Thursday, January 22, 2004

Quick hits



Shingo Takatsu, Japan's career saves leader, has agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, the Associated Press learned Wednesday.

Takatsu has 260 career saves, passing Kazuhiro Sasaki last year for the No. 1 spot in Japan history. He has topped the 30-save mark four times with a career-high 37 in 2001.

• The Cubs and right-hander Ryan Dempster agreed to a one-year contract that includes a team option for 2005, a deal that guarantees him $500,000. Dempster had ligament replacement surgery on his elbow Aug. 4 and spent the final two months of last season on the Reds' disabled list.

• Jesse Orosco, 46, told the Diamondbacks he had decided to retire after 24 major-league seasons.

"To take it a quarter-century - I never imagined that," Orosco said.

The left-hander began his career with the New York Mets in 1979 - some current major-leaguers weren't even born yet - and set big-league records with 1,252 games pitched and 1,248 relief appearances.

• Infielder Russell Branyan agreed to a minor-league contract with the Braves that would pay him $395,000. Branyan, 28, hit .216 with nine homers and 26 RBI in 74 games for the Reds last season.

The Associated Press




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