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Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Second baseman gets one-year contract

Associated Press

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox agreed Tuesday to a $1 million, one-year contract with free agent second baseman Pokey Reese.

Pokey Reese
Second baseman
Boston Red Sox
37 9 12 6 .271 .215

Reese, who spent the last two seasons with Pittsburgh, got a $200,000 signing bonus and an $800,000 salary for 2004. The two-time Gold Glove winner also can earn $600,000 in performance bonuses.

"He turned down a pretty significant amount of money to do this with the Red Sox because he wanted to be a part of this, part of the situation, part of the atmosphere," said Mike Nicotera, Reese's agent. "There were definitely quality clubs that were offering him what I would term as significantly more money."

Boston needed a replacement for second baseman Todd Walker, who became a free agent and cannot re-sign with Boston until May 1. He hit .283 with a team season record of five playoff homers.

Last week, the Red Sox signed second baseman Mark Bellhorn, who played with Colorado last season.

Boston also agreed Tuesday to deal with two right-handed pitchers it had let go Saturday. Edwin Almonte received a minor-league contract and would get a deal for the $300,000 minimum if he's added to the 40-man roster. Jason Shiell got a one-year contract that would pay him at a yearly rate of $303,000 in the major leagues and $72,000 in the minors.

The Red Sox originally obtained Reese on Dec. 19, 2001, in a trade with Colorado. But they let him become a free agent two days later rather than offer a 2002 contract, which would have made him eligible for salary arbitration. They hoped at that time he would sign a multiyear contract with them but he signed instead with the Pirates on Jan. 30, 2002.

Reese was sidelined by a torn thumb ligament last season and hit .215 in 37 games but had at least 421 at-bats in each of his previous four seasons, three of them with Cincinnati. He became a free agent after the World Series.

Reese won Gold Gloves with Cincinnati in 1999 and 2000. He stole 38 bases with the Reds in 1999.