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Rays close to deal with 2B Alomar
The 10-time Gold Glove winner could join Tampa Bay by today.
By MARC TOPKIN
Published January 17, 2005
ST. PETERSBURG - The Devil Rays are close to adding a potential Hall of Famer to their lineup.
A one-year deal with veteran second baseman Roberto Alomar appeared likely Sunday night and could be announced today.
Alomar, 37 next month, has an impressive resume, including 10 Gold Gloves, 12 All-Star selections, five top-six finishes in MVP voting and a career .300 average. He also has 2,724 career hits, and the drive toward 3,000, which should ensure election to the Hall of Fame, could provide significant motivation.
Since hitting .336 with 20 homers and 100 RBIs for Cleveland in 2001, Alomar has been slowed by inconsistency and injury. He hit .263 with four homers and 24 RBIs last year in 56 games for the Diamondbacks and White Sox.
Alomar also talked to the Cardinals, but they wanted him for a reserve role. The Rays can offer him the starting job.
With Alomar aboard, the Rays plan to make Jorge Cantu their utility infielder, providing backup at shortstop and second and third base.
The Rays continue to move toward a deal with top draft pick Jeff Niemann.