Cardinals after beginning his career with the Florida Marlins, for whom he was World Series MVP in 1997. A four-time All-Star, Renteria is a career .289 hitter, batting .366 against left-handers last season, when he hit .287 overall. He made just 11 errors in 149 games for the Cardinals, and was considered a leader in the Cardinals' clubhouse.

The Cardinals were expected to turn their attention to Orlando Cabrera, whose departure from the Sox is assured if they seal the deal for Renteria.

Carl Pavano, meanwhile, had come to terms on a four-year, $42 million deal with the Yankees, according to several baseball officials, though no official announcement was forthcoming.

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