Shortstop Stephen Drew, Arizona’s top draft pick last year, has been assigned to Lancaster of the Class A California League after signing a five-year, $5.5 million contract just minutes before the Diamondbacks would have lost his rights.
The deal, which could grow to $7.5 million if incentives are met, was reached Monday night, just before the 9 p.m. PDT deadline for signing last year’s picks. Had an agreement not been reached, Drew would have re-entered the June 7-8 draft.
Torre, Quantrill suspended
New York Yankees right-hander Paul Quantrill was suspended for three games, and manager Joe Torre was given a one-game ban after the reliever threw at Detroit’s Jason Smith last week.
Quantrill decided not to appeal and he and Torre began their suspension Tuesday night in Kansas City. Torre was surprised he was given permission to be with the team. He planned to watch the game on television in the visiting manager’s office.
Both were also fined undisclosed amounts.
Suzuki among top vote getters in A.L.
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz had 680,834 votes to lead voting among A.L. players. Red Sox Manny Ramirez (553,959) was leading the outfielders. The Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero (542,541), the 2004 A.L. MVP, and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki (515,343) were the leaders for the other two outfield spots.
Baltimore teammates Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada are the leading vote-getters at their positions.
The surprising Roberts, whose .370 batting average entering Tuesday’s games was best in the majors, had 433,461 votes for second base, edging out Rangers’ Alfonso Soriano (432,011).
The first N.L. totals will be released today. Starters and reserves for the July 12 All-Star game at Detroit’s Comerica Park will be announced July 3.
Clearing the bases
Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon left the game against the Orioles in the third inning after running into the outfield wall pursuing Jay Gibbons’ line drive. Damon received four stitches above his right eye. … The Reds took the next step in severing ties with their closer Danny Graves, asking for unconditional release waivers. If Graves isn’t claimed by another team during the 48-hour waiver period, he will become a free agent. The waiver period began at 11 a.m. PDT. … Outfielder Raul Mondesi was designated for assignment by the Braves, a move that could signal the end of his major league career. Atlanta cleared roster space to activate left-hander Mike Hampton from the disabled list. … The White Sox picked up the 2006 option on Ozzie Guillen‘s contract, added two more years and included an option for the 2009 season. … Tigers first baseman Carlos Pena was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. Detroit replaced Pena by calling up first baseman Chris Shelton from Toledo. … The Indians activated Juan Gonzalez from the 15-day DL, but he reaggravated an injury to his right hamstring running out a first-inning grounder.
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