Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Reds giving Dempster his unconditional release

Baseball notebook

Staff and wire reports

The Reds placed pitcher Ryan Dempster placed on waivers Tuesday with the intention of releasing him at a later date.

The right-hander, who made $3.25 million last season and was arbitration-eligible, was 3-7 with a 6.54 ERA in 20 starts and two relief appearances.

He made his last appearance July 28 and underwent elbow ligament surgery Aug. 4 during which he also had a bone chip removed from his elbow.

The Reds acquired Dempster in a July 2002 trade with the Marlins. In 15 starts with the Reds that season, Dempster, 26, went 5-5 with a 6.19 ERA in 88 2/3 innings.

Once he clears waivers and is released by the Reds, Dempster can sign with another team as early as next week. He would not be able to re-sign with the Reds until May 15.

--Kevin Kelly

BRAVES: All-Star pitcher Russ Ortiz will be back with Atlanta for another season. The Braves exercised an option for a second year on Ortiz, who led the National League with a career-high 21 wins.

YANKEES: Shortstop Derek Jeter played the AL Championship Series and the World Series with a ruptured tendon in his left thumb.

General manager Brian Cashman made the disclosure after the team announced Don Mattingly's return as hitting coach.

Cashman also said the Yankees are declining David Wells' $6 million option but have not decided whether they want the left-hander back next season. Cashman also said left-hander Felix Heredia had declined his $1.7 million option.

Jeter, who became the Yankees' captain in June, said he will not need surgery on his left shoulder, which he dislocated on Opening Day at Toronto.

Cashman said first baseman Jason Giambi had chosen Anaheim Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum to operate on his left knee. Giambi played with an inflamed tendon and patella tendinitis, Cashman said during the World Series.

Wells gets a $1 million buyout as part of the deal he agreed to in January 2002. Including performance bonuses, he earned $14.5 million over two years.

Cashman said the team might negotiate another deal with Wells, 40, but wasn't sure. He also said the Yankees had not yet started negotiations with Andy Pettitte, who is eligible to join Wells as a free agent.

New York hopes to re-sign left-hander Gabe White. On Friday, the Yankees declined his $3.5 million option, electing to pay a $250,000 buyout.

MARINERS: Designated hitter Edgar Martinez will rejoin the Mariners for the 2004 season, his 18th in the majors. Martinez, who turns 41 in January, agreed to terms on a one-year deal.

AL GOLD GLOVES: Seattle outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Mike Cameron and Mariners infielders Bret Boone and John Olerud won AL Gold Gloves.

All nine winners had earned the honor previously for fielding excellence. There were seven repeat winners from last season - Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina and Cameron rejoined the list this year. Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez, Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez, Minnesota outfielder Torii Hunter and Anaheim catcher Bengie Molina also were chosen.

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