Mike Timlin's preference was to remain with the Boston Red Sox.

"The decision wasn't totally mine. It was my family's too," he said yesterday after finalizing a $3 million, 1-year contract. "At this point in my career, it's not just about me anymore."

Timlin's agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, checked out the market and told the 41-year-old righthander he had choices.

"There was some serious interest across the league. It was nice to know," Timlin said. "But we know the people in the organization and they know what I'm about. I really enjoy playing for Terry Francona. Boston is always competitive. That's the reason I signed there 6 years ago."

Timlin was 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA and one save this season and had a 3.17 ERA in six postseason games. He ranks fourth on the career list with 44 playoff appearances.

With the Red Sox, Timlin has won the World Series twice in the last 4 years.

Timlin made at least 50 appearances for the 12th consecutive season last year despite missing time with a strained left oblique muscle and right shoulder tendinitis.


* Former Pirates closer Salomon Torres, the majors' most-used reliever in 2006, was dealt by Pittsburgh to division rival Milwaukee Brewers for pitching prospects Marino Salas and Kevin Roberts.

Torres, 35, made a major league-leading 94 appearances in 2006 after pitching in 78 games in 2005 and 84 in 2004. Torres had recurring problems with a sore right elbow last season, limiting him to 56 appearances, going 2-4, 5.47.

* The Braves asked for waivers on righthander Lance Cormier for the purpose of granting his unconditional release. The move came less than a week after the Braves cleared a spot on their 40-man roster for lefty Tom Glavine. *