Rangers offer contract to Sosa
Club avoids arbitration with Bauer, Otsuka and Wilkerson
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have offered a Minor League contract to free-agent outfielder Sammy Sosa and once again have avoided an arbitration hearing with one of their players.The Rangers are waiting for a response from Sosa's agent, Adam Katz, on a one-year, $500,000 offer plus significant incentives. Texas is hoping to have a deal concluded by the end of the week. Sosa, who has worked out for the Rangers both in the Dominican Republic and Arlington, did not play in 2006. Texas is looking at him as a possible right-handed designated hitter/outfielder. "We're still talking to Adam [Katz]. If the right fit is there, we'll probably give him an opportunity to prove himself. He's been clear that's all he's asking for -- a chance to compete and earn whatever he gets."
The Rangers also announced on Tuesday they have reached an agreement on one-year contracts for pitchers Rick Bauer and Akinori Otsuka and outfielder Brad Wilkerson.The Rangers came to an agreement with pitcher Joaquin Benoit on Monday and now have signed all four of their players who were eligible for arbitration. Texas hasn't had an arbitration hearing with a player since Lee Stevens in 2000. "Any time you can avoid the rigors of the arbitration process, it's good," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "This year, we had four players who were all prepared to negotiate and were motivated to get a deal done. The only way we could have gotten a deal done is by compromising, and all four deals represent significant compromise on both sides." Otsuka, who agreed to a $3 million salary for 2007, led the Rangers with 32 saves in 2006 and was named the Rangers Pitcher of the Year. Wilkerson, who will make $4.35 million this upcoming season, hit .222 with 15 home runs and 44 RBIs in 95 games and 320 at-bats before undergoing surgery on his right shoulder on Aug. 22. Bauer, who agreed to a $730,000 contract, was 3-1 with two saves and a 3.55 ERA while pitching in 58 games as a middle reliever.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.