CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with right-hander Ronald Belisario and are closing in on a $4 million, one-year deal with pitcher Scott Downs.
Chicago announced the agreement with Belisario on Thursday. The talks with Downs were revealed by a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
The 30-year-old Belisario was 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 77 games with the Dodgers last season and 20-12 with a 3.29 ERA over four years. He became a free agent when Los Angeles failed to offer a contract by the Dec. 2 deadline.
Belisario is scheduled to be eligible for arbitration after the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Downs was 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 68 games last season for the Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves. The 37-year-old left-hander is 38-36 with a 3.48 ERA over 564 career appearances.
Downs would earn $3.75 million next season, and the White Sox would hold a $4.25 million option for 2015 with a $250,000 buyout. Fox first reported his deal.
Indians finalize deal with closer
Cleveland has completed a $4.5 million, one-year contract with free agent closer John Axford. Axford, who saved 46 games for Milwaukee in 2011, agreed to the contract earlier this week, pending a physical. The 30-year-old right-hander lost his closers job early last season and was traded to St. Louis in August. He went a combined 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 75 appearances for the Brewers and Cardinals. He also blew seven saves. Axford has a 22-19 career record with a 3.29 ERA and 106 saves in 281 relief appearances.
Around the leagues
Outfielder Carlos Beltran and the New York Yankees finalized a $45 million, three-year contract. The agreement was reached Dec. 6. The eight-time All-Star is to be introduced at a Yankee Stadium news conference today. He hit .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBI for the Cardinals this year and added two homers and 15 RBI in the postseason.
Oakland acquired outfielder Corey Brown from Washington for cash. Brown, 28, who can play all three outfield positions, has played in 36 major league games in parts of three seasons, batting .175 with two homers and four RBI.