The Baseball Notebook

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 18, 2007

Associated Press

The baseball notebook …

PITTSBURGH — After two months of trying, the Pittsburgh Pirates finally landed a deal for Atlanta power hitter Adam LaRoche on Wednesday when they agreed to acquire the first baseman for left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez.

The trade also involves two minor leaguers and will be announced after physicals are completed, according to a baseball official familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity because the deal was still being finalized.

The Pirates, who hit an NL-low 141 homers during a 95-loss season last year, have been desperate to add a left-handed power bat to take advantage of PNC Park’s short right-field deck. They targeted LaRoche weeks ago, but the Braves previously sought both Gonzalez and one of the Pirates’ young starting pitchers.

The 27-year-old LaRoche hit .285 with 32 homers and 90 RBIs last season and was seventh in the NL with a .561 slugging percentage.


SEATTLE — J.J. Putz impressed at least one opponent in his debut season as Seattle’s closer: Barry Bonds.Putz cashed in on his breakout year Wednesday, agreeing to a $13.1 million, three-year contract with the Mariners.


DALLAS — Despite being out of baseball since 2005, Sammy Sosa showed enough pop in his bat to get an offer from the Texas Rangers.

“He’s strong. He’s healthy,” Rangers rookie manager Ron Washington said Wednesday. “I saw good bat speed. The ball made a lot of sound off his bat. I saw a great attitude. I saw a guy that is very confident in his ability.”


GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico– Carlos Delgado has entered the final part of his rehabilitation from arm surgery and says he will be ready for spring training.

The New York Mets first baseman, who had a left arm tendon repaired in October, says he should be ready to start batting practice on Jan. 22 and will have his arm evaluated in two weeks.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Former major league star Fred McGriff was hired Wednesday as a special adviser by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.