Big deals: Werth to Nats, Padres-Bosox trade set

The Pak Banker - - International3 -

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA: Jayson Werth and the Washington Na­tion­als got an early jump on base­ball's win­ter meet­ings. The Bos­ton Red Sox were busy, too, com­plet­ing their trade for Adrian Gon­za­lez.

Next up, an­other big name was sure to stir dis­cus­sion: Ge­orge Stein­bren­ner. The late New York Yan­kees owner was on the Hall of Fame bal­lot for the first time, and the Vet­er­ans Com­mit­tee was to re­lease its vot­ing re­sults Mon­day morn­ing.

Yet even be­fore a Dis­ney re­sort ball­room was set up to an­nounce deals, the ac­tion started Sun­day. Na­tion­als gen­eral man­ager Mike Rizzo and agent Scott Bo­ras waited in a corner while work­ers fin­ished pre­par­ing the lights, podium mi­cro­phone and Ma­jor League Base­ball back­drop, then said Werth had agreed to a star­tling $126 mil­lion, seven-year con­tract.

The deal seemed to catch most ev­ery­one by sur­prise. "I didn't know un­til a few hours ago," Na­tion­als man­ager Jim Riggleman ad­mit­ted. "It all hap­pened very qui­etly." Bos­ton and San Diego took care of busi­ness when the Padres agreed to trade Gon­za­lez, their All-Star first base­man, to the Red Sox, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the deal told The As­so­ci­ated Press. -Afp

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