Pro Sports Round Up

Even though the 2006 baseball season has been long wrapped up, key moves to establish 2007 World Series hopefuls are just beginning to pick up steam.

In Chicago, the Cubs’ top two free agents – third baseman Aramis Ramirez and pitcher Kerry Wood – decided to maintain team loyalties and re-sign, instead of opting for higher price tags offered by other teams.

For Ramirez, Chicago dished out a five-year, $73 million contract – the largest Cubs’ signing since the $72 million, four-year deal offered to slugger Sammy Sosa in 2001. His deal will keep him with Chicago until 2011, with an option for the 2012 season. Wood resigned for one year and $1.75 million.

On the East Coast, the Baltimore Orioles picked up pitcher Jaret Wright from the New York Yankees just before his free agency deadline. The Yanks picked up Wright’s $7 million option for the upcoming 2007 season and sent him and $4 million in cash considerations to Baltimore for rookie reliever Chris Britton.

The Birds will pay Wright $3 million over the course of the next season.

Upon the arrival of the free agent signing period, a number of Major League Baseball’s biggest names will begin to agree on deals from any of the 30 MLB teams.

Outfielder J.D. Drew of the Los Angeles Dodgers passed on $33 million over the next three seasons to enter free agency for the second time in three years.

Last week, Boston Red Sox closer Keith Foulke declined a $5.25 million option, even though he has been plagued by injuries over the past two seasons.

New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine turned down his $7.5 million option on Friday, but cannot enter into free agency until the Mets decides on its $14 million, Nov. 20 deadline.

– Compiled by Monique Moyal