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Reports: Yankees get Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury

Union Leader wire services
December 03. 2013 11:06PM

A center fielder helps the Boston Red Sox win the World Series, then joins the team's archrival, the New York Yankees, as a free agent.

That scenario played out when Johnny Damon switched sides in the rivalry more than a year after Boston's 2004 championship. It might be repeated on an accelerated schedule, as Jacoby Ellsbury agreed to seven-year deal with the Yankees, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday night.

According to, the contract will be worth $153 million. The deal is not finalized pending a physical.

Ellsbury, 30, was a key cog in Boston's title run this year. He led the American League with 52 stolen bases in the regular season, then batted .344 in the postseason.

A's pick up Jim Johnson

Moving quickly to find a new closer, the Oakland A's acquired right-hander Jim Johnson from the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Baltimore received infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named.

Oakland's 2013 closer, right-hander Grant Balfour, is currently a free agent and is not expected to re-sign with the A's.

Johnson, 30, led the American League in saves each of the past two seasons, going 50-for-59 in save chances this year after finishing 51-for-54 in 2012.

The Orioles decided to deal Johnson rather than go to arbitration with him this winter, a process that likely will land him a salary in excess of $10 million.

Tigers send Fister to Nats

The Washington Nationals have landed starting pitcher Doug Fister in a four-player trade with the Detroit Tigers on Monday.

Washington sent infielder Steve Lombardozzi, relief pitcher Ian Krol and minor league player Robbie Ray in exchange for the experienced right-hander.

The 29-year-old Fister went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA for the Tigers last season for a team with a deep rotation that includes Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez.

Nathan near Detroit deal

Joe Nathan is on the verge of a contract with the Detroit Tigers, who listed a veteran closer near the top of their offseason needs.

Fox Sports first reported Nathan and the Tigers were wrapping up a multi-year deal. On Monday, reports that talks between Detroit and former San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers closer Brian Wilson had fizzled.

A's deal for Gentry

The Oakland Athletics traded former first-round pick Michael Choice to the Texas Rangers for veteran outfielder Craig Gentry and right-handed pitcher Josh Lindblom, the clubs announced Tuesday.

The A's added outfield depth in giving up Choice and minor league infielder Chris Bostick.

Gentry, 30, is a career .280 hitter, a stolen base threat and can play any outfield spot. Gentry, one of the fastest players in the majors, has spent five years in the majors, all with the Rangers. He hit .304 in 2012 and came back with a .280 season in 2013. Lindblom, 26, will be pitching for his fourth team in four years.

Sox cut Bailey, Kalish

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox declined to tender contracts to injured reliever Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Kalish, making them two of the 43 players who were not tendered contracts by their teams Monday.

The deadline for clubs to offer one-year contracts to arbitration-eligible players was 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday. Players who were non-tendered became free agents.

Bailey, 29, served as the Red Sox's closer for several stretches early in the season before he sustained a shoulder injury. He underwent season-ending surgery in July. Kalish, 25, had right shoulder surgery in January, then neck surgery in August. He did not play in 2013.

McCann signs with Yanks

The New York Yankees signed catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million contract with a vesting option for a sixth year.

The vesting option for a sixth season in 2019 could make the contract worth $100 million and includes a no-trade clause. McCann, 29, was a seven-time All-Star in nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

He hit .256 with 20 homers and 57 RBI in 102 games last season. The Rangers, Angels and Red Sox also reportedly had pursued McCann.

Red Sox/MLB