Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ramon Ortiz to Washington; Randa to Pittsburg

Pitcher Ramon Ortiz agreed to a one-year deal Thursday with the Washington Nationals, who are piecing together a starting rotation.

The free agent was 9-11 with a 5.36 ERA in 30 starts for Cincinnati last season. The right-hander has made at least 30 starts in four of the past five years and is 68-60 with a 4.72 ERA for his career.

His best season was 2002, when he helped the Anaheim Angels win the World Series, going 15-9 with a 3.77 ERA. He went 6-0 over his final nine starts that season.

The 32-year-old Ortiz joins a rotation anchored by Livan Hernandez and John Patterson. The Nationals also have starters Brian Lawrence and Ryan Drese.


Free agent third baseman Joe Randa and the Pittsburgh Pirates were close to agreement Thursday on a $4 million, one-year contract.

The 36-year-old Randa hit .276 with 17 home runs and 68 RBI in 155 games with San Diego and Cincinnati last season.

Several details of the deal remained to be finalized, but they were not seen as an impediment. General manager Dave Littlefield and other team officials refused comment until a formal announcement.

"This is a pretty significant addition," manager Jim Tracy was quoted as saying in Thursday's editions of The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette. "This is a very consistent, solid ballplayer, and I'm very happy to be getting him."

Randa, a four-time .300 hitter, has a .285 average with 119 home runs and 711 RBI in 1,433 career games, mostly with Kansas City.

Read the whole article here.


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