Edgar Renteria became the second free agent to join San Francisco in two days, receiving a two-year, $18.5 million contract yesterday to replace 11-time Gold Glover Omar Vizquel as the Giants' shortstop.
A five-time National League all-star, Renteria has spent 11 of his 13 major-league seasons in the NL. He won a World Series ring with the 1997 Florida Marlins and a pennant in 2004 with St. Louis but struggled during a pair of one-season stints in the American League, with Boston in 2005 and Detroit last year. The Tigers declined to offer him arbitration. Renteria batted .270 in 138 games last season.
St. Louis addressed a major off-season concern by obtaining shortstop Khalil Greene from San Diego for two minor-leaguers.
The Padres get minor-league righthander Mark Worrell and a prospect to be named.
The 29-year-old Greene hit just .213 with 10 home runs last year, and struck out 100 times in 105 games. But in 2007, he had 27 homers, 44 doubles and 97 RBIs. He is a career .248 hitter with 84 homers in five-plus seasons. Also a good defensive player, Greene made just 28 errors in the past three seasons.
He will replace Cesar Izturis, whose contract was not renewed.
The average salary in Major League Baseball this season was $2.93 million, the players' association said in its annual report.
The 3.6 percent increase was the smallest since 2004, when the average declined 2.5 percent from the previous season.
The New York Yankees topped the major leagues in average salary for the 10th consecutive season, paying an average of $6.86 million per player, down from a record $7.47 million last year.
The Chicago Cubs were second at $4.68 million. The Phillies were 11th at $3.39 million, and the AL champion Tampa Bay Rays were 27th at $1.59 million, up from a major-league low of $906,000 last year.
Free-agent reliever Jorge Julio agreed to a one-year, $950,000 contract with Milwaukee.
Reliever Mike Lincoln agreed to stay with Cincinnati, accepting a two-year, $4 million contract.
Boston landed another Japanese pitcher, completing a contract with righthander Junichi Tazawa, who spurned professional teams in Japan to sign with the Red Sox.
Dodgers, Pirates talking.
Los Angeles has been involved in extensive talks this week about acquiring longtime Pittsburgh shortstop Jack Wilson, with one hangup being his $7.25 million salary for next season. Los Angeles apparently wants the Pirates to pick up a substantial share of Wilson's salary.
Braves-White Sox deal.
Righthander Javier Vazquez was shipped from the Chicago White Sox to Atlanta as the teams completed a six-player deal agreed to earlier in the week.
Lefthanded reliever Boone Logan also went to the Braves as part of the swap, while the White Sox acquired four prospects: catcher Tyler Flowers, infielders Jonathan Gilmore and Brent Lillibridge, and lefthanded pitcher Santos Rodriguez.
Federal prosecutors have dropped four counts of lying to a grand jury against Barry Bonds, leaving the former Giants slugger to face trial next year in San Francisco on 10 counts of making false statements plus an additional charge of obstruction of justice.
The charges stem from Bonds' testimony in 2003.
New York, New York.
When it comes to getting a luxury box at the new Yankees and Mets ballparks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's aides appear willing to play hardball.
Recently released e-mails between the mayor's aides, city lawyers and Yankees officials show City Hall gave the team even more parking spaces than had been negotiated previously, plus the rights and revenue from three billboards near the stadium, in exchange for a luxury suite.
For months, the city had publicly played down the importance of having exclusive use of the suite, but the e-mails, obtained and released by state Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, show luxury boxes in both ballparks were "a big issue to the mayor," as one official put it.